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Psalm 83 - Is it a prophecy?


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#1    and then

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 04:49 AM

The psalmist/ seer Asaph raised his voice to God to strike the enemies of God.  He identified these people groups as Israel's modern neighbors on all of her borders.  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and  Saudi Arabia came against Israel in one way or another in 1967 and Israel's army and air force set them to flight - a great victory.  They also enlarged the territory of Israel greatly.  Many Christian eschatology teachers today are saying this is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled.  Thoughts?
BTW - for those who deny the existence of God - gotcha - don't need to hear it again.  This was placed in THIS forum for a discussion - not an argument of skeptics please.  Thank you :)

http://www.biblegate...83&version=NKJV

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#2    Realm

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:01 AM

Yes.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.


#3    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:16 AM

View Postand then, on 20 November 2013 - 04:49 AM, said:

BTW - for those who deny the existence of God - gotcha - don't need to hear it again.  This was placed in THIS forum for a discussion - not an argument of skeptics please.  Thank you :)
In other words you don't want anyone to post things you don't like.


#4    Realm

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:39 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 November 2013 - 09:16 AM, said:

In other words you don't want anyone to post things you don't like.

I think what he really means is, this is the Spirituality Religion and belief area it is posted in,
and not the Spirituality VS Skeptics area. There seems to be no difference to the skeptics.


#5    Paranoid Android

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:46 PM

As a general rule, topics in this section are raised with the preconception that the premise is true, or at the very least that the details of the premise are true but may perhaps be interpreted differently. Thus addressing a premise with "the details may indicate that person x actually did action y" is a reasonable post. Addressing the premise with "God doesn't exist so the entire point is moot" is not.

This section was created several years ago, in large part because only one area to discuss spirituality led to every single thread ultimately turning into "God doesn't exist/yes he does/no he doesn't/ad nauseum". By removing the sceptical side, actual discussion of a concept was hoped. If the end result was "the premise makes too much from supposition" then it's a far sight better than "I don't care about the premise, God/s does/doesn't exist so further discussion is useless.

Unfortunately it isn't always successful, and even moderators can't be called blameless (I know I've lead with my heart rather than head before). Due to the nature of spirituality some leeway is allowed, but ultimately this section is not expected to include "God doesn't exist/God is a sociopath/etc, so what some deluded fool wrote in a Psalm millennia ago is irrelevant". The Psalm is taken as true, call it a hypothetical in a logic debate where non-provable facts are taken as true regardless of what the person believes about them. Thus in this case it is most correct to argue this point within the confines of the system - yes it is a prophecy beside of textual evidence x, no it is not because of textual evidence y". No it is not because God doesn't exist" is unproductive and runs counter to the purpose of this section. It's akin to saying "why did radical Islam fly planes into the Twin Towers", and someone replying "it was an inside job orchestrated by the American government". It derails any chance at actually discussing why someone did something (assuming it wasn't an inside job) and becomes entirely about whether the event was valid.

As noted, none are perfect and this section does occasionally field ideas more suited  to the "vs scepticism" side, but this is the intention. It's not about posts/opinions we like or don't like.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 20 November 2013 - 02:54 PM.

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#6    and then

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:48 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 20 November 2013 - 09:16 AM, said:

In other words you don't want anyone to post things you don't like.
Not at all Frank.  Think of it this way - you are at a social gathering and a few acquaintances begin discussing some topic of mutual interest and someone who is really not interested in the topic and who perhaps dislikes one of the discussion members, begins questioning and denying every aspect of the subject matter.  It would be rude, no?  Now if the same group WERE discussing the probability or improbability of a topic's reality or truth, that person would be welcomed.  That's all.

  Imagination is the power in the turn of a phrase.

#7    Ogbin

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 03:19 AM

And Then,

Have you read the history of what happend to the Midianites, Sisera, Jabin at the brook of Kison? Oreb and Zeeb, Zeba and Zalmunna? Verses 9,11
I don't think the war of 1967 accomplished verses 15-18.

Maybe Isaiah 17 happens during the war of Psalm 83, which triggers the eventual war of Ezekiel 38&39.

Edited by Ogbin, 21 November 2013 - 03:20 AM.


#8    Frank Merton

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 03:48 AM

As I see it there are four possible ways to have a true prophesy.  One is that one as foreknowledge through some special gift.  Second is that one is smart enough to make good predictions out of one's understanding of human nature and so on.  Third is one causes the fulfillment oneself.  Finally one is lucky to have gotten it right.

