The Ten-Nation Confederacy of the Assyrian
The Ten-Nation Confederacy of the Assyrian
Psalm 83. In this Psalm of Asaph we have a prayer of the faithful remnant for the destruction of a great confederacy of Middle-Eastern nations in league with Ashur, or Assyria, which represents in prophecy the king of the north, or the little horn of Daniel 8. This Psalm is helpful in showing that the confederacy that will sweep down through Israel is not the king of the north alone (Turkey, Iraq), but will be joined by a number of Israel’s neighbors who will enter into a league with the king of the north. It is helpful to see that there is an alliance between the king of the north and the king of the far north (Gog and Magog, or Russia). See Daniel 8:24; “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power”. Likewise, if history serves as a pattern for the future, there will be a trade-agreement between the beast and the king of the south (Dan. 11:29-30). This system of alliances will lead to a world war at the end of Daniel’s seventieth week, at which time the Lord will appear, and the confederacies will be destroyed.
A Song; a Psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, keep not silence; hold not thy peace, and be not still, O GOD:
2 For behold, thine enemies make a tumult; and they that hate thee lift up the head.
3 They take crafty counsel against thy people, and consult against thy hidden ones:
4 They say, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, and let the name of Israel be mentioned no more.
5 For they have consulted together with one heart: they have made an alliance together against thee.
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarites;
7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Asshur also is joined with them: they are an arm to the sons of Lot. Selah.
vv.1-8 The Ten Nation Confederacy of the Middle-East. The Psalm begins with the announcement of the enemies of God, gathering together against His people. They are referred to as God’s “hidden ones”, because the remnant is hidden providentially by God from the attack of the Assyrian. It is quite striking in this Psalm that the confederacy of the king of the north is not viewed as Assyria in the lead, although in Daniel 11 it is so. Here Edom is in the lead, and the surrounding Muslim nations who have a particular hatred for Israel. They are seen as plotting against Israel, seeking to cut Israel off from being a nation (v.4). The ten nations of this confederacy are listed in vv.6-8; Edom, Ishmael, Moab, Hagarites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, and Asshur. Whatever differences these nations have, they will unite for the common purpose of destroying Israel.
9 Do unto them as to Midian; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the torrent of Kishon:
10 Who were destroyed at Endor; they became as dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles as Oreb and as Zeeb; and all their chiefs as Zebah and as Zalmunna.
12 For they have said, Let us take to ourselves God’s dwelling-places in possession.
13 O my God, make them like a whirling thing, like stubble before the wind.
14 As fire burneth a forest, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with thy tempest, and terrify them with thy whirlwind.
16 Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O Jehovah.
17 Let them be put to shame and be dismayed for ever, and let them be confounded and perish:
18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.
vv.9-18 Prayer for the Destruction of the Middle-Eastern Confederacy. The remainder of the Psalm is a prayer for the destruction of the Middle-Eastern confederacy. In vv.9-11 the remnant pray for a deliverance akin to that of Deborah in Judges 5, or Gideon in Judges 8. The enemies are pictured as coveting “God’s dwelling-places”; i.e. the best of Canaan. The remnant pray for destructive judgment (v.13), consuming judgment (v.14), persistent judgment (v.15), and humiliating judgment (v.16) on the Assyrian confederacy. The remnant desire that these very enemies would recognize the power of the one true God, even in their destruction. The result of this judgment would be that Jehovah alone, exclusive of every other venerated being, is “the Most High over all the earth”. In other words, Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the supreme ruler of the earth. With the name Jehovah brought in, it is striking that from this place forward the Psalms change back to being addressed to Jehovah rather than Elohim, and remain so through the entire collection of Psalms. Read more…