|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
83:9-18 All who oppose the kingdom of Christ may here read their doom. God is the same still that ever he was; the same to his people, and the same against his and their enemies. God would make their enemies like a wheel; unsettled in all their counsels and resolves. Not only let them be driven away as stubble, but burnt as stubble. And this will be the end of wicked men. Let them be made to fear thy name, and perhaps that will bring them to seek thy name. We should desire no confusion to our enemies and persecutors but what may forward their conversion. The stormy tempest of Divine vengeance will overtake them, unless they repent and seek the pardoning mercy of their offended Lord. God's triumphs over his enemies, clearly prove that he is, according to his name JEHOVAH, an almighty Being, who has all power and perfection in himself. May we fear his wrath, and yield ourselves to be his willing servants. And let us seek deliverance by the destruction of our fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
Verse 9. - Do unto them as unto the Midianites. The allusion is probably to the discomfiture of the Midianites by Gideon (Judges 7:19-25; Judges 8:1-12). As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison (see Judges 4:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Do unto them as unto the Midianites,.... In the times of Gideon, who destroyed one another, trod in whose destruction the hand of the Lord was very visible, Judges 7:20, and much in the same manner was the confederate army of the Moabites, Ammonites, and others, destroyed in the times of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:20,
as to Sisera, as to Jabin: Jabin was a king of Canaan, who oppressed Israel, and Sisera was his general; the latter was slain by a woman, Jael, the wife of Heber; and the former the hand of Israel prevailed against, until they destroyed him, Judges 4:2, the great victory which they obtained over them was
at the brook of Kison, or "Kishon", Judges 4:7 with this compare 2 Chronicles 20:16.
The Treasury of David
9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison '
10 Which perished at En-dor: they became as dung for the earth.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15 So persecute them with thy tempest and make them afraid with thy storm.
"Do unto them as unto the Midianites." Faith delights to light upon precedents, and quote them before the Lord; in the present instance, Asaph found a very appropriate one, for the nations in both cases were very much the same, and the plight of the Israelites very similar. Yet Midian perished, and the Psalmist trusted that Israel's present foes would meet with the like overthrow from the hand of the Lord. "As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison." The hosts were swept away by the suddenly swollen torrent, and utterly perished; which was a second instance of divine vengeance upon confederated enemies of Israel. When God wills it, a brook can be as deadly as a sea. Kishon was as terrible to Jabin as was the Red Sea to Pharaoh. How easily can the Lord smite the enemies of his people. God of Gideon and of Barak, wilt thou not again avenge thine heritage of their bloodthirsty foes?
"Which perished at En-dor." There was the centre of the carnage, where the heaps of the slain lay thickest. "They became as dung for the earth," manuring it with man; making the earth, like Saturn, feed on its own children. War is cruel, but in this case its avengements were most just, - those who would not give Israel a place above ground are themselves denied a hiding-place under the ground; they counted God's people to be as dung, and they became dung themselves. Asaph would have the same fate befall other enemies of Israel; and his prayer was a prophecy, for so it happened to them.
"Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb." Smite the great ones as well as the common ruck. Suffer not the ringleaders to escape. As Oreb fell at the rock and Zeeb at the winepress, so do thou mete out vengeance to Zion's foes wherever thou mayest overtake them. They boastfully compare themselves to ravens and wolves; let them receive the fate which is due to such wild beasts. "Yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna." These were captured and slain by Gideon, despite their claiming to have been anointed to the kingdom. Zebah became a sacrifice, and Zalmunna was sent to those shadowy images from which his name is derived. The Psalmist seeing these four culprits hanging in history upon a lofty gallows, earnestly asks that others of a like character may, for truth and righteousness' sake, share their fate.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9-11. Compare the similar fate of these (2Ch 20:23) with that of the foes mentioned in Jud 7:22, here referred to. They destroyed one another (Jud 4:6-24; 7:25). Human remains form manure (compare 2Ki 9:37; Jer 9:22).
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