Is Psalm 83 a Great Tribulation event?

By Bill Salus

The Fructhenbaum / Salus Dialogue

Recently I had the opportunity to interview the highly regarded prophecy expert, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, (pictured here) for Prophecy Update Radio. This important two-part radio interview can be accessed at the bottom of this article.

We talked about several prophetic topics, but of particular interest was our discussion centered upon the timing of Psalm 83. Many of you interested in the Psalm and its timing may find his comments below fascinating.

Knowing that Dr. Fruchtenbaum has a healthy aversion to date setting and newspaper exegesis, I was respectfully careful in our interview not to corner him into pinpointing the exact timing of the fulfillment of the Psalm event. However with that said, I’m very familiar with his general viewpoint regarding the final fulfillment of the prophecy. Arnold and I have bantered back and forth on the event timing on numerous occasions. I believe it is a Pre-Trib event, and Arnold has tended to place the final conclusion of the event into the “Great Tribulation”, which would be the second half of the seven year tribulation period.[i]

Let me give you some background on this friendly decade old timing debate we embarked upon. Please note that his teachings have mentored me throughout most of my Christian walk. I have listened to a majority of his teaching tapes and read his Footsteps of the Messiah and Israelology books with great interest.

Regarding his placement of the Psalm in the Great Tribulation, I first discovered his viewpoint in his Footsteps of the Messiah book, where he clearly places the final fulfillment of the event in the Great Tribulation. At a luncheon together, I seized the opportunity to ask him why he believed this. He opened up his Bible to Obadiah 1:15 and read:

“For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head.” (ASV).

He and I both concur this passage alludes to the timing of the fulfillment of Psalm 83; however, where we differ in opinion is that he believes the passage mandates that the event conclusion occurs in the day of Jehovah, and I read the passage as it occurs when the day of the LORD (Jehovah) draws near. The text says; “For the day of Jehovah is near”, which implies that the day of the LORD will occur subsequent to the fulfillment of Obadiah 1:15. We both believe that the day of Jehovah encompasses at least the second three and one-half years of the Tribulation, and quite possibly the entire seven year period. Therefore, I suggest Psalm 83 occurs when the Tribulation period is relatively soon to happen, but not yet come.

A few friendly face to face meetings later, Arnold suggested that I write a book about the subject, which is now published and is called Isralestine, The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East.[ii] Although he believes we are in “substantial agreement” and Isralestine presents “valid arguments” on the details of the Psalm, he has remained fairly steadfast in his contrasting view of the timing of Psalm 83.

Additionally, since the publishing of Isralestine our interplay has continued on through radio interviews together and volleys of emails back and forth. His general feeling up to the present is that partial fulfillment of Psalm 83 occurred in the wars of 1948 and 1967, however final fulfillment has not yet occurred.

Here is where this article takes an interesting twist. In our most recent radio interview together airing January 15, 2010, Dr. Fruchtenbaum answers several of my semi-pointed questions in a way that suggests he is open to other views of the final timing of Psalm 83. Dr. Fructhenbaum believes the majority of Psalm 83 finds fulfillment before the seven year Tribulation Period occurs, meaning more segments of Psalm 83 may yet occur as Pre-Trib events.

For instance, regarding the destruction of Damascus, he believes that Isaiah 17:1 may be part of Psalm 83 but he is not certain. However, if it is part of Psalm 83 he believes it will be a Pre-Trib event because there is no reference to the Day of the LORD throughout Isaiah 17.

Concerning God’s manner of dealing with the Psalm 83 Arab confederacy, he “definitely” believes, as do I, that the Israeli Defense Forces (I.D.F.) will become divinely empowered to conquer these confederates as per Obadiah 1:18, Ezekiel 25:14, and elsewhere. We both believe that Asaph petitions God for this type of I.D.F. empowerment in Psalm 83:9-11.

