Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is angry with US President Barack Obama over Obama’s decision to support the Palestinian cause which aims to return to pre-1967 borders. With this breaking news on the eve of the end of the world (according to Harold Camping), many who don’t know better might be anxious. Let me reassure you, although the news of Obama’s decision is worth redoubling your efforts in praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), the world will almost certainly NOT end on May 21. The Bible says no such thing as far as I can tell. And even if Camping’s math made sense, Jesus Himself was quite clear that date setting is out of bounds for His followers. Consider this caution from Dr. Albert Mohler, and then click the link below to read his blog article. Then go about your business on May 21… and on May 22… and “be about the Father’s business, sharing the Gospel and living faithful Christian lives.”
“The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.” ~ Albert Mohler
In: In the News · Tagged with: Albert Mohler, Harold Camping
A thought-provoking article was posted last week in Canada’s National Post online:
The Arab world may be in turmoil, but none of the Arab uprisings has included Israel as a central issue. Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya — the one factor common to all is that protests centre on local conditions and domestic grievances. What does this tell us about the real problems of the Middle East, and all the attention placed on the “peace process” for all these years?
That was the introduction to a three-way exchange well worth reading. Get the rest of it here.
I especially like one writer’s conclusion—not the prospect envisioned in it, but the scary truth of it:
Unfortunately, while Kevin is correct that preventing Israel’s enemies in that region from becoming nuclear armed, particularly now that some of its less-than-pleasant but still relatively stable dictators have been toppled, there’s no good way to do it. I very much hope the status quo holds out as long as possible. When I try and think through ways that this can possibly end, not a whole lot of happy endings come to mind. Unless you like mushroom clouds, that is. Then you’ll probably be thrilled.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Arabs, Armageddon, eMageddon, Israel, Palestine, Six Day War
For the first time in the context of 21st century political realities, France has taken a step forward as a de facto leader of European military intervention. An obscure bit of prophecy in Ezekiel 38:6 identifies a nation known as “Gomer”—an ancient reference to “The eldest son of Japheth, and father of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah (Ge 10:2,3) whose descendants formed the principal branch of the population of South-eastern Europe… [whose] descendants are still found in the Gaels and Cymry. Thus the whole Celtic race may be regarded as descended from Gomer” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “Gomer”). In his chapter on Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning “Armageddon”, my grandfather concluded that “Gomer” could be interpreted, on the basis of anthropological evidence, as “Gaul” or France, and the nations following France’s leadership could, then, be intended by Ezekiel’s phrase, “all his hordes” (read more). If he was right about Gomer being an ancient reference identifying, in the prophets far distant prediction, the people of France, then the present war in Libya, and its French origins, could be the first time “Gomer and all his hordes” has emerged on the world stage in modern times.
Reuter’s journalist, Paul Taylor submitted this insightful piece, published in Canada’s National Post April 2, 2011:
It is a war Barack Obama didn’t want, David Cameron didn’t need, Angela Merkel couldn’t cope with and Silvio Berlusconi dreaded.
Only Nicolas Sarkozy saw the popular revolt that began in Libya on Feb. 15 as an opportunity for political and diplomatic redemption. Whether the French President’s energetic leadership of an international coalition to protect the Libyan people from Muammar Gaddafi will be enough to revive his sagging domestic fortunes in next year’s election is highly uncertain. But by pushing for military strikes he hopes might repair France’s reputation in the Arab world, Mr. Sarkozy helped shape what type of war it would be.
The road to Western military intervention in Libya was paved with mutual suspicion, fears of another quagmire in a Muslim country and doubts about the largely unknown ragtag opposition with which the West has thrown in its lot.
That will make it harder to hold together an uneasy coalition of Americans, Europeans and Arabs the longer Col. Gaddafi holds out. Almost two weeks into the air campaign, Western policymakers fret about the risk of a stray bomb hitting a hospital or an orphanage, or of the conflict sliding into a prolonged stalemate.
There is no doubt the outcome in Tripoli will have a bearing on the fate of the popular movement for change across the Arab world. But because this war was born in Paris it will also have consequences for Europe.
"It’s high time that Europeans stopped exporting their own responsibilities to Washington," said Nick Witney, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "If the West fails in Libya, it will be primarily a European failure." [read more]
If by “Gomer”, Ezekiel was talking about France, then I think we can expect more from France in coming years, in terms of giving leadership to military intervention… eventually intervention in Israel. This time “Gomer and all its hordes” is at war with Libya’s government under the leadership of NATO—with a Canadian general in command. Some day in the future, “Gomer and all its hordes” will follow not NATO but Russia in a military campaign destined for a much worse outcome than even the worst quagmire can produce in Libya (c.f. Ezekiel 38-39).
