|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
83:1-8 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.
Verse 5. - For they have consulted together with one consent (comp. ver. 3). They are confederate against thee; literally, have entered into a covenant against thee. A formal treaty seems to be intended.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For they have consulted together with one consent,.... Or "heart" (e); wicked men are cordial to one another, and united in their counsels against the people of God, and his interest: whatever things they may disagree in, they agree in this, to oppose the cause and interest of true religion, or to persecute the church and people of God: Herod and Pontius Pilate are instances of this:
they are confederate against thee; or have made a covenant against thee (f); the covenant they had entered into among themselves, being against the Lord's people, was against him; and such a covenant and agreement can never stand; for there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord, Proverbs 21:30. This the psalmist mentions to engage the Lord in the quarrel of his people, and not be still, and act a neutral part; since those were his enemies, and confederates against him, and they are next particularly named.
(e) "corde", Pagninus, Montanus; "ex corde", Tigurine version, Musculus, Gejerus; "cordicitus", Cocceius. (f) "foedus adversus te icerunt", Tigurine version; "contra te foedus pepigerunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus; so Musculus, Cocceius, Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes.
7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assur also is joined with them; they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
"For they have consulted together with one consent." They are hearty and unanimous in their designs. They seem to have but one heart, and that a fierce one, against the chosen people and their God. "They are confederate against thee." At the Lord himself they aim through the sides of his saints. They make a covenant, and ratify it with blood, resolutely banding themselves together to war with the Mighty God.
"The tabernacles of Edom." Nearest of kin, yet first in enmity. Their sire despised the birthright, and they despise the possessors of it. Leaving their rock-built mansions for the tents of war, the Edomites invaded the land of Israel. "And the Ishmaelites." A persecuting spirit ran in their blood, they perpetuated the old grudge between the child of the bondwoman and the son of the freewoman. "Of Moab." Born of incest, but yet a near kinsman, the feud of Moab against Israel was very bitter. Little could righteous Lot have dreamed that his unhallowed seed would be such unrelenting enemies of his uncle Abraham's posterity. "And the Hagarenes" - perhaps descendants of Hagar by a second husband. Whoever they may have been, they cast their power into the wrong scale, and with all their might sought the ruin of Israel. Children of Hagar, and all others who dwell around Mount Sinai, which is in Arabia, are of the seed which gendereth to bondage, and hence they hate the seed according to promise.
"Gebal" was probably a near neighbour of Edom, though there was a Gebal in the region of Tyre and Sidon. "And Ammon, and Amalek." Two other hereditary foes of Israel, fierce and remorseless as ravening wolves. In the roll of infamy let these names remain detestably immortalised. How thick they stand! Their name is legion, for they are many. Alas, poor Israel, how art thou to stand against such a Bloody League? Nor is this all. Here comes another tribe of ancient foemen, "the Philistines;" who once blinded Samson, and captured the ark of the Lord; and here are old allies become new enemies; the builders of the temple conspiring to pull it down, even "the inhabitants of Tyre." These last were mercenaries who cared not at whose bidding they drew sword, so long as they carved something for their own advantage. True religion has had its quarrel with merchants and craftsmen, and because it has interfered with their gains, they have conspired against it.
"Assur is also joined with them." It was then a rising power, anxious for growth, and it thus early distinguished itself for evil. What a motley group they were; a league against Israel is always attractive, and gathers whole nations within its bonds. Herod and Pilate are friends, if Jesus is to be crucified. Romanism and Ritualism make common cause against the gospel. "They have holpen the children of Lot." All these have come to the aid of Moab and Ammon, which two nations were among the fiercest in the conspiracy. There were ten to one against Israel, and yet she overcame all her enemies. Her name is not blotted out; but many, nay, most of her adversaries are now a name only, their power and their excellence are alike gone.
"Selah." There was good reason for a pause when the nation was In such jeopardy 'and yet it needs faith to make a pause, for unbelief is always in a hurry.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. they have consulted—with heart, or cordially.
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