Israel Prayer Teams
PO Box 111302
Carrollton, Texas 75006




By Donna Diorio
October 2006

Among many Christian Israel-supporters the recent report of a “modest” oil discovery
in the Dead Sea region has been really big news.
Many think it is a fulfillment of prophecy, but is it?

The reason so many Israel-supporting believers have expected oil to be discovered in Israel is based on the prophecy that was spoken by Moses as he prophetically blessed the 12 tribes before he died. The passage is Deuteronomy 33 and the prophecy of “oil” for the “foot” of the tribe of Asher falls in verse 24-25:
And of Asher he said:
“Asher is most blessed of sons;
Let him be favored by his brothers,
And let him “tabal” (plunge) his foot in oil.
25 Your “minal” (a bolt, or a bar) shall be iron and bronze;
As your days, so shall your “dobe” rest be.

It is true that there have been great discoveries as one of the dark sayings of prophetic scripture has lodged in the spirit of God fearing men in history. One well known example is Matthew Maury, a U.S. Navy man of the mid-1880’s, who was inspired to find and document “the paths of the sea” spoken of in Psalm 8:8. Mapping the ocean currents, Maury is regarded today as the founder of modern oceanography and hydrography.

There is no dismissing the reality that many dark sayings of the Bible communicate scientific realities waiting to be discovered in the earth. The Word of God most assuredly will guide our paths to intellectual breakthroughs and material blessings, but is material fuel oil the first or primary meaning intended by God in the prophecy for Asher’s “foot?”


(Left) The Zion Oil Twelve Tribes Map

First of all, what does it mean “let him (Asher) plunge his foot in oil.” The first thing that is being communicated is a location—a geographic area within the tribal land allotted to Asher.

This "foot" is exactly what remains today in Israel's possession of the tribal allotment area of Asher; the “leg” of Asher’s tribal allotment lies mostly in Lebanon. The “foot” area is the only place where a biblical fulfillment of an oil strike would have to take place.

See the area on the tribal map that we are speaking of: it is on the Mediterranean coast and extends past the modern border of Lebanon.

There is one large city listed on the ancient map, and that is the port city of Acco.

On a modern map you would instantly see the city of Haifa and would have to search to find Acco’s marker.


When I was in Israel in November 2005 with the intercessory tour for Tents of Mercy congregations we visited many sites around the city of Akko with a young Messianic Jew who pastors a congregation there. He said something astounding that caused an instant change of direction in my thinking. I had never heard anything like it before but it instantly registered that I was hearing the spiritual truth of the matter. It was a very different interpretation and expectation of this prophecy that Moses spoke over the tribe of Asher dipping his foot in oil.

Young pastor/rabbi Guy Cohen said that he believed Moses was speaking of prophetic oil--the oil of the Holy Spirit--that the "foot" of Asher being dipped in oil was not about petroleum products, it was about the outpouring of revival and the Holy Spirit!

Now the “foot” area of the tribal land of Asher remains in Israel’s possession and includes the town of Akko where this young Israeli's congregation, The Harvest of Asher, is located. It is a new work having been birthed a couple of years ago by the mother congregation in nearby Kiryat Yam, the Tents of Mercy congregation under the leadership of Eitan Shishkoff. Guy Cohen, who is a “sabra” or native born Israel, also was born and raised in Akko. It is a town that has been pretty much ‘written off’ because the poverty is so great there, but isn’t that just like God? In spite of their economic poverty (or maybe because of it), the oil of the Holy Spirit is flowing in and among this Akko congregation. God has granted them unprecedented favor among their unsaved Jewish brothers in this city, and though there are still spiritual battles to be fought continually, the believers in Akko are rich in vision for a major revival and outpouring of the blessings of God upon their city.

We should keep the whole prophecy in context. See that the blessing being spoken over the people in the tribal land of Asher is not just that for oil, it is also connected with being blessed with children and being acceptable to his brethren. As one reads, “Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.” When I was writing this, I found that the Hebrew word for “dip” (tabal) might have been better translated “plunged,” like the kind of complete immersion or baptism that takes place when a great spiritual awakening breaks out in a region.

