The Signpost Perspective: Psalm 83

Until a few years ago, Psalm 83 received very little attention from the Christian community.  But with this Psalm speaking of various Middle Eastern peoples banding together to destroy Israel, coupled with the growing realization that the Antichrist just might be Muslim, Psalm 83 has been growing in importance more recently it seems.  It has been said that the fulfillment of Psalm 83 was via the past Arab-Israeli wars, but I disagree.  Some say it is still to be fulfilled.  I agree with this, but only under precise circumstances.

The Four Signposts, as written about in my book Hidden In Plain Sight, show us four sets of events in the Middle East leading up to the emergence of the Muslim Antichrist.  So how might Psalm 83 relate to the Four Signposts?  To be honest, I hadn’t given it much attention.  But in recent months I have been reviewing various passages in the Bible like Matthew 24, to see if they may provide a window to events related to the Signposts.  The Signposts, derived from Daniel 7 and 8, are concerned more with the nations and peoples around Israel – not Israel itself.  But after some careful study, I believe Psalm 83 may be providing us a window into what may occur to Israel during the time of the Second and/or Third Signpost.  I wrote in my book and in this blog that Israel would mostly be left untouched during the Signposts.  I may have been wrong because Psalm 83 opens up the possibility that Israel could see another major war prior to the Tribulation.

In this article, just as I did in Hidden In Plain Sight, we will look at the relevant passage (in this case, Psalm 83) verse by verse and compare what we see to real world events and history, in detail.  In this case, it is the history of Israel of the last 65 years – the time that modern Israel has existed as a nation.

Psalm 83 begins by calling our attention to God’s enemies and that they are up to something,

“O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.”  (Psalm 83:1-2, NIV)

These enemies are the peoples surrounding Israel, and are called out by name in verses 6-8.  Verse 3 tells us what they are doing, “With cunning (be subtle, be shrewd, be crafty) they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.”  To have cunning means to be shrewd, crafty, and subtle.  Subtle and crafty are the key ideas here.

Verse 4 is where it starts to get really interesting: “’Come,’ they say, ’let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’”  There were four Arab-Israeli wars – in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973.  In all of them the Arab leaders talked about destroying Israel but none of them talked about the name of Israel not being remembered.  I can think of only one nation that has talked that way, and that is modern Iran.  In October 2005 Iranian president Ahmadinejad quoted a statement by Ayatollah Khomeini when he said “Imam [Khomeini] said: ’This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.’ This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.”[Ref. 1] 

I believe we have a match here.  The enemies of Israel say in Psalm 83:4 about Israel “…that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”  Ahmadinejad echoes Khomeini in saying about the nation occupying Jerusalem (i.e., Israel) that it “must be eliminated from the pages of history.”  What is the effect of removing a name from the history books, but that a name is forgotten? 

If you don’t remember Ahmadinejad saying this, do you remember the time he supposedly said Israel “must be wiped off the map”?  Yes, that was the time.  It turns out it was badly translated.  As reported in The American Interest, the Tehran correspondent for the New York Times reported the incorrect mistranslation as truth, and the MEMRI (in Ref. 1) immediately corrected the translation. [Ref. 2]  The writer of the article in The American Interest puts down the nit-picking of words, but I believe the clarification is needed.  It is the difference between matching what the Bible says in Psalm 83 and not matching.  In another article providing confirmation of the misunderstanding, an Israeli government official also says that Ahmadinejad never said that Israel must be wiped off the map, but that Israel is to be forgotten. [Ref. 3] 

So in summary on this point, whenever you hear someone saying that Ahmadinejad talked of Israel being wiped off the map, they are really talking of Ahmadinejad saying that the name of Israel should be remembered no more, per Psalm 83.  So I believe that Iran is involved in Psalm 83 as making the crucial statement.

