Psalm 83:12
Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
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(12) Houses.—Rather, pastures. (See Psalm 79:7.)

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.Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession - The houses of God here mean the habitations of God, or the places where he dwelt among the people. As there was but one ark, one tabernacle, and one temple, or one place of constituted public worship, this must refer to other places where God was worshipped, or where he might be supposed to reside; either to synagogues (see the notes at Psalm 74:8), or to the private dwellings of the people regarded as a holy people, or as a people among whom God dwelt. This may, therefore, imply that their dwellings - their private abodes - were also dwelling-places of God, as now the house of a religious family - a place where God is regularly worshipped - may be regarded as an abode of God on the earth. The language here is not to be understood as that of Oreb and Zeeb, of Zebah and Zalmunna, but of the enemies referred to in the psalm, who had entered into the conspiracy to destroy the Hebrew nation. They had said, "Let us inherit the houses of God;" that is, Let us take to ourselves, and for our possession, the dwellings of the land where God is supposed to reside. 12. The language of the invaders.

houses—literally, "residences," enclosures, as for flocks (Ps 65:12).

of God—as the proprietors of the land (2Ch 20:11; Isa 14:25).

The houses of God; the houses and lands of the Israelites, which their God, as they pretend, gave them in Canaan, to which they have no rightful title; for that we see was formerly objected by the Ammonites, Judges 11:13, who were a chief party in this war. So they seem to call them houses of God, by way of irony and derision.

Who said,.... Not the kings and princes of Midian just mentioned, but the confederate enemies of Israel, named Psalm 83:6, to whom the like things are wished as to the Midianites and others, because they said what follows:

let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession; not only the temple, which was eminently the house of God, but all the habitations of the Israelites in Jerusalem, and other places, where the Lord vouchsafed to dwell; unless this should be ironically spoken by their enemies calling them so, because they pretended, as they reckoned it, to have and to hold them by the gift of God; whereas, of right, they belonged to them, at least some of them: such a claim was made by the Ammonites in the times of Jephthah, Judges 11:13, and to dispossess the Israelites was the intention of the Ammonites and Moabites in the times of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:10.

Who said, Let us take to ourselves the {k} houses of God in possession.

(k) That is, Judea: for where his Church is, there he dwells among them.

12. Who have said, Let us take for ourselves in possession

The habitations (or, pastures) of God.

Who refers to the present enemies of Israel, not to the Midianites. God’s habitations or pastures are the land which He has given to His people Israel. Cp. 2 Chronicles 20:11. The LXX reads altar, or according to another reading, sanctuary.

Verse 12. - Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession; rather, the homesteads of God; or "the pastures of God" (Psalm 23:2), i.e. of God's people, Israel. Psalm 83:12With כּמדין reference is made to Gideon's victory over the Midianites, which belongs to the most glorious recollections of Israel, and to which in other instances, too, national hopes are attached, Isaiah 9:3 [4], Isaiah 10:26, cf. Habakkuk 3:7; and with the asyndeton כּסיסרא כיבין (כּסיסרא, as Norzi states, who does not rightly understand the placing of the Metheg) to the victory of Barak and Deborah over Sisera and the Canaanitish king Jabin, whose general he was. The Beth of בּנחל is like the Beth of בּדּרך in Psalm 110:7 : according to Judges 5:21 the Kishon carried away the corpses of the slain army. ‛Endôr, near Tabor, and therefore situated not far distant from Taanach and Megiddo (Judges 5:19), belonged to the battle-field. אדמה, starting from the radical notion of that which flatly covers anything, which lies in דם, signifying the covering of earth lying flat over the globe, therefore humus (like ארץ, terra, and תבל, tellus), is here (cf. 2 Kings 9:37) in accord with דּמן (from דמן), which is in substance akin to it. In Psalm 83:12 we have a retrospective glance at Gideon's victory. ‛Oreb and Zeēb were שׂרים of the Midianites, Judges 7:25; Zebach and Tsalmunna‛, their kings, Judges 8:5.

(Note: The Syriac Hexapla has (Hosea 10:14) צלמנע instead of שׁלמן, a substitution which is accepted by Geiger, Deutsch. Morgenlnd. Zeitschr. 1862, S. 729f. Concerning the signification of the above names of Midianitish princes, vid., Nldeke, Ueber die Amalekiter, S. 9.)

The pronoun precedes the word itself in שׁיתמו, as in Exodus 2:6; the heaped-up suffixes ēmo (êmo) give to the imprecation a rhythm and sound as of rolling thunder. Concerning נסיך, vid., on Psalm 2:6. So far as the matter is concerned, 2 Chronicles 20:11 harmonizes with Psalm 83:13. Canaan, the land which is God's and which He has given to His people, is called נאות אלהים (cf. Psalm 74:20).

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