As a result of the devastating Hamas attack of October 7, 2023, Israel has destroyed thousands of targets in Gaza using aircraft, missiles, bombs, and artillery. It has also positioned on its border hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, and over 300,000 troops. The invasion force has entered the northern part of Gaza and is battling the terrorists on the ground and within a maze of tunnels under the city. To fully understand what has happened, it is important to consider the war in Gaza and End Times prophecy within the Bible, for they are connected in surprising ways.
Israel’s response to the vicious Hamas attack several weeks ago was to declare war and assemble an overwhelming force to completely obliterate the terrorist group. Already the city of Gaza is being decimated and thousands have died on both sides. Unfortunately, the mainstream media and the many YouTube videos or podcasts you can watch covering the war don’t realize what is really happening. This is not just another war in a world of wars. This latest war in Gaza and End Times prophecy are related in surprising ways that most people can’t comprehend because they don’t know or believe in God’s Word.
So what does this conflict have to do with the End Times? The answer to this question can’t be found just by reading or listening to the news. Even the overwhelming majority of Christian news sources get it wrong. The truth is unknown to most people because it takes a knowledge of the Bible and the prophecies dealing with Israel to understand what is happening.
These prophecies are not hidden, nor are they mysteries, but they take a thorough knowledge of the Bible to piece together the predictions and correlate them to what is happening today. Amazingly, the war in Gaza and End Times prophecy are both inextricably linked to the rebirth of the nation of Israel in the Last Days, as foretold by the prophets thousands of years ago.
Only a few Christians have at least a partial understanding of this fact. The relationship of this war to the End Times is considerably different than most Christians have speculated. Some say that this could be the start of the so-called Psalm 83 war, which was made popular by several books on the subject (1-3). Others say that this is the start of the Gog and Magog war predicted by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 38-39) (4).
However, the current war in Gaza is one of many conflicts that Israel has faced with the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab nations since they were reborn as a nation in 1948. For over 75 years, there have been numerous wars and regional conflicts, including several uprisings among the Palestinians within Israel (Intifadas), many battles with terrorist organizations (such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah), and at least 4 major wars (the War of Independence in 1948, the Suez War in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967, and the Yom Kippur War in 1973). The major wars have involved one or more of the surrounding nations, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. In addition, Israel has routinely engaged in battles with Iran and their proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and more recently, with the Houthis in Yemen. For a list of many of these conflicts see the Wars and Battles of Israel.
The reason that the Psalm 83 prophecy doesn’t directly relate to the current situation in Gaza is that the countries named in verses 6-8, although they correlate to the usual enemies of Israel throughout history and even in recent times, the list doesn’t include Persia (which is modern-day Iran). Iran funded the Hamas attack and many say that they also helped plan it. They have continually supplied weapons to countries and terrorist organizations in the Middle East for use against Israel, including the missiles used by Hamas and Hezbollah in the current war. Today, Iran is Israel’s most powerful enemy, and their leaders have vowed to destroy the Jews as soon as they can produce nuclear weapons.
Of course, the description in Psalm 83 may also have a dual meaning. The Psalm 83 war definitely predicted events associated with Israel in the time of the Psalmist Asaph, but it could also refer to many of the battles and wars that Israel has experienced since becoming a nation in 1948. In this context, the Psalm 83 war would not be just a single predicted battle for the future. Instead, it may be a prophetical description of all the conflicts that the Jews have had in their land over the last 75 years as a result of being surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors. The descendants of the nations mentioned in Psalm 83 are all part of the descendants of Ishmael (the half-brother of Isaac) and Esau (the twin brother of Jacob), and they are still around today with an extreme hatred for the Jewish people, which continually boils over into war.
So why do these battles and wars continue to happen in the Middle East and where will they lead? The Bible predicted through the words of many prophets that Israel would become a nation again in the Last Days. After being removed from their land and scattered among the nations for thousands of years because of unbelief, rebellion, disobedience, corruption, idol worship, and ultimately rejecting their Messiah (see The Scattering of Israel, The Scattering of Judah and Jerusalem, and The Final Scattering of Israel), the Lord regathered them and Israel was miraculously reborn as a nation in 1948 (see The Regathering of Israel).