Those who are actually ministering in the Akko area believe the prophecy of Moses points to the spiritual blessings of the oil of the Holy Spirit that God intends to pour out on the area where they live and work and minister. They are expecting to be blessed, in the tribal lands of Asher, with a fulfillment of Moses’ blessing that will cause many spiritual “sons” or “children” to be birthed into the kingdom of God. This is what they believe is promised to take place as they are witnesses of the power of Yeshua the Messiah to their friends, families and neighbors.

If the primary meaning of the prophecy is not for a blessing of fuel oil, but rather for Holy Oil, then this may be a prophecy of where one of the greatest outbreaks of revival in Israel is slated to begin! Isn’t that just like God who inspired James to write, “Listen, my beloved brothers, did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”

As I said, I had never before heard such a powerful spiritual interpretation of this prophecy as Guy Cohen’s simple, straightforward expectation for revival in his city. Yes—prophesied thousands of years before from the lips of Moses, but speaking of God’s desire to pour out true blessing on His people Israel. Oil is nice, Holy Oil is much more precious.

As I stood there hearing Guy’s words, I knew that I was hearing the voice of the Spirit of the Living God who looks upon the true poverty of region of Akko and yearns to pour out a blessing of Holy Oil upon a people who will turn to Him in trusting Yeshua. I got it. The young rabbi didn’t have to linger on the point. I got it! “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much black gold!”

For at least a couple of decades many of us have assumed and accepted that this prophecy was a reference to a material blessing of oil, rather than a spiritual blessing. There’s nothing wrong with that if we don’t let it blind us to the primary meaning and purpose of the kind of blessing that God really wants and intends to pour out on Israel.

Coming from a genuine Spirit-filled, Messianic Jewish Israeli pastor from the very tribal area the prophecy referred to, Guy Cohen’s interpretation struck me as a much more pure interpretation. It captured the heart of God and did not just speak to temporal needs that as human beings we tend to give a greater priority to. As I spoke with another young Israeli believer from Jerusalem while writing this, we marveled over the reluctance to consider this prophecy as a promise for spiritual blessing rather than a temporal blessing. “We have to change our minds,” this 23-year sabra woman told me. “When we can’t see what God is really concerned about in Israel, the salvation of the people, then our minds are caught in earthly concerns, not God’s concerns.”

I agree. As I have reconsidered that this verse may not have been speaking of natural oil at all, my eyes have been opened to many things about the prophecy that I had not considered before. For one, it made me take notice that God was in fact addressing these blessings through Moses over people, not over the land. I was also amazed to realize that only God could know that of all the allotment of land that was for the tribe of Asher that it would be essentially only the foot portion that would actually be in Israel’s possession in the last days. How cool is that? The geography of this prophecy is important. Don’t think because a very small oil discovery was made in the Dead Sea region that it is ‘close enough’ to be a fulfillment of prophecy! God doesn’t miss by hundreds of miles!

Another reason I believe that the young Israeli pastor was correct in his interpretation is because Israel's blessings are going to be limited apart from the nation’s acceptance of Yeshua. As the numbers of believers in Yeshua increase in Israel, so will the material blessings upon Israel increase. That is something that many Christians do not yet see in the plan of God for Israel. It is through people returning to God through faith in His Son that the Father is able to pour out more and more blessing upon Israel. (An excellent book that covers this understanding from a Messianic Israeli perspective is Asher Intrater’s booklet, What Does the Bible Really Say About the Land?)

In context the prophecy that Moses spoke over the tribe of Asher was not just about oil. Organically connected to the oil are prophetic words that the tribe would be blessed with children and that he will be acceptable to his brethren. The tribe of Asher would have many physical children down through history, exactly like all the other tribes did. Why would a prophecy about an oil discovery in the tribe lands of Asher be connected to a blessing over the tribe of (1) “sons” or “children,” (2) and “favor” or “acceptance” among their brothers?

In context, the details of the full prophecy do not make a lot of sense apart from a primary spiritual application and meaning by God—that of spiritual sons in the season of Israel's harvest.
Why should the “foot” area of the tribe of Asher receive such a prophetic blessing relating to the harvest of the last days? It could be related to the fact that the second aspect of the prophecy is already occurring as the Messianic believers in Akko enjoy an unprecedented acceptance by their neighbors. Very few regions in Israel have been as accepting of Messianic believers as Akko. Ariel is another town. This acceptance of the Messianic believers among their countrymen is actually a trigger for God’s blessings upon the regions of Israel where Messianics are accepted and persecution is not. We are going to see more and more evidences of this as the kingdom of God continues to expand in Israel.

