The Book of the Wars of YHVH

Posted by on Sep 1, 2020

The Book of the Wars of YHVH is considered one of the “lost books” of the Bible believed to be written by Mosheh. The only verse from this book has neither specifics nor clear references to events in the Scripture but is a fragmental text whose meaning is uncertain. As the book was well known to Mosheh to quote it in the Torah, what has to be implied could easily be gathered from the very title of the book: “The Wars of YHVH”.

This is the only book that has its own name and whose author is unknown. As a matter of fact, the only thing we know about the Book of the Wars of YHVH is only one verse from it quoted in the Torah.

The Book of War details an apocalyptic 40-year battle between the forces of good and evil. This fragment preserves a blessing to be recited by the leader of the surviving community upon their victory in the final battle, at the end of time. Credit:  The Leon Levi Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.

The Book of War details an apocalyptic 40-year battle between the forces of good and evil. This fragment preserves a blessing to be recited by the leader of the surviving community upon their victory in the final battle, at the end of time. Is this book the same as the book The Wars of YHVH in Numbers. Credit: The Leon Levi Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.

This verse is found in Num 21:14-15, wherein Mosheh quotes just a short passage from the Book of the Wars of YHVH that could not be the heading of the book, nor its theme, but with all probability a vivid reference that was kept in the minds of the people and inserted in the narrative of Israel’s journeys to something the people were familiar with, in order to remind them of what Elohim had already done in the past but will also do for them in future.

Therefore, by no means it could be said that such a book could have been lost after Mosheh, nor that it was in less importance to be included in the Torah, but that it deserves to be a separate book that was named with all probability by YHVH Elohim Himself.

Note: We should note here that the books of the Torah did not have names, not until they were formed as a combined book. Much later in history the first scroll of the Torah was known as Bereishit “In the beginning” according to Hebraic tradition, but it became Genesis in the Christian tradition. Thus, the second scroll Shemot “Names” in Hebrew, but Exodus in the Christian Bible; Vaikra “And He said” but Leviticus; Badmidbar “In the wilderness”, but Numbers in the Christian Bible, and Devarim “The Words” became Deuteronomy.

38 years later: The new generation

In the first month the children of Israel came into the desert of Tsin in the 40th year of their wanderings in Arabia in the very same place at Kadesh where the sentence had been decreed 38 years before, that they should remain in the desert for 40 years, until the rebellious generation had died out. And Miryam died and was buried there (Num 20:1).

And they journeyed to Mount Hor where they camped at the 34th station on the boundary of the land of Edom where Aharon the priest died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after Israel had come out of Egypt (Num 20:22, Num 33:37-39).

And Israel departed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Sea of Reeds, around the land of Edom (Num 21:4) where, most likely, the 35th and 36th stations were (Num 33:41-42). Then Israel camped at the 37th station in Ovoth (Num 33:43). And from Ovoth they arrived at the 38th station, Iye Ha-Avarim in the desert east of Moav (Num 21:11, Num 33:44).

And from there they set out and camped at the River Zered (Num 21:12). The camp at the River Zered is omitted from the narrative of Israel’s journeys in the desert in Num 33, but the 39th, 40th, and 41st stations Dibon Gad, Almon Diblathayemah, the mountains of Avarim (before Nebo) (Num 33:45-47) are listed instead.

And the last 42nd station of the journeys of Israel was in the desert plains of Moav by the Yarden of Yericho.

There is another camp omitted in the narrative of Numbers 33, and this is the camp at the River Arnon. This omission seems to be very curious, because it is listed in our book but not in Numbers 33. Why that station was omitted, we do not know, but this makes the Book of the Wars of YHVH even more enigmatic.

Arnon River in Book of the Wars of YHVH

Arnon River in Book of the Wars of YHVH

For the complete list of the 42 stations, read Chapter Israel’s journeys in the wilderness from the present author’s book The Reckoning of Time.  

