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Signs of the End: The Psalm 83 War

The 83rd chapter of Psalms is not only a song that was written 3,000 years ago by King David’s worship leader, Asaph. It’s also a prophecy about a future attack on Israel by the Arab peoples who immediately surround the nation of Israel. Asaph was not only a skilled worship leader but also a seer (2 Chronicles 29:30) which means he was a prophet.

Sometimes referred to as the final Arab – Israeli war, Psalm 83 prophesies a major war which will occur when a confederacy of 10 distinct people groups attack Israel. The good news is that Israel will decisively win this war. Not only that but because of their military victory, Israel will most likely increase the amount of land they control by ten times or more. To put that into perspective, imagine the state of New Jersey conquering all the states east of the Mississippi river. That would give New Jersey control over about one third of the land mass of the United States.

Israel will feel justified in taking this land for two reasons:

  • They take the land in response an unprovoked attack.
  • The land they take was promised to them by God. (see Genesis 15:18 and Joshua 1:4)

Pushing out their boarders will make Israel vastly more defensible and will likely be the event that makes way for the war prophesied in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

Who is the ten member Arab confederacy that comes against Israel?

Psalm 83 tells us exactly who the people groups are that will come against Israel in this war. This way those of us who are informed can identify when the Psalm 83 prophecy comes to pass.

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.
Psalm 83:5-8

You probably don’t recognize most of these names and you possibly don’t recognize any of them. That’s completely understandable since this prophecy was written about 3,000 years ago, and therefore uses the names of that time. It’s not uncommon for the names of nations and people groups to change over time. According to best selling author, Bill Salus here’s how the ancient names in this prophecy map to their modern-day names.

the-psalm-83-war-art

By the way, Iran is the state sponsor of many of the terrorist organizations that live around Israel, including Hezbollah and Hamas, which makes them well supplied and funded organizations.

Is this the same war that is prophesied by Ezekiel?

Some have argued that Psalm 83 describes the same war that’s prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It’s very possible that these two wars happen in close-proximity to each other but they cannot be the same war. Here are two key reasons for this:

The Ezekiel 38-39 war is a different coalition

The nine-member coalition of Ezekiel 38 and 39 doesn’t match the 10 member coalition of Psalm 83. For example, Russia and Iran, which are key members of the Ezekiel prophecy are not mentioned in Psalm 83.

Israel is not dwelling securely in their land

This war prophesied by Ezekiel won’t come until when all of Israel is dwelling safely in their land (Ezekiel 38:8). This is certainly not the case today. They have enemies who vow to destroy them on every side today. They are under threat of tens of thousands of rockets raining down on them as well as from terrorist attacks within their borders.

Israel is not without walls and gates

Ezekiel 38:11 says that the attack will come when they are living without walls or gates. The Israelis built a 37 mile (60 kilometer) security barrier along the border of the Gaza strip. It’s purpose is to control the movement of people between the Gaza Strip and Israel, to stop the entry of arms into the territory. It has significantly improved security in Israel although the Palestinians have tunneled under the wall to attempt attacks inside Israel. If Israel were living in a time of peace and security, they wouldn’t need this wall.

The motives for these two wars are different

The motive for the Psalm 83 war is to completely destroy Israel and wipe all memory of them from the face of the earth (Psalm 83:4) whereas the motivation of the Ezekiel 38-39 will be to take plunder (Ezekiel 38:12).

Has this war already happened?

There has never been a war in recorded history where all the people groups listed in Psalm 83 were involved. This means that Psalm 83 prophesies a future war that hasn’t occurred yet.

What’s next on the horizon?

Prophecy teacher Bill Salus believes its most likely that the Psalm 83 war occurs before the Ezekiel 38-39 war, and I agree with him. It seems logical that the victorious outcome of the Psalm 83 war brings about the condition where Israel is living in peace and security in their land (at least for a time). Since this is a condition of the Ezekiel 38-39 war, it’s logical that Psalm 83 occurs first.

The exciting thing about living in these last days is that the events leading up to the fulfillment of bible prophecy are coming into sharper focus every day.

I can’t help but wonder, will the result of either of these wars result in the seven-year peace agreement that the Antichrist confirms? I don’t know… time will tell.

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I’ve been a Christian for more than 40 years. In 2013, I began growing in a closer relationship with God as I turned over more and more of my life to Him and asked Him for wisdom. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God's word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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