The Prophetic Significance of the Hamas/Israel War

On October 7, 2023, Hamas literally broke a ceasefire that had been in effect since 2005, when they sent terrorists across to Israel and murdered 1,200 innocent civilians and took over 240 hostages (several of them also murdered since that initial date.) On October 7, Hamas had declared war on Israel. Within a few hours, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declared: “We didn’t start this war, but we will finish it!”

The war is ongoing, and many Bible students are wondering if it has any prophetic significance. Is it connected to any Bible events that are predicted for the future? Is it the war of Psalm 83? Is it the war of Gog and Magog? Is it the beginning of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, also known as the Tribulation? Maybe it is also connected to the events described in Zechariah 12. Let’s look at all four possibilities.

Is It the War of Psalm 83?

Psalm 83 was written by Asaph and is a clear example of the hatred that the enemies of Israel have for the Jewish land. Verse 4 literally reads like a news headline: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.’

Further down into the Psalm, we are given a list of the ten nations that are “conspiring” against Israel. Incidentally, they also conspire against the God of Israel according to verse 5: “For they have conspired together with one heart; Against You they cut a covenant.” So, keep in mind that you cannot hate the Jews and love God.

The ten nations are found in verses 6-8, “The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them.

In modern times, these ten nations are divided as follows: Jordan (Edom, Moab, Ammon), Saudi Arabia (Ishmaelites), Egypt (Hagarenes, Amalek), Lebanon (Gebal, Tyre), The Gaza Strip (Philistia), Iraq and Syria (Assyria.)

Two of these countries, Egypt and Jordan, have official peace treaties with Israel and are currently not a threat to the safety of the Jewish people. Additionally, there has never been a conspiracy of all ten countries in the history of mankind.

Another way to look at Asaph’s lament is to see it as a literary device he used to express to his God that everywhere he looks, the Jews have enemies. It is akin to someone saying, “The whole world is against me” when many negative things simultaneously happen to that person. It is very likely that the war of Psalm 83 isn’t really a war to start with.

Is It the War of God and Magog?

The war of Gog and Magog is also a very debated topic among Bible students. Ezekiel chapters 36-39 provide much information on end times. Chapters 36 and 37 speak of the regathering of the Jewish people into the land, first in unbelief (36) and then, as they are being regenerated (37), with that beautiful passage about the Valley of Dry Bones.

Ezekiel 38:1-7 lists ten proper names for the reader. Gog (a person), Magog (former Soviet Union), Rosh (Russia), Meshech and Tubal (Turkey), Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Sudan), Put (Libya), Gomer (Central Turkey), Beth-Togarmah (Turkey).

This is a real war and can probably be described as one of the greatest existential threats that modern Israel will know in the future. Furthermore, in Ezekiel 38:8, 11 and 14, we are told that the battle will take place while Israel is at rest and at peace, something that is clearly not the case currently, especially since October 7, 2023.

Ezekiel 38:11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates.

A preferred view for Gog and Magog would be after Israel has signed a peace treaty with the Antichrist, something that will indicate the starting point of the seven-year Great Tribulation. At that point, Israel will be at peace–albeit false–for the first three and a half years of the seven-year Tribulation. This is also in line with the prophecies of Daniel 9. Things are moving very fast in the Middle East right now and many events take place unexpectedly, but we are not in the midst of Gog and Magog.

Is It the Start of the Great Tribulation?

It is no secret that I adhere to a premillennial, pre-tribulational view of the end times, with the next event on the prophetic clock being the dateless, signless Rapture. Regardless of one’s view of the Rapture, serious students of the Bible agree that what starts the Tribulation is the signing of a peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel, and this hasn’t happened quite yet.

Simply put, the current situation in Israel has not started the Tribulation. Incidentally, nowhere in the Bible do we find even one verse telling us that everything will be fine for believers all the way to the start of the Tribulation. Things can and probably will get worse before they get better, and eventually, the Tribulation will start.

Is It Connected to the events of Zechariah 12?

The prophet Zechariah sheds more light on the end times. He tells us that in the end, Jerusalem will be at risk:

Zechariah 12:3 But it will be in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who heave it up will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

Further down in the chapter, we learn that God will go after all the enemies of Israel, something that even Asaph was praying for in Psalm 83.

Zechariah 12:9 And it will be in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

         While we still do not have an exact timing for these events, we can say with assurance that the world stage, and certainly the Middle East stage, is being set for these battles. The worldwide irrational and demonic increase in antisemitism is showing us again that we are ever so close to the return of Yeshua of Nazareth. Satan knows that his days are numbered and that he will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire after Yeshua has returned.

         This time, Yeshua will return as the Lion of Judah and not the sacrificial lamb of God. He will decimate all the enemies of Israel and inaugurate the Millennial kingdom in Jerusalem from where He will reign from the throne of David.

         So, while this is not the War of Psalm 83, Gog and Magog, or the Tribulation, the stage is being set, and all the players are in place. Now would be a really good time to examine your heart and make sure that you have made peace with God by trusting the atonement made by Yeshua, the Messiah, on your behalf. When all these events become a reality, while salvation will still be possible, life will be much more complicated.