The verse that speaks so much and so little

The quotation that follows is a fragment from the Book of the Wars of YHVH whose text and meaning are uncertain. We read thus from JPS,

wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of the LORD: Vaheb in Suphah, and the valleys of Arnon, and the slope of the valleys that inclineth toward the seat of Ar, and leaneth upon the border of Moab. (Num 21:14-15 JPS)

The Hebrew text of verses 14 and 15 with the English translation is,

עַל־כֵּן יֵאָמַר בְּסֵפֶר מִלְחֲמֹת יְהוָה אֶת־וָהֵב בְּסוּפָה וְאֶת־הַנְּחָלִים אַרְנוֹן׃

This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of Yehovah: “Vahev in Suphah, and of the wadis of the Arnon.

וְאֶשֶׁד הַנְּחָלִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר נָטָה לְשֶׁבֶת עָר וְנִשְׁעַן לִגְבוּל מוֹאָב׃

and its tributary wadis, stretched along the settled country of Ar, hugging the territory of Moav.

This is the only quotation from The Book of the Wars of YHVH we have available and nothing more: just one verse from this book.

Now, what does this verse possibly mean?

The verse begins with וָהֵב בְּסוּפָה “Vahev in Suphah”. The Hebrew word וָהֵב vahev above is of uncertain derivation and perhaps the most encrypted word in Num 21:14. Vahev is used only here and nowhere else in the Scripture and for this reason alone is assumed to be a place in Moav, site unknown.

Note: When a Hebrew word appears in only one place, it is difficult to derive its meaning in the context from a single use of it especially when the meaning has been lost. Dictionaries are not in help, since the challenge is still there. In such cases the translation and interpretation of such a word is a pure speculation by the translators. The present author is not an exception, as he is also faced with the same challenge to find the meaning of a word from the immediate context used only once.

The next word is סוּפָה suphah which all commentaries render Yam Suph. Yam Suph the Almighty split during the Exodus of Israel from Egypt is commonly translated either “Red Sea” or “Sea of Reeds”. However, the name of the sea is not Yam Suphah but Yam Suph, wherein yam means “sea” and suph means “reeds”. We will elaborate more on this further in the study.

The verse from the Book of the Wars of YHVH continues with “and of the wadis of the Arnon”. The Arnon River is located east of the Jordan that was once the boundary between the Moabites and the Amorites. Its wadis are streams, especially a winter torrent that remain dry during the year but turn into brawling streams in rainy season.

Arnon Valley or Wadi Mujib (in Jordan) continues towards the Dead Sea

So, what is the interpretation of this verse above that reads: Vahev in Suphah, and the valleys of Arnon, and the slope of the valleys that inclines toward the seat of Ar, and leans on the border of Moav”?

A close look at the context of Numbers 21 shows that verses 14-15, wherein the Book of the Wars of YHVH is quoted, appear to be an insertion in the narrative of Israel’s journeys to the Promised Land.

As stated above, verse 13 is telling us that Israel camped on the other side of the Arnon River. Then the narrative of Israel’s journeys picks from there to the next camp called Beer, which is the well where Mosheh struck the rock instead of talking to it (Num 20:8-12) and that cost him the Promised Land.

This narrative of Israel’s journeys in the desert reads naturally thus,

From there they set out and camped at the wadi Zered. From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moav, between Moav and the Amorites.  (Num 21:12-13) And from there on to Beer, which is the well where Yehovah said to Mosheh, “Gather the people, and let Me give them water”. Israel then sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Sing to it, a well the leaders sank, which the nobles of the people dug with the scepter and with their staves”. (Num 21:16-18)

“And from there”, in verse 16, refers to the phrase “the other side of the Arnon” in verse 13. Between them is our enigmatic verse from the Book of the Wars of YHVH.