In: In the News · Tagged with: eMageddon, Ezekiel 38, France, gomer, Libya
Yesterday a Canadian General was appointed to command NATO forces in their war against Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi. But today FoxNews reports that Pentagon officials are now considering turning the NATO campaign into a ground war—not just the defense of a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace. It would seem evident that Obama, though he would like to portray himself as very different from George W. Bush, really is caught between his liberal ideals and the facts on the ground in the Middle East. Most likely, though Canadian NATO commander, General Charles Bouchard is perfectly competent to lead this campaign. But Obama is actually still in charge. Even the Libyans know this to be true. The National Post quoted one citizen as giving thanks to Britain, France and the USA… no mention of Canada’s leadership because everyone knows Obama is still calling the shots:
“Thank you Britain, thank you France, thank you America,” said one rebel, praising the Western air strikes against Gaddafi targets. [source]
And this is the problem. Appearances are one thing. Facts on the ground are another. Obama probably never wanted to get involved in a ground war in North Africa… he did not want to fall under the same hammer of public opinion that George W. Bush suffered. But once he actually had to make the tough calls that go with the comfy chair in the Oval Office, political and economic realities crushed his liberal, idealistic platitudes. “Yes we can!” has become “I guess we have to.”
"The United States should not and cannot intervene every time there’s a crisis somewhere in the world," Obama said in the speech Saturday. But with Qaddafi threatening "a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region … it’s in our national interest to act. And it’s our responsibility. This is one of those times."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/26/considers-firepower-hit-qaddafi-forces/#ixzz1HjKGcdKS
I mentioned economic realities because it seems to me that Obama’s decision to wage war against Qaddafi was not truthfully motivated merely by the desire to protect the Libyan people. After all, why are there no plans to protect the people of Yemen? Because Yemen is not an oil-rich nation. In other words, Obama is willing to go to war to protect people but only if there is a reasonable likelihood of securing oil reserves in the process. Even though experts warn that without US intervention, Yemen could turn into a terrorist haven equivalent to Afghanistan “on steroids”, Obama’s administration has not plans, no intention of getting involved in Yemen… it’s just too expensive… there’s no oil to make it worth their while… and we’re suddenly so tired of doing the right thing in far away places.
If the American people can already be described as “a public weary of a decade of war”, how much less willing will Obama, or whoever occupies the presidency in the future, be to go to war to protect Israel from a Russian invasion when it happens? Back in February of 2009, I posted a blog article in which I wondered out loud what sort of conditions would have to exist in order for Ezekiel 38:13 to be fulfilled.
In Ezekiel 38:13, we read this:
Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, “Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?
This unified voice appears to be trans-regional, economy-driven, and more concerned with a threat to prosperity than with basic issues of justice or a nation’s sovereignty. The event this unified voice is protesting is the invasion of the land of Israel by “Gog” and its allies, whom many scholars believe to be some alliance of nations under the leadership of Russia.
Two conditions seem to be necessary in order for this prophecy to come to pass: 1) The USA must become weakened in some way so that fear of US retaliation is not sufficient to deter Russia from invading Israel. 2) International political bodies must come to a point when they are much more concerned with the right to prosperity than with “human rights” like justice or the sovereignty of the State of Israel. This group of diplomatic/economist leaders that raises a mild protest in Ezekiel 38:13 does not exist to promote justice or national sovereignty but prosperity.
When we come to a time when the world political climate reflects these two conditions, perhaps the time will be ripe for a Russian invasion of the Middle East? [original post]
When that day comes, Russia will probably at first claim to be doing the very same thing the US and NATO claim to be doing in Libya right now: protecting the people with military intervention. But then, as now, all will not be as it seems. It’s not about democracy, it’s not about sovereignty, it’s not about the people. It’s about the oil, and it always will be. Ezekiel prophesied that countries watching from a distance (probably referring to Atlantic nations like Britain and the USA) will have occasion to question Russia’s motivation for invading the Middle East when the time comes (Eze 38:13). But less than a century later, Daniel also prophesied about Russia’s coming land-grab, carefully noting the economic motivation behind it:
" …The king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train." (Dan 11:40-43 ESV)
If only world leaders cared as much about truth, honour and justice as they do about their economies and protecting their supplies of oil. We might wonder, “how long can this injustice continue?”
"Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?" (Jer 12:1 ESV)
But not all is at it seems.
In: In the News · Tagged with: eMageddon, Gog, Libya, Oil, Tarshish
When the President of the United States bravely stands up and pushes for military intervention to protect the people of Libya from a murderous dictator, but then tries to shirk his responsibility to live with the consequences of leadership by withdrawing his service it is nothing less than cowardice on a global stage.