You will get no argument here that a major oil discovery in Israel—anywhere in Israel—would be a great blessing for the nation and I certainly don’t stand opposed to any who hope for that. However, I am no longer convinced that this particular prophecy over the tribe of Asher was about mere fuel oil.

It wouldn’t be the first time that one of the “dark sayings” of prophecy has been popularly accepted in an entirely misinterpreted application. It isn’t just a matter of whose interpretation is right and whose is wrong. When a misinterpretation is widely accepted and expected then it causes people to miss the primary meaning as the prophecy is actually unfolding! We can’t see what God is doing when He is doing it because our expectation is fixed on something else that we consider would be more effective, beneficial or rewarding.

A perfect example of that is the first coming of the Messiah. Since the circumstances of His appearances did not match their interpretive expectations, many continued to cling to the popularly accepted misinterpretation of Messianic scripture looking for a Messianic King, instead of the Suffering Servant who was before them.

Christians who likewise follow too closely after the efforts of those who have been inspired by scripture to do oil exploration in Israel (or even to attempt to breed the ‘perfect’ kosher red heifer so the unsaved religious Jews can be prepared for a renewal of Temple Sacrifices!), are simply not open to hear that this prophecy may not be about fuel oil at all. Additionally, it is an alarming fact that most of the folks so focused on those pursuits relating to Israel, don’t seem to know the first thing about the spiritual harvest that is already going on right now in Israel through the labors of the Israeli Body of Messiah.

This is the lens that I view these things from.
Lots of Christians are caught up marveling over the search for Israeli oil hoping for a material blessing of Israel, but few even think about the promise of a great revival and Holy Oil flowing upon the people of Israel today.

Prophecy is funny. When lots of people are sure they know the interpretation far in advance, then they can not see or receive the real interpretation as it is unfolding. That is sort of a rule about prophecy. Few have been able to accurately say what a prophecy meant until it was actually happening, and then it was like they said in Acts, “This is that which the prophet Joel prophesied.”

As it is unfolding some can recognize it as prophetic fulfillment and some cannot because they are too adamant in their conviction that it is supposed to be something else they are looking for. We have to be open enough about prophetic scripture to be among those who can recognize God’s intent when it is subtly unfolding in the earth.

What is it that we would consider a natural oil discovery as more significant to Israel than the promise of a mighty outpouring of Holy Oil on the “foot” of the tribe of Asher? As Israel when so many could not see that their Messiah was walking among them, our minds have become dulled to spiritual truths. As Yeshua commented in Matthew 13:15, “For the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.”

Another thing about the “foot” is that in prophetic terminology, the feet often represent the last days, which if you read the all the prophecies Moses spoke over all the tribes in Deuteronomy 33, one has to wonder if all of them weren’t referring to far, far down the historical road of the 12 tribes, even into our own day.

I am all for an oil discovery in Israel, but I am believing for and praying for an outpouring of Holy Oil on the people of the Akko area right now—that current ministry efforts would be blessed with fulfillment of this prophecy over their tribal region.

It will be interesting to see if there is ever a natural oil find in land allotted to Asher, but I am positive that there will be a fulfillment of the spiritual promise of Holy Oil poured out over the people in the harvest of Asher.

Pray for this growing congregation of believers led by Guy Cohen—the Harvest of Asher Congregation—a member of the Tents of Mercy network, among whom the Lord is moving mightily in Akko, Israel. Truly the oil of the Holy Spirit among the people in the tribal lands of Asher is much more precious than even a major 'black gold' oil strike in Israel.

The many ministries under the covering of Tents of Mercy and Revive Israel, Eitan Shishkoff and Asher Intrater, will be conducting another International Conference and Intercessory Tour in Israel on March 1-8, 2007. For further information on the Esther’s Call Tour, or If you have any questions or would like to receive a registration form, write to

If you would like to read Eitan's recent article "Esther's Call" go to

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