Psalm 83:3
They have taken crafty counsel against your people, and consulted against your hidden ones.
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(3) They have taken crafty counsel.—Literally, They have made their plot crafty; or, as we say, “They have laid a deep plot.”

Hidden onesi.e., those under God’s close protection, as in Psalm 17:8; Psalm 27:5; Psalm 31:20.

Psalm 83:3-5. They have consulted against thy hidden ones — That is, against thy people Israel, as it is explained in the foregoing words, and in the next verse. They are called God’s hidden, or secret ones, צפוניךְ, tzepunecha, abditos tuos, to intimate the singular care and respect which God had to them, as his peculiar treasure, (as they are called, Exodus 19:5; Psalm 135:3,) whom he would hide and preserve in the secret of his presence, and under the shadow of his wings; and withal to denote the folly of Israel’s enemies in seeking the destruction of those whom God was engaged and resolved to protect. They have said, Come, let us cut them off, &c. — Whereby they have showed both their implacable rage and malice, and their great assurance of success. They are confederate against thee — They have laid aside all their private quarrels and animosities, and agreed together against thee.83:1-8 Sometimes God seems not to be concerned at the unjust treatment of his people. But then we may call upon him, as the psalmist here. All wicked people are God's enemies, especially wicked persecutors. The Lord's people are his hidden one; the world knows them not. He takes them under his special protection. Do the enemies of the church act with one consent to destroy it, and shall not the friends of the church be united? Wicked men wish that there might be no religion among mankind. They would gladly see all its restraints shaken off, and all that preach, profess, or practise it, cut off. This they would bring to pass if it were in their power. The enemies of God's church have always been many: this magnifies the power of the Lord in preserving to himself a church in the world.They have taken crafty counsel - The one word translated "have taken crafty" - ערם ‛âram - means properly to make naked; and then, to be crafty, cunning, malignant, 1 Samuel 23:22. It is well rendered here, they have taken crafty counsel. The meaning is, they have made their counsel or their consultations crafty, cunning, artful, malignant. Instead of pursuing a course in their deliberations that would be just, true, honorable, they have followed the reverse. On the word rendered "counsel" - סוד sôd - which means a couch or cushion, and hence, a divan - see Job 15:8, note; Psalm 25:14, note; Psalm 64:2, note. The idea here is, that the persons referred to in the subsequent part of the psalm (Psalm 83:6-8) had been assembled in a divan, or for consultation, and that they had there formed a malignant plan - against God and his people - which they were now proceeding to execute.

Against thy people - For the purpose of destroying them.

And consulted against thy hidden ones - The word rendered "hidden ones" - from the verb צפן tsâphan, to hide, to conceal - properly denotes that which is secret, private, inaccessible Ezekiel 7:22; and then, anything protected or hidden so as to be secure. Compare the notes at Psalm 27:5. It would seem here to refer to those who were so protected by Yahweh - so inaccessible to others by reason of his guardian care - that they would be safe.

3. hidden ones—whom God specially protects (Ps 27:5; 91:1). i.e. Thy people of Israel, as it is explained in the foregoing words, and in the next verse; who are called God’s hidden or secret ones, to intimate the singular care and respect which God hath to them, as to his peculiar treasure, as they are called, Exodus 19:5 Psalm 135:4, whom he will hide and preserve in the secret of his presence, and under the shadow of his wings; and withal, to note their folly in seeking the destruction of those whom God was engaged and resolved to protect. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people,.... The people of Israel, hereafter named, whom God had chosen and avouched to be his people; these they dealt subtlety with, as the king of Egypt had done with their forefathers; and this, agreeably to their character, being the seed of the old serpent, more subtle than any of the beasts of the field; these devised cunning devices, formed crafty schemes for the destruction of the Lord's people; but often so it is, that the wise are taken in their own craftiness, and their counsel is carried headlong:

and consulted against thy hidden ones; not hidden from the Lord, and unknown unto him, though from their enemies, and unknown by them, and so the object of their hatred and persecution; but hidden by him as his jewels and peculiar treasure, which he takes care of; hidden under the shadow of his wings, in the secret of his presence and tabernacle, as in a pavilion; and therefore it was a daring piece of insolence in their enemies to attack them: so the life of saints is said to be hid with Christ in God, which denotes both its secrecy and safety; see Colossians 3:3, the Targum is,

"against the things hidden in thy treasures;''

meaning the riches of the temple.

They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy {c} hidden ones.

(c) The elect of God are his secret ones: for he hides them in the secret of his tabernacle, and preserves them from all dangers.

3. They have taken … and consulted] They are taking … and consulting together. Jehovah’s hidden ones are His people whom He conceals in His pavilion in the day of trouble (Psalm 27:5; Psalm 31:20), those to whom He has given an asylum from their enemies. The later Greek Versions (Aq. Symm. Theod.) and Jerome read the singular, thy secret place, i.e. the temple, cp. Ezekiel 7:22.Verse 3. - They have taken crafty counsel against thy people. Such a widespread confederacy as that described below (vers. 6-8) cannot have been formed without much secret consultation and plotting. And consulted against thy hidden ones; i.e. "those whom thou hidest in the covert of thy presence from the plottings of man" (Psalm 31:20, Revised Version: comp. Psalm 27:5). What now follows in Psalm 82:5 is not a parenthetical assertion of the inefficiency with which the divine correction rebounds from the judges and rulers. In connection with this way of taking Psalm 82:5, the manner in which the divine language is continued in Psalm 82:6 is harsh and unadjusted. God Himself speaks in Psalm 82:5 of the judges, but reluctantly alienated from them; and confident of the futility of all attempts to make them better, He tells them their sentence in Psalm 82:6. The verbs in Psalm 82:5 are designedly without any object: complaint of the widest compass is made over their want of reason and understanding; and ידעו takes the perfect form in like manner to ἐγνώκασι, noverunt, cf. Psalm 14:1; Isaiah 44:18. Thus, then, no result is to be expected from the divine admonition: they still go their ways in this state of mental darkness, and that, as the Hithpa. implies, stalking on in carnal security and self-complacency. The commands, however, which they transgress are the foundations (cf. Psalm 11:3), as it were the shafts and pillars (Psalm 75:4, cf. Proverbs 29:4), upon which rests the permanence of all earthly relationships with are appointed by creation and regulated by the Tτra. Their transgression makes the land, the earth, to totter physically and morally, and is the prelude of its overthrow. When the celestial Lord of the domain thinks upon this destruction which injustice and tyranny are bringing upon the earth, His wrath kindles, and He reminds the judges and rulers that it is His own free declaratory act which has clothed them with the god-like dignity which they bear. They are actually elohim, but not possessed of the right of self-government; there is a Most High (עליון) to whom they as sons are responsible. The idea that the appellation elohim, which they have given to themselves, is only sarcastically given back to them in Psalm 82:1 (Ewald, Olshausen), is refuted by Psalm 82:6, according to which they are really elohim by the grace of God. But if their practice is not an Amen to this name, then they shall be divested of the majesty which they have forfeited; they shall be divested of the prerogative of Israel, whose vocation and destiny they have belied. They shall die off כּאדם, like common men not rising in any degree above the mass (cf. בּני אדם, opp. בּני אישׁ, Psalm 4:3; Psalm 49:3); they shall fall like any one (Judges 16:7, Obadiah 1:11) of the princes who in the course of history have been cast down by the judgment of God (Hosea 7:7). Their divine office will not protect them. For although justitia civilis is far from being the righteousness that avails before God, yet injustitia civilis is in His sight the vilest abomination.
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