by Bill Salus
This article was taken from a portion of the biblical commentary of the same name in my book called Revelation Road.
As the Psalm 83 confederates image depicts, Syrians and Iraqis find
association through Assyria, Hezbollah via Tyre in Lebanon, and Hamas
hailing from Gaza connects with Philistia. However, there is no mention
of Iranians by their three primary historical names, Elamites, Medes, or
Persians. This is puzzling, considering Iran reportedly formed bona
fide war-pacts in December, 2009, with Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
Iran is presently providing weapons to Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas,
some suggest Iran may be included in Psalm 83 as part of the Assyrians.
The Assyrians seem to be among the stronger members in the psalm,
because they support the Jordanian army referred to as the children of
Lot (Moab and Ammon) in Psalm 83:8.
Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot [Jordanians]. Selah (Psalm 83:8)
The pitfall of connecting modern-day Iran with Assyria is that during
the psalmist’s time, Assyria only comprised much of what is today
northern Syria and part of Iraq.
In order for Iran to be mentioned in Psalm 83, the psalmist would
need to have included, Elam, Media, or Persia in the confederate lineup.
At the time the Psalm was written about 3,000 years ago, Elam existed
in what is now west-central Iran, Media existed in eastern Iran and far
beyond, and Persia occupied primarily the northerly parts of today’s
Iran. Thus, it is reasonably safe to exclude Iranians, which are
primarily of Persian descent, from the predominately Arab confederacy of
IRAN IS PERSIAN AND PSALM 83 IS ARAB
The Persian verses Arab distinction made in the previous sentence may
be part of the reason Iran doesn’t participate alongside their Arab
proxies in Psalm 83. The confederacy is dominated by Arab populations.
Arabs and Persians have a longstanding history of warring against each
other, dating as far back as the Persian conquest of the Babylonians
around 539 BC. In modern history, Iraq and Iran fought against each
other from 1980-1988.
Saudis, as the Ishmaelites, and Egyptians, as the Hagarenes, are
members of Psalm 83 and they may feel threatened by any Iranian meddling
in the Arab- Israeli war. Presently, both of these Arab countries are
deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear aspirations, and fear Iran’s
greater goal is to subdue their respective nations in order to form a
Shiite Crescent throughout the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are
primarily comprised of Sunni Muslims.
The Arab verses Persian argument is not the only possible reason Iran
refrains from participating in the Psalm 83 War. Possibility number two
is that part of Iran may be temporarily incapacitated at the time,
according to a generally overlooked prophecy issued by Jeremiah.
In part two, we will look at the dual end time’s prophecies of Iran.
Iran appears to experience a double jeopardy in the last days, but most
scholars are fixated only on Iran’s role as Persia in Ezekiel’s prophecy
regarded with the Gog of Magog invasion. At the time Ezekiel included
Persia in the Magog coalition, it only covered a portion of modern day
Iran; Elam and Media covered the rest.
Ezekiel appears to have purposely omitted Elam from Gog’s nine-member
consortia; but why? It could be that the prophecies concerning Elam in
Jeremiah 49:34-39 may hold the answer to this mystery.
The Dual Prophecies of Iran
Welcome to part two of this study regarding Iran in Bible prophecy. Part one, called “Why Iran’s Absent from Psalm 83,” lodged logical explanations as to why Iran is not part of the Psalm 83 Arab – Israeli war. Part two provides logistical
reasons by demonstrating that Iran seemingly faces a double jeopardy in
the days to come. This entire study is taken from the commentary of Revelation Road, Hope Beyond the Horizon.
Even though Iran appears to be absent from the climactic, concluding
Arab-Israeli War, they are not excluded from two other significant
end-time’s events. The one most widely taught among eschatologists today
is described in Ezekiel 38, and is commonly called the Gog of Magog
invasion of Israel. In Ezekiel’s prophecy modern day Iran is represented
by ancient Persia, and is clearly identified militarily “with a shield and a helmet,” in Russia’s coalition.
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; (Ezekiel 38:5)
Presently Iran is ranked #12 among world armies, and if Ezekiel’s
prophecy were to find fulfillment today, this would position Iran as the
third strongest army within the Magog coalition behind Russia ranked
#2, and Turkey ranked #6. Moreover, if Iran was included in Psalm
83:6-8, which does not appear to be the case, it would make it the
strongest army within the confederacy in front of Egypt (#16), Saudi
Arabia (#26), and Syria (#35).
Interestingly, Iran presently possesses strong proxy relationships, and bonafide
war-pacts, with Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. All three of these proxies
appear to be part of the Psalm 83 Arab confederacy. And yet, Iran
somehow gets excluded or, otherwise excused from participating directly
in Psalm 83.
Some scholars, like Dr. Mark Hitchcock and Dr. Thomas Ice, teach that
Psalm 83 is an imprecatory prayer and probably not a specific prophecy.
If their interpretations are correct, then the preponderance of this
study becomes a useless exercise in futility, and the current Mideast
crisis has little to no connection with Psalm 83 whatsoever. However, if
they are wrong, and I believe my books Isralestine and Revelation Road evidences that they are; then one must wonder why Iran’s military might is not incorporated in the Psalm war.
Case in point, Psalm 83:4 says;
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
Comparatively, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared publicly on several occasions that, “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
These similar quotes suggest that Iran and the confederacy of Psalm
83 share the same Anti-Semitic sentiment toward the nation of Israel. If
so; then why does Iran appear to be absent from Psalm 83?
