What does Psalm 83:17 mean?
ESV: Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,
NIV: May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.
NASB: May they be ashamed and dismayed forever, And may they be humiliated and perish,
CSB: Let them be put to shame and terrified forever; let them perish in disgrace.
NLT: Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Let them die in disgrace.
KJV: Let them be confounded and troubled forever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
NKJV: Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
Verse Commentary:
In this verse Asaph prays again that Israel's enemies would be put to shame. The prior verse (Psalm 83:16) added a hopeful note, suggesting that those suffering God's judgment might turn to Him and be rescued. Here, the "imprecation"—the open desire to see harm—presumes that most of God's enemies have no interest in repentance. This passage measures only by entire nations; even a person living in one of those depraved cultures had opportunity to leave and gain relationship with God.

The reason Asaph appeals for "shame," "disgrace," "perishing," and such seems to be a concern that these nations will survive and come back once again to attack. This is reasonable; one of Israels' long-term foes were the Midianites. God knew that such a depraved culture was a threat (Numbers 31:1–17). Because Israel failed to eliminate that danger entirely, Midian recuperated and once again harmed the Israelites (Judges 6:1–2).

Rather than see another cycle of response—buildup—disaster, Asaph wishes that these enemy nations be wiped out. He wants all their power, prestige, and ability to vanish. Psalm 59:8, 13 echoes this desire: "But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision. … Consume them in wrath; consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth." Someday, the nations that forget God will return to sheol (Psalm 9:17). They will never again be able to oppose God and His people.
Verse Context:
Psalm 83:9–18 comes after Asaph's plea: that God will stop the coalition of enemies attempting to destroy Israel. Here, Asaph directly asks the Lord to punish these opponents. He asks God to disgrace them, annihilate them, and make them acknowledge that the Lord alone is the Most High over all the earth. These requests place this song among the "imprecatory psalms."
Chapter Summary:
Asaph prays for God to intervene in a conspiracy. Many nations cooperate to erase Israel and her legacy. He asks the Lord for protection, asking Him to repeat the harsh judgments brought on pagan nations in the past. Asaph extends this by asking God to bring destruction, ruin, and humiliation on these opponents. Despite this, Asaph recognizes that the proper goal is for these nations to recognize that God alone is Most High. This is one of several "imprecatory" psalms such as Psalm 5, 10, 17, 109, and 137, which request God to deliver severe harm on some enemy.
Chapter Context:
This is the last psalm identified with Asaph. It is one of the imprecatory psalms which call for harsh judgment from God. Other such psalms include 5, 10, 35, 109, and 137. The psalm is not explicitly connected to a historical event. It may refer to the attack on Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20). Others see this as a general reference to the Gentile world's relentless attacks on Israel. Still others interpret this as a prophecy about a large-scale attack set to occur in the end times.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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