Analysis: Psalm 83, Gog & Magog, Destruction of Damascus
I was reading your commentary on the Israeli/ Iranian "thing" and wonder a bit about something. I am pre-trib rapture myself and think you are also, but your suggested possible events differ slightly from my understanding so I wanted to ask about it.
You said in the commentary that this current situation could end in a 7 yr treaty and nuclear umbrella for Israel. And that Russia could react to the oil and gas recently found in the Israeli desert and build a coalition with Iran and other nations like turkey and attack.
That attack you mentioned would be the Ezekiel 38 war I believe. Where is the Psalms 83 war that is suppose to happen first and the destruction of Damascus? (Isaiah 17)
The way I thought it out Israel would attack Iran over that reactor in Bushehr. Before the planes even got back homeand Hamas, the , and other neighboring Islamic countries would attack as they are closely aligned with Iran. They already have 1000's of rockets and missiles staged for attack.
I had thought that with Israel winning the Psalm 83 war and destroying Damascus that things would quiet down for a while so Israel could drop her walls and feel safer. The timing between this and the Ezekiel war is not known really by me but could be anywhere from no time to 3 years I am guessing.
Anyway, thanks for the you tube site and the web site.
It's hard to say when the Psalm 83 war will commence. I don't question whether or not this prophecy will take place, but whether it is indeed a separate war. I'm not 100% sold on this war being correctly interpreted. I tend to believe that the nations listed in Psalm 83 are just an extension of the battle of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38 & 39. According to this passage, this war will include the following biblical nations: Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, and Assyria.
Bill Salus, author of the book, Isralestine, narrows these modern-day countries down to Hezbollah, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Hamas and the Palestinians. I agree that these nations will be involved in this future war. However, many of these biblical lands listed in Psalm 83 can be interpreted to include virtually all of the nations that will be involved in the battle of Gog and Magog.
Prophecy expert and speaker Joel Richardson, provides an excellent example of how ancient Assyria could comprise of many of the modern nations that will participate in the battle of Gog and Magog:
First, because of the presence of “Assyria” in the list, we have to consider the possibility of several other nations beyond those mentioned by Salus. Modern conservative scholarship holds that Psalm 83 was written sometime between the 9th to 7th centuries B.C. During this period, the Assyrian Empire included substantial portions of what has come to become the nations of Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. As such we should certainly consider the possible inclusion of these nations as well (Joels Trumpet).
In his analysis, Richardson goes on to list other nations, such as the Ishmaelites, whose ancient territory could easily include nations that are outside the border nations that surround present day Israel. This and other facts lead me to believe these two wars could actually happen simultaneously or be one and same.
Frankly, I have always believed that the rapture would take place first followed by the rise of the Antichrist who would bring peace. It is during the early stages of this time of peace and guaranteed security the Antichrist will bring that I believe the Russian-Islamic Alliance will attack Israel. Once the land of Israel is divided, and the West Bank is turned over to the Islamic world for a Palestinian state, Israel will find themselves in a very strategic disadvantage. This will be the time the Islamic world has waited for and Russia will surprisingly step forward to lead this coalition against Israel. The Bible actually says that God will put this thought in Russia's mind to ultimately bring glory to Himself among all nations (Ezekiel 38:16, 17 & 23) that many may come to know Him.
Most prophecy scholars believe certain conditions will need to be met in order for this attack to take place. So what are some of these conditions?
Number one, Israel will be living in peace and safety without walled cities. Ezekiel 38:11 says Israel will be living safely in a "land of unwalled villages" and "dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" when this attack take place. Doesn't Israel have a 500 mile concrete wall that stands 25 foot high separating Israel from their West Bank enemies? Yes, it's true that Israel does have a security fence that prevents West Bank terrorists from entering Israel. But of the near 500 miles of security fencing along the West Bank only about 5% of the border consists of concrete walls. That means that roughly 25 miles of the border fence is made up of concrete slabs, and it's not a continuous 25 miles either. All of the concrete walls are strategically placed in front of Palestinian border towns and connected together by chain-link fencing with sophisticated sensors, trenches, and barbwire. The international community would have you believe that the border fence is a continuous 500 mile, 25 foot high, permanent concrete barrier. The truth is, 95% of the separation fence is nothing more than a high tech chain-link fence.
