“Do to them as you did to Midian.
Do as you did to Sisera.
Do as you did to Jabin at the river Kishon.
You destroyed them at En-dor.
They became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb.
Make all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna.
‘Let us take the pastures of God
For our own possession.’”
The psalmist recounted the times in the past when Yahweh had helped them against enemies. He was calling on Yahweh to act now as he had in the past. Gideon defeated the Midianites in Judges, chapter 7. Deborah defeated General Sisera and King Jabin in Judges, chapter 4. En-dor was a Canaanite city. Gideon defeated Oreb and Zeeb, 2 captains of the Midianites, in Judges, chapter 7. Gideon also defeated Zebah and Zalmunna in Judges, chapter 8. Obviously this psalmist had the Book of Judges or something similar at his disposal, as he recounted the deeds of Deborah and Gideon before the time of King Saul and King David.
“They marched for three days from Nineveh to the plain of Bectileth. There they camped opposite Bectileth, near the mountain that is to the north of Upper Cilicia. From there Holofernes took his whole army, his infantry, cavalry, and chariots, and went up into the hill country. He ravaged Put and Lud. He plundered all the Rassisites and the Ishmaelites on the border of the desert, south of the country of the Chelleans. Then he followed the Euphrates River and passed through Mesopotamia. He destroyed all the hilltop cities along the brook Abron, as far as the sea. He also seized the territory of Cilicia. He killed every one who resisted him. Then he came to the southern borders of Japheth, fronting toward Arabia. He surrounded all the Midianites. He burned their tents and plundered their sheepfolds. Then he went down into the plain of Damascus during the wheat harvest. He burned all their fields. He destroyed their flocks and herds. He sacked their towns. He ravaged their lands. He put to death all their young men with the edge of the sword. Fear and dread of him fell upon all the people who lived along the seacoast. This included those at Sidon and Tyre, as well as those who lived in Sur, Ocina, and all who lived in Jamnia. Those who lived in Azotus and Ascalon feared him greatly.”
The geography here is a little muddled. It is about 600 miles from Nineveh to Damascus, but here it seems like just a few days. No one seems to know where this Bectileth was. Cilicia was on the Mediterranean Sea in Asia Minor, part of modern day Turkey. It, too, was about 500-600 miles from Nineveh, a difficult trip in 3 days, even in our modern times. Lud maybe the Syrian Lydia, but it is difficult to find Put. It is also difficult to know much about the Rassisites, the Ishmaelites, or the Chelleans. Generally, Ishmaelites usually referred to Arabs. It is also difficult to pinpoint the Abron brook. Obviously, he traveled south along the Euphrates River, which is about 300 miles east of the seacoast. Japheth was near Arabia, which would be south of where he was. He also attacked the Midianites, on his way to Damascus. Holofernes burned down the wheat fields, destroyed the flocks and herds, sacked and ravaged the land. He killed their young men. He then turned further south towards the coast. Thus there was great fear in Sidon and Tyre, as well as all along the coastal towns of Sur, Ocina, Jamnia, Azotus, and Ascalon near Tyre, in the Asher tribe territory.