The designs of the enemies of Israel. (1-8) Earnest prayer for their defeat. (9-18)
Verses 1-8 Sometimes God seems not to be concerned at the unjust treatment of his people. But then we may call upon him, as the psalmist here. All wicked people are God's enemies, especially wicked persecutors. The Lord's people are his hidden one; the world knows them not. He takes them under his special protection. Do the enemies of the church act with one consent to destroy it, and shall not the friends of the church be united? Wicked men wish that there might be no religion among mankind. They would gladly see all its restraints shaken off, and all that preach, profess, or practise it, cut off. This they would bring to pass if it were in their power. The enemies of God's church have always been many: this magnifies the power of the Lord in preserving to himself a church in the world.
Verses 9-18 All who oppose the kingdom of Christ may here read their doom. God is the same still that ever he was; the same to his people, and the same against his and their enemies. God would make their enemies like a wheel; unsettled in all their counsels and resolves. Not only let them be driven away as stubble, but burnt as stubble. And this will be the end of wicked men. Let them be made to fear thy name, and perhaps that will bring them to seek thy name. We should desire no confusion to our enemies and persecutors but what may forward their conversion. The stormy tempest of Divine vengeance will overtake them, unless they repent and seek the pardoning mercy of their offended Lord. God's triumphs over his enemies, clearly prove that he is, according to his name JEHOVAH, an almighty Being, who has all power and perfection in himself. May we fear his wrath, and yield ourselves to be his willing servants. And let us seek deliverance by the destruction of our fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
Psalms 83:1-18 . is probably that of 2 Chronicles 20:1 2 Chronicles 20:2 (compare Psalms 47:1-9 , 48:1-14 ). After a general petition, the craft and rage of the combined enemies are described, God's former dealings recited, and a like summary and speedy destruction on them is invoked.
1. God addressed as indifferent (compare Psalms 35:22 , 39:12 ).
be not still--literally, "not quiet," as opposed to action.
2. thine enemies--as well as ours ( Psalms 74:23 , Isaiah 37:23 ).
3. hidden ones--whom God specially protects ( Psalms 27:5 , 91:1 ).
4. from being a nation--utter destruction ( Isaiah 7:8 , 23:1 ).
Israel--here used for Judah, having been the common name.
5. they have consulted--with heart, or cordially.
6-8. tabernacles--for people ( Psalms 78:67 ).
they--all these united with the children of Lot, or Ammonites and Moabites (compare 2 Chronicles 20:1 ).
9-11. Compare the similar fate of these ( 2 Chronicles 20:23 ) with that of the foes mentioned in Judges 7:22 , here referred to. They destroyed one another ( Judges 4:6-24 , 7:25 ). Human remains form manure (compare 2 Kings 9:37 , Jeremiah 9:22 ).
12. The language of the invaders.
houses--literally, "residences," enclosures, as for flocks ( Psalms 65:12 ).
of God--as the proprietors of the land ( 2 Chronicles 20:11 , Isaiah 14:25 ).
13. like a wheel--or, whirling of any light thing ( Isaiah 17:13 ), as stubble or chaff ( Psalms 1:4 ).
14, 15. Pursue them to an utter destruction.
16. that they may seek--or as Psalms 83:18 , supply "men," since Psalms 83:17 Psalms 83:18 amplify the sentiment of Psalms 83:16 , expressing more fully the measure of destruction, and the lesson of God's being and perfections (compare 2 Chronicles 20:29 ) taught to all men.