Ezekiel predicted that Israel would be gathered back to their land not for their sake, but because they constantly profaned the Lord’s holy name among the nations. Which of the news or video sites ever explains this fact? However, Ezekiel quotes the Lord as saying:
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.
And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.”
Ezekiel 36: 22-24
Even so, the Jews were not brought back to their land because they repented of sin and believed in Jesus. Their return was based on God’s plan to lead Israel and the entire world to a day of trouble and judgment just before the Coming of Christ.
Even Israel’s restoration was not peaceful. The prophets predicted that they would be Restored with Fury and Gathered in Unbelief. They also predicted that they would have many Wars and Battles when they returned to their land. The rebirth of Israel would not be a time of peace but of constant fear and uncertainty. The prophet Jeremiah saw this time and predicted:
“Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’
Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
For thus says the Lord: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale?
Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
Since Israel became a nation, they have had nothing but constant battles and wars with the Palestinians and the surrounding nations. Although many people have sought peace through negotiations and treaties, the reality has been trembling, fear, and no peace. God has allowed the Jews to return to their land, not for blessing and peace, but to be caught in an intractable and dangerous situation with no way out except to turn to the Lord with repentance and faith. The Lord is bringing Israel to a tremendous time of trouble to get them to look up for help and salvation.
Some of the most amazing prophecies of Israel in the End Times relate to the Palestinians. I said previously that the war in Gaza and End Times prophecy were inextricably linked. The Lord has planned for these events to occur for thousands of years and now they are coming to pass before our eyes. The Palestinian problem has been a constant issue since Israel became a nation in 1948. What we are seeing in Gaza today is a continuation of that conflict, which will get even more severe as the world moves closer to the end.
The prophet Joel predicted the root of the Palestinian problem when he described how the people of Israel would be persecuted among the nations, but that the descendants of the Israelis that were scattered would come back to the land and scatter the very people who scattered them:
“They have also cast lots for My people, Traded a boy for a harlot and sold a girl for wine that they may drink.
Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre, Sidon and all the regions of Philistia? Are you rendering Me a recompense? But if you do recompense Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your recompense on your head.
Since you have taken My silver and My gold, brought My precious treasures to your temples,
and sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their territory,
behold, I am going to arouse them from the place where you have sold them, and return your recompense on your head.
Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the LORD has spoken.”
Joel 3:3-8 (NAS)
Today, the territory of the Gaza Strip almost exactly traces out the borders of the ancient nation of the Philistines, which was a constant enemy of Israel. With every war and battle that Israel has waged since becoming a nation, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and other Palestinians living throughout Judea and Samaria have become more displaced and scattered. Their hatred of the Jews and the overwhelming desire to destroy Israel has left their cities destitute and their people living in poverty. The latest war in the Gaza Strip is now causing the destruction of their largest city and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are being displaced and fleeing through the southern border with Egypt.
Just as Ezekiel prophesied, the Jewish people have now returned to their land and formed the modern nation of Israel in unbelief. The battles, wars, terrorist attacks, and fear that the people have experienced are all a direct fulfillment of the prophecies of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Joel. From the first day they became a nation, they have suffered attack after attack just as Jeremiah predicted. And with all these battles against Israel, the end result has been that the Palestinians have had their cities destroyed and their people scattered out of Israel into the surrounding countries just as Joel predicted.
The latest war in Gaza and End Times prophecy are leading Israel and the world to a day of judgment that will ultimately bring all nations to battle against Jerusalem at the end. When Joel prophesied of the scattering of the Palestinians, the next thing he said was this:
Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ”
Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great.”
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.
The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Although many false prophets and teachers continue to predict peace and prosperity for Israel, the true prophets of the Bible predicted something entirely different. The Lord’s real prophets all predicted that the time when Israel came back to their land would be a time of trouble, which would then lead to the Battle of Armageddon. Contrary to the false prophets, there will not be lasting peace until Israel cries out to the Lord and Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom on Earth!
1. Psalm 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed, Bill Salus, 2013
2. Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17, Heather L. Rivard, 2017
3. Psalm 83, A New Discovery, Alexander Zephyr, 2014
4. The Ezekiel 38 & Psalm 83 Prophecies: Russia, Iran, and Muslim Nations in Biblical Prophecy, John G. Weldon, 2012