Who are the Arabs and What is the Pan-Arab Unity?
The Pan-Arab identity and the Pan-Arab unity are the talking points in this article, but, first who are the Arabs and what is the Pan-Arab identity?
The Aramean Arabs from Nachor, Avraham’s brother
From the Biblical account in Gen 11:26 we learn that Terach lived seventy years, and brought forth Avram (that is Avraham), Nachor, and Haran.
The youngest son Haran fathered Lot and died in the land, Ur of the Chaldees, of his birth while his father Terah was still alive. And Avram and Nachor took wives: Abram’s wife was Sarai (that is Sarah); and Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran.
And Terah took Avram and Sarai, and Lot and went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came to the land of Haran and dwelt there. (Gen 11:27-31) Nachor remained in Ur.
And Nachor fathered Uts and Buz, and Kemuel the father of Aram; and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel fathered Rivka (that is Rebekah). And from his concubine, Nachor fathered four more children. (Gen 22:20-24)
But who are the descendants of Nachor who too left (though not at the same time) Ur of the Chaldees for Haran, as Avraham did, to establish a city in his own name (as seen in Gen 24:10) when Avraham’s servant went to seek a wife for Yitschak.
There is one more account of the family of Nachor, which appears immediately after the story of the sacrifice of Yitschak (Isaac) in Gen 22:21 and before the account of Sarah’s death in Gen 23:1-2 to show us that at the death or sunset of Sarah’s life, a new life begins: that of Rebekah, the future wife of Isaac, who would assume the role of matriarch of the faith.
So, who are the descendants of Nachor, because we learn nothing about them until the Book of Job in which we find that Job dwelt in the land of Uts (Job 1:1)?
But first, who was Iyov (Job)? There are strong hints in this book that Iyov, regarding his social status and wealth, was King Yovav in Gen_36:31-34 and 1Ch_1:44 which would make him an Edomite. And also, Elifaz Iyov’s friend (Job_2:11) was the son of Esav (that is Esau) (see Gen_36:10-12).
And the wrath of Elihu, son of Barach’el the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, burned against Iyov. His wrath burned because he declared himself right rather than Elohim. (Job 32:2)
The name of the speaker is Elihu, son of Barach’el the Buzi. The name Elihu signifies “my God is He” and occurs also as a Hebrew name. The name Barach’el signifies “may God bless”. The Arabic name Barach’el is in this respect distinguished from the specifically Hebrew name Berech’yah (Yehovah blesses), which identifies Barach’el as an Arab, and therefore, Elihu as an Arab, too.
How do we know that? We know that because the accompanying national names define the national identity, and because the first people gave their names not only to the descendants after them, but to the land and even to the cities they founded. Buz and Uts, according to Gen_22:20-21, are the sons of Nachor, Avraham’s brother.
Also, within the Buzite clan (see again Job 32:2), Elihu sprang from the family of Ram. Since Ram is the name of the family, not the race, it cannot be equivalent to Aram, like the Ramim of the family of Ram, cannot be equivalent of Aramim, the Arameans. The name Aram, means “exalted” the highland; that is Aram or Syria, and its inhabitants, and the name comes from the fifth son of Shem: Aram (see Gen_10:22-23).
Therefore by family Buz and Uts were Arameans (members of one of a group of Semitic peoples inhabiting Aram and parts of Mesopotamia from the 11th to the 8th century BC), as Avraham was.
But, with that being said, how would that identify them as Aramean Arabs? Again, the national names define the national identity. Buz is mentioned in Jer_25:23-24 along with Dedan and Tema as an Arabian tribe (see the explanation below), and since Elihu was a Buzite of the family of Ram (Job_32:2), therefore, Elihu, Barach’el, the Buzites, and the clan of Ram, and all decendants of Nachor, the brother of Avraham, certainly appear to be Aramean Arabs.
Furthermore, from Gen_22:20-24 we learn that Nachor had a number of families equal to the number of the families of Avraham. In other words, just as from Avraham the twelve tribes emerged from Ya’akov (Jacob), (eight were the sons of the wives and four were the sons of maidservants), so were these also, eight sons of the wives and four sons of a concubine of Nachor.
