(By Bill Salus) The psalm was authored by Asaph, approximately 3000 years ago, at a time in Israel’s history when King David reigned, the Israelites were preparing to build their first temple, and the nation as a whole was divinely blessed and empowered. We are told in 2 Chronicles 29:30 that Asaph was a seer, chozeh in the Hebrew, meaning he was a prophet in the vein of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
At a divinely blessed point in Israel’s history, Asaph received his genocidal vision of Israel’s possible destruction. This daunting prophecy must have disturbed the Israelites at the time since most of the confederates were comprised of surrounding populations that had demonstrated a sincere hatred toward them at various points throughout their history. Additionally, Assyria, one of the ten confederate members, was becoming a conquering empire to the Northeast of Israel at the time. These populations are listed in Psalm 83:6-8 and are connected with their modern day equivalents later in this article.
The seer inscribed his vision in the customary imprecatory prayer format intending to invoke the curse for curse in kind clause spelled out in Genesis 12:3 upon this coming confederacy. The essence of Asaph’s petition reminds God that any genocidal attack upon His people, ultimately serves as an assault against His covenant making character as per the Abrahamic Covenant. Within this unconditional covenant was the promise that Abraham would father a great nation and have descendants with a homeland forever as per Genesis 13:15-17, 15:17-18 and elsewhere. READ MORE