Moving on, verse 5 says “With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.”  In 1948 the Arab powers were poorly coordinated.  They plotted together only to do something to Israel, but it was not focused.  In 1956 there was no coordination because only Egypt was involved.  And in 1967 the Arab powers did not have a chance to execute any coordinated plans because Israel attacked first.  In 1973 the Arabs were better coordinated but did not attack with one mind, as Psalm 83:5 says.  All the Arab powers were vying against each other as well for supremacy on who truly represented the Arabs.  Recently, though there has been an alignment of thought, a focusing if you will, of attacks against Israel, and it has been done by Iran via the IRGC, in the background – subtly and craftily.  This is another data point showing Iran’s involvement.  All these people will be of one mind, due to the work of the IRGC.

Now we come to verse 6 through 8.  I have created a list of all the peoples who are part of the alliance mentioned previously in verse 5.  The list, which you can follow in your Bible in verses 6-8 in order by name mentioned in those verses, shows what the Bible calls them, and I show in parentheses the modern equivalent:

1) Edom (the southern third of Jordan);

2) Ishmaelites (the Arab tribes of Saudi Arabia; i.e. Muslims in general);

3) Moab (the central third of Jordan);

4) Hagrites (part of Ishmaelites as Hagar is the mother of Ishmael);

5) Gebal (the city of Byblos, Lebanon, now run by Hezbollah);

6) Ammon (the northern third of Jordan);

7) Amalek (unknown, but generally the name of people opposing Israel throughout history, most likely the West Bank today);

8) Philistia (Gaza, today run by Hamas)

9) Tyre (Tyre, Lebanon, headquarters of Hezbollah);

10) Assyria [lending strength to descendents of Lot] (peoples of Syria and northern Iraq, helping Ammon and Moab, i.e. Jordan)

So do these names and nations match past Arab-Israeli wars?  All of these entities were at war with Israel in 1948.  However, Egypt was also at war and is excluded from the list.  Also, those in Lebanon only joined in on the last two days of the war.  So a comparison to 1948 is imperfect.  In 1956, only Egypt was involved.  In 1967 and 1973, Lebanon was not involved at all.

Today though, there is a unifying presence involving most of these groups.  It is Iran’s IRGC.  The IRGC works in Syria, and with Hezbollah and Hamas.  The only holdout is Jordan.  However, there has been evidence that IRGC cells are working there and in the West Bank as well.

Next we have verses 9-12,

“Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,  who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground.  Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, ’Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.’” (NIV)

So what did happen to Midian and those men?  Read the story of Gideon in Judges.  The Lord caused the Midianite army to panic and kill each other in the presence of Gideon and his men (Judges 7:22-23), and then they were pursued and utterly destroyed (Judges 8:10-12, 21).  Their leaders like Sisera had a stake driven through his head (Judges 4:16-21) and Jabin was killed (Judges 4:23-24) and became refuse, i.e. fertilizer.  Midianite army leaders Oreb and Zeeb were killed (Judges 7:25), as were kings Zebah and Zalmunna (Judges 8:21).  In summary, the armies of Midian and all of their leaders were completely and utterly wiped out.  Though the Arabs took heavy losses in the earlier Arab-Israeli wars, they were never wiped out and their leaders were never killed in battle.  Psalm 83 is calling for something different here in the end times, a war where Israel’s enemies are utterly wiped out.

The last part of Psalm 83 is verses 13 to 18,

“Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O Lord. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

Whatever happens to the enemies of Israel in this war, their destruction will be a sign to all who watch that God is in control and that he is the Most High.

So what can we conclude?  I believe the fulfillment of Psalm 83 can be had only under the specific circumstances called for in Psalm 83 itself (much like only Christ’s death could fulfill Psalm 22).  Only Iranian leaders have said that the name of Israel should be forgotten (as in verse 4).  Iran’s IRGC is the unifying factor acting as a driver, planner and trainer behind all of these peoples’ military forces (vs. 3, 6-8). 

We should expect in this future war to see this army made up of these peoples be utterly destroyed.  The past Arab-Israeli wars are not a fulfillment.  I believe we must look toward a future war involving these people, united in their training to cause the name of Israel to be forgotten.  But when would this future war occur?  The answer is that it has to occur while Iran exists in its current form, i.e. during the Second Signpost only.  During the Third Signpost, Daniel 8 says that the current nation of Iran and its current regime will no longer exist.  During the Third and Fourth Signposts, the Islamic political entities will be fighting each other.  And during the Tribulation, where the Ezekiel 38 War occurs, the list of nations is different.