Then I asked Arnold a multi-layered question: first, if Israel is dwelling in a condition of peace guaranteed by the false covenant with the Antichrist[iii] in the first half of the tribulation, how could Psalm 83 occur, and second if Israelis are fleeing from the genocidal campaign of the Antichrist in the second half of the Tribulation, likewise, how could Psalm 83 occur? I invite you to hear his specific answers when our timely interview airs on Prophecy Update Radio. For now, his comments can be summarized as follows:

First, the purpose of the false covenant is to guarantee Israel’s military security and, therefore, the I.D.F. will not likely be very active during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation period. Thus when the “Abomination of Desolation”[iv] occurs at the midpoint of the Trib period, the I.D.F. won’t be ready to “tackle it”.

Second, the Jews will be fleeing from the Antichrist rampage during the second three and one-half years of the “Great Tribulation” and thus they won’t likely be stopping in mid-flight to conquer the Psalm 83 confederates.

Therefore, I pointedly asked him, then how can Psalm 83 find final fulfillment during the seven year Tribulation period? He said, “That’s why I believe the majority of Psalm 83 occurs Pre-Trib; before the actual tribulation”.

Wow! So what do you make of that? It sounds like he may be leaning toward a complete fulfillment, or at least a majority fulfillment, of Psalm 83 as a Pre-Trib event. Draw your own conclusions after you hear our exciting Prophecy Update Radio interview in January 15, 2010.

LISTEN NOW TO PART ONE of the Fruchtenbaum / Salus interview.

LISTEN NOW TO PART TWO (this is one of Bill Salus's favorite radio interviews)

Please be patient interview download may take a few minutes.
[i] Footsteps of Messiah Chapter 20, section C, pages 498-499
[ii] Fruchtenbaum invited me to be part of a panel for his filming of his DVD, “Why is God still saving Gentiles” available at http://www.ariel.org/. It was after this filming over refreshments that he suggested that I write Isralestine.
[iii] Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:18,18
[iv] Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, and Mark 13:14


Lisa said...

I am so glad to see Dr. Fruectenbaum is not contradicting your ps. 83 postion and is even leaning toward it. I love his ministry and and been to nurmerous classes taught by him and I would have been quite sad to have had to disagree with him over your position. He had taught me so much over the years. You book and web site have reignited my passion to seach out the hidden gold...it is still there for those who love the Word and search it out. God bless you Bill. ps did you know your names means Protector/defender (william)germ. orgin of Health/wholeness (Sah-lus) latin just thought that was interesting...

Lance said...

This war should be happening very soon then.. 2010 up to Q1/2011 max, right? We're told that Jesus will return within one generation after Israel was born again (in one day), so 1948 + 70 = 2018 - 7 year "tribulation" = May, 2011 max for the 7 year period to begin. Then again, the 7 years most likely won't last 7 years because we're told Jesus has to come back early hence no flesh (humans) be left alive. It might be a quick war, but it's going to be very brutal and destructive, as well.. nukes!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting. One thing I noticed here in Israel is how the Aliyah(returnees) come in waves. A messianic jewish friend pointed out that they have come back in waves to the exact fulfillment of the Valley of Dry Bones Prophecy and only one group is really left (american jews) before God breathes life back into them.... we shall see.


Anonymous said...

Lance... What is the longest protracted War that Israel has participated in??? I think that it will swiftly defeat any of its attackers.

Chuck said...

I am so excited to be living in the times we now find ourselves in. 1 Cor. 5 tells us that IF WE ARE WATCHING then WE WILL KNOW when Jesus is near(paraphrased). The prophetic community is abuzz with all of the signs that we are now witnessing. These signs are becoming more visible and with more frequency just as Jesus said they would...likened to birth pangs. And now we have these prophetic wars that are about to begin. I believe that Psalm 83 will take place before the end of this year. I believe this war will either start with Israel attacking Iranian nuke sites OR by Israel attacking Lebanon. Either scenario would lead to this prophetic war. Syria is a high priority on the IAF target list because they want to once and for all wipe out all Syrian nuke sites and chemical and biological weapons factories and Damascus will be destroyed in the process (this was also recently in the news!) which would fulfill Isaiah 17. After this war is over they will regroup and Russia will lead the large invasion which would then bring fulfillment to Ezek 38 and 39. How much time between Psalm 83 and Ezek 38 is anybody's guess but it's my opinion (which doesn't mean a whole lot) that the rapture will occur either right before or soon after the Psalm 83 war for the same reason that Lance gave in his earlier comment. Keep looking up everybody. We are soon going to hear the trumpet of God and we will be going home!