The insertion with the reference to the Book of Wars reads thus,

This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of Yehovah, “Vahev in Suphah, the wadi Arnon, and the slope of the wadi that goes down to the dwelling of Ar, and lies on the border of Moav. (Num 21:14-15)

Why is there the necessity to say, “This is why it is said …”? There are various interpretations in the Rabbinic literature concerning the only verse we have available from the Book of the Wars of YHVH. These interpretations we will consider below.

Rabbinic sources on the Book of the wars of YHVH

The most common interpretation among them is that the Book of the Wars of YHVH has been lost throughout centuries, as other books that had been in public exposure once. Concerning the Book of the Wars of YHVH we read in Chizkuni thus,

There are numerous books dating back to that period which have become lost in the course of the centuries in which more of the accomplishments of the Israelites in warfare had been preserved, including this war. Also numerous of the poems of King Solomon and his many parables have become lost throughout those centuries, though the people had been aware of their existence at one time.

We also find that according to Chizkuni on Numbers 21:17, the Book of the Wars of YHVH was comparable to similar historical books of the nations that recorded their wars,

 An alternate interpretation about the meaning of the line: “in the Book recording the wars of the Lord:” This book was comparable to the book of chronicles kept by every nation in which a record has been made of all the wars between one nation and its neighbors, in which its victories have been recorded.

Our comments on Chizkuni is: (1) If we assume that Mosheh was the author of the Book of the Wars of YHVH, it is difficult to accept that such an important book could have been lost while the five books of the Torah and the Book of Joshua were preserved; (2) it is also difficult to accept the notion that this book, in which all the wars between Israel and its neighbors were recorded, was just a historical book like the books of the other nations.

We should note here that if Mosheh had not just quoted the Book of the Wars of YHVH but a verse from it, then this book must have been in existence in order for him to quote it in the first place. And speaking of this, the dominant opinion on the authorship of this book is that it is attributed to Mosheh.

But, which wars YHVH fought for Israel Mosheh had the chance to record in the book that we do not know about? Perhaps, the ten plagues in Egypt or the destruction of the Egyptian army on the seabed of Yam Suph? Besides Israel had just left the slavery in Egypt and we know no wars our father Ya’akov waged in the land of Kanaan.

Rabbeinu Bahya commented on Num 21:14,

The words: “in the Book of the wars of the Lord,” is a separate verse not connected to that which preceded it. It is a reference to a book in which the Israelites had recorded all the wars G’d fought on behalf of those who revere Him. It is entirely possible that this Book as well as many others were lost in the course of our long history and wanderings. The Book’s first entry may well have been Avraham’s campaign to rescue his nephew Lot. It is likely that the “Prophecies of Nathan and Ido” and the “Chronicles of the Jewish kings” and the “songs and parables of King Solomon” are further examples of historical records which have been lost in the course of time. Rabbeinu Bahya

Our comments on Rabbeinu Bahya: (1) that the verse from the Book of the Wars of YHVH is not a separate verse as Rabbeinu Bahya states but connected to the broader context of the Exodus, we will study further below in our interpretation on the Book of Wars; (2) Ya’akov fought no wars, nor his father Yitschak did. Avraham’s campaign to rescue Lot was indeed a war which could have been the first entry Mosheh made in the book.

Then Rabbeinu Bahya further says on Num 21:17 that the Amorites set an ambush against the Israelites in the valley of the Arnon. But Elohim destroyed them by having them drowned in the river and their blood mingled with the waters from the well which accompanied the Israelites on their journeys in the desert. Rabbeinu Bahya continues,

G’d had destroyed a town known as Vaheb by means of a tornado or something like it, being a reference to a great storm. The tributaries of the river Arnon were also destroyed by that storm.  from there (the river Arnon) the stream of blood flowed all the way to the well which was the source of drinking water for the Israelites. When the people realized their miraculous escape upon seeing this blood, they immediately composed the song of thanksgiving described in verses 17-20. (Rabbeinu Bahya)

Israel then sang this song:

Spring up, O well! Sing to it, a well the leaders sank, which the nobles of the people dug with their staves, by the word of the Lawgiver.” (Num 21:17-18)

But according to Daat Zkenim on Num 21:15, Israel was saved by the means of an earthquake that took place in the valley of the Arnon River: “the reason why this is all spelled out become clear when we read about how the Jewish people had been saved by an earthquake turning fatal for the Amorites who had planned an ambush in the clefts of the protruding rocks.”