What follows is pure speculation.  While Iran itself during the Second Signpost is conquering much of the Middle East using its IRGC and Basij paramilitary, the IRGC’s Quds Force will be behind the scenes ordering and guiding all of the forces of the peoples named, in a unified, coordinated attack on Israel.  And they will be, as it says in Psalm 83, utterly destroyed.  Whether by Israeli firepower or by God’s divine hand, this will happen.  I believe it will actually be the latter because verse 15 calls for action by God – “pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.” 

One thing we can watch for to confirm that we are headed to this scenario is we should see increased activity in Jordan by the IRGC, prior to the Second Signpost.  All the other peoples are already run by organizations with ties to the IRGC. 

In addition, when this war occurs and Israel is utterly victorious, it may feel safe enough to proceed with building the Temple years prior to the Tribulation.  But that is another subject for another post.

[Ref. 1] Iranian President at Tehran Conference; Report #1013; Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI); Washington D.C.; Oct. 28, 2005; retrieved from http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1510.htm

[Ref. 2] Ahmari, Sohrab, and Kirchick, James; We Are All Persian Grammarians Now; The American Interest; Washington D.C.; May 30, 2012; retrieved from http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1261

[Ref. 3] Mackey, Robert; Israeli Minister Agrees Ahmadinejad Never Said Israel ‘Must Be Wiped Off the Map’; The New York Times; April 17, 2012; retrieved from  http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/israeli-minister-agrees-ahmadinejad-never-said-israel-must-be-wiped-off-the-map/



Categories: Israel, Signpost #2: Iran, Signpost Theology, The Signpost Perspective

18 replies

  1. hi. Joel thinks Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38/39 speak of the same war. your thoughts on this? http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/does-psalm-83-describe-next-mideast-war/

  2. Psalm 83 could refer to the Ezekiel 38/39 war. The reason I think it does not is two-fold, and Joel only knows the first reason. This is why I think he would hold the position he does.
    The first reason is that among the peoples attacking Israel there is no mention at all of the peoples of Egypt, Turkey, and Iran – not to mention the peoples further out (e.g. Phut/Libya, etc.) joining the attack like it would be in Ezekiel. Does this exclude Psalm 83? No, it doesn’t, but it looks a bit weak to me, and I have the benefit of the second reason that makes me lean to what I say in my post. If one does not know the second reason, the Ezekiel 38 war looks perfectly reasonable because there are no other alternatives.
    The second reason involves Iran and the Second Signpost – it is Iran’s earlier statement matching Psalm 83 (name remembered no more), the IRGC working with all the peoples mentioned and no other people involved, and finally the timing, i.e. the Second Signpost. This will be a major war, on the par of 1967 or 1973 most likely. While Iran is invading the Middle East this would be the perfect time for all of Iran’s allies surrounding Israel to attack Israel. It is the timing of the Second Signpost and what happens during that time that in my mind is the clincher.
    I said earlier Joel only has the first reason. While I discussed the outline of my book with Joel and he supports the book, as far as I know he has never read my book. He doesn’t know the details or the logic behind it, or should I say he may not remember it from our conversations. If Joel would know the details of the Second Signpost and the logic that drives it, he might agree also with the second reason.
    The fact that Joel hasn’t read my book I do not hold against him. His work was needed for my theory on Daniel 7 and 8 to proceed and he gave merit to the idea, but I don’t think he has absorbed it to the point where he knows it like his own Islamic Antichrist theory material. He has been supportive of, and helpful to, me.
    Interesting question there. One never knows where readers’ questions will take you. This one touchs at this heretofore hidden issue. I hope I don’t embarrass Joel with this comment. It isn’t meant to.
    Mark

  3. I have meet Joel a few times and always try and go see him when he is in my town here for we live in the same state. Believe it or not, I am in the process of reading your book for the first time, Mark. Admittedly, because I am so familiar with the Islamic paradigm, I found the first part of your book more for those who are are still learning about this paradigm and really went straight to the second part of your book first. I was under the impression the last time I was at one of Joel’s biblical prophesy conferences that he considered Ezekiel 38-39 the “Gog-Magog” war and Revelation’s “War of Armageddon” the exact same event and he gave his basis for that position. It did not include, that I am aware of, the Psalms 83 war with Arabs against the Israelis for one final time completely destroying the Arabs and allowing Israel to greatly expand her borders as a result of an unexpected Israeli victory. Personally, I think you might be right, Mark. The Psalms 83 war MUST occur prior to the start of Daniel’s 70th week, in my opinion, because Israel may be lulled into a false sense of security as a result of this amazing victory (at the direct hand of God, of course.)

