A Mysterious Alliance

From the June 2003 Trumpet Print Edition

Let’s look at a Psalm that strongly indicates which countries will be allied with the king of the south. This prophecy lists several moderate Arab nations that will ally themselves with Assur (Assyria), or modern-day Germany. Because this will happen after Germany and the European Union conquer the king of the south, we can deduce that these countries will not be destroyed in the “whirlwind” described in Daniel 11:40.

“Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people [Israel], and consulted against thy hidden [or sheltered] ones” (Ps. 83:1-3). God’s “hidden ones” are His own people. In the midst of these warring nations, God protects His people (Rev. 12:14). As with many other biblical prophecies, we see God’s people in the spotlight.

The “enemies” are an Arab alliance that is about to attack the modern descendants of Israel. That is primarily America, Britain and Judah (the little nation called Israel today). Bible prophecy says the end-time nations of Israel are unusually fearful and gullible, like a “silly dove” (Hos. 7:8-12). Their enemies take advantage of their weaknesses to destroy them (Hos. 5:5). God only protects the nations of Israel from grave danger if they are obedient—which they are not in the end time.

This will be a deceitful alliance. “They have said, Come, and let us cut themoff from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Ps. 83:4). Their goal is to utterly destroy Israel—including America and Britain!

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (vv. 5-8). Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom—Turkey; Ishmaelites—Saudi Arabia; Moab—Jordan; Hagarenes—anciently dwelt in the land known as Syria today; Gebal—Lebanon; Ammon—also Jordan.

Iraq and Iran appear to be missing in this Psalm. And clearly, Egypt is not a part of this alliance. Is this because these countries by this point have already been defeated by the king of the north?

There has never been such an alliance to attack or totally destroy Israel in history. Concerning this Psalm, the Anchor Bible reads, “History transmits no record of the national crisis when the nations enumerated in this Psalm formed a league to wipe out Israel ….”

Lange’s Commentary points out, “The 10 nations who are here enumerated as being combined against Israel, are never mentioned elsewhere as enemies allied at the same time and for the purpose of annihilating Israel.” Other commentaries make the same point. This must be an end-time prophecy!

Most of the Arabs were allied with Germany in World War ii. They knew what Hitler was doing to the Jews, and we know the way many Arabs feel toward the Jews. Since America and Britain support the Jews today, it is not difficult to envision the Arabs and Germans allied against them. And this prophecy ties in with other end-time Bible prophecies very well. After all, God does tell us to put various Bible verses together in order to understand prophecy (Isa. 28:13).

Is this Psalm closely related to what Daniel saw in a vision?

“And … the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind …. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:40-41). The area of Jordan (here described as Edom and Moab) will escape.

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (v. 42). Egypt will be conquered by the king of the north—probably because of an alliance with the king of the south. The radical Islamic movement, led by Iran, is very strong in Egypt and Algeria. This religion will probably take control of both countries very soon.

Iran appears to be on the verge of becoming a world superpower—the kind of superpower that will conquer or be conquered!

Daniel’s prophecy could certainly account for Iran, Iraq and Egypt not being in the Psalm 83 alliance.