Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
Many Christians were raised going to Sunday School, hearing Bible stories of Abraham and his camels, or David and his sheep. An other-worldly glow surrounded these tales; hymns and Christmas pageants retold these old, old stories.
These stories, which seemed to happen “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” actually took place in the Middle East – mostly in the Land of Israel. It was Jews who wrote these stories down on ancient parchments, and most of these histories dealt with the tribes of Israel. But many believers in Yeshua have not managed to ‘connect the dots’ – to realize that the Hebrew people in the Bible are the same people whom God has brought to their homeland. The Jewish people are still being confronted by the same murderous enemies mentioned in the Psalms and the Prophets and, like King David and Joshua, we are forced to lift modern swords in our defense. This newsletter will examine some of the spiritual roots of jihad; the teachings in Muslim writings defining jihadi activities; and the recent activities in Gaza which accurately reflect those teachings.
‘Give me that old-time religion’
Much of the following information can be found in the book ‘Jews, Arabs and the Middle East – A Messianic Perspective’, available at www.davidstent.org.
Muḥammad’s own instructions to jihad warriors are found in the Quran and the Hadith (a body of traditions and sayings of Muḥammad which is a major source of Islamic religious law). Allah is described as commanding:
- “When you meet the unbelievers (in battle), strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives. Afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. Thus (you are commanded)” (Quran, Surah 47:4).
- “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every one of their fingertips . . . O you who believe! . . . It is not you who slew them; it was Allah who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah who smote, and that he might confer upon the believers a good gift from himself… Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (Quran, Surah 8:12, 15–17, 60)
The Dictionary of Islam (Thomas Patrick Hughes, p. 243) mentions four central actions in jihad. These involve not only warfare and subjugation, but the use of terror as a necessary psychological weapon to intimidate and crush all opposition:
- military defeat of the enemy combined with deliberate slaughter of opponents and rape of women
- enslavement or ransom if the victorious leader so desires
- a fealty bond (jizya or poll-tax) paid by Jews or Christians, indicating their acceptance of and agreement to a humiliating near-slave status (‘dhimmi’)
- death by beheading for those who refuse to accept Islam or pay the jizya
‘Kill and be killed’
Mujahidin (jihad warriors) are to show no mercy in battle: “Those who follow Muḥammad are merciless to the unbelievers but kind to each other” (Quran, Surah 48:29). Jihad warriors are not to become friends with Jews and Christians: “They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be [all] alike. Therefore, take not from among them friends until they flee [their homes] in Allah’s cause. But if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper” (Quran, Surah 4:89).
Jihad warriors look forward to constant battle and death until they conquer the world for Islam: “The believers . . . fight in his cause, so they kill (others) and are killed” (Sahih al-Bukhari 51:1). “Make war on them until idolatry does not exist any longer and Allah’s religion reigns universally” (Quran, Surah 8:39).
Eighty percent of the spoils of war (including women and children) are booty for the jihadi warrior. “And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the apostle” (Quran, Surah 8:41), “and the remainder is for you” (Mishkat 2:412). “Jihad is therefore the best source of all acquisitions” (Mishkat 2:406).
Jihad privileges extended to raping women captives. “In the actual war-field in the midst of hostilities, according to some jurists, some concessions were sometimes given to soldiers for recreation. Captive virgin girls in war were once made lawful for the soldiers for copulation” (Mishkat 2:440).
Muḥammad also permitted the slaughter of innocents. “So narrated as-Sa’b bin Jaththama, ‘The prophet passed by me at a place called al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The prophet replied, “They are from them” [ed. Muḥammad is saying that the women and children are also pagans like their husbands / fathers, so it is permissible to kill them] (Sahih Bukhari, 4.52.256).
Hamas has posted videos on October 7 of live raping of Israeli captives on kibbutzim and in Gaza. It’s time to wake up to these hideous events. The wars of Islam are here again, and the Jewish state of Israel is on the frontline of that battle.