Whether by a strong storm or by an earthquake, the Amorites were destroyed and the children of Israel went through the valley to enter the Promised Land.

An alternative reading of verses 14 and 15 concerning the Book of the Wars of YHVH is according to Ibn Ezra who states,

This was a separate Book, in which the Wars of Hashem (literally the Name) on behalf of those who fear Him were written. Possibly, it existed in the days of Avraham, for many books were lost and are not extant anymore, such as the words of Nasan and Ido, the Divrei HaYamim of the Kings of Yisroel (Chronicles of the Kings of Israel), the Songs of Shlomo and his Proverbs.

If Ibn Ezra is correct, then the authorship of the Book of the Wars of YHVH could not be attributed to Mosheh, but perhaps to Avraham, kept by Yitschak and Ya’akov and handed down to Mosheh.

If this is the case, then we should ask the question as to how the Book of the Wars of YHVH could have survived all those years of slavery in Egypt when the children of Israel deeply sank in the idolatry that even the existence of Israel was at stake. This we studied in the article “The Exodus from Israel’s whoring in Egypt“.

Besides if the children of Israel had forgotten the Name of the Elohim of Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov, as seen from the narrative of Exodus, then we should question the whole premise that they have kept a book named after the same Elohim.

TORM interpretation of The Book of the Wars of YHVH

As we stated above, the Hebrew word וָהֵב vahev is seen by most of the commentators as of uncertain derivation that commonly is interpreted to mean a place in Moav.

But since there are only a few words in Hebrew that begin with the letter ו vav, such as the word וָו vav itself, which means a hook or tent peg, it is very likely that וָהֵב vahev is not a separate word but a compound word in which letter vav is a prefix meaning “and”.

If this is the case, then vahev means “and He gave” (from יָהַב yahav, to give, to provide, Strong H3051) and according to the plain reading of the text, it can be rendered to mean “what he gave” or “what he did”.

In support of this rendering, Sifsei Chachamim proceeds to explain the somewhat cryptic language used in the verse from the Book of the Wars of YHVH. We read,

“Thus, the meaning of בְּסֵפֶר besefer “in the book” is “in the book of stories”; sefer literally means “scroll”. The meaning of וָהֵב vahev “and he gave” is יָהַב yahav, to give. The meaning of בְּסוּפָה besuphah, “at the reeds” is “at the Reed Sea”. The meaning of  וְאֶת־הַנְּחָלִים v’et hanchlim, “and the valleys”, is “the miracles of the valleys”. The meaning of אַרְנוֹן Arnon is “of Arnon”. The meaning of וְאֶשֶׁד v’eshed, is “spillage”. The meaning of וְאֶשֶׁד הַנְּחָלִ֔ים v’eshed hanchlim is that it is a description of “the valleys of Arnon”. The meaning of אֲשֶׁר נָטָה asher natah, “when it turned…” is that the Mountain at Ar was uprooted from its place.”

As we see Sifsei Chachamim links directly the word סוּפָה suphah to Yam Suph, Sea of Reeds.

In the article “Yam Suph Red Sea or Sea of Reeds“, we already studied this linguistic issue that suph and suphah are masculine and feminine forms respectively of “strong storm”, and therefore the word besuphah “in the storm” is to be explained according to Nah 1:3, “YHVH has His way in the storm”, not “at the reeds”.

The next source in the Rabbinic commentaries is Or HaChaim. His notes on Num 21:13 deserves close attention, because of the different view he has of the Book of the Wars of YHVH.

