Psalm 83 War

“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”

Who said this and when did they say it? If you guessed the Palestinians of Gaza, Hamas, Fatah, PLO, Hezbollah and/or the countries of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordon and Egypt sometime in the past few years, you’d be right. And you’d be wrong. The quote is actually 3000 years old.

Here’s a curious story or perhaps another one of God’s interesting timings:

In the summer of 2006 a backhoe operator in Ireland was removing some dirt from a peat bog when his eye caught something out of place. Turns out it was about 60 pages of a 1200 year old leather-bound copy of the Book of Psalms. The newspaper article originally reported it being opened to Psalm 83.

Due to a variance in the Psalm’s numbering systems between the Septuagint and the Vulgate Bible translations, it was actually Psalm 84.  The news story, however, caught the attention of prophecy scholars who started paying attention to Psalm 83.

“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. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ (Ps. 83:2-4)

This reads like today’s Palestinian manifesto, not like a 3000 year old Psalm, doesn’t it? The Psalm goes on to say that the nations get together to plot against Israel and then it lists the nations involved, which are the very nations that surround Israel today and who are her sworn enemies:

  • Tents of Edom = refugee camps in Jordon
  • Ishmaelite’s = Abraham’s son through servant Hagar; today’s Arab nations
  • Moab = Lot’s son by oldest daughter; middle area of Jordon
  • Amalek = Arab tribes who ranged through today’s Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
  • Byblos = city twenty miles North of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Ammon = Lot’s son by youngest daughter; capital of today’s Jordon
  • Amalek = grandson of Esau; south of Judah; today’s Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
  • Philistia = ancient Philistines, Israel’s historical enemy; today’s Gaza
  • Tyre = city on a peninsula of Lebanon built on the ruins of ancient Tyre
  • Assyria = conquerors of Israel’s ten Northern tribes; today’s Syria and Iraq
  • Lot’s descendants = Arab nations through Jacob’s son Esau; perhaps Saudi Arabia

Interestingly, included in the list are Jordon and Egypt who currently have a peace treaty with Israel, although last fall Jordon declined to renew portions of their treaty.

So why does this matter? The answer to the question falls into the column of “Why Now” reasons for believing that we are in the end times. Until after WWI when the British and French split up the Ottoman Empire, most of these countries did not exist. Today, they not only exist, but are the very countries threatening Israel’s existence.

Some well-respected prophecy scholars say that God’s protection of Psalm 83 was fulfilled with victory in Israeli past wars. They may be correct in their thinking. It is certainly true that God’s hand was all over Israel and afforded her victory when it absolutely should not have been possible. However, there are still many unfulfilled prophecies about the destruction of these countries and cities. For instance, Damascus, Syria will cease to be a city and will be a heap of ruins (Is 17:1; Jer 49:27); Ammon, Jordon will become a mound of ruins (Jer 49:2); Moab will become like Sodom and Gomorrah (Zeph 2:9; God will send fire on the walls of Gaza and of Tyre and they will be totally destroyed (Amos 1:7, 9; Zeph 2:4) Esau will be stubble (Obadiah 2). And many others are still unfilled.

Right now the nations surrounding Israel are very angry that the UAE and Bahrain have normalized relationships with Israel before the Palestinians achieved their desired country. Gaza fired multiple rockets into Israel at the exact time the agreements were being signed in Washington DC. Perhaps, these peoples will soon decide that this is the time to make one gigantic, combined attack on Israel to destroy her as a nation. If so, it will not bode well for them. Israel has what’s referred to as “the Samson option” (if I’m going down, you’re going down too), meaning if they feel existentially threatened, they will use nuclear weapons.

The next ‘coming soon’ war we’re going to look at is the Gog-Magog war. Vast armies will invade Israel but, interestingly, not one of the nations directly bordering Israel is involved. Maybe it’s because they’ve been neutralized in the Psalm 83 war.

Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.

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