It's likely, if a peace accord is confirmed along pre-1967 borders, the chain-link fencing and the 25 miles of concrete barriers will be removed or adjusted to meet the demands of the agreement. This in fact has already been the case. Back in August of 2010, the Israeli military dismantled a concrete gunfire barrier built to protect a disputed Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem from Palestinian sniper fire. Just recently, this Jerusalem neighborhood was deemed no longer under sniper threat so the barrier was dismantled.
With this said, I have to come to the conclusion that modern day Israel is presently made up of "unwalled villages" and will likely be required to dismantle any and all concrete barriers as part of a future confirmed peace accord.
Number two, what about Israel living in safety? The Bible states that Israel will be dwelling safely within their own land when this attack occurs. Certainly, this prophecy has not been fulfilled and is still yet future. I look for this to be fulfilled as part of a confirmed peace accord with the Antichrist, Israel, and many nations (Daniel 9:27). I believe the Antichrist will guarantee Israel's security and place a multinational military force in the newly created Palestinian state to maintain his peace accord. However, this international force will be no match for the coming Russian-Islamic Alliance. It's unknown how long it will be into the peace accord before this great army comes calling, but I would speculate within a year.
Number three, the Bible says, during the battle of Gog and Magog, Russia will attack Israel for the purpose of taking a spoil (Ezekiel 38:12). What spoil does modern day Israel possess that Russia would possibly want?
Russia is a world leader in both the production of natural gas and oil. They're always searching for new potential areas of exploration for both of these natural resources. As of late, Israel is beginning to show considerable promise for new discoveries both in natural gas and oil. In a recent Debkafile report, it stated that Russia was eyeing the massive Israeli natural gas discovery known as Leviathan. Some of this natural gas deposit stretched over into Lebanese territory. Russia has since offered their expertise in the extraction of natural gas to Lebanon. This discovery contains some 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas and is the world’s largest such find in deep water exploration in over a decade.
Back in 2007, Israeli scientist Dr Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, quietly discovered a massive shale oil deposit that he estimates has the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, Saudi Arabia has 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
At the time of this discovery, the mining of shale oil was frowned upon due to the expense and the difficult cleaning process. But in a recent interview, Dr. Vinegar now estimates the cost of extraction in 2011 is in line with modern day deep water oil fields, and with new techniques, would be much cleaner than what previous operators have presented.
“These Israeli deposits have been known about, but have never been listed before. It was previously assumed there was not the technology to deal with it,” Vinegar said.
"According to Dr Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the United States (GWPF)."
Virtually all nations in the Middle East have seen varying degrees of success in the exploration of oil over the years accept Israel. I believe Israel is on the verge of discovering vast amounts of oil and natural gas just as the rest of the Middle East reserves begin to decline. You can also bet Russia is keenly aware of Israel's untapped potential. This could be the spoil the Bible says they will not be able to resist (Ezekiel 38:4, 12).
I was looking at the order of events that many believe will lead up to the Psalm 83 war. It starts out with the rebirth of Israel followed by the subsequent wars with its Islamic neighbors. In a final war described in Psalm 83, Israel not only defeats its neighbors, they also expand their territory well beyond their present borders. The land of their enemies will at that time become a part of the land of Israel.
Due to Israel's great victory over their neighbors, it is now believed that they can finally be described (Ezekiel 38:10-12) as a nation that “dwells securely” in their land. But just as Israel is settling into its new found peace and safety, a new invasion led by Russia, Iran, and a host of other Islamic nations threatens to in gulp them in a war of insurmountable odds (Ezekiel 38 & 39).
