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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 83

 

 

Introduction

BOOK II.—PSS. XLII.-LXXII.

Psalms 42-83 are Elohistic, i.e. they use the word God (Elohim) and avoid the proper name Yahweh, probably from motives of reverence. Here and there, however, the name Yahweh has crept into the text by a natural slip of the scribes.


Verses 1-18

LXXXIII. The date can be fixed with a near approach to certainty. The clue is furnished by 1 Maccabees 5. The victories of Judas Maccabus and the cleansing of the Temple in 165 B.C. (p. 607) were followed by a general uprising of the neighbouring States, which were jealous of Judah and bent on hindering its national revival. So far as we know, no simultaneous attack of this kind had ever occurred before or ever occurred again. But the political situation exactly corresponds to that here presupposed. To each account the names of the Edomites, Ammonites, Philistines, Arabians, Tyrians are common. The object of the attack is also identical, viz. to "cut off Israel from being a nation." The poet recalls past victories in the time of the Judges and prays that Israel's enemies in his own time may meet with crushing defeat. Of the hostile nations mentioned Edom was on the S., Ammon on the E. of Israel, the Ishmaelites seem to have lived on the N. of the Sinaitic wilderness, the Hagarenes (mentioned only here and 1 Chronicles 5:10; 1 Chronicles 5:19 f.) were an Arab (or Araman) tribe on the E. of Jordan. Gebal was the mountainous region (cf. Arabic "Jebel" = "mountain") S. of the Dead Sea; the Amalekites dwelt originally on the S. of Canaan. Some of these nationalities existed no longer, and are used here poetically as types of Israel's foes. It is surprising to find Assyria linked with these petty powers. But Assyria in late Heb. stands for Syria (Numbers 24:23*), which indeed is a mutilated form of the same word. Antiochus Epiphanes had withdrawn to Persia and left only a detachment under Gorgias (1 Mac. 559) as a defensive against the Jews. The "children of Lot" were Moab and Ammon (Genesis 19:37 b).

Psalms 83:9-12. For the victories over the Canaanites and Midianites, see Judges 4-7. For habitations (Psalms 83:12) read "habitation" (LXX).

Since the Ps. makes no mention of the victories which Judas Maccabus won over the hostile States we must place it after, but not much after, 165 B.C.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 83:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/psalms-83.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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