Therefore, Nachor, like Ishmael (about whom we will learn below) and Ya’akov, had twelve sons, eight by his wife Milcah and four by his concubine; while Ya’akov had his by two wives and two maids, and Ishmael apparently all by one wife. That is not to say that Nachor’s twelve sons were the fathers of as many tribes, as we find that in the cases of Ya’akov and Ishmael, but that there are only a few names, of which it is probable that they fathered tribes of the same name.
The Avrahamic Arabs from Hagar: the Ishmaelites
Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bore unto Abraham. And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the first-born of Ishmael, Nebaioth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, and Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa; Hadad, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedem; (Gen 25:12-15 JPS) (see also 1Ch_1:28-31)
After the Egyptian Hagar and her son were expelled from Avraham’s family (for what reason they were expelled, refer to the article “Did Really Ishmael Mock the Little Isaac?“), they headed eastwards to the land which we call today Arabia, where Ishmael fathered his sons. And these are the twelve sons of Ishmael, by their cities they founded; twelve rulers according to their nations:
Nebaioth and Kedar, sons of Ishmael, are mentioned in Isa_60:7 as shepherds. Also, the Kedarenes are mentioned in Isa_21:17 as good archers. They dwelt in the desert between in an area known as Arabia Petraea and Babylon (Isa_42:11; Psa_120:5), as nomad tribes of Arabia.
Tema: a trading people (Job_6:19; Isa_21:14; mentioned in Jer_25:23, along with Dedan and Buz).
Jetur and Naphish were neighbours of the tribes of Israel to the east of the Jordan (1Ch_5:19), who made war on them along with the Hagarites. The other names are not satisfactorily determined.
In addition to this, we find in Jer_25:19-26 the enumeration of the heathen nations around Israel which begins with Egypt and goes northwards, and eastwards and westwards of Judah. First, we have in Jer_25:20 the peoples of Arabia and Philistia that bordered on Egypt to the east and west, accordingly. Then we have the Arabian tribes of the desert extending eastwards from the land of Canaan to the Euphrates (see Jer_25:23-24). And in Jer 25:24 we find the word for Arabia: Arav.
The word Arav, is actualy an Aramaic word and means to mix, join together, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs Dictionary. It also has the meaning of to become evening, grow dark in Hebrew, hence the Hebrew word: erev, eve. The idea is that as the latter part of the day (the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall) is a mixture of day and evening, so does the people who were called Arav or Arabs are mixture of different ethnic groups.
A derived word from Arav, is aravah, a desert; especially (with the article prefixed), the Arabian wilderness, as seen in Deu 4:48.
and all the Arabah beyond the Jordan eastward, even unto the sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah. (Deu 4:49 JPS)
The latter meaning of Arav we find in Jer 25:24 where it is used with both applications of referring to the land occupied by the nomadic peoples, Arabia, and to their nature of being a mingled people. We read thus,
and all the kings of Arabia (Arav), and all the kings of the mingled people (erev) that dwell in the wilderness; (Jer 25:24 JPS)
Thus, the Aramaic word Arav has been applied, by the time of Jeremiah, to all steppe-dwellers, the mixture of people of different ethic groups inhabiting the country east and south of Canaan (Aravah), the nomadic desert Bedouins, or the Arabians, Arabs.
We find the same Hebrew word erev in Exo 12:38 clearly denoting a mixed people that left Egypt together with Israel (refer to the article “Guess Who Else Left Egypt with Israel“).
And a mixed (erev) multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. (Exo 12:38 JPS)
Therefore, the two designations Arav, that is Arabia, and “the mingled people that dwell in the wilderness” erev, mingled people in Jer 25:24, encompass the whole of the Arabian peoples that dwelt in the wilderness, and therefore, the word Arav is not a word that denotes a specific ethnic group, but a general name for all nomadic peoples, the travelling merchants, as we find this also in Eze_27:21, who gave the name to the region which we know today as Arabia.
That was in the beginning when the people named the regions they settled in after them. Only in the recent history, when all the land had been settled in, it started giving name to the peoples that dwelt in it.