Rev. Jimmy Martin said...

I agree with you in your book...I believe the big overnight war forces Islam into a false 3 1/2 year peace plan...we shall see...

Bill Salus said...

Lisa, thanks for the blog, I'm glad your passionate again about prophecy.

Lance and others, I also believe Israel will defeat the Psalm 83 confederates in a relatively swift fashion. The I.D.F. doesnt' have the luxury of engaging in a war of attrition.

Jimmy - I believe that Isalm will be greatly diminished but not eliminated by the Ps. 83 and Ez. 38wars. I believe these are both Pre-Trib events. Furthermore, I believe the Antichrist's false covenant has less to do with Islam and more to do with an empowered Israel's right to claim more land and worship freely in their coming third temple.

Robert said...

I agree with Bill's Account of events in Psalm 83, He, to my estamition is 100% right, Psallm 83
is before the tribulation, The wars after Israel became a Nation has nothing to do with Psalm 83, Israel is tired of winning the war , But not the peace.GOD won all those wars. As he will in the future.Defitnely, Ezekiel 38-39 is
in the first half of the Tibulation
while my people are at rest. Thats the way Robert see's things. I am going to listen to Bill all the rest of my days on Prophecy. I am
81 yrs old.

Robert said...

What ever gave anyone the idea it was going to be an overnight war?
The Illuminati says it will be 13 weeks. The Cutting Edge says it will be world war 3, One thing for sure is I don't have all the answers

Robert said...

The Rapture could happen before the psalm 83 war starts, or Right after it ends 13 weeks later. The
Tribulation will start, at the time the Antichrist signes the Covenant. Russia soon attacks, Antichrist claims the victory.
What do you think? Remember the world believes the LIE.

Lavonne said...

What if in Israel war broke out, and North Korea
attacked South Korea and China attacked Taiwan all at the same time? What if then riots looting
rape an murder broke out in all major Cities in 2010 or 2011, There was a book that spoke of this, The Cutting Edge used that book a lot to show what would take place, It was by the Illuminati. I think GOD may use them to rid the Earth of the sinner, Then take care of them himself. We just happen to be living at the timing of this event.

SeanOsborne said...

Bill, Excellent interview and application of exegesis in the questions put before Dr. Fruchtenbaum.

This is the same exegesis that I hold to, and within the sum of its parts I do not believe there is any provision allowing for for any part of the complete fulfillment of Psalm 83 to occur within Daniel's 70th Week. Therefore both Isaiah17/Psalm 83 occur prior to Daniels' 70th Week. I believe the same is true with respect Ezekiel 39:11-16 - these things occur prior to the onset of Daniel's 70th Week and the Antichrist's the "covenant among many."


Be sure to open up to the fulness in the context of Psalm 90:10, as that context literally extends the "yom shahneh" - "the days of our years" - (length or duration of a given generation) if by strength ("gebuwrah")to a full 80 years. These extra 10 years (i.e. 1948 + 80 = 2028) can accomodate both the 7 years of burning in Ezekiel 39:9-10 and well as the fulness of Daniel's 70th week within the context of Jesus statement of fact in Matthew 24:32-25.

Donald Dolmus said...

Congratulations Bill!

I don't forget the headline about the document that appaered in Ireland during the 2006.

Just a personal thought: I believe that this could be the year of the Psalm 83 War.

I've just finished reading the book from Dr. Rhodes and considering his conclusions, I believe that this war is very near.

By the way, if one of your readers may be interested in giving me the two books by Dr. A. F, it would be a great blessing for me.

