5

Many people view Psalm 83 as a prophecy about a war involving the tribes listed or their descendants.

5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you— 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. 8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

Some insist that such an alliance has never attacked Israel and is therefore an event that will occur most likely before the Great Middle East war described in, for example, Ezekiel 38-39. What hermeneutical principles if any can be applied to the Psalm even in the larger context of the prophetic Psalms to indicate that it is a prophecy and not simply an imprecatory prayer with a soteriological perspective?

3
  • There are people in both camps (has/has not been fulfilled.) And, both groups will have ‘hermeneutical’ support. I will be interested to read any answers.
    – Dave
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 2:06
  • such an alliance has never attacked Israel - Nor does the text say that it did.
    – Lucian
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 14:15
  • 1
    True. And from what you know of this genre, could there be a veiled implication? It is interesting that after so many centuries it seems a very likely possibility involving the same players. Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 16:51

4 Answers 4

1

Psalm 83:

5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you— 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. 8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

The Hagrites were defeated in 1 Chronicles 5:

10 During Saul’s reign they waged war against the Hagrites, who were defeated at their hands; they occupied the dwellings of the Hagrites throughout the entire region east of Gilead.

Some of those peoples formed an alliance in 2 Chronicles 20:

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2Then some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the Sea; they are already in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, En-gedi).

Is Psalm 83 an imprecatory prayer or a prophecy or both?

It is a bit of a mixture of both.

What do you think is the likelihood, based on Psalm 83 that that exact alliance will attack Israel?

Basically 0% assuming a literal interpretation. This is a long list of defunct ancient peoples. One would have to resurrect every one of them.

5
  • You bring up an important point. The Hagrites are not Egyptians a common misconception due to Hagar, which disqualifies all the recent wars in which Egypt played a major part. What do you think is the likelihood, based on Psalm 83 that that exact alliance will attack Israel? Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 16:59
  • Good followup. I added :)
    – user35953
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 17:10
  • Thanks, Tony. I certainly wouldn't go that far though, since those tribes do have traceable descendants and appear in many end time prophecies in the Bible. They still hate Israel as much as they always have. Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 17:15
  • We could loosely interpret "Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre, Assyria and Lot’s descendants as being the ancestorial religious/racial ethnic people groups of today's enemies of Israel who go by a different religious/racial/ethnic name and identity. Therefore, said interpretation would give support to the scripture in question being prophetic. Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 17:02
  • Sure, if you like.
    – user35953
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 18:07
1

"Basically 0% assuming a literal interpretation. This is a long list of defunct ancient peoples. One would have to resurrect every one of them."

God knows who these ancient people's are today and can easily arrange them if it fits his needs. Also, the prophecy may be speaking of ancient peoples to simply identify the areas from where they will come even if they are not currently identifiable as those same ancient nations.

2
  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 14:11
  • We could loosely interpret "Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre, Assyria and Lot’s descendants as being the ancestorial religious/racial ethnic people groups of today's enemies of Israel who go by a different religious/racial/ethnic name and identity. Therefore, said interpretation would give support to the scripture in question being prophetic. Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 17:02
0

I see it as a prophecy of an event which is about to be. That’s the circle around Israel! When the Israeli forces plunder them, they will take the portion of land God promised Abraham. Then Israel can live with freedom…to build the 3rd Temple where the two witnesses will preach the Gospel of Yeshua and Israel will know He is The Messiah. Then Gog will decide he needs more than Ukraine and he will invade Israel but God will stop Gog and destroy Magog (Russia).

0

I definitely see Psalm 83 as prophecy. Israel has defeated many enemies but most all of them have come back to fight another day. I wouldn’t focus on the names of the enemies but focus on the geography.

1
  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 6 at 4:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.