John Tng (4
"Psalm 95 & the Assassination of Rabin"
Without a doubt, the murder of Yitzhak Rabin on 4th Nov 1995, exactly two years ago, was the event that stood out in the year 1995 for Israel. Amazingly, Ps95 contains hidden clues pointing to the first assassination of an Israeli prime minister since 1948.
"Never before had an Israeli prime minister been murdered. Despite the death threats, despite the highly-charged atmosphere, no one, from Rabin down, could imagine that a Jew would take up arms against another Jew. The country went into immediate shock."
p605, Rabin of Israel, 1922-1995
We need to appreciate the events that had happened leading to this fateful day two years ago. It is because of Rabin's peacemaking efforts that cost him his life, all the more ironic, considering that just a year prior to his death, he shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, with Peres and Arafat. Listed below are the key events prior to Rabin's death.
"The Labour-dominated Government's lifting of the ban on contacts with the PLO in January 1993 set the scene fo secret talks between the two sides.......The resulting accord, called the Declaration of Principles (DOP), based on mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO, ......was concluded at the White House in Washington on 13 September 1993. After the document -- popularly called the Oslo Accord (since it was initiated in Oslo on 30 August 1993) -- was signed by Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, prodded by President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak abin, life-long enemies, shook hands in the presence of worldwide television channels.
With this most widely seen handshake in history, Rabin and Arafat inaugurated a new chapter in the history of the region." --- p215
"In the event the Israelis and the Palestinians transformed the Declaration of Principles into a working document in Cairo on 4 May 1994. It gave rise to the Palestinian Authority, headed by Arafat. On 1 July he left the PLO headquarters in Tunis to administer the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Laterr that month Peres became the first Israeli foreign minister to visit Jordan openly, and saw his peace efforts culminate in a Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty in October (1994), signed by Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan in the presence of President Clinton. Later Rabin, Peres and Arafat shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway." --- p216
Sharing the Promised Land
The Oslo I Accord was signed on 13 September 1993. Two years later, in September 1995, the Oslo II Accord was signed amidst much opposition from the Israeli right wing.
".....the two sides, led respectively by Arafat and Peres, initialled the Comprehensive Interim Agreement on extending the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority to the West Bank, and the holding of elections to the Palestinian Council, on 24 September (1995) after a series of non-stop marathon sessions. It was a complex document of over 300 pages and many detailed maps. Four days later, Rabin and Arafat signed the Second Israeli-PLO Accord, popularly called the Oslo II Accord, at the White House in Washington in the presence of President Clinton. With this the Israeli-Palestinian peace process became almost irreversible.
While any criticism from the radical Palestinian side was muted the reaction from the Israeli right wing was sharp and shrill. On 5 October thousands of Jewish Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem against the Oslo II Accord. They burnt effigies of Rabin dressed in a Nazi Gestapo uniform. Later Likud leader Benyamin Netanyahu addressed the demonstrators whose favourite chant was: 'Rabin is a traitor.'
.....The anti-Rabin and anti-Peres rhetoric and sloganeering gathered pace in the summer and autumn of 1995 as the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their sympathizers in the pre-1967 Israel whipped up feelings against the Government.
....The rising vociferousness of the right-wing opposition goaded the Peace Now group to muster its forces in a city with a long record of secularism and moderation: Tel Aviv. And to counter the right-wing assault on his peacemaking, Rabin agreed, unprecedentedly, to address the Peace Now rally at the Malkhei Israel Square (which was named Yitzhak Rabin Square after Rabin's death), in the shadow of the Town Hall, in the company of Peres, on 4 November (Saturday) evening after sunset. The event attracted some 150,000 people.
Apparently the ambience of the large assembly so moved Rabin that he agreed, again unprecedentally, to join in the singing of the Song of Peace, 'Tnu la shemesh l'alot, La boker le ha'in' (Let the sun shine, let the morning rise), a routine exercise at the Peace Now rallies,.....
Ironically, these were to be the last words in public of Rabin, a man who never ceased to think or act like a soldier. These were the words of a song written after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, which was banned two years later from Israeli radio stations.
....At 9.50 p.m. as Rabin walked along a darkened passageway leading to the concourse, where his car was parked, Yigal Amir fired two shots from his gun and killed Rabin. 'I acted alone on God's orders and I have no regrets,' Amir told the police. 'I had planned to kill Peres and Rabin together, but Peres left alone before Rabin.'
'Yitzhak Rabin was a son of this rocky soil, of Jerusalem, a first generation son,' wrote Aharon Megged, an Israeli novelist.
p219 - p222
Sharing the Promise Land
With the above as the background, let us turn to Ps95 to see the hidden prophecies.
#1 THE PEACE NOW RALLY. Rabin addressed a large assembly of people in the evening he was shot on 4 Nov 1995. Thousands of Israelis were gathered at the Malkhei Israel Square at the time of Rabin's assassination. This is certainly the right picture as portrayed by the Psalmist in Ps95.
