Psalm 83: Prophecy or Prayer?
Is Psalm 83 merely a prayer that invokes judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God or a prophecy of future war? That's the question prophecy teachers and students have been asking over the years.
A theory has arisen that Psalm 83 prophecy of Israel subduing all of its Arabic neighbours and ancient enemies, as detailed in Psalm 83, is the next event on the prophetic timetable. Some say that it will happen as forerunner to the Gog and Magog war, which I have written about. Others believe that it is a prayer or that it happened during Israel’s biblical wars. There are also those that believe that it happened during the recent wars of Israel, the 1967 and 1973 wars with the Arab nations. I too debated with myself as to when it will happen or whether it is a prophecy. I read, watched and listened to leading prophecy teachers’ interpretation of this Psalm, and though I felt all the opinions was plausible, I could never reconcile with the theory that another battle will proceed the Gog and Magog invasion. I also never really pondered on the many theories on Psalm 83. Even reading Bill Salus’ book, Psalm 83, did not convinced me of his argument that it’s a war before the Ezekiel invasion.
However, it was this week, on Wednesday, that as I watched the news and the celebration of Trump’s announcement of peace deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, that the thought dawned on me, as before, that the normalisations with the Arab nations could be bad for Israel; I shared my speculation in a Christian forum. I now believe, rightly or wrongly, I’m not dogmatic, that this “Crafty” confederation of nations that will blot against Israel is part of the Gog and Magog war. I recently posted articles and news items concerning the Trump’s Middle East Peace including the normalisation here and here.
We understand from Ezekiel’s 38 prophecy that the Gog and Magog alliance, that will invade Israel, is a large army: “with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.”
Ezekiel clearly states that this was a large, fast, well-equipped army, ready for conquest. It is not just Russia and her allies, but also Iran’s and Turkey’s coalition. This is why I believe that the nations listed in Psalm 83 are part of this invasion and fits the description "many people are with you.” Interestingly, Psalm 83 states "Deal with them as with Midian", these are biblical battles that are described in the Book of Judges and it’s not dissimilar to the description of God's attack on Gog and Magog and his alliance; fighting amount themselves, dazed and confused. One important factor of Gideon’s heroic act is that they had no weapons. Gideon and his army used trumpets and torches hidden in clay jars to defeat the Midianites. The last of the things that God told him to do was to take his 300 warriors and equip them each with a trumpet and a torch hidden in a clay jar. At his signal, they were to break their jars, blow their trumpets, and give a battle cry.
It is noteworthy that, of all the battles and victories, the Psalmist mentions only the events surrounding Gideon, considering that Asaph, the Psalmist, lived in the times of King David, a golden age of battles and victories that enabled the nation to greatly expand its territory. The events mentioned are:
Deborah and Barak's army of 10,000 men defeated the Canaanite King’s army, but Jabin's commander, Sisera, escaped and fled on foot. Sisera was a powerful and cruel man who oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, he was defeated by Deborah and Barak. (Judges 4:1-9)
Jael is the woman who helped the Israelites subdue Jabin the Canaanite king by single-handedly killing the commander of his army, Sisera. Her story is found in Judges 4:17–24.
The Midianites, led by two princes Oreb were raiding Israel with the use of swift camels, until they were decisively defeated by Gideon (Judges 7:20–25).
Zebah and Zalmunna are the two Midianite kings whom Gideon pursued, conquered, and killed (Judges 8:14-17).
Psalm 83 is one of twelves Psalms written by Asaph. Asaph, son of Berachiah, of the family of Gershom, was a Levite and was one of David’s three musicians along with Heman and Ethan or Jeduthun headed the service of music in the reigns of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 6:39). Asaph’s duties are described in detail in 1 Chronicles 16. According to 2 Chronicles 29:30, both Asaph and David were skilled singers and poets. Asaph is also mentioned as a “seer” or prophet. The “sons of Asaph” are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 20:14, and Ezra 2:41. The sons of Asaph were likely a guild of skilled poets and singers, modelling themselves musically after Asaph, their ancestor.
