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Psalms 83:3-12

Context

83:3 They carefully plot 1  against your people,

and make plans to harm 2  the ones you cherish. 3 

83:4 They say, “Come on, let’s annihilate them so they are no longer a nation! 4 

Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”

83:5 Yes, 5  they devise a unified strategy; 6 

they form an alliance 7  against you.

83:6 It includes 8  the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,

Moab and the Hagrites, 9 

83:7 Gebal, 10  Ammon, and Amalek,

Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre. 11 

83:8 Even Assyria has allied with them,

lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. 12  (Selah)

83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian 13 

as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River! 14 

83:10 They were destroyed at Endor; 15 

their corpses were like manure 16  on the ground.

83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, 17 

and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna, 18 

83:12 who said, 19  “Let’s take over 20  the pastures of God!”

1 tn Heb “they make crafty a plot.”

2 tn Heb “and consult together against.”

3 tn The passive participle of the Hebrew verb צָפַן (tsafan, “to hide”) is used here in the sense of “treasured; cherished.”

4 tn Heb “we will cause them to disappear from [being] a nation.”

5 tn Or “for.”

6 tn Heb “they consult [with] a heart together.”

7 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

8 tn The words “it includes” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

9 sn The Hagrites are also mentioned in 1 Chr 5:10, 19-20.

10 sn Some identify Gebal with the Phoenician coastal city of Byblos (see Ezek 27:9, where the name is spelled differently), though others locate this site south of the Dead Sea (see BDB 148 s.v. גְּבַל; HALOT 174 s.v. גְּבַל).

11 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

12 tn Heb “they are an arm for the sons of Lot.” The “arm” is here a symbol of military might.

sn The descendants of Lot were the Moabites and Ammonites.

13 tn Heb “do to them like Midian.”

14 sn The psalmist alludes here to Gideon’s victory over the Midianites (see Judg 7-8) and to Barak’s victory over Jabin’s army, which was led by his general Sisera (Judg 4-5).

15 sn Endor is not mentioned in the accounts of Gideon’s or Barak’s victories, but both battles took place in the general vicinity of the town. (See Y. Aharoni and M. Avi-Yonah, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, 46, 54.) Because Sisera and Jabin are mentioned in v. 9b, many understand them to be the subject of the verbs in v. 10, though they relate v. 10 to Gideon’s victory, which is referred to in v. 9a, 11. (See, for example, Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible, 263.)

16 tn Heb “they were manure.” In addition to this passage, corpses are compared to manure in 2 Kgs 9:37; Jer 8:2; 9:21; 16:4; 25:33.

17 sn Oreb and Zeeb were the generals of the Midianite army that was defeated by Gideon. The Ephraimites captured and executed both of them and sent their heads to Gideon (Judg 7:24-25).

18 sn Zebah and Zalmunna were the Midianite kings. Gideon captured them and executed them (Judg 8:1-21).

19 tn The translation assumes that “Zebah and Zalmunna” are the antecedents of the relative pronoun (“who [said]”). Another option is to take “their nobles…all their rulers” as the antecedent and to translate, “those who say.”

20 tn Heb “let’s take possession for ourselves.”



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