The Inner Ring - Part 1 of 4 - Border Nations: Psalm 83
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
The prophecy concerning Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39 – see “Gog and Magog Invasion - Update 1” and “End Times Prophecy - Happening Now” posts) describes the future invasion of Israel by its “outer ring” enemies. But there is no mention of the “inner ring” enemies, or those currently bordering Israel. Where are Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan in prophecy? What about the Palestinians? Where is Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and other terrorist organizations that hate Israel?
As close as the Gog and Magog invasion appears to be, there are other battles that may happen first. Although the Bible does not spell out a direct chronology of end times wars and battles, there are clues that make it possible to formulate an educated guess.
Psalm 83 – A Prophecy for the Near Future?
In a prior post, “Israel and Arab Neighbors – Modern History”, a prophecy in Psalm 83 is described. Some experts do not believe that this passage is a prophecy. They think this Psalm is describing the history of God’s defense of Israel against all enemies, past and future. Others believe that it was fulfilled during the Six Day War in 1967. But there are some clues that suggest that this is both a praise psalm and a prophecy of a future war.
O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant— -- Psalm 83:1-5 (ESV)
The nations and tribes listed in verses 6-8 are difficult to identify on a map, but appear to be near or bordering neighbors of modern Israel:
Edom and the Ishmaelites - tribes from southern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia
Moab and the Hagrites - tribes traditionally settled in modern central Jordan (Some identify “Hagrites” with “Hagarites”. If this is correct, Hagrites may refer to Egypt).
Gebel, Ammon and Amalek - tribes traditionally settled in northern Jordan and Syria
Philistia - probably the Palestinians
Tyre - Lebanon (may include Hezbollah)
Asshur - possibly Iraq
Children of Lot - same as Moab and Ammon - traditionally settled in Jordan
Evidence of a Future Fulfillment:
United Nations Obsession
For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. (vs. 2-3)
This sounds very much like the current tone of the United Nations. The U.N. passes more resolutions condemning Israel than all other countries combined. There is a clear prejudice against Israel that Hal Lindsey calls a “supernatural hatred". It is hard to argue with that assessment when so many oppressive regimes are “given a pass” including Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Libya (and others). Members of the UN Human Rights Council include some of the worst violators in the world, yet the UN remains laser focused on condemning Israel.
On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. – Zechariah 12:3 (ESV)
There has never been a time in history when “all the nations of the earth” have been gathered against Jerusalem. There has never been a time in history when Jerusalem has been “a heavy stone for all the peoples”. Both of these things are happening now due to the obsession of the world community with dividing Jerusalem.
Border Nations Remain a Threat
Over the past 70 years, countries bordering Israel have pledged to “push the Jews into the sea” and “wipe them off the face of the earth”. The most recent quote (within the last few weeks), by Iranian General Aziz Nasirzadeh says that the Iranian air force is “… fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth”. Israel’s neighbors have not yet “perished in disgrace”. (Psalm 83:17)
The terrorist organization Hezbollah operates from bases near Beirut, Lebanon and Damascus, Syria. Iran is also moving weapons and resources to these two strategic points in an obvious threat to Israel’s security. The Syrian Assad regime is stockpiling weapons in and near Damascus. Multiple Israeli airstrikes against these sites have occurred in just the last few weeks. Iran is currently threatening to attack Tel Aviv, Israel’s most populous city, and claims to have missiles trained on most of the landmarks and tall buildings.
Israel’s Promised Boundaries
God promised Israel that it would inhabit the land from the Nile river to the Euphrates river. This includes Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula to the south and Syria, Lebanon and Iraq to the north. The eastern border is not certain but probably includes all of Jordan and possibly parts of Saudi Arabia. The western boundary is obviously the Mediterranean Sea. Looking at modern maps, Israel has never controlled all this territory, not even during the reign of King David and King Solomon. (See Genesis 15:18-21)
In a future war with the “inner ring” enemies, an Israeli victory would allow them to inhabit the entire territory of the promise. Controlling the resources in these countries, Israel would become a world power, and could then “dwell securely” (Ezekiel 38:8). They would finally rest after 70 years of constant vigilance. If an agreement such as President Trump’s “ultimate” peace plan or something similar were put in place, Israel would be able to relax even further. The Gog and Magog invaders would then see Israel as an extremely rich area “to seize spoil and carry off plunder”. (Ezekiel 38:12)
Supported by Other Prophecies
There are other prophecies concerning Israel’s “inner ring” enemies that support Psalm 83 as a future event. These suggest that they will all be eliminated as a threat. There are graphic descriptions concerning the future fates of Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan and the entire country of Egypt. In parts 2 – 4 of this series, these specific prophecies will be examined in more detail.
These events may play out in one major and decisive war, or in a series of individual battles. The latter appears to be more likely based on the build-up of hostility between Israel and the Iranians in Syria and Lebanon. Israel currently has peaceful relations with Egypt and Jordan. However, if war breaks out between Israel and other Muslim nations, this could change very quickly.
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane! Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. -- Psalm 83:13-18 (ESV)