Those travelling merchants we see again in Gen 37:27-28 when the sons of Ya’akov sold their brother Yosef (Joseph) to the Ishmaelites. We read,
Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brethren hearkened unto him. And there passed by Midianites, merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt. (Gen 37:27-28 JPS)
The brothers saw a company of Ishmaelites from Gilead coming along the road which leads through the plain of Dothan (Gen 37:17) to the main caravan road that ran from Damascus to Egypt.
The different names given to the traders, Ishmaelites (Gen_37:25, Gen_37:27), Midianites (Gen_37:28), and Medanites (Gen_37:36), show that these tribes resembled one another so closely, not only because of their common descent from Abraham (Gen_16:15 and Gen_25:2), but also in the similarity of their way of life being nomad peoples, especially when they appeared not as distinguished tribes but as Arabian merchants.
That the descendants of Avraham, Ishmaelites, Midianites, and Medanites, could have travelled and trade as far as Egypt, should tell us that only some 163 years had passed by since Ishmael was sent away from Avraham’s camp, but we see them to have grown into respectable tribes that could have travelled between Arabia and Egypt, while Ya’akov was still a family.
The Avrahamic Arabs from Keturah
And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begot Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. … and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. (Gen 25:1-6 JPS)
And from The Book of Jubilee 19:11:
And Abraham took to himself a third wife, and her name was Keturah, from among the daughters of his household servants, for Hagar had died before Sarah. And she bare him six sons, Zimram, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah, in the two weeks of years.
Of the sons and grandsons of Keturah, who are mentioned also in 1Ch_1:32, a few of the names may still be found among the Arabian tribes, but in most instances the attempt to trace them is very questionable to say at least.
So, before his death, Avraham sent away with presents all sons of the concubines (Hagar and Keturah) eastward, in the land of Arabia, to be far away from his son promised Yitschak and the land of Canaan.
The Avrahamic Arabs from Yitschak: the Edomites
And the LORD said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came forth ruddy, all over like a hairy mantle; and they called his name Esau. And after that came forth his brother, and his hand had hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob. (Gen 25:23-26 JPS)
Now, these are the generations of Esav (Esau) aka Edom, the father of the Edomites. Esav took his wives while still in the land of Canaan and he took also Ishmael’s daughter. And while still in hostility with his brother Ya’akov, Esav took his wives, sons, and daughters and went into a land away from his brother and dwelt in the mountain-land of Seir, east of the Jordan River. (Gen 36:1-8)
We should recall that among the descendants of Edom is none other than the infamous Amalek the ancestor of the Amalekites, who attacked the Israelites at Horev as they came out of Egypt (Exo_17:8).
Speaking of the Amalekites, most likely at a very early period they separated themselves from the other tribes of Edom and formed an independent people, having their land in the southern part of the mountains of what later on would be Judah, as far as Kadesh (Gen_14:7; Num_13:29; Num_14:43, Num_14:45), but, being a nomad people, they spread themselves over Arabia.
Those who settled in Arabia seem also to have separated in the course of time into several tribes, so that Amalekite hordes invaded the land of Israel with the Ammonites (Jdg_3:13), with the Midianites, and what Jdg_6:3 and Jdg_7:12 call “the sons of the East” (who else but the Arabs of Ishmael).
After the Amalekites had been defeated by King Shaul (1Sa_14:48; 1Sa_15:2.), and by David (1Sa_27:8; 1Sa_30:1.; 2Sa_8:12), the remnant of them was all exterminated by the tribe of Shimon on the mountains of Seir (1Ch_4:42-43) but one from whom another evil anti-Semite would come out: Haman (see the true story in The Book of Esther).
The Aramean Arabs from Haran, Avraham’s brother: the Moabites and the Ammonites
Now these are the generations of Terach. Terach begot Avram, Nachor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot. (Gen 11:27)
Avram and Nachor left Ur, but Haran remained in the land. When Avram left, he took with him Lot the son of Haran, for whatever reason: something YHVH did not mention him when He commanded Avram to leave for the land of Canaan.
Anyway, Lot left the Sodom with his two daughters just before the destruction of the wicked cities and fathered through incense two sons from his daughters: Moab and Ammon (Genesis 19). Thus, Avram inadvertently created the worst enemies (together with Ishmael) of his descendants: the Moabites and the Ammonites. (See Deu_23:3 (23:4) Had Avraham stayed faithful to YHVH’s commands to go to the land of Canaan with his wife Sarai and to wait for the promised son Yitschak, the world’s history would have been quite different today, would it not?
