Was Psalm 83 fulfilled in 1948?
By Bill Salus
September 20, 2015
Note from Pastor Kevin Lea: I agree with Bill completely.
Some people believe that the Psalm 83 prophetic war was fulfilled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli “War of Independence.” This view was recently shared on the September 19, 2015, Understanding the Times radio show hosted by Jan Markell. Jan’s guests on the program were Pastor Jack Hibbs and Amir Tsarfati. You can listen to this show by clicking HERE. (The discussion occurs around the 32 minute mark within the show).
Upon hearing the show one of its listeners contacted me and asked for my thoughts on this subject. Below are my comments to this listener.
The Problems with Psalm 83:1-8 having been fulfilled in 1948
Some have posited the possibility that Ps. 83:1-8 was fulfilled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to prove that Psalm 83:9-18 was accomplished at that time. This view that Psalm 83:1-8 was fulfilled in 1948 is currently held, I believe somewhat loosely, by Bible prophecy expert Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries. He informed me in a friendly face to face conversation in Dallas, Texas, on December, 2014 that this was what he believed. He did not always believe this and I explain why at the end of this article.
As much as I greatly respect my friend Dr. Fruchtenbaum, I disagree with his current interpretation because the main instigator, which is listed in the first primary position in Psalm 83:6, is the “tents of Edom” (Palestinian Refugees). They didn’t technically even become refugees until the aftermath of the 1948 war. The logical question is; since the tents of Edom didn’t exist until after the war of 1948, how could this war be the fulfillment of the prophecy? I explain the connection between the ancient tents of Edom and today’s Palestinian refugees in my Psalm 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed book.
Therefore, only Psalm 83:1-5 could have potentially found fulfillment in 1948, but probably not Psalm 83:6-8, which identifies the tents of Edom along with their Arab cohorts. Since neither Psalm 83:6-8 or Psalm 83:9-18 appears to have found fulfillment in the war of 1948, then the possibility that the prophecy was fulfilled at that time diminishes dramatically.
Also, an important side note is that more countries were involved in 1948 than just the Psalm 83 countries. Volunteers were sent to fight from Yemen, Morocco, Sudan and Pakistan. The fact that more nations than the Psalm 83 countries were involved in the war of 1948 also reduces the possibility that the 1948 war was the fulfillment of the prophecy. The details of the prophecy have to align perfectly and these additional countries are not included in Psalm 83.
Psalm 83 and the Plight of the Palestinian Refugees
It is important to note that the Palestinian refugees (tents of Edom) are listed first among the ten Arab populations, which essentially highlights their refugee plight. The Palestinian plight remains a thorny issue in the Middle East. The Arab populations of Psalm 83, which are identified in the map, refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish state for the primary reason that they still banner the plight of the tents of Edom. If Israel becomes the official Jewish state, the Palestinian refugees will not be able to return into Israel proper. These refugees believe that they rightfully belong in downtown Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and all of the major cities in Israel. This is why they want a Palestinian state and the right to return into Israel proper.
Psalm 83:6 identifies the tents of Edom existing in a habitation condition as refugees, which I believe is a primary clue as to the timing of the prophecy. The prophecy specifies that there has to be Israelis (Ps. 83:3), Israeli Defense Forces (Ps. 83:9-11), Palestinian refugees (Ps. 83:6), a nation of Israel (Ps. 83:4), an Arab confederacy (Ps. 83:6-8), and an Arab hatred of the Jews that drives them to want to eradicate the Jewish state and confiscate the Promised Land (Ps. 83:4, 12). This entire criterion still exists.
The Problems with Psalm 83:9-18 having been fulfilled in 1948
Psalm 83:9-11 contains the petition of Asaph to empower the IDF like was done in Judges Chapters 4-8 with Gideon against the Midianites and Deborah and her general Barak against the Canaanites. The Midianites and Canaanites were soundly defeated, and as Judges 8:28 says, the Midianite oppression of the Israelites was over forever. This was also the case with the Canaanites upon their defeat. I have yet to find any biblical or historical evidence that either the Midianites or the Canaanites ever oppressed the Israelis subsequent to these defeats.
Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years in the days of Gideon. (Judges 8:28, NKJV).
To continue reading this article in its entirety go to: http://www.prophecydepotministries.net/2015/was-psalm-83-fulfilled-in-the-1948/