Violating the image of God
A 23-year-old Arab living in Shu’afat, a northern suburb of Jerusalem, posted video clips on social media in the past week supporting and identifying with Hamas’ horrific activities against Jewish citizens near Gaza. He proclaimed, “Allah, count them and kill them and do not leave any of them alive!” His declaration mirrors the above-mentioned Surah 8.
- As much of the world chooses to deny or ignore the 1,400 Jews massacred by jihadi terrorists, and begins to accuse Israel of war crimes, let’s ask the question: What would the extent of the slaughter be in Israel if Hamas mujahidin were given free reign?
Dr. Chen Kugel, the head of Abu Kabir (Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv), explained in horrified sorrow some of what Hamas terrorists achieved in their mass terror, murder and rape in the kibbutzim and moshavim adjoining Gaza from 06:30 am to 10:00 pm on October 7, 2023 – based on examination and autopsies of the Jewish victims’ mutilated and burnt bodies.
The age range of the victims spanned form 3 months to 90 years old. Many bodies, including babies, were without heads. Kugel affirmed that they had been decapitated, though he admitted that it was difficult to ascertain whether they were decapitated before or after death, as well as whether the heads were “cut off by knife or blown off by RPG.” Charred hands held by metal wires showed that some victims were bound and then burned alive. “Two spinal cords – one belonging to an adult, one to someone young – a parent and a child bound together by metal wires in a final embrace before being set alight. Many were burned alive in their homes . . . We know they were burned alive because there is soot in their trachea, their throats – meaning there were still breathing when set on fire.” A father’s body was found with his eyes gouged out, lying in front of his children who had been shot.
These deeds, and many more too difficult to describe here, were also part and parcel of the original jihad wars 1,400 years ago, and are being repeated again in our day – not only in some far away village in Syria, but within immediate driving distance of downtown Tel Aviv.
King David, the man after God’s own heart, the anointed psalmist of Israel, shares with us his God-given strategies for dealing with demonically energized evil people like the Hamas jihadis:
- I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and I did not turn back until they were consumed (Psalm 18:37)
- And in Your faithfulness, destroy my enemies, and eliminate all those who attack my soul (Psalm 143:12)
Iran is alive and well and living in Lebanon
In 2006 Israel was pressured to draw back from successfully defeating Iran-armed and equipped proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. Immediately the Shi’ite jihadi terror leaders Hassan Nasrallah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards began to replenish Hezbollah’s stocks of GPS-guided rockets with the aid of $1 billion USD in Iranian funds – in violation of the ceasefire’s UN Security Council Resolution 1701 calling for the total disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon.
Today, even though the war against Hamas is taking up the major headlines, it may be that the upcoming battle in the North of Israel with Hezbollah will be the most important.
“According to updated assessments, Hezbollah currently possesses between 120,000-140,000 short-range rockets (range of 25-28 miles), which cover Israel’s north, including Haifa Bay and Tiberias; several thousand medium-range rockets (range of 56 miles), which can reach the Sharon coastal plain and northern suburbs of Gush Dan; and several hundred long-range rockets and missiles (range of hundreds of miles), including Scud missiles from Syrian military warehouses, capable of hitting targets anywhere in Israel. Hezbollah’s rockets and missiles are dispersed throughout Lebanon. Its short-range rockets are mostly stored in the country’s south, in the area near the Israeli border, to maximize their range. They are hidden in homes in the 230 Shiite villages, ready to be activated at a moment’s notice. It is from here that Hezbollah intends to rain fire on the Galilee, and essentially paralyze it. If the IDF decides to enter these villages on the ground to stop this barrage, it will be met with an array of fortifications and ambushes.”
According to a recent IDF Home Front Command report, roughly 1,000-1,500 rockets and missiles will be launched into Israel per day. Thousands of homes will be hit and hundreds of Israeli civilians will be injured or killed. Hundreds of thousands are expected to be evacuated from their homes.