President Obama’s pledge to scale back the U.S. military’s role in Libya has opened up a leadership vacuum on the world stage, as international partners squabble over who should take the reins once the opening round of missile strikes is over.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/22/obama-pledge-scale-military-role-libya-opens-leadership-vacuum/#ixzz1HM64XbL5
Worse than just showing his true colours, Obama’s failure to lead in a real crisis leaves an opening into which another may step—another who may prove to be even worse than cowardly, even more dangerous than incompetent.
Some leaders think NATO is the obvious choice to lead, but Turkey has objected and France — which has been out in front of the crisis — is making a play for political leadership of the mission.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/22/obama-pledge-scale-military-role-libya-opens-leadership-vacuum/#ixzz1HM7O16Vm
Although France may gain leadership in a small way for particular missions like the one currently under way in Libya—and France is not a bad choice for such missions—it seems unlikely that the other members of the UN Security Council will allow France to fill the bigger shoes of leadership so disgracefully vacated by the Obama administration. Because, as we see the “eMageddon” political revolution sweep the Middle East and the potential develop for increasing chaos in the volatile Muslim world, a much greater military intervention will eventually be needed. The kind of military intervention that only a superpower—either a former superpower or an up-and-coming superpower—can offer.
Germany also questioned the wisdom of the operation, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin railed against the U.N.-backed airstrikes mounted so far.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/22/obama-pledge-scale-military-role-libya-opens-leadership-vacuum/#ixzz1HM8ydpMR
With the caveat upfront that I am not making any predictions and am not at all sure if I am interpreting the Bible correctly on these points, let me make a couple of observations following up on what I’ve been saying recently on this blog.
1. It looks to me like Daniel 11:40 is being fulfilled before our very eyes. The tricky part is in identifying the characters involved in the prophecy
“At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through.” (Dan 11:40 ESV)
As I’ve argued before, because the original designations of the “King of the South” and the “King of the North” referred to the Seleucid Greek kingdom to the North of Israel and to the Ptolemaic Greek Kingdom to the South of Israel, and because these two were polarized for a time as the superpowers of the region battling it out for supremacy in the third century BC, both labels now should probably be understood with reference to superpowers polarized over the desire to have primary influence over the Middle East.
So I am hypothesizing that the “King of the South” foreseen in Daniel 11:40 is the United States and her allies; that the pronoun “him” whom the US and allies attack is Islam; that the “King of the North” is Russia and her allies. (I’ve also written about Islam in prophecy in these posts here.) One sequence of events to watch for if indeed Russia is what is meant by “the King of the North” in Daniel 11:40, is outlined in the next verses:
“He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. 44 But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. 45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (Dan 11:41-45 ESV)
We can summarize these points:
- Russia would take the place of the USA as the leader of a military force extending its presence throughout much of the Middle East, except for Jordan (called “Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites”);
- Russia would gain control over the oil resources of most of the region (see verse 43);
- Russia would then establish what looks to be an embassy between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea (see verse 45, “palatial tents”—the Hebrew reads literally that “he will plant the tents of his palace”, either meaning that the tents will be his palace, or more likely, that the tents will represent his palace, his capitol, his country).
2. Because of these possibilities drawn from Daniel 11:40-45, it would seem that this passage is parallel in its fulfillment to the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 concerning the invasion of Israel and the Middle East by the country called, “Gog” and a coalition of nations under Gog’s leadership. Scholars have, for many years, thought Gog to be a reference to Russia based on ancient tribal names of people living in that region. It’s interesting, however, that Gog is described as giving leadership to a) a coalition of troops led by “Gomer”—thought to be primarily France, and b) forces from other countries including Turkey—called “Meschech and Tubal”, again because of the names of ancient tribes living in the region of Turkey.
What nation can give political and military leadership to the attempts by western nations to control the chaos now sweeping the Muslim world? If not the US—and Obama seems determined that it won’t be the US—then Russia. What nation would be accepted as a leader for this kind of work by Turkey, by the EU and by much of the Muslim world? Russia. And what country is now really really angry at the US for pushing this intervention in Libya? Russia.
” The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. 5 Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes–many peoples are with you. 7 “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. 9 You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land,” (Eze 38:1-9 ESV)
In: In the News · Tagged with: Daniel 11, Ezekiel 38, Islam, King of the North, King of the South, Libya
In a unanimous decision no less breathtaking for being somewhat expected, the United Nations Security Council has approved military action against President Muammar Gaddafi, embattled dictator of the North African nation of Libya. Canada’s National Post reported Thursday evening that forces are being deployed for airstrikes and “necessary” actions—anything short of an occupation force. These forces reportedly will include contributions from the USA, Britain, France, Canada and possibly a number of Arab nations considered Western-friendly.
Airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces were authorized to begin immediately after the United Nations Security Council narrowly approved a resolution late Thursday stating “all necessary measures” can be taken to protect Libyan civilians — short of a military occupation of the country.
The United States, Britain and France — backed by Arab countries — succeeded in pushing through the measure as key veto-bearing council members Russia and China abstained.
The decision comes as Libyan opposition is holed up in the city of Benghazi, besieged by pro-Gaddafi forces. Some are saying the decision comes too late as columns of Gadaffi’s tanks have been seen rolling toward Benghazi. Though even a week ago it seemed like with just a little push, Gadaffi’s regime could fall, the tide seems to have turned: a UN or NATO military presence could be in for more than they bargained for—fighting to extract a powerfully entrenched dictator from a country that presents no serious, remaining threat to his rule. Echoes of Afghanistan and Iraq. No wonder Russia and Germany refuse to get involved.
How exactly, if at all, these events play into the end-times predictions in the Bible is as yet unclear. It’s just too early to tell.
As far as I can discern, the most relevant biblical prophecy is the passage in Daniel 11:40-45. I’ve blogged recently on this passage of Scripture, helping to shed some light on the identities of the “King of the North”, the “King of the South” and the “he” and “him” mentioned in these verses. Several weeks ago I coined the term “eMageddon” to refer to these events—the wave of popular uprisings organized by social networking tools like Twitter and FaceBook that has swept across the Middle East, and continues still, toppling long-term Arab dictators in its wake. To make it easier to track related events I registered the domain, “www.eMageddon.net” which takes visitors to related blog posts on ProphecyBlog.net. Also search the hashtag, #eMageddon on Twitter.
I really don’t know whether these events will culminate in what biblical scholars call “Armageddon”—the Ezekiel 38 invasion and attack against Israel. But nevertheless, it bears keeping in mind and watching events closely to see how the nation of Israel become involved… and how Russia in particular responds.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Armageddon, Daniel 11, E-mageddon, eMageddon, Libya, United Nations
“We believe fundamentally that Israel has a right to exist and just as importantly we recognize the conflict around Israel is at its heart and at its core about the refusal of still too many to accept the reality of a Jewish state in the Middle East, but Israel is here to stay.”
~ Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, March 10, 2011. http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/03/10/canada-%E2%80%98will-always-stand-by%E2%80%99-israel-harper-says/
Prime Minister Harper hits the nail on the head in the above statement. What is the root cause of most of the conflict in the Middle East involving Israel? What is at the heart of the Israeli/Palestinian controversy? As Harper correctly diagnoses it, “the refusal of still too many to accept the reality of a Jewish state in the Middle East…”. Which is to say, the conflict will not be pacified, the controversy will not be appeased, settled or resolved, until either Israel’s enemies succeed in wiping the Jewish state off the face of the Earth, or until those who seek Israel’s destruction are exposed, seen for the hate-mongers they are, marginalized and rendered impotent by the International community.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Israel, Palestine, Stephen Harper
One strategist argued in a FoxNews piece, Wednesday, that in the wake of “eMageddon” uprisings threatening to engulf the Arab world, desperate rulers may seek their own survival by refocusing the rage of their citizenry against a common, much hated enemy: Israel. This does seem likely. After all, as the old adage goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Moreover, the economic uncertainty in the US and rest of the western world makes it unlikely America or her allies will be able to offer much of a deterrence to an all-out Arab “Holy War” against Israel. Therefore, emboldened by their fear of popular uprisings within their own borders and undaunted by fear of Western retaliation, Middle Eastern leaders are more likely than ever to attempt the unthinkable: the annihilation of the Jewish state.
One thing seems certain: the past is a poor indicator of the future. Last year’s accepted diplomatic and political doctrines will be useless in the new political realities of 2011… much less 2012. Not only does the writer of the FoxNews article call for a shift in US Middle Eastern policy, he proposes the deployment of a “significant multinational presence”, i.e., an invasion force to keep a lid on chaos and protect the flow of cheap oil for Western markets (anything under $200 per barrel may sometime soon seem like the “good ol’ days”).
In May 2009 I blogged about a shift in Russian foreign policy with potential implications for a military grab at Middle Eastern oil reserves. Earlier that same year, I wrote about the possibility for new economic realities to render the US impotent as a deterrent to future Russian empire-building in the Middle East. No one can predict what will come of all this. No one could have predicted even 6 months ago what the world has witnessed in the past 8 weeks. The past is a poor indicator of the future, except in this sense: the future is likely to be at least as unpredictable and chaotic as the recent past.