    Since first meeting Joel, he has become quite busy now as his ground-breaking Islamic paradigm in biblical prophesy has gained more respect within the biblical prophesy community and is supportive of anyone who is a fellow worker like you Mark. So I’m glad your not taking his silence as a rebuff, he is just plain busy and has an ever expanding international family as well. If it is any comfort, he doesn’t respond to my emails anymore either. But it is not personal and I know it.

  4. Julie,
    I hope you enjoy the book, and I think you will. Let me know if you have any questions. Joel and I both knew beforehand that his book Mideast Beast and my first couple chapters would have some overlap. But thats natural since Hidden In Plain Sight needs the Islamic Antichrist theory background, and I wanted all the material under one cover. Section 2 is the heart of the book, and Section 3 is the proof – both past events fulfilling prophecy and future events to watch for.
    I absolutely agree with Joel that the Ezekiel 38/39 war and Armageddon are the same thing. One more thing dawned on me. If Psalm 83 is a picture of a smashing victory for Israel during the Second Signpost, and the Turkey-led great nation of the Third Signpost is peaceful towards Israel, then Ezekiel 38 really takes on added realism –
    Verse 8 says, “In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.”
    And Verse 11 says “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people.”
    I think we are on to something here. This totally fits a future time. Today and in the last 65 years, Israel was never unsuspecting nor recovering from war, but has always been wary and always been at war to some degree.
    Mark

  5. Oh, baahahahahaha, Mark! I was in the process of quoting Ezekiel 38:10-12, but then decided against it because I thought it pertained only to the Gog-Magog War which is at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. But I did not think about verse 8 from that same chapter. Too funny! Are we not true prophecy students! LOL

    It is another point that could be persuasive and an event to look out for as part of the positioning of the rise of the Islamic Caliphate. And you are right, ever since Israel’s rebirth it remains even today in a state of military alertness to defend her right of survival against anyone who dares threaten her existence. But once the Psalms 83 war happens and she expands her borders, she will begin to relax as her Arab enemies will have been vanquished. The Caliph (Antichrist) of the Islamic Caliphate will watch this and desire to “confirm” the covenant of death (Oslo Peace Accords?) with Israel in an effort to show “good faith” toward Israel. THEN the 70th week of Daniel commences…and we are off to the prophetic races!

    Now, what I just said is my own personal speculation and “war gaming” among prophecy students is an endless pastime, but we are special ducks! lol

  6. You touched on something else here – the covenant with many. I’ve been formulating another scenario. The mainstream calls for the covenant to be with Israel so she can build the Temple. I’m thinking Israel will build the Temple just following these victories, and that by the time the Tribulation rolls around the Temple will be several years old. There is in Islamic writing and perhaps Joel can confirm this, but the Muslim people are to confirm their covenant with their Mahdi, so that he will indeed be their Mahdi. This might be the covenant spoken of in Daniel 9 – “he will confirm a covenant with many“, as in 1.6 billion of them.
    More speculation by this prophecy student.

  7. But (now Mark you got me started) the Prophet Isaiah warns his people Israel NOT to make “a covenant with death” so which covenant is the prophet talking about? If Daniel talks about the “many” and Isaiah talks about “death” are they one in the same or are these covenants different? What ever this covenant is it must pertain or effect Israel and the Jewish people. It is the confirming of this covenant (whatever this is) that commences the 70th week of Daniel. That is when we will know we have officially started the “end of the end” of this age.

    This is why many were anxious regarding the Oslo Peace Accords, but God stopped it and the Accords fell through because it was not yet time. But one day, those Accords might be revisited or it could be some other covenant. We will just have to watch.