For more insight on the Lot story, the reader may read the articles “As in the Days of Lot, Likewise, as in the Days of the Son of Man“ and “The Palestinians, the Indigenous People of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan“.
Now, let us have a quite different approach in our investigation of the origin of today’s Arabs.
And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. (Gen 11:1 JPS)
Prior to Gen 11:1 all names have Hebrew meanings. However, after the confusion of the languages in Gen 11:7 and the origin of the seventy nations, non-Hebrew names began to appear in the text (with the exception of the names Shem’s descendants), which comes to tell us that the original language, prior to Gen 11:1, was Hebrew.
The Hebraic names continue to appear in the Torah through the descendants of Shem, which indicates that the Hebrew language was preserved even after the confusion of the languages.
The Hebrew word for language, safa, in Gen 11:1, also appears in Zep_3:9 when the prophet describes how all the nations of the world will have “pure language” in the end of days:
For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent. (Zep 3:9 JPS)
Jewish tradition maintains that the “pure language” in Zep 3:9 is Hebrew and that in future times the world will speak the language of Israel, which is also the language of Creation.
The Book of Jubilee 12:25-27 And YHVH Elohim said: ‘Open his mouth and his ears that he may hear and speak with his mouth, with the language which has been revealed’; for it had ceased from the mouths of all the children of men from the day of the overthrow (of Babel). And I opened his mouth, and his ears and his lips, and I began to speak with him in Hebrew in the tongue of the creation. And he took the books of his fathers, and these were written in Hebrew, and he transcribed them, and he began from henceforth to study them, and I made known to him that which he could not understand, and he studied them during the six rainy months.
Therefore, what was the language the patriarchs Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov (Israel) spoke?
Avraham was first called “Hebrew” we learn in Gen 14:13. It is believed that the patriarch was called thus, because he crossed the Euphrates, as Brown-Driver-Briggs Dictionary states: Hebrew “one from beyond”.
The Hebrew word for a Hebrew person is ivriy that comes from the root word avar which means “to cross over” and a Hebrew is “one who has crossed over”. But, that word could have come from the name of one of Avraham’s ancestors, the righteous Ever (see Gen_11:16). This name also comes from the same root word making it highly possible that Ever is the progenitor of the ivriy (Hebrew) people and Avraham was first called Hebrew after him (Gen_14:13). And the word for the Hebrew language would be ivriyt. It could be a surprise for the reader to learn that there is no such a word as “hebrew” in the Hebrew language.
So, what was the language of the patriarchs? It was Ivriyt, Hebrew.
Now, what was the language Nachor the brother of Avraham spoke when they separated from each other? If Avram spoke Hebrew, then we should expect that Nachor, the father of the Aramean Arabs, too spoke Hebrew, when he left Ur.
What was the language Ishmael and the sons of Avraham from Keturah spoke while they were still with their father’s house? What else but Hebrew: the spoken language in Avraham’s family. And Hebrew was the language spoken by Esav (Edom) the son of Yitschak, the son of Avraham.
What was the language spoken by Haran the brother of Avraham? By the same reasoning we can say that he spoke Hebrew and his son Lot, too. So, at the time Lot separated himself from Avraham, the language spoken in his family was Hebrew. Therefore, Lot’s sons, Moab and Ammon, spoke Hebrew.
We should also know that the mother tongue spoken in a family defines a national identity, too, and because the fathers of these nations initially had spoken Hebrew, the language of their progenitors, Avraham, Nachor, and Haran, defined the language of their descendants after them.
It is also true that a language changes over time and especially in the cases of the progenitors of these nations.
For instance, Ishmael’s mother was an Egyptian and when they left Avraham’s family, we can expect that his mother’s culture and language started to influence the culture and language of her son’s sons. By the same token, the cultures and languages of the other progenitors had changed, too: of Buz and Uts, of Moab and Ammon, Edom, and the sons from Keturah.
With all that being said, the initial language spoken by these people changed over time to become what is now known as Aramaic and Arabic dialects of Hebrew: languages related to Hebrew, but not quite the same.
