What does Psalm 83:18 mean?
ESV: that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.
NIV: Let them know that you, whose name is the Lordthat you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
NASB: So that they will know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.
CSB: May they know that you alone— whose name is the Lordare the Most High over the whole earth.
NLT: Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.
KJV: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
NKJV: That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.
Verse Commentary:
This is one of the "imprecatory psalms" which pray for harsh, direct harm to come to Israel's enemies. Asaph prays this way because of a coalition of enemies seeking to erase Israel entirely (Psalm 83:4–8). He referred to historical examples where God brought justice crashing down on enemy nations (Psalm 83:9–12). He has also called for God's power to be expressed with the destructive forces of fire, wind, and water (Psalm 83:13–15).

Despite his obvious anger against these enemies, Asaph recognizes the proper purpose of such disasters: to convince wayward nations that God alone is Most High (Psalm 83:16). Asaph closes the prayer with that thought in mind. He wants God to bring these enemies so low that they will see their weakness and need. They will see they are nothing compared to how high and mighty the Lord is.

Today, even in cultures which profess to be "Christian," true believers comprise a minority. Many unbelievers stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the Lord's right to direct their lives. Some even deny His existence. They may persecute and even try to annihilate God's people. But someday at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11). Someday, Jesus will return to earth to reign. At that time, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15) and "of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom" (Isaiah 9:7).
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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