Chuck said...

Unless I'm mistaken, Matthew 24:16 and Revelation 12:6 are both referring to the same thing...the remnant of Israel that will be saved during the tribulation period. I will quote the verse in Revelation: "The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days." Notice that this place is PREPARED BY GOD. Why are we assuming that as part of God's provisions for these Jews who will have fled, that He didn't include the use of these weapons as their source of heat when they are in hiding? And why are we assuming that as part of God's hand in preparing this place...wherever it is...that He won't be using Jewish believers to store these weapons up ahead of time in this secret place? I think we have it all wrong when we say that the weapons have to be burned for 7 years before the halfway point of the tribulation. We must ask ourselves...WHO (and HOW and WHEN)is God going to use to prepare this secret place ahead of time? All those who wrote the books of the bible were INSPIRED by God as they wrote. Could it be that He might also inspire Jewish believers to be His hands and feet in preparing this hiding place? Might part of these preparations include storing some of these weapons? Might the two witnesses also have a hand in this? I think we have it wrong when we say that they need to start burning weapons 3 1/2 years before the tribulation begins. I think that they are going to burn them the full duration of the tribulation and somehow God will make sure that these weapons are available for them to burn.

mtsaint said...

I agree that certain Israeli neighbors like Jordan and Syria will disappear in the upcoming Israel vs. Arab war (Isaiah 17:1) and will not be involved in the World War Three of Ezekiel 38 and 39, a few years later...However, Iran (Persia) will survive and be a leader of the Islamic nations in World War Three (Ezekiel 38:5) and Saudi Arabia (Dedan) will still be around and protesting the Russian/Islamic invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38:13)...I think that your Psalm 83 is the wrong passage for the next Middle Eastern war, which could turn nuclear (Isaiah 17:1).

RG said...

That was a great interview between you and Dr Fruchtenbaum, Bill. Any idea when part two will be available?

Bill Salus said...

RG - it was a good interview. It was a priviledge to sit with Dr. Fruchtenbaum. Part two will be posted on or around January 22, 2010

Anonymous said...

One of the benefits of the Psalm 83 battle, I believe, is that it will make the mid-Tribulation evacuation of Y'israel possible. After the Psalm 83 battle, much if not all of Jordan will be annexed by Y'israel - Greater Y'israel, as Isralestine puts it. This will enable to remnant to evacuate Jerusalem and Y'israel when the Anti-Christ turns on Y'israel in mid-Tribulation, without having to cross a Jordanian border that would have guards and such, in order to reach Bozrah/Petra.

As for the comment on the timing of Yeshua Hammashiach's return: Matthew 24 speaks of that generation that sees Y'israel brought back as a country will see Yeshau's return. Psalm 90:10 speaks of an average mans life being 70 years, but is also speaks of a strong man's life being 80 years. So since Yeshua didn't say the "average man" of that generation, and you have both average and strong men that make up this generation, you can add 10 years to get your maximum time to look for Yeshua's return, which would extend the possibility of His return to 2028 at the latest, and thus Tribulation latest start would be 2021, not that I am trying to set dates. I don't think it will wait til then. I think the Tribulation which is the 70th week of Daniel, a 7 year period, not 3 1/2 years like many try to say, citing only 3 1/2 years as being Tribulation (the Great Tribulation as some would say.), will begin in the next few years; sooner than rather than later, as the saying goes. So if Tribulation hasn't begun by 2011, don't be alarmed... but by the same token, the prophetic stage is set so that it could very easily work out to begin by then as well!

I also expect the Rapture to happen before Tribulation begins... has to in order for the Anti-Christ to come to power and thus be in a position to offer a peace covnant to Y'israel which begins the Tribulation period.