Then there are false prophesies that are reinterpreted in clever ways to claim they came true.  This is what I think is the case with the Psalm in question, it is not a prophesy but a description of the situation then (all through history all nations have almost always been surrounded by enemies, or at least competitors).  Any prophetic element was wishful thinking about the immediate future.

The idea that it might be possible to actually see what the future holds, even in small detail, plays havoc with our notions of causality and free will.  That God doesn't actually see events but instead arranges them is less problematic.

The idea that the OP can construct the details of the themes so as to preclude open discussion of the initial premises seems to me a good way to guarantee a boring and tendentious discussion.  They will end up being discussions of whether or not a given post is complying or not.


#9    and then

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:56 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 21 November 2013 - 03:48 AM, said:

As I see it there are four possible ways to have a true prophesy.  One is that one as foreknowledge through some special gift.  Second is that one is smart enough to make good predictions out of one's understanding of human nature and so on.  Third is one causes the fulfillment oneself.  Finally one is lucky to have gotten it right.

Then there are false prophesies that are reinterpreted in clever ways to claim they came true.  This is what I think is the case with the Psalm in question, it is not a prophesy but a description of the situation then (all through history all nations have almost always been surrounded by enemies, or at least competitors).  Any prophetic element was wishful thinking about the immediate future.

The idea that it might be possible to actually see what the future holds, even in small detail, plays havoc with our notions of causality and free will.  That God doesn't actually see events but instead arranges them is less problematic.

The idea that the OP can construct the details of the themes so as to preclude open discussion of the initial premises seems to me a good way to guarantee a boring and tendentious discussion.  They will end up being discussions of whether or not a given post is complying or not.
Constructive input is not ignored, it is welcomed.  But the truth is that many here would simply take the low road on this and disrupt the thread.  As a person of faith in the bible and one who accepts scripture as God inspired I actually believe in prophecy as a reality in and of itself.  It need not adhere to rules of logic or causality.  The fact that many simply can not or will not accept this premise is understandable.  I think that not all people are called to faith at the same time.  
This man who wrote these admonitions lived at the same time as David and was known as a "seer".  At the time he wrote Israel was not beset by such foes, in fact I believe they were preeminent in the region.  The expression he uses about ""Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel's name is remembered no more."  could be pulled from a modern news cast. 2600 years later and the words apply perfectly.  IF the Psalm is a prediction of a future event (as I believe) then we will see a confederation of Israel's immediate neighbors attack with the goal of ending even the memory of the Jewish state.  That would surprise no one in 2013.  What might surprise them is Israel putting an end to the warlike ambitions of those groups once and for all time.  If that were to happen I believe some people would see it as proof of God's word being true.  Sadly though, for most who refuse to believe it would simply be another excuse to rail against the Jews of Israel.  There is another prophecy about nations coming against Israel but these nations are different and come for a different reason.  That one ends badly for them as well.  I believe Israel is a sign post to mankind in general.  God uses them to proclaim his power to the nations.  If the Psalm is prophecy i think it could happen nearly any time now.  And it was clearly written of 2600 years ago.

  Imagination is the power in the turn of a phrase.

#10    Frank Merton

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:05 AM

An attack on Israel would be an attack on Israel.  Whether or not it fulfilled a prophesy would be pretty much impossible to say, no matter what parallels one might be able to tease out of the text.  There have been many attacks on Israel.

I don't see it happening.  Egypt and Jordan and Turkey and the Arab monarchies would not want such a thing, Syria and Lebanon and Palestine are incapable of anything more than bee stings, and Iran makes lots of noise but is too far off to act on the ground.  A nuclear Iran is something that clearly must be prevented, but that sort of thing doesn't seem envisioned in the Psalm.


#11    ambelamba

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:05 AM

The problem is that a prophecy is, even if it's real, never a controlled vision.

It can be a glimpse to a random event in the future, or even past. If it ever exists, it's more likely to be a result of glitches in space-time fabric. In that perspective, Book of Revelations can be deduced into a collection of completely unrelated visions, both future and past.

