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God, Don’t Be Silent[a]

83 Asaph’s poetic song
God, you have to do something![b] Don’t be silent and just sit idly by.
2–3 Can’t you see what they’re doing?
All your enemies are stirred up in an uproar!
They despise you, Lord.
In their defiant arrogance they rise up
to host their secret council against your people.
They conspire together to come and harm
your cherished ones—your hidden ones.
Our enemies keep saying,
“Now is the time to wipe Israel off the map.
We’ll destroy even the memory of her existence!”
They’ve made their pact, consulting and conspiring,
aligning together in their covenant against God.
6–8 All the sons of Ishmael, the desert sheiks and the nomadic tribes, Amalekites, Canaanites, Moabites,
and all the nations that surround us,
Philistines, Phoenicians, Gadarenes,[c] and Samaritans;
allied together they’re ready to attack!
Pause in his presence
Do to them all what you did to the Midianites
who were defeated by Gideon.
Or what you did to Sisera and Jabin
when Deborah and Barak defeated them by the Kishon River.
10 Do to your enemies what you did at Endor,
whose rotting corpses fertilized the land.
11–12 Repeat history, God! Make all their “noble ones”
die like Oreb, Zebah, and Zalmunna, who said in their pride,
“We will seize God’s people along with all their pleasant lands!”
13 Blow them away, God, like straw in the wind,
like a tumbleweed in the wilderness!
14 Burn them up like a raging fire roaring down the mountainside;
consume them all until only charred sticks remain!
15 Chase them away like before a mighty storm and terrifying tempest.
16 O Lord, disgrace them until their faces fill with shame,
and make them acknowledge the glory of your name.
17 Make them utter failures in everything they do
until they perish in total disgrace and humiliation
18 so they will know that you, and you alone,
are Yahweh, the only Most High God exalted over all the earth!


  1. Psalm 83:1 The historical background to this psalm may be found in 2 Chron. 20:14-36.
  2. Psalm 83:1 Both the Aramaic and the Septuagint add a line in verse 1: “God, who is like you?”
  3. Psalm 83:6 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “It includes the tents of Edom and Ishmael (Palestinians and those of southern Jordan), Moab (Palestinians and those of central Jordan) and Hagrites (Egyptians or possibly northern Jordanians), Gebal (Byblos and northern Lebanon), Ammon (Palestinians and northern Jordanians) and Amalek (Arabs of the Sinai Peninsula), Philistia (Gaza), and the inhabitants of Tyre (southern Lebanese). Even Assyria (Syrians and northern Iraqis) has become their ally as an arm [military might] for the sons of Lot.” This comprises virtually every neighbor surrounding Israel.