  8. I think the problem you are running across is that everyone assumes the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9 must be with Israel. Who says, exactly? That is just an assumption made by the church in its flawed interpretation of end time prophecy. The Isaiah covenant may be a general command for any covenant. And why must the covenant involve Israel? If the covenant is between the Mahdi and the Muslim people it only affects Israel because the Mahdi and the Muslims are aligning to go against Israel.
    This is why in the book I assume the Tribulation starts at the end of the Fourth Signpost. The covenant starts the Tribulation. But also at the end of the Fourth Signpost the Antichrist/Mahdi has formed his empire and all of Islam is ready to follow him.

  9. That maybe true that once the Caliph is identified Islam is ready to follow him, but we, as prophesy students must have some clear identifier that the 70th week of Daniel has officially started in my mind. Otherwise, how are we to know what season we are in exactly? Jesus said in Matthew 24:32-33 (OJB), “And from the etz teenah (fig tree), learn its parabolic lesson: when its branch has become tender already and sprouts leaves, you know [discern] that Kayitz (Summer) is near; 33 thus also you, WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS [come together to a head], know that it [Daniel’s 70th week] is near, at the very doors [here].”

    We can know generally when things are happening, i.e., “the end” the season we are in now…but do you not think events will become even sharper and more concrete to those who watch specifically like prophesy students so that they can discern exactly where we are for the beginning and within Daniel’s 70th week? I don’t see the LORD giving just generally interpretive (up for debate) info then, but real concrete event markers (i.e. the confirmation of a covenant) to indicate to those who watch that the 70th week of Daniel has now begin.

    Remember, the Prophet Isaiah is talking to his people, Israel, not about making covenants generally, but a specific covenant, a covenant of death. It is when his people Israel agree to this covenant (which I believe has to do with giving up some of their God promised Holy Land to the Muslims per the Book of Joel) that commences Daniel’s 70th week. This is exactly the reason, in my mind, that the Mideast peace agreements have consistently failed over the years and it is not for a lack of trying on the world’s part. It is because God is in awesome sovereignty has frustrated the peace plans because the time was not yet. But one day, the time will be at hand and Israel will have a willing partner in the peace process and the covenant will be sealed nearly costing Israel everything in the end. Now, this is just my personal opinion and we will just have to see and I could be wrong. But I don’t think everything from past prophetic understanding is invalid, but just needs refinement just as the Islamic paradigm is a refinement. It is not prudent to throw the baby out with the bath water as the saying goes. 🙂

  10. Hi Mark and Julie,

    Can I give some of my insight of Psalm 83?

    Psalms in general are more of a poetic form or style of literature then prophetic, not to exclude the prophetic dimension of the Psalms. For sure, there are elements of prophecy within the Psalms, but it is not the main focus. For example, we know that there are many messianic prophecies in Psalms, as related to both comings of Jesus.

    Psalms 83 has a more prayer and intercession nature then prophetic. However, we cannot exclude the prophetic element or dimension to it. The Psalm starts out as a prayer: “O God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. For behold, Your enemies…” (NASB). Actually, this Psalm is inserted in scriptural cannon for the purpose for Israel’s (primarily) and the Church’s (secondarily) prayer and intercession to help against oppression by God’s enemies’. Surely, I believe this Psalm should have be used for prayer when Israel was facing oppression (specifically military) by its neighbors in ancient times and more specifically to the past, current and future times of the modern day state of Israel, since 1948.

    In ancient Israel, there was no event or time that all of her neighbors (those listed in the Psalm) consented together in a unison coalition to try to destroy Israel and occupy her land. There were isolated times when one or another (or maybe two or three) that would try to destroy Israel and occupy the land. But never coming all together in conspiracy and of one mind to do this act.

