The attackers of Israel (Ps 83:1-83:8)

A song, a psalm of Asaph

“O God!

Do not keep silence!

Do not hold your peace!

Do not be still!

O God!

Even now your enemies are in tumult.

Those who hate you

Have raised their heads.

They lay crafty plans against your people.

They consult together against those you protect.

They say.


Let us wipe them out as a nation.

Let the name of Israel be remembered no more!’

They conspire with one accord.

They make a covenant against you.

They are the tents of Edom.

They are the Ishmaelites,

They are Moab.

They are the Hagrites.

They are Gebal.

They are Ammon.

They are Amalek.

They are Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.

Assyria also has joined them.

They are the strong arm of the children of Lot.”


Psalm 83 is another lamentation psalm of Asaph, the Temple singer, about the various national enemies. Here we have a list of the traditional enemies of Israel. The psalmist wanted God not to be silent. These enemies were conspiring together to attack Israel. They wanted to wipe out Israel, a fairly common theme. They were the strong arm of the children of Lot, who dominates thought about the Middle East. This nephew of Abraham had sex with his daughters that created all these terrible neighboring Semitic enemies. Edom was just south of Judah, supposed started by Esau, the brother of Jacob. Once again Semitic, but an enemy of the sons of Jacob. Ishmael was the older step brother of Isaac, thus another Semite. Moab was the country just east of the Dead Sea, present day Jordan, another natural enemy of Judah. The Hagrites were an offshoot of the Ishmaelites, also in territory to the northeast of Israel. Gebal was an ancient Canaanite city that dates back to the Phoenicians in present day Lebanon. Ammon is another Semitic group that occupied eastern Jordan. Amalek was the grandson of Esau. The Philistines were along the west coast of Israel, while Assyria was to the north. This section ends with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.

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