Psalm 83 – A Prophecy In Processon Sunday, April 1, 2012 by Bill Salus
A Google search of “The Psalm 83 prophecy” on March 31, 2012 displayed 1,380,000 results. Another Google search on the same day under “The Psalm 83 war,” uncovered 2,460,000 results. These numbers reflect approximately fifty-times as many results than there were in the same month 4 years prior. I recall, because in 2008 my book, Isralestine the Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, was published and I had attempted to find research over the Internet on these two subjects.
Psalm 83 is the central theme of Isralestine, and frankly Internet research in these areas at that time was generally fruitless, which is why the book was an eight-year work requiring countless hours of biblical study and extra-biblical historical research. At the time, most of the respected existing commentaries on the Psalm offered little more than poetic expositions. Fortunately, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, David Dolan, and Jack Kelley had previously written summarily about the prophetic possibilities of the Psalm, which presented me with some helpful insights.
So what is all the hype about Psalm 83? Why did the Google results increase exponentially over the past four years from tens of thousands to tens of millions? I believe these increased numbers reflect a growing interest in the timely prophetic implications of the Psalm; especially, after the Arab Spring that dominated much of the news in 2011.
Interestingly, some scholars suggest that Psalm 83 is simply an imprecatory prayer of lament concerning Israel’s Arab enemies throughout time immemorial. Others like me believe it is a bonafide Bible prophecy. In an article called “Psalm 83, What IT IS, and What it IS NOT,” I attempted to dispel the possibility that the Psalm is merely a prayer.
The Psalm speaks about an Arab confederacy that forms for the explicit purposes of destroying Israel, and dispossessing the chosen people from their Promised Land once and for all. If it is an imminent prophecy, this implies that the confederacy fights for the establishment of one more Arab state called Palestine. This conclusion can be determined by analyzing who the confederate members are today. The image compares the modern-day equivalents to the ancient populations listed in Psalm 83:6-8.
Presuming the Psalm is indeed a prophecy, there are diverse opinions among prophecy experts about the Psalm’s timing.
Some teach the prophecy was fulfilled historically in 2 Chronicles 20. This is generally a minority view that is refuted in my article called “Psalm 83 – Has It Found Final Fulfillment?” Another minority view holds to the thinking that Psalm 83 occurs during Ezekiel 38. This argument is debated in my article called “Is Ezekiel 38 Imminent?”
A final timing argument is that the Psalm occurs during the final seven-year tribulation period. One of my favorite eschatologists, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, once held this view as expressed in his Footsteps of the Messiah book.(i) Dr. Fruchtenbaum, who also believes Psalm 83 is a prophecy, has seemingly reconsidered this view for the general reasons that are explained in my article called “Is Psalm 83 a Great Tribulation Event.”
In my estimation one nearby morning the world will wake to the world-changing Mideast war described in Psalm 83. The Psalm specified that six primary things needed to be in place before the major Middle East battle could begin.
1. Israelis (Psalm 83:3),
2. The Nation of Israel (Psalm 83:4, 12),
3. An Israeli Defense Forces; the IDF (Psalm 83:9-11),
4. Palestinian Refugees; i.e. the tents of Edom (Psalm 83:6),
5. An Arab League (Psalm 83:6-8),
6. An Arab Hatred of Israelis (Psalm 83:3).
Presently all six of these prerequisites are in place. Israelis became a reality when Israel was reborn as a nation on May 14, 1948. As evidenced by the Arab – Israeli wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973, the Hezbollah-Israel conflict of 2006, and the Hamas-Israel confrontation in 2009, an Arab hatred has been displayed ever since the Jewish state was reconceived.
The Palestinian refugees became a reality in the aftermath of the Israeli war of independence in 1948, as did the IDF that promptly formed to fight off the Arab aggression. With each subsequent war the IDF became a stronger army apparently in fulfillment of Ezekiel 25:14, 37:10, and Obadiah 1:18.
Lastly, the Arab League was established in Cairo on March 22, 1945 before all the conflicts began. The Arab League includes each member identified within the Arab confederacy of Psalm 83. Apart from fragile peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan, the Psalm prophecy essentially appears to be on the verge of fulfillment.
Many pundits believe that the new majority Islamic fundamentalist parliament of Egypt will soon abrogate the 33 year old peace agreement with Israel. Should Egypt break peace with Israel, there are few that believe Jordan will covet the lone-wolf position of being the only remaining Arab state that possesses a peace accord with Israel. The legitimate concern is reflected in the adage; “As goes Egypt, so goes the rest of the Middle East.”
Lacking a substantial peace accord with the most populated Arab state; Egypt, and the most moderate one; Jordan, there is little that prevents Psalm 83 from finding fulfillment.
