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Psalm 83:12

ESV who said, "Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God."
NIV who said, "Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God."
NASB Who said, 'Let’s possess for ourselves The pastures of God.'
CSB who said, "Let us seize God’s pastures for ourselves."
NLT for they said, 'Let us seize for our own use these pasturelands of God!'
KJV Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
NKJV Who said, “Let us take for ourselves The pastures of God for a possession.”

What does Psalm 83:12 mean?

Some interpreters suggest this quote conveys the attitude of the historical enemies of Israel, specifically those like the Midianites (Psalm 83:9–11) who tried to conquer or dominate Israel (Judges 6:1). This would mean Asaph is further describing those earlier foes, while asking God to apply their fate to the present conspiracy (Psalm 83:4–8). The other option is that this verse refers to the recent foes, and Asaph is accusing them of wanting to take possession of land God has not given them.

In either case, Asaph (Psalm 83:1) is asking God to repeat the brutal punishments given to other nations, applying them to the coalition now plotting against the Jewish people.

Another meaning may be attached to "the pastures of God." This phrase may apply to the places where the Israelites worshiped Him. Second Chronicles 20:1–2 reports that in the time of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, the Moabites and Ammonites came against him to battle. Their intent was to expel God's people from their land. Jehoshaphat tells the Lord that the enemy was "coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit" (2 Chronicles 20:11). The land of Israel is God's gift to His people. Though surrounding nations have always wanted to drive the Jewish people out, God's chosen people have a divine right to live in the land.
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