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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.

Psalm 83[a]

A song. A psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not remain silent;(A)
    do not turn a deaf ear,
    do not stand aloof, O God.
See how your enemies growl,(B)
    how your foes rear their heads.(C)
With cunning they conspire(D) against your people;
    they plot against those you cherish.(E)
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy(F) them as a nation,(G)
    so that Israel’s name is remembered(H) no more.”

With one mind they plot together;(I)
    they form an alliance against you—
the tents of Edom(J) and the Ishmaelites,
    of Moab(K) and the Hagrites,(L)
Byblos,(M) Ammon(N) and Amalek,(O)
    Philistia,(P) with the people of Tyre.(Q)
Even Assyria(R) has joined them
    to reinforce Lot’s descendants.[b](S)

Do to them as you did to Midian,(T)
    as you did to Sisera(U) and Jabin(V) at the river Kishon,(W)
10 who perished at Endor(X)
    and became like dung(Y) on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,(Z)
    all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,(AA)
12 who said, “Let us take possession(AB)
    of the pasturelands of God.”

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
    like chaff(AC) before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
    or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,(AD)
15 so pursue them with your tempest(AE)
    and terrify them with your storm.(AF)
16 Cover their faces with shame,(AG) Lord,
    so that they will seek your name.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;(AH)
    may they perish in disgrace.(AI)
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord(AJ)
    that you alone are the Most High(AK) over all the earth.(AL)


  1. Psalm 83:1 In Hebrew texts 83:1-18 is numbered 83:2-19.
  2. Psalm 83:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.