Perhaps Persia’s utter destruction in Ezekiel 38:16 – 39:6 prohibits
Iran from fighting in Psalm 83. Although this would satisfactorily
answer the question about Iran’s apparent absence in the Arab war, the
problem is that Psalm 83 probably precedes Ezekiel 38. If this is the
case, then Iran’s “shield and helmet,” could still
exist when the Arabs come against Israel. If so; then why don’t the
Arabs invite mighty Iran to participate in their war party?
The prophecy that may precede Ezekiel 38 – 39, and answer the
question about Iran’s conspicuous absence in Psalm 83 is located in
Jeremiah 49:34-39. Jeremiah 49:35 predicts Elam (Iran) gets struck at
the “foremost of its might,” which if unfulfilled as of
yet, could allude to its nuclear program. The next verse says the
Elamites (Iranians) will be scattered out of the immediate area into
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow
of, The foremost of their might. Against Elam I will bring the four
winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all
those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will
not go. (Jeremiah 49:35-36, nkjv)
Jeremiah and Ezekiel were contemporaries of each other. They both
wrote over 2500 years ago. Why did Ezekiel prophesy about Persia, and
Jeremiah about Elam? The probable answers are three-fold;
1. Geographically – Elam and Persia occupied two adjoining territories at the time,
2. Culturally – these territories consisted of differing ethnicities, and distinct civilizations,
3. Prophetically – the two prophets were probably predicting separate events.
Persia and Elam comprise greater Iran. Elam covered west-central Iran
as depicted in the image, and Persia encompassed most of the other
surrounding territory. A careful study suggests both Ezekiel’s and
Jeremiah’s Iranian prophecies appear to be unfulfilled end time events.
If so, this suggests that modern day Iran faces a double jeopardy in the
Jeremiah predicts that Elam will be struck at the foremost place of
its strength. If such an attack occurred in the near future that would
probably be its nuclear site(s). Not necessarily all sites, but
specifically sites existing within the boundaries of ancient Elam. A
prime target would be the Bushehr nuclear site identified in the image.
Subsequently, the prophet warns that after the attack the affected
populations are forced to scatter from the area. Jeremiah says, “There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.”
This could be the result of Iranian’s attempting to flee from an
isolated nuclear disaster. Should the Bushehr nuclear reactor be struck,
this becomes a very real possibility because the facility is loaded
with Russian supplied fuel rods. These rods were loaded during the
summer of 2010. At the time former UN Ambassador John Bolton warned that
once the rods were loaded in place, an attack upon the site could
result in severe radioactive fallout.
If Jeremiah 49:34-39 is alluding to a pre-Psalm 83 strike upon Iran’s
nuclear program, this could partially explain why the rogue state is
not a participant in the Psalm. Additionally, perhaps nuclear fallout
causes only the Iranians from the central west coast to evacuate into
other nations, which would still leave the preponderance of Persia,
(northern Iran) with some remaining shields and helmets to fight with in Ezekiel 38.
It is important to note that Ezekiel seems to intentionally omit Elam
from the Gog of Magog invasion. This strongly suggests that not all of
modern-day Iran participates in the infamous Gog of Magog invasion of
Israel. This conclusion can be safely drawn by recognizing that Ezekiel
32:24-26 identifies Elam and Meshech and Tubal. Meshech and Tubal are
listed in the Magog invasion, but Elam is not. Why not? Why didn’t
Ezekiel list Elam alongside Persia to identify the entirety of
modern-day Iran in his predicted invasion?
The fact that Ezekiel lists Persia in Ezekiel 27:10 and Ezekiel 38:5,
and Elam in Ezekiel 32:24 implies that he recognized the territorial
and ethnic distinctions between these two populations during his time.
He probably omits Elam for the same reason that he omits the Arab
populations identified in Psalm 83:6-8, which is because Elam and the
Arabs of Psalm 83 do not participate in the Ezekiel 38 invasion.
The probable reason the Psalm 83 Arabs abstain is because they are
dealt with in a prior separate war, won by the IDF. The likely reason
Elam isn’t listed is because Jeremiah 49:34-39 tells us the Elamites are
also involved in their own separate prophecy. Thus, there appear to be
three prophecies identified: Psalm 83 (Arabs), Ezekiel 38-39 (Persians),
and Jeremiah 49:34-39 (Elamites).
summary, it is important to note that clear territorial distinctions
existed between Elam and Persia when Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied. It
is doubtful that all of modern-day Iran participates in the Magog
invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38. More likely is the possibility that
only northern Iran joins in with Magog (Russia); otherwise Ezekiel
should have included both Persia and Elam in his prophecy. Since Elam is
not part of Ezekiel 38, it suggests that Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding
Elam is a separate prophetic event. If Elam is struck at the foremost of
its might prior to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38, then this could be
the reason Ezekiel omitted Elam from his prophecy.
Moreover, Jeremiah 49:34-39 introduces nine related prophecies
concerning Elam. This study has only discussed two of them. These nine
prophecies are identified in the image, and are thoroughly explained in
the commentary portion of Revelation Road.
The pertinent commentary also presents a brief history lesson
concerning Elam, and explains why Jeremiah’s Elamite prophecies still
In the final analysis, Jeremiah’s nine prophecies of Elam may be
simply adding more details to Ezekiel’s Gog of Magog invasion; but I