Is ISIS in Psalm 83
By Bill Salus
A 3000 year old prophecy written in the book of Psalms appears to be alarmingly close to finding its final fulfillment. Psalm 83 identifies a 10-member coalition comprised of the Arab territories that mostly share common borders with Israel. Psalm 83:4 informs that this formidable alliance wants to destroy the Jewish state and banish the name of Israel once and for all. Psalm 83:6-8 provides the Old Testament identity of these belligerents, which could also include notable terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and more.
ISIS is the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. “ISIS” is also known as “IS,” which simply means the Islamic State and “ISIL,” which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The term ISIL, was adopted by the group after making sweeping territorial gains in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. The subsequent name change implied that the organization would seek further regional advances.
The Levant is a term that generally identifies the greater Middle East region, which includes Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and parts of the Sinai, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Coincidentally, all of these territories appear to be involved in the prophecy of Psalm 83. A simple Google search comparing ISIS to ISIL evidences that ISIS is clearly the more popularized name between the two.
Some prophecy pundits are beginning to connect the dots between Psalm 83:8, which alludes to the ancient territory of Assyria, and ISIS. Listed below and explained afterward, are several reasons that this connection might be justified.
• The Ancient Territory of Assyria: The swaths of territory now in the possession of ISIS, closely resembles the lands controlled by Assyria at the time that the Psalm was authored.
• The Dominant Role of Assyria in Psalm 83: Assyria appears to play a dominant role within the Psalm 83 confederacy.
• The Assyrian-Jordanian Connection: The Psalm makes a definite connection between Assyria and Jordan, which is possibly the next country that ISIS will seek to invade.
• The True Jordanian Descendants: The current ruling Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has not directly descended from the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites. These three peoples are the true indigenous ancestors of the Jordanians today. Therefore, Jordan’s current regime may be ousted prior to the fulfillment of Psalm 83.
Before explaining the potential prophetic implications of the list above, it is important to note that ISIS could fade off of the world scene as suddenly as it emerged. The summer of 2014, caught the world by surprise, as this relatively unknown terrorist organization called ISIS quickly rose to prominence in the Middle East. However, ISIS could wind up being like the Muslim Brotherhood or the Hamas, which in times past have dominated the news, but now can scarcely command a back page news story.
EXPLORING THE ISIS and PSALM 83 CONNECTIONS
The Ancient Territory of Assyria
Probably the most interesting possible connection between ISIS of today, and Psalm 83 of yesterday, is the ancient territory of Assyria. When Psalm 83 was penned about 1000 B.C., Assyria mainly encompassed Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. Although the Assyrian Empire expanded significantly a few centuries later when it conquered Damascus in 732 B.C. and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C., at the time that the Psalm was issued Assyria looked much like what ISIS presently possesses.
The Dominant Role of Assyria in Psalm 83
Within the Arab confederacy of Psalm 83, Assyria appears to play a most prominent role. Psalm 83:8 specifically says that Assyria joins with and helps Jordan in the Psalm 83 conflict. Presently, the Jordanian army represents one of the weakest members within the Psalm 83 confederacy. The Jordanian Armed Forces exist in a defensive capacity, and their primary goal is to maintain the supremacy over Jordan of the ruling Hashemite kingdom.
Below is a comparison of the army rankings of the other probable countries involved in Psalm 83. (i) This comparison doesn’t take into consideration that Hezbollah in Lebanon has about 100,000 missiles that are not included in Lebanon’s ranking. Nor, does it factor in the fighting power of ISIS in Syria’s or Iraq’s rankings. With the inclusion of these facts, the argument can be made that Jordan’s army will desperately need Assyria (perhaps ISIS) as an ally in this concluding Arab-Israeli war.
1. Egypt #13
2. Saudi Arabia #25
3. Syria #26
4. Jordan #67
5. Iraq #68
6. Lebanon #83
The Assyrian-Jordanian Connection
The point was made above that Assyria plays a dual role in Psalm 83. They fight against Israel alongside their Arab cohorts, but they also appear to closely align themselves with Jordan in the epic battle. The verse below says that Assyria joins with and helps the children of Lot, which represents Jordan. The children of Lot were Ammon and Moab. Today, Ammon represents Northern Jordan and Moab is associated with Central Jordan.
Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah (Psalm 83:8)
The Hebrew word for “joined” is “lavah,” and it can be translated as allied, or to stand with. In correlation, the Hebrew word for “helped” is “zeroa,” and it can mean a strong shoulder of support or armed forces. (ii) What Psalm 83 appears to be describing is Assyria becoming a strong ally of Jordan’s in the Psalm. They apparently not only align themselves with Jordan, but they somehow strengthen Jordanian forces in the fight.
This verse can be used to soundly debate those that teach that Psalm 83 is merely a prayer of lament on behalf of Israel against its historic enemies. Even though 2 Chronicles 29:30 clearly states that Asaph, the author of Psalm 83, is a prophet, some Psalm 83 naysayers refuse to treat this Psalm as a prophecy. To the contrary, Psalm 83:8 clearly specifies that Assyria proactively enjoins with Jordan in this confederate effort. At no time in Israel’s history did this ever occur until Israel was rebirthed as a nation in 1948. In 1948, 1967, and 1973 Syria and Jordan were involved in wars alongside with other Arab countries to fight against Israel.
The True Jordanian Descendants
It is important to note that the current ruling regime in Jordan is of the Hashemite kingdom. The Hashemites are descendants of Ishmael, and not from Lot’s children, Ammon and Moab. This means that the Hashemites are, at best, distant cousins to the Ammonites and Moabites, and as such, they don’t necessarily have any ancestral territorial claims to the modern day country of Jordan. Ishmael is thought to have generally settled in the land, which best represents Saudi Arabia today.
Although the Ishmaelites are also listed among the Psalm 83 members, Assyria does not join with and help them according to the prophecy. This might imply that King Abdullah II, the current Hashemite ruler of Jordan, may be deposed. Arab leaders being deposed or assassinated has become fairly commonplace since the inception of the Arab Spring in January of 2011. Gone are Mubarak of Egypt, Gaddafi of Libya, and Saleh of Yemen, just to name a few.
Presently, the true children of Lot appear to be integrated within the Palestinians. The Palestinians are a conglomeration of predominately Arab peoples, but Ammonite and Moabite descendants are among them. Approximately 60% of Jordan’s population is comprised of Palestinians and many of them are not supportive of the ruling Hashemite minority. In fact, some of them are pro-ISIS, because as Sunni Muslims they empathize with the plan of ISIS to establish a Sunni led Islamic Caliphate in the Levant.
Importantly, King Abdullah II is very troubled by ISIS. He believes that ISIS is a global terror threat and that Jordan could be the next country to be invaded by ISIS. The burgeoning terrorist organization has Jordan surrounded by Syria to the North and Iraq to the East. Jordan has received about 1.4 million refugees from the Syrian revolution and the ISIS crisis in Iraq. Some of these refugees are being recruited by ISIS.
It’s possible that the next military campaign of ISIS will be to invade Jordan. If they are successful they could possibly become aligned with the children of Lot as a dominant shoulder of strength in Psalm 83. Additionally, if they conquer Jordan they could technically take over defacto control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Presently, the Waqf of Jordan maintains control of this holy site.
Is it conceivable that ISIS may someday takeover Jordan and subsequently target Jerusalem, which is the third holiest site in Islam? Zechariah 12:2 informs of a future time when the surrounding peoples will lay siege on Jerusalem. I believe this verse could be addressing the surrounding Arab confederacy of Psalm 83. Fortunately for Israel,Zechariah 12:6 predicts that the Israel Defense Forces will foil this attack.
According to Jeremiah 49:1-6, the country of Jordan will fight in a future war. However, the war that Jeremiah predicts is not waged between ISIS and Jordan, but appears to be fought between Jordan and Israel. We gather this from Jeremiah 49:2, which says:
Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will cause to be heard an alarm of war In Rabbah(Amman) of the Ammonites; It shall be a desolate mound, And her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance,” says the LORD.
As a result of this war, Israel takes possession of his inheritance, which is the land within Jordan that promised to the Hebrew patriarch Abraham in Genesis15:18. This land rests between the Nile and Euphrates Rivers. The country of Jordan exists within these boundaries. This takeover should include the mountainous territory of Petra, in Southern Jordan, because Petra is where the Bible says the Messiah returns to rescue and redeem the faithful remnant of the Jews from the genocidal attempt of the Antichrist. Zechariah 13:8-9 and Isaiah 63:1-5 provide the details about this end time’s episode.
Major events have been predicted concerning Jordan and Israel, and ISIS may be the catalyst that kicks things off.
Just saying…stay tuned…
(ii) Hebrew word translations taken from New American Standard Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.