Could this be the set up for the prophetic Psalm 83 war ?
“They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” (Psalm 83:4)
The next big war in the Middle East is being prepared right now. It is no secret that it would one day come. Prophecy tells us that it is coming, however we don’t need prophecy to observe its approach. At its center is the long-held commitment on the part of the ruling mullah’s to the destruction of the Jewish state. The Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly characterized Israel as guilty of “infanticide, homicide” and “violence.” His solution: Israel must be “annihilated,” and the land returned to the Palestinians;[i] a ‘people’ that did not exist before the mid-1960s. Now, the antipathy toward Israel is becoming more concentrated and focused. Arutz Sheva reports: “Iran and its allies in Syria are shifting their focus toward Israel now that the Russian-supported Iranian axis is on the verge of victory in the seven-year-old Syrian war.” In the course of things, Iran is busy building up its infrastructure in the region by building “missile facilities” and moving its Shiite militia allies closer to the Israeli border. The ramped-up tensions have resulted in clashes between Israeli and Syrian forces. Just last month, allies of the Iranians in Syria had been launching drones against Israel. An Israeli F-16 raided the Iranian-built facilities but was brought down by fire from Syrian-allied forces. Israel retaliated with a large scale operation that destroyed 12 targets, including four Iranian sites.[ii]
The danger has spread to other fronts. Both Iran and Syria have supplied Hezbollah with chemical weapons. According to the UN, North Korea has provided the Syrians with new chemical weapons. Hezbollah operates from Lebanon – and now they are joined by the government forces there in preparing for a campaign against Israel. It is estimated that 130,000 missiles are staged in Lebanon, ready to be fired against Israel. “Iran and its proxies are expected to lob more than 1,000 missiles a day at Israel from at least three fronts in this ‘coming war’ as many observers, politicians and IDF officers in Israel call it. These three fronts are Lebanon, Gaza and Syria and it is expected Israel’s various anti-missile shields will be unable to cope with this amount of missiles.” The Iranians have threatened to completely destroy Tel Aviv and its’ suburbs. In the minds of some analysts’ thinking, this opens up the possibility of a preemptive strike by Israel, much like the ’67 War. While this is not quite the lineup of nations laid out by Psalm 83, it does comprise much of the core group of that future confederacy, including some people groups that are hidden within the militias. Let’s look at the prophecy.
“‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. Selah.” (Psalm 83:4-8) Now let’s break it down a bit. “Let us destroy them as a nation,” sounds very much like the pronouncements of various Islamic leaders from the region – both religious and secular – as well as the calls to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth,” or the clause in the Palestinian Charter that denies Israel its existence. (Arab maps today always show the Middle East without the nation of Israel.) And when we look at the people groups mentioned in the scripture we need to know their modern equivalents. Scripture is very specific. Edom refers to Jordan. The Ishmaelites are Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Moab again is Jordan. The Hagrites refers to the Egyptians and possibly other North African peoples. Ammon yet once more refers to Jordan, Philistia is the Palestinians, Tyre is in Lebanon. Finally, Assyria takes in part of the areas of Syria, Iraq and Iran. Compare that to the current situation. Hezbollah is perched in southern Lebanon, representing Tyre. The Palestinians are in place through Hamas and other groups. There are also Palestinians fighting in the pro-Assad militias. Those forces also boast members from Iraq, the land of the Assyrians. While that checks-off several of the people groups mentioned in the Psalm, it does still leave it short a couple of nationalities. Of course, there are other Arabs in the militias that could possibly be reckoned in to possibly fulfill the prophecy.
And there is one more thing: The threat of the use of chemical weapons. Such threats have elicited strong warnings from the Israelis, specifically against Damascus. Here is where another prophecy possibly plays in. Many Bible scholars hold the view that the Psalm 83 war will also see the fulfillment of another scripture that warns of the destruction of Damascus. A conflict with Syria is surely coming and it will feature the demolition of Damascus, the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. “The burden against Damascus. ‘ Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.’” (Isaiah 17:1) [iii] Is this a nuclear attack against the Syrian capital? It may be so. Jeremiah 49:26-27 describes the scene. “Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the LORD of hosts. ‘I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.’” What would prompt Israel to use its nuclear arsenal: One of two scenarios at least. As early as 1996, when Syria was equipping their Scud-C missiles with VX nerve gas the Israeli Government let it be known in unequivocal terms that the very existence of Damascus was at stake should the Syrians decide to use them. The threat was repeated in November of 2000, when Israeli General Kaplinsky threatened to attack Damascus because of Syrian support for increasing terror at the hands of Hezbollah.[iv]
A Ramping Up
Even as this goes to press, the situation in Syria is heating up. NATO member Turkey, has been launching attacks against Syria’s armed forces – in Syria. Now Assad’s forces are starting to strike back. The Syrians bombed Turkish military positions in the Syrian city of Aleppo.[v] The complicating factors lie in Syria’s status as a NATO ally and the nature of the Russian response. The US could use the Syrian attack as a casus belli to begin operations of its own. NATO allies are supposed to come to the defense of each other. (Of course, it was the Turks that started this round, however…..) The other wildcard is Russia. How much will Moscow stand for before they engage the Turkish army in country. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6) (KJV)
[i] Iran supreme leader touts 9-point plan to destroy Israel, Times of Israel, November 10, 2014
[ii] Israel launches ‘large-scale’ attack in Syria after fighter jet crashes, The Guardian, February 10, 2018
[iii] Glenn Allen, The Destruction of Damascus, Apocalypse Soon, 1997
[iv] Glenn Allen, The Destruction of Damascus, Apocalypse Soon, 1997
[v] Syrian Army pounds Turkish forces in response to latest deadly airstrike, AMN, March 14, 2018