As for the Eze 38-39 battle and the burning of the weapons requiring 3 1/2 years before Tribulation starts... not so much a given. For by the very nature of the weapons being mobile and thus may be carried with the remnant to Bozrah/Petra hidding places. They will need energy for the 3 1/2 years they are there correct? Of course, YHWH is more than capable of providing heat and energy for the remnant in hidding, but the weapons are to be burned according to Eze. 39 for 7 years so I wouldn't rule out the remnant burning the weapons while in hidding, thus there isn't necessarily a need for a 3 1/2 year period before Tribulation for the Ezekiel 38-39 battle. This is one of the very few points that I somewhat disagree with Dr. Fructenbaum, who tends to believe, if I gather correctly in a 3 1/2 year before Tribulation, Eze. 38-39 event.

Blessings To all!

Maranatha! Mark

Anonymous said...

Oh I almost forgot... I believe that the Ezekiel 38-39 battle is AFTER the Rapture and before Tribulation. The reason I believe it is after the Rapture is simple, the Church is designed to operate by Faith alone, and when YHWH destroys the Gog/Magog armies, there will be no doubt as to who has done this according to Ezekiel, so Faith would be replaced by physical demonstration/proof, which means, I believe, that the Church has been removed by then. The Psalm 83 battle offers no concrete proof of YHWH's hand in the matter, though we know He will have gone before His people's military and delivered their enemies into their hands.

In Old Testament when the Father dealt with Y'israel, He provide many such large scale physical acts to demonstrate His presence and power to Y'israel, thus when He makes His presence undeniably known at Ezekiel 38-39, He will again have only Y'israel and the Unbelieving world to demonstrate His power and existance too. The Church needs no such demonstration, as we have faith in the Holy Trinity's existance, and what does Faith mean - belief in something without physical or demonstrative proof of it existance, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, that's why I belief Eze. 38-39 is a post Rapture event, but that Psalm 83 could be a pre-Rapture event.

Blessings to all!

Maranatha! Mark

Anonymous said...

First: in rev 4 and 5 is the catching up of the present church age,scene before God's throne, identification of the 24 elders, Jesus' receiving the book with 7 seals. Now,the seven years of Tribulation also called Daniel's 70th Week or Jacob's trouble starts.
[{Notice,that i said, we the church is remove by Jesus himself}].
Second: in rev 6: Jesus opening of the first 6 seals. 1.White horse-Antichrist. 2.Red horse-World War 3. 3.Black horse-famine. 4.Pale horse-death (accompanied by hell). 5.Martyred saints. 6. the upheaval nature until the end of tribulation.
Third: in rev 7: Two groups revealed. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists who begin ministry early in Tribulation's first year. and the great Multitude caught up to God's throne.
Now, Mid-tribulation.
1. Antichrist breaks agreement with Israel.(Dan.9:24-27.)
2.Tribulation saints(Jews and Gentiles)caught up and escape wrath of Antichrist.(rev.7:9-17.)
3. Upheaval of nature.(rev.8:5.)
4.Antichrist moves against Israel;remnant of Israel hidden away.(Dan.(;rev.12:13-17.)
5.Antichrist destroys the religious system(world church harlot).(rev.17:16-18.)
6.Antichrist declares himself God.(2 Thess.2:3,4.)
7. False Prophet introduces mark of the Beast and attempts to control commerce.(rev 13:16-18.)
8. False Prophet introduces idolatry-worship of the image.(rev.13:14,15.)
9.Two Witnesses begin ministry.(rev.11.)
10.Angelic ministry begins.(rev.14:6-9.)
11. Plagues begin.(rev.8,9.)
Now,the last half of the 3 1/2 years.
in chapter rev 8,9,10 is the 7 seal:ushers in 7 trumpet judgments.
first-fourth:Plagues used intermittently throughout 31/2 years. fifth: first woe-demon locusts, no death, five-month duration.(rev 9.)6: second woe-eastern army destroyed at Armageddon.(rev 9.)7; third woe-reserved until end of tribulation.(rev 11.).2 witnesses.(rev 11.)Israel escapes to wilderness.(rev.12). Mark of the beast.(rev.13.)Angelic ministry.(rev.8:13;14:6-20.)
in rev 14:-is 144,000 finish ministry and appear with Christ. No further reference in facts of this truth. than in rev 15,16:-last 7 plagues,approximately 30 days.and insight to Armageddon.(rev.14:14-20; 16:16; 19:11-21; Zechariah.14.) Now this is the end of the 7 years of tribulation(also called Daniel's 70th week or Jacob's trouble).