The majority of Hezbollah’s rockets, however, are ‘dumb’ rockets. One cannot control where they hit, and a large number of rockets need to be launched to inflict real damage. On the other hand, a key Hezbollah precision-guided missile is the M-600 (‘Tishrin’) of Syrian manufacture. Its range is 250 kilometers (155 miles); it carries a half-ton warhead and is accurate to dozens of yards from the target. Such missiles can strike IDF HQ (the Kirya) in Tel Aviv. Hezbollah’s goal in war would be to hit strategic facilities (power, electricity and water-pumping stations), air force and army bases, government buildings in Jerusalem, etc. The IDF would hit similar structures in Lebanon, as well as national sewage systems, bringing that country “back to the Stone Age” as has been repeatedly warned by top Israeli brass.
Dr. Ehud Eilam, an Israeli national security analyst, states that Hezbollah has up to 150,000 rockets and missiles that can reach every spot in Israel. The Israeli Iron Dome system can only intercept a portion of enemy rockets and missiles due to the expected vast numbers which will be fired. If Israel then will need to engage Hezbollah, a pre-emptive strike followed by a massive air, land, and sea offensive will result, aimed at gaining a quick and decisive victory.
The Arabic term ‘Wahdat al-Saha’at’ (unity of the arenas) lies behind Iran’s effort to gather its allies and all armed Islamist forces arrayed against Israel under a single Persian umbrella. Today Iran controls a contiguous area of control stretching from Syria’s Quneitra Province adjoining the Golan Heights, through southern Syria and into Iraq. where Tehran dominates the government, and where its Shia militias – the Hashd al-Sha’abi, or Popular Mobilization Units – have freedom of action. Recent reports described Iran-controlled militias in Syria’s Deir al Zur province moving westward toward the border with Israel. Were Lebanese Hezbollah to initiate war, there is a good chance that Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq would join in, along with the direct involvement of Iranian personnel.
This is one of the reasons why U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin stated yesterday: “I have also activated the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery as well as additional Patriot battalions to locations throughout the region to increase force protection for U.S. forces. Finally, I have placed an additional number of forces on prepare-to-deploy orders as part of prudent contingency planning, to increase their readiness and ability to quickly respond as required. I will continue to assess our force posture requirements in the region and consider deploying additional capabilities as necessary.”
In that light, the IDF Spokesman’s call to the Israeli public one week ago (which was later walked back as ‘publicized in error’) to stock up on water, food, cash and batteries is a sobering wake-up call.
How should we then pray?
As tanks begin to roll, here are some bullet points to be praying about:
- Pray for ‘Shock and awe’ to be successfully carried out by the IDF to thwart the years of planning that Hamas has done – tunnels, mines, commando teams whose job is to kidnap IDF soldiers, and to even make off with their dead bodies. Davidic divine strategies as in Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be YHVH my rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle!”
- Pray for clarity of strategy, purpose and resolve for Israel’s leaders to deal a final death-blow to Hamas in Gaza – total and unconditional surrender of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and total removal from Gaza for them both
- Pray for revelation to Israel’s leaders that YHVH Himself gave Gaza to the tribe of Judah (see Joshua 15:20-47) and that this is Israel’s true biblical inheritance. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement under strong American pressure was key to leading us into this horrific situation. Here is a quote from 2005 – during the Israeli disengagement from Gaza – by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who warned Israel that disengaging from Gaza was not enough; the entire West Bank needed to be handed over to the PLO/Hamas: “Because the real point about Gaza is not to stop with Gaza. The President has been clear, we’ve been clear with the Israelis that it cannot be Gaza only” (Press briefing by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice en route to Shannon, Ireland June 17, 2005)
- Pray for the leaders of your nation to receive a revelation of God as the Captain of the armies of Israel (see 1 Samuel 17:45): “But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a saber, but I come to you in the name of YHVH of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”
- Pray for minimal loss of life on all sides except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
- Pray for God’s strategies and leading regarding how to deal with Hezbollah, and for the God of Jacob to hold back regional war if possible, involving Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Yemenite Houthis and other superpowers
- Pray for revelation and clarity to be imparted by the God of Israel to the world intelligence community who have not yet understood what jihad is all about and are fogged as to how to deal with it decisively
- Pray for the physical rescue of the at least 212 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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