The Psalm 83 Confederacy, the Saudis, and the US-Iran Deal
TGP Prophecy Letter – August 19, 2023
The Psalm 83 Confederacy
On nearly every plane, the nations of Psalm 83 are inching together. The prophesied Arab alliance matures more and more with every passing week. Sometimes we learn of this in a bold headline, while other times the moves are more subtle and must be watched for, but it is in constant progress.
Just one example of this is seen in the various terror factions in the Gaza Strip. Even though they are all Muslims, these groups are typically rife with controversy and rivalry. But now, they are meeting to set aside their differences to unite against Israel (The Jerusalem Post).
But interestingly, while the Psalm depicts nations surrounding Israel, the greatest present danger for Israel is with their neighbors to the north: Lebanon and Syria. Note that Hezbollah’s goal is precisely that which prophecy said they would assume (Psalm 83:4):
War of words intensifies as Hezbollah chief Nasrallah threatens to wipe out Israel – All Israel News
Hezbollah: Next war will be in Israel's Galilee, IDF posts will become graveyards – The Times of Israel
Netanyahu cancels vacation, summons IDF chief for ‘urgent’ meeting – World Israel News
Unidentified Violent Explosions Hit Iranian Militias’ Missile Depots West of Damascus – The Jewish Press
The question is, If prophecy shows Israel’s final Arab war to be on all fronts and not just the north, why is the greatest danger only in the north? We wonder, Could trouble erupt on Israel’s northern border first, after which the other nations join in? It seems to me that the Scriptures indicate this very thing.
Isaiah 17:1-8 prophesies the complete destruction of Damascus and the weakening of Israel. “The glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean” (verse 4). Israel will not be destroyed, but it will forever be changed for the better as a result of this, for “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel” (verse 7).
To me, this can mean nothing short of the return of Jesus Christ. Zechariah 12 depicts the moment when the Jews will finally realize their dependence on the Lord and see their redeemer: “Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the LORD of hosts, their God’” (verse 5, RSV). And also, “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (verse 10). These seem to correlate directly to “a man looking to his Maker” and Israel’s “eyes having respect to the Holy One of Israel”. If that is the case, then Isaiah 17 and Zechariah 12 must refer to the same time period.
Here may be the key. The war described in Zechariah is not just between Israel and their northern neighbors, but against “all the people round about” (Zechariah 12:2). But Isaiah 17 only mentions trouble in the north, just like we see today. It therefore appears that the war will begin in the north and somehow expand to Israel’s other fronts to include ALL the nations round about. Isaiah 17 would then record the beginning of the war and Zechariah 12 and Psalm 83 would show the events immediately following.
In preparation for this, Israel’s neighbors to the south and to the east have recently taken a strong stance against Israel:
Egypt, Jordan, PA condemn Israel, demand halt to 'all settlement activity' at trilateral summit – All Israel News
Egypt, Jordan voice ‘full support’ for Palestinians, slam Israel – The Jerusalem Post
Jordan comprises ancient Edom, Ammon, and Moab, and as these nations are listed in Psalm 83:6-7, they must be involved in this final Arab-Israeli War.
But Egypt is interesting. I am not fully persuaded that Egypt will be involved in this conflict in to the degree that the other nations will be. The primary reason for this hesitation is the simple fact that there is no mention of them in the Psalm. Some believe the mention of “the Hagarenes” (Psalm 83:6) is a reference to Egypt, but this is concluded on the reasoning that Hagar was an Egyptian, and therefore Egypt much be the meaning. This seems a feeble line of reasoning, particularly when one asks: If Egypt is intended, why would it not just say Egypt? Egypt existed at this time and the name was widely known. My current conclusion is that it is not a reference to Egypt, for I have found evidence of a people called the Hagarenes/Hagrites in the regions just north of modern Jordan in Syria. I believe this – Syria – is the intended recipient.
What does this mean for Egypt in the future war? We cannot say for sure, but we do know a few things about them in the Kingdom Age. Zechariah 14 describes the cursings on nations that will not come up to worship the Lord, and verse 18 says, “if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of the tabernacles.” Egypt therefore still exists in some form at that time. Furthermore, Isaiah 19:16-25 describes great blessings on Egypt, showing them speaking the land of Canaan and serving the Lord!
It must be pointed out that verse 22 of Isaiah 19 does mention that “the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it”, so there must be a kind of corrective retribution placed on them which is then healed, but the extent of this smiting I do not know.
Whatever it is, the last few verses of the chapter speak to the great favor shown to the Egyptians and Assyrians alike in this time:
Isaiah 19:23-25 – In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. (24) In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: (25) Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
What a wonderful future we are told about, and about this only can we be certain. Further study is required on the subject of Egypt and the future conflicts of the latter days.