Martin said...

Dear brethren
I want to know: We all understand that the Antichrist will come out of the ten kingdoms/toes/horns. He is the 11th horn and will not appear on the world scene in any dramatic way until the formation of these kingdoms. If the rapture would take place in 2011 - 2012, it would mean that we will have to see the signs of such a formation at the moment. It is not there, unless it is hidden in some way. I also doubt that, because such a revised Roman Empire will have serious repercussions all over the world and we will know it. Although I believe in the pre-trib and underline Bill’s view of Ps 83 as well as Esek. 38-39, I doubt it that we will experience the rapture in the next few years. We will have to wait for the formation of these kingdoms of which three will certainly be Egypt, Greece and Turkey. I also believe that Ezekiel’s war, after Ps 83, would lead to the formation of the 10 confederated states. I doubt that there is time for this formation, as well as the necessary influence Antichrist needs to subject three of these kingdoms and become king of them all. If the rapture would take place now, we will also have to explain where in scripture is there a time-lapse between the rapture and the beginning of the 70th week. My conclusion is of course that the rapture is in the distant future and is not imminent. I hope I am wrong. I would like to get scripture and not ideas.
Martin Gunther (South Africa)

Anonymous said...

I believe the 'Ten Horns Prophecy' of Daniel 7:23-24 and Revelation 17:12-13 alluded to in a previous comment points to the formation of ten regional blocs rather than nation-states; for example, we have observed the reformation of the Soviet Union into the Russian Union aka the CIS in 1991, the creation of the European Union (EU) in 1994 and the fairly recent creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002.

Here's a list of the projected regional governments gathered from mainstream newspaper articles between 2002 to 2006:

1) Russian Union (CIS) 1991
2) European Union (EU) 1994
3) African Union (AU) 2002
4) Mediterranean Union 2015-20?
5) South Asian Union 2015-20?
6) East Asian Union 2015-20?
7) North American Union 2015-20?
8) South American Union 2015-20?
9) Central Asian Union 2015-20?
10) Pacific Union 2015-20?

Recently, even pop prophecy lecturer Jack Van Impe changed his tune on this matter having switched from Hal Lindsey's ten EU nation-states = ten horns view to global regional blocs viewpoint. The scriptures state concretely that these ten horns/ten regional blocs will encompass the entire world.

Yours in Y'shua,
R. Wiesinger

Bill Salus said...

R. Wiesinger - I concur with your thinking about the 10 Kings prophecies. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum interprets the prophecies similar to you as well as per chapter 4 in his Footsteps of the Messiah book. Your list of providential blocs is possible.


Anonymous said...

Bill Salus,

Sir, thank you for your response. There's one more interesting point I wish to offer.

In Revelation 11:1-2, we are told that John was instructed to measure the Holy Temple but to bypass the court outside the Temple, for it was given to the gentiles.

Now recently from Ynet News, an Israeli online news source, has reported that a prominent rabbi -I believe his name is Weiss- had reassured the Palestinian Authority and the Waqf Islamic religious authority that his Jewish temple mount organization was not interested in the southern end of the mount and thus did not have any plans to dispossess the Muslims' of their Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine.

Without being too dogmatic, it appears that this prophecy points to the rebuilding of the third Jewish Temple, the tribulation temple, possibly on the northern end with the 'Court of the Gentiles', containing the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine, remaining under Muslim control until, of course, the return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This development, along with the concurrent plans to construct seven more regional blocs for a total of ten, is utterly fascinating to say the least.

So many events now seem to be dovetailing quite nicely for the preparations of biblical eschatological scenarios. The precision of these and other developments truly makes one step back to reflect.

God bless,
Rorri Wiesinger