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#12    Copen

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:04 PM

When Jesus said, "Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."
Jesus was saying the Old Testament was foreshadows of Himself. A foreshadow happens when a light shines from behind an object causing a shadow to be cast forward. Just as a shadow is not an exact image of the object, the stories are not exactly like it happened when Jesus did come. But there is enough similarity as to recognize Him. So foreshadows are prophecies.

Example: Father Abraham went to sacrifice his son, Isaac, whom he loved. God stopped Abraham before he actually did it. But the event gave us a foreshadow in the Old Testament that someday the Father in Heaven would sacrifice His son, Jesus, whom He loved in order to fulfill God's requirement that if you have ever sinned (and there is no one who hasn't except Jesus), then you must die. When God looked down and saw shed blood He turned away His wrath.

These foreshadows began with Adam. Romans 5: 14 says Adam is a figure (foreshadow) of Him (Jesus) that was to come. Example: Adam had no earthly father. Jesus had no earthly father.  Adam was put into a sleep (symbol in Bible for death) and received his bride from a wound in his side. When Jesus died and was taken down off the cross, the soldier put a gash in His side. The Bride of Christ was created from that death and wound.

So it is that Psalms 83 has bits and pieces that seem to be foreshadows and prophecies of not Jesus but of Israel. For Hebrews 6:18 says, "By two immutable things, in which is was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation..."  God gives us everything twice in the Bible to prove that He can and will do what He says He will do and what He says will happen.

Which brings up a question that I would like to see discussed. Is suffering Job a picture of what the Bride of Christ will someday go through? If not, what is it a foreshadow of?
God bless


#13    thyra

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:24 PM

you need to clarifiy who or what is israel first. Just because a country has the name of israel doesnt mean israel is there.
Isaiah 11:12 NIRV
New International Reader's Version

He will lift up a banner. It will show the nations that he is gathering the people of Israel. He'll bring back those who had been taken away as prisoners. He'll gather together the scattered people of Judah. He'll bring them back from all four directions.


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#14    Almagest

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:30 PM

For the sake of playing devils advocate, I'd argue that verses 9-18 were mostly unfulfilled. After all it calls for God to do the defeating of Israel's enemies, when in the war of 1967 it was the superiority of their military that did it. They did have some fortune, however, that I'm sure the religiously inclined would describe as being divine intervention. I remember reading about the Egyptian's push towards Israel that caught the Israeli's completely off guard, so much so that the Egyptians pushed deep into Israeli territory without resistance. When the Israeli's figured out what had happened, they realized that they had an Egyptian army within their borders, cut off from supply lines, and an easy target for encirclement, which they promptly did.

“Let us take for ourselves
The pastures of God for a possession.”

That section there could be interpreted as the taking of Sinai and the Golan Heights. But beyond that I see only tenuous links. Such is the way of prophets it seems.

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#15    GoSC

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:10 PM

View Postand then, on 20 November 2013 - 04:49 AM, said:

The psalmist/ seer Asaph raised his voice to God to strike the enemies of God.  He identified these people groups as Israel's modern neighbors on all of her borders.  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and  Saudi Arabia came against Israel in one way or another in 1967 and Israel's army and air force set them to flight - a great victory.  They also enlarged the territory of Israel greatly.  Many Christian eschatology teachers today are saying this is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled.  Thoughts?
BTW - for those who deny the existence of God - gotcha - don't need to hear it again.  This was placed in THIS forum for a discussion - not an argument of skeptics please.  Thank you :)

http://www.biblegate...83&version=NKJV

You Christian Zionists?

The Israelis had superior intelligence and had pre-emptively annihilated the Arab air forces.

Straight from the desk of the CIA:

Here is a declassified assessment by the CIA:

Posted Image

A preemptive strike against the Arabs had always been a major part of the Israeli concept of operations, but it was their military intelligence, under the command of the bright and aggressive Aharon Yariv, that proved decisive.

‘Know your enemy’ was not, Yariv told his heads of departments, merely a figure of speech; it had to be taken literally. It was not enough to know Arab strategy on the grand scale; Yariv wanted to know everything about every Arab unit down to the menus served in the sergeants’ mess.[32]

And, quite literally, Israeli intelligence had a clearer picture of the Egyptian order of battle and capabilities than did Egypt’s own commanders.

https://www.cia.gov/...gence_War_2.htm



Basically, Israel since 1948 has been a local superpower in the Middle East.

Church raptured? Ephesians 3:9-11,21
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.




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