Many reports have arisen claiming that full normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia is just over the horizon. But the subject of the “Palestinians” will likely make or break the deal.
'Diplomatic Victory': Saudi Arabia appoints first ambassador to 'State of Palestine' – World Israel News
Israel rules out Jerusalem base for Saudi envoy to Palestinians – Israel Hayom
Will there be peace between these two nations? In light of Scripture, I can only reason no. I’ve found that the only latter-day entity that can definitively correspond to Saudi Arabia is the Ishmaelites, and they are named as one of the ten Arab nations which come against Jerusalem (Psalm 83:6).
Some believe that Sheba and Dedan of Ezekiel 38 are a reference to the Saudis, but many maps I have found show these two regions as being on the southern-most perimeter of the Arabian peninsula instead of the main bulk like Saudi Arabia. Further study is required to determine more exact locations of Sheba and Dedan, but whereas some maps show Sheba and Dedan as encompassing parts of Saudi Arabia, all maps of the Ishmaelites at the time of Asaph correlate directly to the Saudis. In other words, the identity of Sheba and Dedan can be reasonably applied to nations other than Saudi Arabia, but that of the Ishmaelites cannot.
What does this mean for the current peace talks? To the best of my knowledge, I must conclude that they will fail – or if they do succeed to any degree, it will not last. In my opinion, the obstacles to peace that have just surfaced regarding the Palestinians will likely be the wrench that sticks the gears. It seems that the Saudis will require Israel to make major concessions to the Palestinians, perhaps even requiring official statehood for a nation of Palestine, and such would be out of the question for Netanyahu. Even if he personally acquiesced (which would be a drastic change of his position), his party would likely object so heavily as to oust him from power. If Saudi Arabia is serious about their ambitions for the Palestinians, then it’s unlikely that any peace will be achieved.
Instead, new headlines are showing the Saudis as inching closer to Iran: Israel’s arch enemy and the main backer of the Psalm 83 nations. Here are two recent news items on this:
Iran foreign minister talks cooperation, regional security on first visit to Saudi Arabia since restoration of ties – All Israel News
Israel wary over UNIFIL mandate; Iran-Saudi relations bolster; U.S. deters IRGC – TV7 Israel News
It appears to me that the Saudis are going to side with whoever offers them the sweetest deal and the greatest security. That means it’s either Israel and the US or Iran and her allies, and because the Word of Truth shows the Ishmaelites to join as one of the Psalm 83 nations, I must presently conclude that if anything, they will side with Iran. Time will tell.
There’s one last subject I feel obligated to comment on today:
The US-Iran Deal
In short, the United States is willing to do almost anything the slow down Iran’s nuclear program, but Israel opposes any such efforts as they know Iran will still continue with their program either way. Here are some headlines that sum up the latest developments:
US would welcome any Iranian steps to slow nuclear program – AOL
Biden Administration Abandoning Israel For Ruling Mullahs Of Iran? – Prophecy News Watch
Netanyahu warns against US-Iran deal, says released funds will go to 'terrorist elements sponsored by Iran' – All Israel News
Unidentified Violent Explosions Hit Iranian Militias’ Missile Depots West of Damascus – The Jewish Press
Netanyahu invited to meet Biden at White House to avoid downgrading relations – World Israel News
Iran close to testing nuclear weapons for first time – The Jerusalem Post
U.S. & Iran STRIKE DEAL That Hands Iran Regime BILLONS; Nuclear Agreement Next? – Watchman Newscast
While we could take the time to examine the many parts of this in great detail, I think the main take away is that these two “allies” have starkly opposing views on this important subject. It is one of the many things that showcases the weakening bond of what used to be one of the strongest alliances, and while Israel and the US try to see eye to eye, Iran gets closer and closer to the bomb.
Again, with the Bible in hand, we expect Israel to grow increasingly isolated as we near the return of our Lord. For Israel to call upon their Messiah for salvation as discussed in the first section of this article, they must be without other help. To me, that means that the US must be either unable or unwilling to assist Israel in their time of need.
It is difficult to imagine today’s Israel recognizing the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe Israel must be humbled by the apparent prospect of utter destruction before they cry unto the Lord. Not that they will be destroyed or go into captivity, but that will come close enough to defeat as to humble their disposition. Prophecy appears to teach this very thing, and we now see the nations lining up to fulfill their prophesied roles.
What a time for us believers to live, and what a mountain of evidence there is for our faith in these final, dark times! For the remainder of whatever time may lay ahead, may we all heed the exhortation of John:
1 John 2:28 – And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
In the One Hope of Israel,