Psalms 83:13 MEANING

Psalm 83:13
(13) A wheel.--Heb., galgal. (See Note, Psalm 77:18, and comp. Isaiah 17:13, where the Authorised Ver sion has literally rolling thing, the margin "thistle down," and the LXX., "dust of a wheel.") Sir G. Grove (Smith's Bibl. Dict., art. Oreb) says, "like the spherical masses of dry weeds which course over the plains of Esdraelon and Philistia." He possibly refers to the wild artichoke, which struck Mr. Thomson so forcibly as the origin of the psalmist's figure. He describes them as vegetable globes, light as a feather, which, when the parent stem breaks, become the sport of the wind. "At the proper season thousands of them come suddenly over the plain, rolling, leaping, bounding with vast racket, to the dismay both of the horse and rider." To this day the Arabs, who call it 'akh-b, employ it in the same figurative way:--

"May you be whirled like 'akh-b before the wind!"

THOMSON: Land and Book, 563.

Verse 13. - O my God, make them like a wheel; rather, like whirling dust - the dust that is caught up by an eddy of wind, and twisted round and round (see Isaiah 17:13). As the stubble before the wind. Both the "whirling dust" and the "stubble" are images of what is lightest, most shifting, and of least account (see Job 13:25; Job 15:7; Job 21:18; Job 41:29; Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 41:2; Jeremiah 13:24; Malachi 4:1).

83:9-18 All who oppose the kingdom of Christ may here read their doom. God is the same still that ever he was; the same to his people, and the same against his and their enemies. God would make their enemies like a wheel; unsettled in all their counsels and resolves. Not only let them be driven away as stubble, but burnt as stubble. And this will be the end of wicked men. Let them be made to fear thy name, and perhaps that will bring them to seek thy name. We should desire no confusion to our enemies and persecutors but what may forward their conversion. The stormy tempest of Divine vengeance will overtake them, unless they repent and seek the pardoning mercy of their offended Lord. God's triumphs over his enemies, clearly prove that he is, according to his name JEHOVAH, an almighty Being, who has all power and perfection in himself. May we fear his wrath, and yield ourselves to be his willing servants. And let us seek deliverance by the destruction of our fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.O my God, make them like a wheel,.... Which, as the Targum adds, is rolled, and goes on, and rests not in a declivity; let them be as fickle and inconstant as a wheel; being in high, let them be in slippery places, and brought down to desolation in a moment; like a wheel set running down hill, so let them swiftly and suddenly come to ruin; or be in all kind of calamities, and continual troubles (k) as the wheel is always turning: some think there is an allusion to the wheel by which bread corn was bruised; see Isaiah 28:28, but the word (l) signifies a rolling thing before the wind, as a wisp of straw or stubble, which is easily carried away with it: Jarchi interprets it of the tops or down of thistles, which fly off from them, and roll up, and are scattered by the wind; see Isaiah 17:13, and which agrees with what follows:

as the stubble before the wind; which cannot stand before it, but is driven about by it here and there; and so wicked men are, as chaff and stubble, driven away in their wickedness, with the stormy wind of divine wrath and vengeance, and chased out of the world, which is here imprecated.

(k) "Vide Suidam in voce" (l) "rem in levem quae turbine circumagitur", some in Amama; "pappos", i.e. "lanuginem carduorum", so some in Grotius; "as a rolling thing", Ainsworth.

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