Comment - Dear Mr. Salus - I regularly receive emails from Bible Prophecy and as a matter of fact, I pray Psalm 83 every night for the total defeat of Israel's satanic enemies. Regarding your article "Is the Church Identified in Psalm 83?" I would like to bring the following to your attention. In my Bible Ps.83.3 reads as follows:
"They are making secret plans against your people; they are plotting against those you protect."
I feel that this translation of vs.3 is far more descriptive, especially in light of current events that are leading up to Psalm 83, which I believe will be the next "happening" in the prophetic mid east calendar. It never ceases to amaze me how much different Bible translations differ.
Yours in Christ – J.M. - South Africa
Response – Dear J.M. thanks for your comment. In 2010, Chuck Missler and I discussed this topic at a Southern California prophecy conference we were speaking at. Chuck tends to believe the “hidden” or “treasured” ones in Psalm 83:3 could represent true born again Christians. He makes good arguments to support his belief. However, for the reasons expressed in my former article and those listed below, I believe the “hidden ones” probably represent the faithful remnant inside national Israel.
1. To make the “hidden ones” the Church implies the confederacy of Psalm 83:6-8 wages a multi-front war against Israel and true Christian believers. It seems that geography alone would defeat this plan. The Psalm 83 confederacy is centered in the Mideast, but true believers are scattered throughout the world. The confederates surround Israel, making it an easy target. However targeting Christians would require a worldwide campaign headquartered in the Middle East which is unlikely.
2. The mandate of Psalm 83:4 is to destroy the Jewish State, “that the name Israel be remembered no more.” This mission is very specific regarding Israel.
3. The motive of Psalm 83:12 is the capture of the Promised Land of Israel. Thus, the mandate and motive of the Psalm 83 confederacy are entirely regarded with the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
4. The Hebrew word for "hidden" is Tsaphan and is first used in Exodus 2:2-3 identifying Moses being hidden in the basket from Pharaoh’s persecution.
5. The second usage is in Joshua 2:4 describing Rahab hiding the two spies.
In these initial usages the Hebrew word Tsaphan best represent the faithful inside national Israel. Therefore, I suggest the “hidden ones” of Psalm 83:3 represent the faithful remnant that will surface out of today’s national Israel and survive both Psalm 83 and ultimately the Tribulation. The caveat is that if there is a significant generational gap between Psalm 83 and the Tribulation, which I doubt, then the hidden ones in Psalm 83 probably represent the Messianic Jewish community dwelling inside Israel when Psalm 83 occurs.
Best Reading Regards