(Note: this is an update
of a previous study originally posted in 2008)
Hezbollah has said that Israelís disappearance after their next
war is an established fact. Iranís President has called
Israel a dirty microbe and a savage animal that will
soon disappear in a flash. The commander in chief of
Iranís army predicts that millions will soon receive the
joyous news of Israelís destruction. Today Israel is on
high alert after bombing a Syrian chemical weapons
factory outside of Damascus and a weapons convoy heading
into Lebanon. Russia is upset by this, and Syria and
Iran have both vowed to retaliate, saying Israelís
attack gives them the right to do so.
With all the rhetoric flying around the Middle East about a major
war coming, and with multiple countries rapidly beefing
up their military preparedness, a quick review ofPsalm
83 is in order to refresh our minds on the prophetic
details of this coming attack against Israel.
Psalm 83 was probably written some time after the end of King Solomonís
reign (about 900 BC) but the Bible contains no
account of such a coordinated effort by all of Israelís
neighbors to destroy them, either during that time or
since. A partial fulfillment may be in view in
2 Chron. 20
which describes Moab, Ammon, and parts of Edom invading
Judah during King Jehosophatís reign (872-848 BC).
Interestingly, Jahaziel, a Levite who prophesied Judahís
victory in that battle was a descendant of Asaph, who
wrotePsalm 83. Applying one of His favorite tactics, the Lord set
Israelís enemies against each other and they defeated
38:21 tells of a future use of this same tactic.)
But the Battle of 2 Chron.
20 doesnít fully meet the requirements of
Psalm 83, having many fewer antagonists, so on that basis we can
assume it was a partial fulfillment at best and the
ultimate fulfillment is still in the future, perhaps the
very near future. If so, it could be the bridge between
the current state of affairs in Israel and the
conditions necessary for the Battle of
Ezekiel 38 to
happen. Letís find out.
O God, do not keep
silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your
enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With
cunning they conspire against your people; they plot
against those you cherish.
ďCome,Ē they say,
ďlet us destroy them as a nation, that the name of
Israel be remembered no more.Ē
With one mind they
plot together; they form an alliance against you- the
tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the
Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the
people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend
strength to the descendants of Lot. (Ps. 83:1-8)
The language is out of todayís headlines and the countries lined
up against Israel in this Psalm inhabited the lands of
Israelís current neighbors. Edom and the Ishmaelites
were in land occupied by southern Jordan today while the
territories of Moab and Ammon make up the rest of that
country. Ahman, the modern spelling of Ammon, is the
capital of Jordan.
(While the government of Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel,
we should remember that some 70% of Jordanís population
is ďPalestinianĒ and in fact the country was originally
formed to be the Palestinian home land. Currently
thereís a proposal in the works that would join the
Palestinians and Jordan in a federation. This
would give the Palestinians almost every advantage of
statehood without having to recognizing Israel as a
The Hagrites were part of Aram, whose capitol was Damascus in
modern Syria. Some have tried to link the Hagrites
to Egypt, saying they were the descendants of Hagar.
She was the Egyptian slave woman Abraham and Sarah
acquired there who became the mother of Ishmael.
But according to
1 Chron. 5:10 the Hagrites occupied the area east of
Gilead in todayís northern Jordan.
Gebal (also called Byblos) and Tyre are cities that can still be
found in present day Lebanon, home of Hezbollah.
The Amalekites lived in Israelís southern desert and
Philistia settled in Gaza on Israelís southern border,
where Hamas currently reigns. Assyria would
conquer Aram shortly after
Psalm 83 was
written and the descendants of Lot is another reference
to Jordan. Remember, Moab and Ammon were the sons
of an incestuous union between Lot and his two daughters
and settled in land the Lord gave them east of the
Jordan River (Deut.
So here we have all of Israelís next door neighbors, all of them
sworn to Israelís destruction, and all of them preparing
for war because of whatís happening in Syria.
In a couple of surprising side notes, the US, which has
traditionally maintained a strong naval presence in the
Eastern Mediterranean, abruptly withdrew its fleet just
as the Russian navy showed up off the coast of Syria.
Itís being reported that President Obama has told
Turkey, Israel, and Jordan that itís up to them to make
sure Syria doesnít try to widen the war. (As evidence of
this, he gave Israel the green light to execute their
bombing raids on Syria.) Some analysts also
believe Iran is actively considering the benefits of
having Syria and Hezbollah provoke a limited war
with Israel to deflect any attempt by Israel to attack
their nuclear facilities. If so, it should soon
become apparent, but for now letís go back to
Do to them as you
did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the
river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like
refuse on the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and
Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who
said, ďLet us take possession of the pasturelands of
Make them like
tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As
fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains
ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify
them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame so
that men will seek your name, O LORD. May they ever be
ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let
them know that you, whose name is the LORDóthat you
alone are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:9-18)
Asaph, the Psalmís writer, canít resist telling the Lord exactly
how heíd like Israelís enemies to be dealt with. In that
sense heís just like you and me.
Midian was defeated by a vastly outnumbered force under the
command of Gideon. It was another case of the Lord
turning Israelís enemies against each other and causing
them to defeat themselves (Judges 7).
Jabin was a king of the Canaanites and Sisera was the commander
of his army. The Lord lured the Canaanite army into a
trap and the Israelites destroyed them (Judges
4). The commander of Israelís army was named
Barak, just like Israelís recent Defense Minister.
Probably a coincidence.
Oreb, Zeeb Zebah, and Zalmunna were all leaders of the Midianite
army defeated by Gideon.
Asaphís prayer was that Israelís current enemies will be just as
soundly defeated as were the Midianites and the
Canaanites, their armies scattered and their leaders
Israel estimates that in excess of 50,000 short range missiles
and rockets located in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza are
positioned to strike strategic targets everywhere in
Israel. in addition, Syria has moved
hundreds of long range missiles into firing positions,
placed them on combat readiness, and given them updated
target coordinates. To avoid duplication in
targeting, Iran has created and will direct a unified
command center in Damascus to coordinate the massive
simultaneous deployment of these weapons upon the
outbreak of hostilities. Their thought is that the
Israelis will not be able to fend off such an all out
attack and will be effectively disabled.
But Israel might pick this opportunity to launch a preemptive
attack against the command center, wiping out Damascus
in fulfillment of
Isaiah 17. Losing their command and control
abilities could cause the enemy attack to
degenerate into a confused and chaotic effort that
Israel could quickly defeat just like Gideon
defeated the Midianites.
Should this be the case, Israel will become larger, not smaller,
with the contention over the ownership of Gaza, the West
bank and the Golan put to an end. Israel will become
stronger, not weaker, its military reputation vastly
enhanced. The divided land would be divided no more, and
Jerusalem would remain a unified city. The controversial
security fence would likely come down, since the borders
on all three sides would be considered to be safe and
the threat of terrorist attacks diminished. In most
peopleís minds 60 years of war will have finally ended.
It will be the perfect opportunity for Israel to be
lured into a false sense of security and become a
peaceful and unsuspecting people living in a land of
unwalled villages as
Ezekiel 38:11 requires. This is a critical condition that must be
met prior to Ezekielís battle and the final fulfillment
of Psalm 83would go a long way toward meeting it.
Meanwhile, the Russians and Iranians, who would have fought this
battle primarily by proxy, would study their defeat and
learn from their mistakes, lying in wait for the next
opportunity to strike. It wonít be long in coming. You
can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 02-02-13