Psalms – Chapter 83

Switzerland

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Asaf sings a song to G-d, asking that He not be silent when we are in trouble and that He not be deaf to our prayers. Those who hate Him are making noise and rising up against His nation. They conspire against Israel, who enjoy G-d’s protection. They try to eradicate G-d’s nation altogether. Even countries that don’t get along with one another unite to try and destroy Israel. (Here the Psalmist names a bunch of them: Edom, the Ishmaelites, the Philistines and others – even Assyria, who had formerly been the neutral “Switzerland” of their day.) These nations gather around the descendants of Lot (Ammon and Moav) to join them in their schemes.

May G-d do to these nations as He did to Midian in the days of Gideon and to Sisera in the days of Deborah! May their leaders be conquered like the generals Orev and Ze’ev (in Judges chapter 7). All these enemies consider themselves so high and mighty; may G-d humble them like chaff in the wind. If the kings of these nations are like mighty trees, then G-d should be the forest fire! May He shame the nations until they are motivated to turn to Him. They will be eternally embarrassed for opposing G-d Himself! Then, they will recognize that G-d alone rules over all.

This is the last of the Psalms of Asaf.

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