Hebrew language also changed over time by having adopted Aramaic words and even its alphabet after the Babylonian exile.
Therefore, the Arabs appear to be related to the Israelites through Buz the son of Nachor, the brother of Avraham, to which Ishmael the son of Avraham from the Egyptian Hagar and Edom the son of Isaac, who married a daughter of Ishmael, brought some coloration to form what is now known as the Arab nation, culture, and language, or, in other words: the Pan-Arab identity.
The Pan-Arab identity was seen historically as a key factor towards the establishment of the Pan-Arab unity, a process that has been going through different stages, as we will see below.
Historical attempts towards the Pan-Arab unity: the Arab Caliphate
The first attempt to establish and consolidate a Pan-Arab culture, language, and religion, or what is now known as the Pan-Arab unity, was the Arab Muslim conquest to establish the Arab Caliphate. This conquest spread in the Middle East, North Africa, and even Spain and Portugal: the Conquests of the Levant: 634–641, of Egypt: 639–642, of Mesopotamia and Persia: 633–651, of the Maghreb: 647–742, of Sindh (India): 711–714, of Iberia: 711–721, Conquest of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Kazakhstan: 673–751.
During the Arab Conquest the primary goal of the conquerors was the unification of all descendants of the three sons of Terach: Avraham, Nachor, and Haran by the means of washing away all the differences that divided the Arab clans.
Actually, the first attempt to unify them was made by Muhammad (570-632) revered by all Muslims as the prophet who, according to Islam, was “the last messenger of Allah”.
Initially, he was very well predisposed towards his cousins: the Jews who lived in Arabia at that time. But when he was rejected by them, because he proclaimed himself to be the last and greatest prophet, he returned with a sword. He returned with a sword to establish a religion which is now known as Islam.
The second goal of the Arab Conquest was the assimilation of all non-Arab peoples under the Arab Caliphate; a process known as the Arabization. In this wave of conquest the united Arabs conquered with the sword the sons of Ham, the son of Noach: Mitsrayim and Put in North Africa. (Gen 10:6) Today they are Egypt and Libya, respectively.
Mitsrayim and Put being the sons of Ham are not Semites who are the sons of Shem, son of Noach. In this conquest Mitsrayim and Put were assimilated, but the Arabs also changed, as they mingled with the local peoples in order to fulfil what was written that the Arabs (Arav) are the mingled people (erev) that dwell in the wilderness (Aravah) (Jer 25:24).
Therefore, we may say that the Arab Caliphate was a successful attempt towards the establishment of the Pan-Arab unity and a nation of all Arabs.
However, the Pan-Arab unity entered into a serious crisis in the aftermath of the Great War.
In the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French empires partitioned the Arab territories and gave themselves the mandate over the Arabs. Thus, following the collapse of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire after World War One, in which Britain and France emerged victoriously, the last caliphate was formally abolished in 1924 and its former territories were swallowed up by the European imperial powers; there is nothing new under the sun since the Roman Empire: Brittan and France divide and conquer the Arabs.
As a result, they partitioned the Middle East in such a manner that historical Arab ethnic groups were fragmented and then grouped into artificially created “nations” with inherited ethnic conflicts which we still see even today. 100 years later the Arab world still has not recovered from this political and cultural catastrophe for the Arab unity.
Unsuccessful attempts to revive the Pan-Arab unity
United Arab Republic
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was in existence between 1958 and 1971 as a sovereign state in the Middle East, and between 1958 and 1961, a short-lived political union consisting of Egypt (including the occupied Gaza Strip) and Syria. Established on 1 February 1958, as the first step towards a larger Pan-Arab state, the UAR was created as a merger of Egypt and Syria, as Pan-Arab sentiment traditionally was very strong in the Arab world following the Suez War of 1956. There was thus considerable popular support in Syria for union with Egypt.
The union began in 1958 and existed until 1961, when Syria seceded from the union after the 1961 Syrian coup d’état. Egypt continued to be known officially as the “United Arab Republic” until 1971.
Federation of Arab Republics
The Federation of Arab Republics was an attempt by Muammar Qaddafi to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria in order to create a United Arab state. Although approved by a referendum in each country in 1971, the three countries disagreed on the specific terms of the merger. The federation lasted from 1 January 1972 to 19 November 1977.