We prefer to explain this verse according to its plain meaning. The Torah mentioned in verse 13 that the river Arnon formed the boundary between Moav and the Amorite. It follows that Israel owned no part of it. This is the reason the Torah goes on to say that in the book which is open before G’d and which contains records of the various wars describing which nation G’d disinherited and to which nation He granted additional territory, the river Arnon is recorded as the border between Moav and the Amorite. It is also recorded in that book that eventually, this area will become part of the land of Israel. However, the time had not come for this development.

We should note the new elements in the traditional Rabbinic interpretations of our verse. Or HaChaim states that (1) the book in which the wars of YHVH are recorded “is open before” Him; (2) this book contains records of the lands granted to the nations, and also to the nation of Israel alluding to the land promised to Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov, with the disclaimer “the time had not come for this development“.

In other words, one day all the area from the Nile to the Euphrates and the lands of the Moabites and the Amorites will become part of the land of Israel when the Messiah comes, but not now.

How Or HaChaim derived this information from the only verse we have available from the Book of the Wars of YHVH we do not know, but we agree with it.

Or HaChaim makes a new point here by saying “the book which is open before G’d”, namely, that this book is in heaven before YHVH Elohim, and not in the possession of men, let alone lost. And if the book is before Elohim, then its authorship must be attributed to Him, not to Mosheh.

With all that being said, we can translate and interpret our verse in the Book of the Wars of YHVH thus,

“This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of Yehovah, ‘In the strong storm, He (YHVH) gave (deliverance to Israel) and in the valleys of the brooks of the Arnon, and at the streams of the brooks that go down to the dwellings of Ar and lies on the border of Moav.'”

Thus translated, the narrative depicts a different scene of what had taken place just before Israel’s entry in the Land. The Amorites set an ambush against the Israelites in the valley of the Arnon and from the plain reading of the only verse we have available from the Book of the Wars of YHVH, it seems that by the means of a strong storm the omnipotent Presence of YHVH Elohim in the valley of the Arnon River brought a victory against the Amorites the children of Israel did not have to fight for.

Lighting and storm

Lighting and storm

But why such a battle YHVH fought for Israel had to be included in the book of wars? And why has Mosheh given us this book in the Torah in the first place?

The future signification of the battle for Israel

Standing before the Promised Land Mosheh pleaded for the last time with YHVH to let him cross the Yarden River,

O Master Yehovah, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand, for who is a mighty one in the heavens or on earth who does according to Your works and according to Your might? (Deu 3:23-24)

In his prayer, Mosheh appealed to YHVH that perchance He might show him His grace and allow him to cross the river. As YHVH had already begun to show him His greatness and the might of His hand, so that He might also show him the completion of His work, namely, to let him enter the Land.

But we should note here the peculiar expression in his plea: “You have begun to show . Most obviously, His greatness and might YHVH had begun to show Mosheh was something he had already witnessed, otherwise what would have been the necessity for him to say it. But “You have begun” in the plea begs the question: From which moment had YHVH Elohim begun the revelation of His might and power?

The expression, “begun to show Your greatness” definitely relates to YHVH’s mighty acts in Egypt, at the Sea of Reeds, and against the Amalekites, Mosheh himself witnessed.

We should recall the war of YHVH Elohim fought against the Amalekites in Exo 17. After the battle YHVH said to Mosheh,

“Write this for a remembrance in the book and recite it in the hearing of Yehoshua, that I shall completely blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens.”

And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, Yehovah Nissi, “YHVH is my banner”, for he said,

“Because the hand is on the banner of Yah, Yehovah will have war with Amalek, from generation to generation (see Exo 17:14-16).

The expression “will have war with Amalek, from generation to generation” clearly speaks of future wars: wars that we can expect to be recorded already in the Book of the wars of YHVH.