Much like the rebirth of Israel was a prophecy in process, so is Psalm 83. On May 14, 1948 the world awoke to a Jewish state, but avid Bible prophecy students shouldn’t have been surprised at the time. Numerous prophecies like the ones listed below, came true on that infamous day.
• Ezekiel 36:22-24 – foretold that the Jews would be in spiritual unbelief at the time. It anticipated that world Jewry at large would be characterized by the same religious indifference that had overtaken their forefathers when the Diaspora began in 70 AD.
• Ezekiel 37:11-13 – predicted the Jews would come out of a holocaust scenario; “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (Ezek. 37:11)
• Isaiah 11:11 – informed that the Lord would regather the Jews into Israel from the nations a second time, there are no third, fourth, or fifth times found in scripture alerting that Israel today fulfills this prophecy. (Some believe this regathering has two phases; in unbelief, followed by belief. Thus they tend to believe that the first phase is being fulfilled today, and the second phase is fulfilled by a faithful Jewish remnant at the end of the 7-year tribulation period).
• Ezekiel 38:8 – foretells that the regathering takes place in the “latter years,” which is why many eschatologists consider Israel as the super-sign of the end times.
• Ezekiel 39:21-29 – explains the rationale from the Lord’s perspective of the Diaspora and the regathering of the Jews into Israel in the latter years.
These are just a few of the prophecies that predicted someday the Jews would be regathered out of the nations of the world back into their ancient homeland of Israel in the end times.
The process toward prophetic fulfillment of the rebirth of the nation Israel generally began around 1896 when Theodor Herzl published his book Der Judenstaat (Jewish State in German). He is considered to be the father of political Zionism. Herzl recognized that Anti-Semitism was rising throughout the world, and especially in Europe. He believed the only way the Jews could escape mounting world persecution was to have a homeland again.
Below is an interesting quote from his diary issued in 1897.
“At Basle, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it.”
Dying approximately 7 years after writing this statement, he didn’t realize how prophetic it was. Exactly 50 years later the United Nations passed resolution 181 in 1947, which called for the establishment of the Jewish state. Christians should have anticipated that Israel was about to become a nation by the start of the Zionist movement.
World War I was the next tip off that the nation Israel was about to be birthed. In the aftermath of the war, Lord Balfour of Britain issued a declaration calling for the establishment of a Jewish state in 1917. At the time Israel was appropriated land that would have encompassed modern-day Israel and Jordan. Britain had full license to implement this declaration but failed to do so.
Britain’s failure to act in accordance with what appears to have been God’s explicit will, subjected the Jews to the atrocities of the holocaust, and apparently caused the imminent collapse of the British Empire. At the time there was a saying that “The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire,” but today the sun always sets on the British Empire!
This is because over the course of the following 7 decades Britain relinquished sovereignty over almost all of its colonized territories. Presently, about 50 million people populate England and 62 million the UK in total.(ii)
“By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world’s population at the time, and covered more than 33,700,000 km (13,012,000 sq. miles), almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area.” (iii)
Britain’s demise can likely be attributed to the clause contained in Genesis 12:3 that curses those who curse the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Again, Christians should have recognized after World War I that Israel would soon become reinstated as the Jewish state.
World War II was the final clue to the prophecy onlooker. As stated above, the UN General Assembly approved the Jewish State on November 29, 1947. With 33 yes votes, 13 no votes, and 10 abstentions the Jewish state was a done deal, and on May 14, 1948 the prophecies predicting the coming of Israel were fulfilled.
Guess what nations were among the 13 that voted no to UN resolution 181? They were most of the Psalm 83 nations listed in the above image; Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugees hadn’t been created at the time to oppose the resolution, and Jordan didn’t become an admitted UN member until December, 1955. Thus, Jordan’s would-be no vote was unable to be counted!
Similar to the prophecies concerning the rebirth of Israel, Psalm 83 appears to be in process. Someday soon it will arrive; but for those of us that have been paying attention to the stage-setting signs, we realize that the Psalm prophecy has been over six decades in the making, and appears to be poised to happen!
In conclusion, I would remind Americans that the sun is beginning to set on the superpower status of the United States. The precedent for this was established in modern history through the British Empire. Over the past two prior decades American leadership has been cursing Israelis by forcing their leadership to trade God’s land for Arab peace. This diplomacy is not working, and is the very thing that Joel 3:2 warns against; dividing God’s land!
If America persists in its obstinacy, it flirts with the same fate of its British ally.
View Bill’s video teaching on Psalm 83 – A Prophecy In Process here.
This teaching is all taken from Revelation Road Hope Beyond the Horizon.
(i) Footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum in Chapter 20 pages 498-499 of the Hard cover book.
(ii) England and UK population totals gathered over the Internet on 3/31/12 at this website: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_population_of_people_in_England_2012
(iii) Information quoted was gathered over the Internet on 3/31/12 at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire