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A Biblical Prophecy of an Arab Confederation

Psalm 83 contains an intriguing prophecy of many Middle Eastern nations that appears to be as yet unfulfilled and to possibly tie in with end-time events. If so, it foretells a confederation of Arab nations that are determined to eliminate Israel. "They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more: For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot" (verses 3-8).

These biblical names are significant when we understand the areas and peoples to which this prophecy refers. Edom includes the Palestinians and some of the Turks. The Ishmaelites, descendants of Ishmael, are many of the Arab peoples throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Moab is the area of central Jordan. The Hagrites appear to be other descendants of Hagar, mother of Ishmael.

Gebal, meaning "mountain" or "boundary," is commonly equated with the Phoenician city of Byblos, modem Jubayl in Lebanon. Ammon refers to northern Jordan around Amman, the capital (which gets its name from Ammon). Amalek appears to refer to a branch of Edomite Palestinians. Philistia is the area around what is today known as the Gaza Strip. Anciently Tyre was a major clty-state in southern Lebanon along the Mediterranean coast. Assyria ethnically appears to refer to inhabitants of Central Europe who migrated there many centuries ago, while geographically Assyria is in what is today northern Iraq. The children of Lot refers to Moab and Ammon-again, regions of modern-day Jordan.

Arab unity has long been elusive, but slowly a common purpose is bringing the different peoples of the Arab world together. This common purpose is the desire to destroy the nation of Israel and its chief backer, the United States of America, along with the West's liberal culture, long perceived as a threat to the Muslim way of life.

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