By these deeds at the Sea of Reeds and against the Amalekites, He had begun to make Himself known as “Elohim”, “One of absolute power and authority”. But this expression also refers to the manifestation of His might in the defeat of the Amorites, as alluded in our verse in the Book of the Wars of YHVH.

The Book of the Wars of YHVH in the last days

That such a book as the Book of the Wars of YHVH is not lost and should arise in the last days of the world is not a something that we can overlook but look into it as a future fulfillment of the prophecy.

Therefore, by quoting this verse from the Book of the Wars of YHVH, Mosheh spoke prophetically referring to future wars YHVH Elohim would fight for His people. And in his last speech to the nation (Book of Deuteronomy), the great leader of his people implied that those wars with the Egyptians, Amalekites, and the Amorites were just the beginning of what is to come in the future (see again “you have begun” in Deu 3:23-24).

Most unfortunately, the Torah has provided us with the only verse from the enigmatic Book of YHVH concerning the wars He fought and will fight for Israel.

We do not know why this battle against the Amorites, Israel did not fight, was so important to be included in the final address to the nation of the greatest statesman ever born.

But what we do know though is that this book must have had its own signification in order to be quoted right there in the Torah and in the right moment of history of Israel, namely, before crossing the Yarden River.

Further, Mosheh assured his people that it would be YHVH Elohim who would fight for Israel against their enemies, saying,

When you take the field against your enemies and see horses and chariots—forces larger than yours—have no fear of them, for Yehovah your Elohim, who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you. Before you join battle, the priest shall come forward and address the troops. He shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel! You are about to join battle with your enemy. Let not your courage falter. Do not be in fear, or in panic, or in dread of them. For it is Yehovah your Elohim who marches with you to do battle for you against your enemy, to deliver you”. (Deu 20:1-4)

Mosheh reassures us in the Book of Numbers that we are not be afraid of the enemies in the future wars, for YHVH our Elohim is with us. What Mosheh implies here is that if we rely only on ourselves, we are on our own, and we will indeed have reason to fear. However, if we put our trust on YHVH, there is nothing to fear of for He will do the battle for us as promised.

And the Book of the Wars of YHVH may well be referring to these battles and wars YHVH Elohim will fight for Israel. But for more insight on the final war refer to the article “The Battle for Jerusalem is of YHVH” and the series The War of Gog of Magog.

Therefore, the memory of the Exodus must always serve as a sign that Israel can overcome the wars with Him.

Rabbeinu Bahya further assures us, saying,

Anyone fearing creatures of flesh and blood is considered as having forgotten the Almighty. This is what the prophet Isaiah had in mind when he said: “what ails you that you fear man who must die, mortals who fare like grass? You have forgotten the Lord your Maker” (Isa 51:12-13). Solomon is also on record on this subject when he says in Proverbs 29:25: “a man’s fears become a trap for him, but he who trusts in the Lord will be safeguarded”.

The wars in heaven

We have the reason to believe that when wars are waged here on the earth, parallel wars in heaven are waged too. The sages derived this conclusion from the Book of Daniel 10 and 12.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I was left over there beside the kings of Persia. (Dan 10:13)  But let me declare to you what is written in the Scripture of Truth, and there is not one strengthening himself with me concerning these, except Michael your prince. (Dan 10:21)

The contents of Daniel 10 speak of a war in the kingdom of the supernatural spirits where the prince of Persia is the guardian spirit of the Persians.

This spirit of Persia is a spirit-being, namely, a supernatural spiritual power or a heavenly messenger. The messenger of Persian stood beside the allotted to him nation to influence them in their war against Israel.

The messenger who appears to Daniel in Dan 10:5-6, we believe in TORM, is none other than the Messenger of His Face, the Messenger of YHVH Elohim.

then I lifted my eyes and looked and saw a certain man dressed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz! And his body was like beryl, and his face like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes like torches of fire, and his arms and feet like polished bronze in appearance, and the sound of his words like the sound of a crowd. (Dan 10:5-6)

This Messenger was withstood for twenty-one days by the messenger of Persia in the war in heaven until Michael, the messenger of Israel, came to his help.