    The only time in history that this has ever happened and will happen is with the modern state of Israel . The Arab/Israeli wars and conflicts since 1948, in some sense or the other, involved all of those nations (modern day, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Gaza and West Bank). There has been a self-exaltation of the Arab nations. All of them have taken crafty counsel against Israel, the Jews and Zionism. They have all conspired against them, with one mind. They have made covenants. All of them have desired to wipe the Zionist off the land of Palestine and to remember them not anymore (this is not an exclusivity of Mahmud Ahmadinejad). They all desire for the Arab occupation of the land of Israel, through the so called Palestinians. These modern day enemies listed in Psalm 83 are all Arabic.

    I do not believe that Psalm 83 depicts one single war. And nowhere does it say that Israeli military is active in war. Psalm 83 is a prayer of deliverance from Israel’s enemies and judgment coming upon them. This judgment on these nations could be two fold, as I believe, one substantial judgment from the hands of the Antichrist – from the north, specifically Turkey, and the ancient region of the Median Empire (Elam and Media with all of their kings) during the tribulation – and the final and complete judgment from the hands of Jesus Himself at the second coming.

    Psalm 83 is a very real descriptive of the aggression, oppression and hostility of the Arab nations surrounding Israel, since 1948 until today and beyond. The prayer is answered, and God will send judgment of the Arab surrounding nations using first the Antichrist with military invasions and destructions, and then ultimately Jesus will judge these nations, while He is marching through the land (Is 63, Hab 3, Rev 19) heading towards Jerusalem to destroy the Antichrist and finally to be crowned and received by the Jews as their King.

    I believe Psalm 83 has a very broad prophetic and summarizing element, rather than a specific war that will happen.

    Blessings

  11. Your insight is always welcome, and point taken, Perry. And good to hear from you again.
    The motivation and only reason I had for analyzing it and seeing if the whole scenario could apply to one war or one time is because of the precedent set by Psalm 22. Psalm 22, also poetic, is a picture from Jesus’ point of view of the crucifixion, as you most likely know. And it was one event specifically that fulfilled it. So if Psalm 83 is in the same vein as Psalm 22, i.e. a prophecy of a specific event, I thought a “signpost” perspective given the possibility should be said.
    Mark

  12. Hi there Mark, Julie and Perry,
    A little late to enter into this discussion but I have several comments to make.
    Firstly, the “safety” mentioned in Mark’s return comment to Julie on April 18 from Ezkiel 38:8 and 11 has not the meaning of safety as in “shalom” but “safer than before.” This of course could be achieved possibly by being victor in a war or just by virtue of being a more powerful nation than those around her.
    Secondly I want to add my thought of the possibility that the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 as “confirmed” is the same covenant mentioned in Daniel 11 verses 28, 30, 31 and 32; there described as the “holy covenant.” My thought is that the Antichrist hates the holy covenant which God made with Israel through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but he will confirm it (Daniel 9:27) or in other words acknowledge the veracity of it in that Israel is the rightful “owner” of the land but will deceitfully plot to ensnare her later (Daniel 11) by that acknowledgement. This would allow for the temple to be built in his initial cunning dealings with Israel. By the time of Daniel 11 with his hatred of that covenant growing, he will finally try to annihilate Israel as described in Ezekiel 38 Gog-Magog which results in the Messiah’s return to deliver Israel.
    Finally, I like Perry Brown’s comments on Psalm 83. I have not looked at it that way but it sits well with me and I shall look at that with great interest.
    Great discussion to read and contemplate. Thank you.
    Sharon

  13. Phillip

    Hey Mark, and Julie, Perry and Sharon,

    Hope you guys don’t mind me jumping in here, and rather late to boot?

    I’ve been following the thread of comments and I must tell you this is such a very intriguing and interesting discussion Re: Biblical prophecy to say the least, but I have to say too, that what Sharon mentioned in passing about the “confirming” of the covenant did leave me more than a little confused and dismayed.

    Nothing wrong with her comment, for its generally excepted… what I would call speculation… by almost everyone that the He in the passage of Daniel 9: 27 is the Anti-Christ who makes a covenant with Israel. And this is what most commentators say, except the verse doesn’t say the he in question “makes” a covenant, but actually confirms, or strengthens, one. And a covenant which was already in existence prior to its being strengthened.
    Now at the time that Daniel was living and working there were many other words he could just as easily chosen for confirming something like quwm: to agree with an enemy; Mala: to fulfill a given promise; chazag: an agreement made to restrain a more powerful foe, and I’m not sure if others were in use at the time.
    However, the word he used it seems to me is quite peculiar simply because of the sheer force of this word gaw-bar: a very strong word which almost signifies death, or, to prevail, have strength, be strong, be powerful, be mighty, be great, and I nearly always get the sense its actually Yahweh speaking, and the particle, the Piel: to make strong, can only give the sense of agreement (to a covenant) by the Hiphil: to confirm,( a covenant).
    Well, what I’m saying is that it appears from the text this covenant (with Israel) is being confirmed by Yahweh/Yeshua.

    I don’t know how this will affect the interpretation of the rest of Daniel, but there you are.

    Praises

    Phillip

  14. Hi Phillip,
    Good to hear from you. The interpretation of the covenant – who is it with and whether it is confirming or not – in Daniel 9 is irrelevant to the Four Signposts. The Four Signposts will all occur prior to the seventieth week, and prior to any rapture whether it is pre, mid or post Trib.
    And in regards to the covenant I agree generally with what you say, except that we don’t know if the covenant is with Israel – it doesn’t really say. It is something we assume.
    Mark

  15. All,
    Wonderful discussion as we watch God’s plan unfold.

    Phillip, within the last year my understanding of the covenant in Daniel 9 has evolved into something similar to what you present. I see Yeshua confirming a covenant with Israel, the First Covenant which required blood sacrifices. This fits perfectly with the idea of Daniel’s 70th week. Upon the cruxifiction of Yeshua, the old First Covenant became void and was replaced by the New Covenant. Israel’s clock stopped. In the 70th week, Israel begins the temple sacrifices again, and Yeshua confirms his covenant with them. The “sign” I look for to mark the begining of the final “week” is the resumption of sacrifice. The final seven years will most likely begin on Rosh Hashannah with a final “Days of Awe” for a final chance at repentance before the Tribulation. Then upon Yom Kippur the sacrifices begin. At least that is my guess.

    What event other than the resumption of the old First Covenant sacrifical system by Israel could restart Israel’s clock which has been dormant 2000 years?

  16. Shalom,

    I am really late to this discussion, and have found it all very interesting and enlightening. Living in Israel now since ’81, Psalm 83 is obviously of great personal interest as well as prophetic.

    I do believe that this war is yet to come, and will very possibly be that which has the Islamic world and the ‘international community’ conceding to allow Israel to build the ‘holy place’ that Yeshua/Jesus spoke of. As of now, NO one, not even Israel, is afraid enough of the God of Heaven and Earth to allow such a temple and sacrifices ‘to appease an angry God’, who has clearly intervened to put His fear in all, while yet showing Himself the Keeper of Israel.

    You may all like the maps of the historic empires which I came upon some years ago, showing all of them from 640 BC until now, all of which have to do with the Middle East and Israel. The composite map of them all is very intriguing, showing the still unrecognized Kurdistan as the area which has been part of all of these empires: http://biblestudying.net/maps1.html

    We are surely living in troublous times, which intensifies the hope and anticipation for that glorious day to come when the Lord will return in great power and glory!

    Howard
    http://www.streamsinthenegev.com

  17. Howard,
    As part of the greater discussion of the unfolding of the end-times in the body of Christ you are not late at all! You are one of the early ones.
    I really like your point where you wrote,
    “As of now, NO one, not even Israel, is afraid enough of the God of Heaven and Earth to allow such a temple and sacrifices ‘to appease an angry God’, who has clearly intervened to put His fear in all, while yet showing Himself the Keeper of Israel.”
    I hadn’t thought of it that way. I wrote in the post that Israel would feel safe and secure enough to build the Temple but that isn’t the whole story. After a delivery from their enemies as in Psalm 83, they will feel genuinely earnest to worship their God in only the way that they know.
    Thank you for that. And glad to have you here.
    Shalom,
    Mark

  18. Thanks, Mark, and I trust that more believers will begin to look again at the Scriptures, which were written for us living at the end of the age, so that we will better understand the times we are living in, and to know what to do.

    Blessings,
    Howard

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