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Psalm 60 / 67
NIV Psalm 60 – Prophesy / Land of Israel
For the director of music. To the tune of ‘The Lily of the Covenant’. A miktam of David. For teaching. When he fought Aram Naharaim and Aram Zobah, and when Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
1 You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us;
you have been angry – now restore us!
2 You have shaken the land and torn it open;
mend its fractures, for it is quaking.
3 You have shown your people desperate times;
you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
to be unfurled against the bow.
5 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
6 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
‘In triumph I will (future tense) parcel out Shechem [West Bank]
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth [Jordan].
7 Gilead [Jordan] is mine, and Manasseh [Israel/West Bank] is mine;
Ephraim [West Bank] is my helmet,
Judah [Israel] is my sceptre.
8 Moab [Jordan] is my washbasin,
on Edom [Jordan] I toss my sandal;
over Philistia [Gaza Strip] I shout in triumph.’
As this is a bit difficult to interpret, the names of the modern day territories have been included for clarity.
9 Who will bring me (future tense) to the fortified city?
Who will lead me (future tense) to Edom [Jordan]?
10 Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
11 Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
12 With God we shall gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’
48 ‘These are the tribes, listed by name: at the northern frontier, Dan will have one portion; it will follow the Hethlon road to Lebo Hamath; Hazar Enan and the northern border of Damascus next to Hamath will be part of its border from the east side to the west side.
This land grant came with definable geographical boundaries. It extends the land from the Mediterranean Sea (West) to the Euphrates River (East). And set the North border at Hamath, which is 100 miles north of Damascus. If Israel were to possess all of this land today, it would encompass the present-day Israel, Lebanon, half of Jordan and some of Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Note that this Psalm points to future acquisition of land currently owned by Jordan multiple times in Verses 6-9. [i]
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph – which is in Ephraim’s [West Bank] hand – and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s [Israel] stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.” In 1967, Israel seized control of the West Bank and it became part of Israel.
Historical Parallel - September 1960
Psalm 60 records God speaking from heaven, and in verses 6-9, He declares that he will change the boundary lines of Israel’s geographical territory. In the following decades after the establishment of the State of Israel, its neighbors remained hostile to Israel’s existence. In September 1960, Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, stated in an address to the UN General Assembly that "The only solution to Palestine is that matters should return to the condition prevailing before the error was committed — i.e., the annulment of Israel's existence." A few years later in 1964 he said, "We swear to God that we shall not rest until we restore the Arab nation to Palestine and Palestine to the Arab nation.” In 1965 he asserted again, "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand, we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood."
The gauntlet was first thrown down by Eygpt’s ruler in 1960 – God gave his answer to the challenge in the Six Day War of 1967, where He did in fact change the boundary lines of the land under Israel's control. [ii]
In direct response to the gauntlet thrown down by President Abdel Nasser where he called for Israel’s destruction, God answered definitely in this Psalm that he would “parcel out the West Bank (Shechem)" in Verse 6 and "shout over the Gaza Strip (Philistia) in triumph" (Verse 8). In fulfillment of this prophetic statement, Israel did just that in the Six-Day War in 1967, where they seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. [xiii]
Historical note: In February 1960, tensions along the Israeli–Syrian border prompted Nasser to deploy Egyptian armed forces in northern Sinai. The crisis affected both Israel and Eygpt during the events of May 1967, which eventually led to the Six-Day War and laid the foundation for Israel’s victory. [iii]
Shechem was a Canaanite city within the land allotted to the tribe of Ephraim.
Today, Shechem is identified as being located at the Tell Balata in Balata al-Balad in the West Bank. [iv]
Sukkoth is identified today as part of Jordan. [v]
Gilead is identified today as part of Jordan. [vi]
The tribe of Manasseh settled across the majority of the land of current day Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Today, this includes the West Bank area. [vii]
Ephraim’s land allotment is considered to have extended from the Jordan valley to the northeast of Jerusalem, known as the West Bank. [viii] Judah's land allotment is described in Joshua 15 as encompassing most of the southern portion of the Land of Israel, including the Negev, the Wilderness of Zin and Jerusalem. [ix]
Moab is an ancient kingdom along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea that is today located in the modern state of Jordan. [x] Edom was an ancient kingdom between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba that is today located in the southwestern state of Jordan. [xi]
Philistia is generally believed to be the region in and around Gaza, which is now Palestine territory called the Gaza Strip. [xii]
Israel’s success in the Six-Day War of 1967 was widely publicized at the time as miraculous. Consider verses 11 and 12 of this Psalm. Against all odds, Israel succeeded in not only winning a war where they were severely outnumbered, but they even captured additional land (Gaza Strip, Sinai Penninsula, West Bank, Golan Heights). Israel’s Chief of Staff, Yitzhak Rabin, gave a speech wherein he stated:
“Our airmen, who struck the enemies' planes so accurately that no one in the world understands how it was done and people seek technological explanations or secret weapons; our armored troops who beat the enemy even when their equipment was inferior to his; our soldiers in all other branches … who overcame our enemies everywhere, despite the latter's superior numbers and fortifications—all these revealed not only coolness and courage in the battle but … an understanding that only their personal stand against the greatest dangers would achieve victory for their country and for their families, and that if victory was not theirs the alternative was annihilation.
Yitzhak Rabin was given the honor of naming the war for the Israelis. From the suggestions proposed, including the "War of Daring", "War of Salvation", and "War of the Sons of Light", he "chose the least ostentatious, the Six-Day War, evoking the days of creation. [xiv]
The First Fruits of Zion recorded multiple miracles that occurred during the battle. An article on their website states: “Fifty years ago, during the dramatic events of the Six-Day War, the entire world saw a great miracle as God made war against Israel’s enemies and redeemed the holy city of Jerusalem.” [xv]
[i] Jeremiah, David. “Is Israel Currently Occupying the Promised Land?,” Prophecy Experience, accessed January 8, 2022, https://davidjeremiah.blog/the-promised-land-of-israel/
[ii] “Origins of the Six Day War,” Wikipedia, last modified December 20, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_the_Six-Day_War
[iii] “History of Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser,” Wikipedia, last modified December 19, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Egypt_under_Gamal_Abdel_Nasser
[viii] “Ephraim,” Wikipedia, last modified December 31, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephraim_in_the_wilderness
[xiv] “Yitzhak Rabin: Acceptance of Honorary Doctorate Mt. Scopus,” Zionism - Israel, accessed January 8, 2022, https://zionism-israel.com/hdoc/Rabin_Doctorate_Acceptance.htm
[xv] Lancaster, Thomas. “Miracles of the Six-Day War,” Messiah Magazine, accessed January 8, 2022, https://ffoz.org/discover/messiah-magazine/miracles-of-the-six-day-war.html
NIV Psalm 67 – Praise
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
6 The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Historical Parallel - June 5 – June 10, 1967
The six days of the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan heralded intense fighting, but when the dust settled, Israel was standing victorious. The tiny, fledgling country had won a resounding victory in defending its borders and had even gained control of multiple parcels of additional land. See Psalm 60 for the prophesy pointing to this victory.
The land that Israel seized in this war included the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
The Arab world was shocked. Egyptian President Nasser resigned, then returned to office. In contrast, the Jewish people jubilantly celebrated the victory and God was given praise for miraculously delivering the new nation. [i]
[i] “Six Day War,” HISTORY, accessed January 17, 2022, https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/six-day-war
[ii] “Miracles of the Six Day War,” First Fruits of Zion, accessed January 17, 2022, https://ffoz.org/discover/messiah-magazine/miracles-of-the-six-day-war.html