Here's my problem with this scenario. Iran is Israel's biggest existential threat in the Middle East today and will continue to be so following the Psalm 83 war. Virtually all military experts around the world see them within a few years of developing a nuclear weapon. With Iran's nuclear program still intact, I would be hard-pressed to see how Israel could be dwelling safely and securely within their own land. Israel's number one concern today is not whether they are at peace with their neighbors. Yes, if Jordan and Egypt abruptly decided to end their peace accord with Israel that would open up two more theaters of operation for Israel's military. However, I don't believe it would warrant a call from Israeli leaders to perform a preemptive strike on either of these nations as they have for Iran. Peace and safety will always be an issue for Israel as long as Iran is successfully pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
On the other hand, for some time now, Israel has been calling for the international community to strike and destroy Iran's nuclear facilities before they acquire this technology. Israel believes, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, they will not hesitate to use them against them. For years, Iran has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map and they are quite certain they intend to do just that. Unless things change in the foreseeable future, I do not see Israel dwelling safely or securely within their land before or after a Psalm 83 war as long as Iran is freely pursuing weapons of mass destruction.
Certainly, that would all change if Israel were to eliminate or sabotage Iran's nuclear program. As of late, Israel has been endeavoring in a secret cyber war that has essentially rendered Iran's nuclear technology useless for the time being. It was originally believed that this cyber war had set Iran's program back at least two years. However, it is now being reported that they have secretly enlisted the help of North Korea in an attempt to complete the final stages of the weapons process. Israel seems to believe this report is true. Just recently (March, 2011), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the international community to take immediate military action if they were to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons within the foreseeable future. This tells me that Israel still considers this threat relevant and very dangerous to their existence.
So how will this time of peace and safety come about for Israel as long as this Iranian nuclear threat continues to exist? That's a good question! My guess is any one of three possibilities.
One, Israel, the international community or both may decide to finally take matters into their own hands and destroy Iran's facilities. This possibility is unlikely, but given the recent operation against Libya, I wouldn't rule it out. Two, Iran may finally give in to international pressure and abandoned their weapons program, at least on the surface, to satisfy international inspectors. I would be surprised if this happened, but it could be a part of the mysterious peace accord the Antichrist brings. Three, Israel could come up with another computer virus more destructive than the Stuxnet worm that renders Iran's nuclear program inoperable and unusable for many years down the road. Given Iran's lack of network security knowledge and Israel's world renowned technology innovations this ultimately could be what prevents their program from ever getting off the ground.
For Israel to realistically be living in a time of peace and safety within their own land, as described in Ezekiel 38, it stands to reason that Israel's greatest threat (Iran) would have to be neutralized along with their nuclear ambitions. And that goes for either side of the Psalm 83 war. Frankly, I do not see that happening outside of the peace accord the Antichrist will bring at the start the tribulation period. I am convinced that many do not realize how deceptive this lie will be. The Bible says in II Thessalonians 2:7-12 that God will send strong delusions so powerful that virtually everyone will believe his lie. Could this lie of peace include Iran? Possibly, if it ultimately places the Islamic world in a position to finally destroy Israel.
One thing we know, sometime in the near future, both the Psalm 83 war and the battle of Gog and Magog have an appointed date. We also know that both wars don't end well for Israel's enemies.
One other thing should be pointed out, even though the Bible says God will destroy this Russian-Islamic Alliance, that doesn't mean Israel will not retaliate. It is likely under these conditions that they might choose to use nuclear weapons. If this is the case, this may be the time when Damascus is completely destroyed as prophesied in Isaiah 17:1.
There will also be a world war projected to take place sometime before the midway point of the tribulation period called the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:3-8). Considering that the death toll will be one-quarter of the world's population, I have to believe it will include nuclear weapons. I think it's safe to say that whole cities and possibly nations will be wiped out during this war. I would also believe that any nation that is considered a threat to Israel will be targeted for destruction during this war. Could this be the time when Damascus finally meets its prophesied date with destruction?
Are you ready to meet the Lord? If not, your time is running out!
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