Michael מִיכָאֵל, “who is like El”, is one of the archangels, chief messengers of YHVH Elohim, who according to the signification of his name is the messenger possessing the unparalleled power of Elohim, only second to the Messenger of His Face. Michael is called in Dan 10:21, “your [of Israel] prince”, who had to maintain the cause of Israel (Jud 1:9) in the invisible world against the opposing powers of the evil in Rev 12:7.

And there came to be fighting in the heaven: Michael and his messengers fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his messengers fought, but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them in the heaven any longer. And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the devil and satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him. (Rev 12:7-9)

In the war in heaven, satan and his angels were expelled from the heavenly realm of YHVH Elohim and thrown on the earth during Jacob’s troubles aka “the great tribulation”. Once on the earth they will do their job to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah, namely, by making it even more wicked so that everyone will have to choose a side in the final war: the war of Gog of Magog.

From the plain reading of the text, it seems that this war between the messengers of Elohim had already happened in heaven. But had it?

To understand the realm of heaven, we need first to adjust how we perceive time and space? To answer the questions about time and space, we need to know that from the Creator’s point of reference, these wars in heaven, recorded in the Book of the Wars of YHVH, are already happening, as He exists outside of time and space. To the humans who exist in time and space, however, they are “in time”, namely, they are either in the past, present, or in the future.

But in Hebrew such prophetic events sometimes are expressed in the so-called “past tense in the future”. What it means is that for events which are absolutely certain to happen, the Scripture uses the prophetic “past tense in the future” as if they had already happened, while from earth’s perspective they are still in the future.

The other thing we need to understand is that from heaven’s perspective a nation to win a war against another nation, the protecting messenger as a representative of that nation in the celestial sphere must be first removed. But as the sages teach, in order for YHVH Elohim to completely neutralize the celestial influence, we ourselves must eliminate them completely in the terrestrial sphere.

Furthermore, seeing that Elohim of Israel has destroyed any power the nations had in the celestial sphere, it is clear that whatever Israel do to them on earth is a secondary thing as their fate had already been sealed in heaven.

With that being said, we see that the war between Persia (Iran) and Israel on the earth has its parallel in the war in heaven between the messenger of Persia (not named) and the messenger of Israel (Michael), and it is still in the future. But at the same time the fate of Iran has already been decided in heaven, as seen in Daniel 10. But for more insight on this war, refer to the article “The Iranian threat that causes fear in the land of the living” and the series The War of Gog of Magog.

We will not be far from the truth, therefore, to assume that the War of Gog of Magog has already been included in the Book of the Wars of YHVH Mosheh quoted in the Torah. And the defeat of the Amorites has something to do with future defeat of Gog of Magog and his ally Iran and the cohort of anti-Israel nations. What is this link to the future war of Gog of Magog, most unfortunately, we do not know given the scarce information we can derive from the only verse quoted in the Book of the wars of YHVH.

Likewise, the end of the world depicted in the Book of Revelation has already been sealed in the last chapter of Daniel and confirmed by the Messenger of YHVH, Yeshua the Messiah, in Matthew 24, because both books clearly speak of the coming of the Messiah for the war of Gog of Magog.

Now at that time Michael shall stand up, the great head who is standing over the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as never was since there was a nation, until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book, and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth wake up, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches, everlasting abhorrence. (Dan 12:1-2)

This description of distress is based on the prophecy in Jer 30:7 concerning Jacob’s trouble, further heightened in Daniel (see also Joe 2:2) and finalized in Revelation. But for more insight on the last war in this world, which most certainly is included in the Book of the Wars, refer to the series The Revelation from YHVH wherein we have done an unorthodox reading of the last book in the Scripture.


May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.