ISIS’ attempt towards the Pan-Arab unity
In 2008 Barak Obama won the presidential elections in the U.S. and being faithful to his promises in his first presidential campaign to give a major address to Muslims from a Muslim capital during his first few months as president in 2009, he took a tour in the Middle East and North Africa.
True to his word, on 4 June 2009, he made his famous “New Beginning” speech in Cairo. In that speech he announced he would be negotiating with Iran, and opposing Israel’s settlements. In late 2010 the so-called “Arab Spring” began through revolutionary waves of demonstrations and protests, riots, and civil wars in the Arab world; first in North Africa and then through Libya and Egypt in the Middle East.
That was the breeding ground for Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to take the power and for ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) aka ISIL to come up on the scene.
And indeed, everything started from there: “the New Beginning” and ISIS’ conquest in the region, as another attempt to re-establish the Pan-Arab Caliphate:
• ISIS started their bloody takeover campaigns in parts of Iraq and Syria.
• ISIS tried to gain some ground in Northeast and Northern Lebanon.
• ISIS infiltrated Gaza where Hamas rules.
• ISIS launched an offensive in the Northern Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
• Jordan was also victim of ISIS’ invasion.
The prophecy of the ten Arab nations
O Elohim, do not remain silent! Do not be speechless, And do not be still, O El! For look, Your enemies make an uproar, and those hating You have lifted up their head. They craftily plot against Your people, And conspire against Your treasured ones. They have said, Come, And let us wipe them out as a nation, and let the name of Israel be remembered no more. For they have conspired together with one heart; They have made a covenant against You – The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Mo’av and the Hagarites, Geval and Ammon, and Amalek Philistia with the inhabitants of Tsor, Ashshur also has joined with them, They have helped the children of Lot. Selah. (Psa 83:1-8)
An Arab Summit was held in Egypt in late June, 1996, whose leaders from most of the Arab nations attended. This might have been Psa_83:1-8 unfolding. Up to June 1996, this Psalm could not have yet been fulfilled. We should notice that the ten enemies of YHVH that hate Him and have risen to plot against His people Israel, listed in Psa 83, are all the key players in the so-called Arab Spring:
1. Edom (southern Jordan)
2. Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arabs)
3. Moab (central Jordan)
4. Hagarites (Egypt)
5. Geval (northern Lebanon)
6. Ammon (northern Jordan)
7. Amalek (northern Sinai)
8. Philistines (Gaza, Hamas)
9. Tsor (southern Lebanon)
10. Ashshur (Iraq and Syria)
This prophecy of the ten Arab nations is to be seen in the context of scenario in which eventually the whole world will summon to wage war against Israel in fulfilment of either Ezekiel or Zechariah’s prophecy (see Chapter The Two Scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog of the book The Reckoning of Time).
To a certain extent, ISIS infiltrated all the areas listed in Psalm 83, including Jordan and Egypt, the only two countries with existing fragile peace treaties with the Jewish state, while Israel had her worries with Hamas in Gaza Strip in the south and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the north. Therefore, we may say, the psalmist might have spoken prophetically and the Middle East might be getting closer to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 83; something impossible two decades ago.
This leads us to believe that the grip around Israel has been getting tighter and tighter as the worst enemies of Israel are closer than ever to Israel’s borders, with no one but Israel to handle.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Pan-Arab unity
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
Although the idea of forming an international Islamic organization had been around for centuries, the first real efforts to form such an organization only occurred after the official abolition of the Ottoman Empire after the Great War.
Historically, the greatest challenge facing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is its ability to establish a consensus among its members, or the Pan-Arab unity.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) membership has been particularly divided with regard to the Sunni and Shiah split among Muslims and the ongoing war in Syria. The only decision the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was able to take was that Syria was suspended from the organization in August 2012 for the government’s violent suppression of the revolt in the country.
However, a common ground was needed in order to achieve the goal of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for a Pan-Arab unity. And it came. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation based its existence that the common ground among its members must be stronger than their differences: and that common ground was found to be Islam.
In conclusion, the Arabs are not monolithic ethnic entity, but mingled people of the desert who stay united as long as the Islam unify them against the enemies they have created.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.