Doubting Psalm 83

Q. I recently was listening to a very popular Christian radio call-in show and I heard them say Psalms 83 was not really a prophecy of a coming event, but rather a ” Lamentation”. I have been following your commentary on this subject, and I believe it is a soon to be fulfilled prophecy. One of the reasons they gave for their position was that Psalms 83 was written 300 years before any of the prophets, can you give your opinion on why they said that, and why they are wrong?

A. Commentators are not united in their view of Psalm 83. Some say it’s more of an imprecatory prayer (a prayer asking God to curse someone) than a prophecy. They also don’t agree as to when the Psalm was written. I think it’s logical to assume it was actually written by Asaph since the Bible offers no good reason not to. That means it would have been prior to 920 BC when Asaph died. True, this was before most of the prophets wrote, but I don’t see what difference that makes. David wrote about the crucifixion and resurrection before the other prophets (Psalm 22), and Job wrote about the resurrection before David (Job 19:25-27). Prophecies of the end times began in the Book of Genesis.

To me, treating Psalm 83 as a prophecy makes sense because it explains the absence of all of Israel’s “next door neighbors” in Ezekiel 38-39. One would think this inner circle of enemies would be leading the charge. Also several of them are more Biblically significant than those Ezekiel did name, so it doesn’t make sense to me that he would lump them together in the phrase, “the many nations with you” (Ezekiel 38:6).

Obviously the above just reflects my opinion. But if current events are any indication, we won’t have to wait very long to see which view of Psalm 83 is correct.

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