The Psalm 83 War: Part 1 of 6

This entry is the first of a 6-part series plus a 7th entry addendum on the Psalm 83 War.  The potential for such a war is disputed among Bible prophecy experts.  One of the first that I’m aware of to explore that this war is not yet a completely fulfilled prophecy was Bill Salus.  I consider Salus an original thinker when it comes to examining Bible prophecy with a fresh set of eyes and thinking out of the box.  I highly recommend his works.

The controversy of this psalm concerns the time and extent of the war’s fulfillment.  Many prophecy teachers conclude that it was completed at the time of Israel’s birth on May 14, 1948.  Many of the same attacking nations discussed in Psalm 83 were a part of those hostilities.  In my mind, again heavily influenced in this regard by Bill Salus, I think the Psalm 83 War has yet to see a final conclusion.  I’ll give my reasons as this series unfolds.

First, let’s look at Psalm 83:

1 Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah

Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera,
As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,
10 Who perished at En Dor,
Who became as refuse on the earth.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,
Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 Who said, “Let us take for ourselves
The pastures of God for a possession.”

13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like the chaff before the wind!
14 As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.

We’ll break this down a little and initially discuss verses 1-4 and then verses 5-8 in this post, with subsequent verses and analysis in latter blog entries.

Verses 1-4:

Here we see that the enemies that are gathering are considered to actually be against God, even though their intent is to come against Israel.  We can’t ever forget that Israel is the Promised Land and the Jews are God’s Chosen People.  He considers them the apple of His eye.  Is it any wonder that when nations come against her, they come against the One who created her for a special purpose?  Never forget the seminal verse regarding this point.  It is Genesis 12:3:

I will bless those who bless you [Israel],
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

As you can see, coming against Israel is a risky business.  Doing so exacts the wrath of God upon anyone or any nation who tries harming Israel.

The enemies are cunning.  They are plotting against Israel, conspiring to come against this nation that God loves so much.  In fact, God cherishes the nation of Israel.  If we ask why He loves Israel so much, we may as well ask why He loves each of us so much.  He simply does.

The intent of Israel’s enemies is to completely destroy her, to bring about her total annihilation.  There’s nothing subtle about this.  They want to wipe Israel out as if she has never existed.

So much do they desire this destruction that they believe in accomplishing it that Israel’s name will be remembered no more over the face of the entire earth.

Verses 5-8:

The purpose of Israel’s enemies is unified.  They meet and plot together in a formal alliance.  They form a confederacy and have a covenant among them to accomplish their single purpose.

There are 10 members of this group, and the psalm names the conspirators.  Depending on the Bible translation you read, the names can be slightly different, but that’s only a matter of semantics.  Here are the 10 nations noted with the indication of who they are today.  Remember, the way the world looked back at the writing of this psalm is not the same as we have today, but we do have the remaining people groups that still exist and populate today’s various nations.

  1. Tents of Edom – Palestinians and Southern Jordanians
  2. Ishmaelites – Saudis (Ishmael is the father of the Arabs)
  3. Moab – Palestinians and Central Jordanians
  4. Hagrites – Egyptians, aka Hagarenes (Hagar, the consort of Abraham, was Egyptian; Ishmael was their son by permission of Sarah, Abraham’s wife)
  5. Gebal – Hezbollah and Northern Lebanese
  6. Ammon – Palestinians and Northern Jordanians
  7. Amalek – Arabs of the Egyptian Sinai area
  8. Philistia – Hamas of Gaza Strip
  9. Tyre – Hezbollah and Southern Lebanese
  10. Assyria – Syrians and Northern Iraqis

As you can see, this is an intriguing group.  Who are some of them?  Aren’t there various peace treaties in place that seem to make the inclusion of various ones of these peoples problematic?

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll discuss these conspirators at greater length and hopefully bring clarity to some of these questions.

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