Psalm 95 NIV
1 COME, LET US sing for joy to the LORD; LET US shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 LET US COME before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
6 COME, LET US bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
Some other Scriptures with the phrase, "Come, let us", are listed below, suggesting a huge gathering of people, virtually all the peoples of the world!
Genesis 11 NIV
4 Then they said, "COME, LET US build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
Isaiah 2 NIV
3 Many peoples will come and say, "COME, LET US go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Micah 4 NIV
2 Many nations will come and say, "COME, LET US go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
The Psalmist had the hidden clue planted in the phrase "COME, LET US", to point to the large gathering of the Peace Now rally addressed by Rabin before he was killed.
#2 MASSAH & MERIBAH (Ps 95:8). This was the water incident.
Exodus 17 NIV
1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they QUARRLED with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses replied, "Why do you QUARREL with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?" 3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they GRUMBLED against Moses. They said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?" 4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, "What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me."
7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites QUARRELED and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
Amazingly, the Massah and Meribah incident parallels the Peace Now rally in that the Israelites were disgruntled with their leaders, namely Moses and Rabin respectively. They QUARRELED and GRUMBLED with MURDEROUS INTENT! (They are almost ready to stone me. Exo 17:4) While Moses was not stoned, Rabin was not so lucky with bullets! Furthermore, the real issue was not about water. The real issue was about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt to die in the desert! They blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt to enter into the Promised Land which seemed like a fairy tale at that time. Amazingly, the modern parallel is still about the issue of the Promised Land! Modern Israel is still far from inheriting Palestine.
#3 MOSES & RABIN. The Massah & Meribah incident cost Moses his life!
Deuteronomy 32 NIV
48 On that same day the LORD told Moses, 49 "Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel."
The LORD put Moses to sleep even though he was still strong -- "Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone." (Deu 34:7 NIV) Rabin may have lost his life because he tried to make peace with the PLO who constantly seeks the destruction of Israel.
#4 FOR FORTY YEARS I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION (Ps 95:10 NIV). God punished the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness before Joshua led a new generation of Israelis into the Promised Land. "The Lord's anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone." (Num 32:13 NIV)
What has this Scripture to do with Rabin's death? There are two possible links. Let me quote from the book, "Sharing the Promised Land",
'Yitzhak Rabin was a son of this rocky soil, of Jerusalem, a first generation son,' wrote Aharon Megged, an Israeli novelist.
Surely Rabin is the epitome of a true-blooded Jew fighting all his life for the liberation and establishment of Israel. Robert Slater wrote of Rabin in his book, "Rabin of Israel", on p173,
"...The Six-Day War made him a military hero. His reputation soared at home and abroad. Suddenly he was the triumphant leader of the Israel Defence Forces, and no longer just another chief of staff. He came to symbolize the legendary feats of the IDF during those six days in June 1967. No event shaped the image of Yitzhak Rabin in the public's mind as much as the Six-Day War."
Unfortunately the peace he sought so desparately is still far from being a reality even two years after his death. It is possible that Rabin represents the first generation of Israelis who will have gone when the second generation inherits the Promised Land, i.e. when the nations "willl beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks".
The second possible connection is similar to the Massah & Meribah incident when the whole Israelite community rebelled against Moses and even wanted to stone him. The LORD punished the Israelites with 40 years of wandering in the desert because of the spying of Canaan incident -- "For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.' " (Num 14:34 NIV)
13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."
14:1 That night all the people of the community RAISED THEIR VOICES and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites GRUMBLED against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!
Once again, we have a mob here! I am sure they would not have hesitated in stoning Moses and Aaron if they were rubbed the wrong way up. Once again, the issue here is the Promised Land! "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!"
#5 SONG OF PEACE. Rabin's last words in public were the words of the Song of Peace -- the theme song of the Peace Now rally.
Let the sun shine, let the morning rise,
The purest of prayers will not bring us back.
He whose life has been extinguished,
And has been tucked into the earth,
Bitter tears will not wake him up,
Will not bing him back here.
Nobody will bring us back,
From the deep pit of darkness,
Nor can the joy of victorry,
Nor SONGS of glory.
Don't whisper a prayer,
It is better to SING A SONG of peace,
With A GREAT SHOUT.
Remarkable!!! Little did Rabin realise that this song prophesied his own death just minutes before. Furthermore, Ps95 does talk about songs.
Psalm 95 NIV
1 Come, let us SING for joy to the LORD; let us SHOUT ALOUD to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with MUSIC and SONG.
#6 RABIN'S DEATH. The last verse of Ps 95 looks like a R.I.P. -- "So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest." " (Ps 95:11 NIV) It is interesting to note that 4 Nov 1995 was a Sabbath. Although according to Jewish reckoning, 9:50 p.m. of Saturday is considered part of Sunday. The fact remains that Rabin did not enter into the proverbial rest that God promised to His chosen people, just as Moses only saw the Land from a distance and was gathered to his people.
CONCLUSION. Ps95 conceals clues to the assassination of Rabin and paints an accurate picture of the prevailing mood among the Israeli community in the summer and autumn of 1995, as paralleled by the Massah & Meribah and the exploration of Canaan incidents.