Israel normalising with its neighbours includes trade deals and the sharing research, technology, and I believe that is how Israel will be compromised and unable to defend herself, which is why God takes over, destroying the majority of the Gog and Magog and alliance. The implication of these deals is covered in the following articles:
We Should Believe What Arab Dictators Say: https://www.israel365news.com/158565/we-should-believe-what-arab-dictators-say-opinion/
Israel’s national imperative: ‘Keep your powder dry: https://www.jns.org/opinion/israels-national-imperative-keep-your-powder-dry/
UAE-Israel pact: Sacrificing substance for ceremony?: https://www.jns.org/opinion/uae-israel-pact-sacrificing-substance-for-ceremony/
Interestingly, while researching the nations, mentioned in the Psalm, I came across an extraordinary commentary on “they have helped the children of Lot” by Barnes' Notes on the Bible, which states that:
The sons of Lot were Moab and Ammon, the ancestors of the Moabites and the Ammonites, Genesis 19:37-38. It would appear from this, that the purpose of destroying the Hebrew people had been originated by the Moabites and Ammonites, and that they had called in the aid of the surrounding nations to enable them to carry out their plan. The enumeration of those who had joined in the alliance shows that all the nations adjacent to Palestine, on every side, had entered into the agreement, so that the land was completely encompassed, or hemmed in, by enemies. In these circumstances, the conspirators felt secure; in these circumstances, the Hebrew people had no resource but to call upon God.
So, the conclusion is that I believe that the normalisation is a plot as described in Psalm 83, one that gives Israel a false sense of security, producing a surprise attack as described in Ezekiel 38.
Many contest that Israel is not living peacefully which is why they refer to Psalm 83 as being a separate war, because by overcoming their enemies that surround them, they will be living peacefully before the Gog and Magog attack; Psalm 83 war is therefore why Israel will be at peace and secure. But the words spoken by Ezekiel verses 8, 11 and 14 states that Israel “shall dwell safely” doesn’t mention peace only safety. Furthermore, the Hebrew word for security means “Confidence,” not “Peace”. Israel already sees itself today as a people who “dwell safely,” who are living “securely.” Furthermore, though Israel today is certainly not at peace with its Islamic neighbours, Israel is secure, even Israeli the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, “We want peace, but not at the price of security”.
I believe that these normalisation process will make Israel “complacent” about its security and the framework proposed by the Trump Administration, “Peace to Prosperity”, or even another, should this fail, will lead to the ultimate “Covenant” of seven years with the Antichrist, which in turn will lead to a joint betrayal by the nations in Psalm 83 and the alliance in Ezekiel 38; Russia will lead the massive coalition of multinational forces to invade Israel in the wake of the “Covenant”. The Antichrist will, through this Covenant, “strengthen” or “make firm” an existing deal / agreement. In defense of Israel, God will miraculously destroy the Russian-Islamic allied forces.
Israel’s awakening, in recognising that God delivered them from their enemies, will cause a euphoria among the people, especially their leaders, who follow mystical prophecies concerning the arrival of the Messiah, to build the Temple. It was recently reported by the Jewish media, that the “Messiah is alive today and when Israel merits it, he will immediately reveal himself”, according to a leading Rabbi. I recently posted an article on Rabbinic Judaism which adopts unbiblical traditions relating to the Messiah and biblical scriptures, so I can see how easily the nation and its religious leaders will be tricked. Jewish traditions also states that the Messiah will be ushered in by Elijah; as such they could easily believe that God has brought them Elijah or in the spirit of Elijah to construct the Temple of God. Obviously, the Antichrist is not going to reveal his true identity but he will come in his own name, whatever the rabbis believed, substituting himself in Christ's place and offering peace (Rev 6 the white horse). Jesus said that “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)
We read in the Old Testaments, how on many occasions, they offered sacrifices whenever the nation attained victories over their enemies. They will feel compelled to do something to honour God, and this will be the perfect opportunity for the Antichrist to facilitate their longing for a Temple for nearly two thousand years.
But we know that they will be devasted when the Antichrist breaks the Covenant after 3½ years, defiles the Temple and will try to annihilate them. So, the normalisation deals that are currently been signed with the Arabs nations could be the deal that the Antichrist “confirms”.
As Isaiah prophesied, in chapter 28:8, this covenant will be “annulled” (cancelled):
"Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it."
"Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah
9 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."
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord."