When do you think the war in Psalm 83, prophetically, will take place?

Email Received:

I would like to know your opinion on the war described in Psalm 83. It appears to be distinct from the Gog/Magog war with different players involved. From what I can tell, it involves Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and possibly Iraq. I have thought perhaps this war occurs before the final seven years and possibly leads to the peace treaty brokered by the Antichrist. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Ted's Response:

I would say that Psalm 83 is parallel to Ezekiel 25 & 26, where it describes in greater detail the ultimate destruction of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, and Tyre. There are a few reasons why I do not think that this will take place prior to the final seven years or 70th Week:

  1. Daniel 11:41 seems to be referring to an invasion by the Antichrist. It says that although many countries will fall, Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. Therefore, I would think they would have to be around during some or all of the final 3Ĺ years when that particular invasion, presumably, will take place.

  2. On the day of their destruction, they will know that the true God is the Lord (Ezekiel 25:5,7,11,17) and the Most High over all the earth (Psalm 83:18). I believe that Gog and all his followers will not acknowledge that the God of Israel is the Lord until they actually see Him, which will be on the very day He returns to earth (Ezekiel 38:21-23, 39:6ósee my commentary, The Final Battles). Likewise, on that same day, I feel the same will be true of those in the Islamic regions of Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. These and other enemies of Israel also will be conspiring to destroy Israel (Psalm 83:2-7), and they need not necessarily be in alliance with Gog for their destruction to take place, concurrently, with that of Gog and his hordes.

  3. On the day Jesus returns to earth to rule and reign, destroys all the nations attacking Jerusalem, and stands on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 12:9, 14:3,4), those in Judah will take part in the slaughter and plunder of the nations around them (12:6, 14:14). It seems logical that this will be when the people of Israel will deal with Edom in accordance with God's anger, vengeance, and wrath (Ezekiel 25:14).

  4. When a prophetic passage talks about God's vengeance, as Ezekiel 25:17 does, I think about His "day of vengeance" (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4), during which I believe His final judgment will take place. In fact, Isaiah 34:5-11 talks about the utter destruction of Edom and Bozrah during the day of vengeance, and 34:10 seems to indicate that Edom never again will be fit for human habitation. On the day Jesus returns to earth, it appears that this massive destruction will begin in Edom and Bozrah (Isaiah 63:1-6). I feel that the "day of vengeance" most likely will last about a year (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4) and will end with Jesus' descent to earth.

  5. Many feel that when people in Judea flee to a mountain-desert area at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:16; Revelation 12:6), it will be to a location in western Jordan, perhaps Petra. There they will be protected for 1,260 days or 3Ĺ years (Revelation 12:6,14). Petra is in the region of Edom, which will be delivered from the hand of the Antichrist (Daniel 11:41). Had Edom been utterly destroyed and uninhabited by humans prior to that time, it would seem unlikely that anyone could flee there.

There are some who think that Israel will attack Iran to neutralize its nuclear capabilities, resulting in an attack on Israel by its neighbors, and this will be the war of Psalm 83. It is conceivable that Israel could attack Iran and that this could initiate a subsequent attack on Israel by nations around it. However, for the reasons above, I would not equate the latter with Psalm 83 unless it were to take place at, or just prior to, the return of Jesus back to earth, just before the onset of the Millennium.

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