" "Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’ 14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. 16 You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes." (Eze 38:10-16 ESV)
In: In the News · Tagged with: Armageddon, eMageddon, Ezekiel 38, Gog, Islam, Russia
On Friday, President Obama said, “United States will continue to be a friend and partner for Egypt.” Somehow I doubt it. Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that finally the “Satanic” influence of the West is banished from Egypt. And I think his is the more realistic vision of the future: an Egypt estranged from the United States; an Egypt increasingly hostile to the West.
Daniel chapter 11 pictures a great deal of history spanning millennia—from the time of the fall of the Persian Empire and the rise of the Greek Empire in the fourth century BC to the present. Early portions of that chapter depict events that took place in the clash between two of the smaller kingdoms which rose up from the ruins of the Greek Empire after the death of Alexander. The are described as “the King of the North”, the Seleucids and “the King of the South”, the Ptolemies. The Seleucids came to be identified with the area of Syria; the Ptolemies with Egypt. As the prophecies of Daniel 11 move further down the corridor of history, past the times of the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, the prophecy continues to refer to then future events in an ongoing conflict between successive, opposed powers using the labels, “King of the North” and “King of the South” as a literary device. By the final verses of Daniel 11, a dramatic turn of events is predicted which results in the “King of the South” losing control of, in part, the land of Egypt.
"40 "At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train." (Dan 11:40-43 ESV)
The trillion-dollar questions are, “Who is the King of the South?” and, “Who is the King of the North?” who gains control over Egypt, and influence over the Libyans and Cushites shortly before the final events predicted? It seems like a good place to start is to watch to see what nation, power or entity, near the end, sweeps through countries, passing through them, but from which the nations in Daniel’s time called, “Edom, Moab and the main part of the Ammonites”, escape? " 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites." (Dan 11:41 ESV) Below are two maps, a map of the ancient region of Canaan showing the locations of the ancestral tribal territories of the three people groups identified in Daniel 11:41, Edom, Moab and the Ammonites (left); and a map of the same area today, identifying the country of Jordan and its capital, Amman (right).
The thing to notice is that Edom, Moab and Ammon, today, are all part of the Kingdom of Jordan, Israel’s neighbour to the East. In fact, the capital city, “Amman”, inherits its name from the ancient tribe of the Ammonites. So what should we make of this? Well here’s my suggestion: be alert to see what nation, power or entity (by “entity” I mean something fairly vague and hard-to-pin down like “Radical Islam”) gains leverage over Egypt—leverage and influence until this week enjoyed by the United States for the past several decades. Watch also to see if that nation, power or entity also has a lot of influence over the regions of Libya and “Cush” (possibly referring to modern Iraq, but more likely to modern Sudan and/or Ethiopia). There are at least three things that are hard to mistake about the verses following Daniel 11:40:
- The events predicted in Daniel 11:40ff refer to “the time of the end”;
- The events predicted involve a dramatic turn-over of control/influence over the nation of Egypt, from the “King of the South” to the “King of the North”;
- The events predicted show that most, if not all, of Jordan will not come under the control of the “King of the North”.
The area known in the Bible as “Libya” also includes what is today Tunisia. And the “eMaggedon”-wave of popular uprising, organized by masses of youth using Twitter and FaceBook to organize, toppled first, Tunisia, then Egypt, and now threaten other Islamic regimes in the Middle East and Africa. The passage in Daniel 11 mentions Libya, along with Sudan (Cush) and Egypt, and a political overthrow connected with “the time of the end”. It’s worth watching to see if a radical form of Islam, such as the “Islamic Brotherhood” in Egypt, sweep into power throughout the region in the void left by the corrupt dictators of the past few decades. If, in addition, Jordan turns out to be one of the few countries to not succumb to such a tidal wave of populist Islamic extremism, then sit up and pay attention. It would not be too surprising if this hardline, Israel-hating, extremist Islamic movement turns out to be “the King of the North”. I used to think the “King of the North” was almost certainly the same nation called, “Gog” in Ezekiel 38—in other words, Russia. But it’s hard to envision Russia picking up the slack in the Middle East and replacing the USA as the Superpower of Choice, the favoured political sponsor and funder of all things military. USA has for years now wielded an almost elder-brother influence over countries like Egypt and Jordan. I think Obama is wrong. I think the USA’s role as powerbroker in the Middle East is at an end. Probably to be replaced by radical, political, Islam.
In: In the News · Tagged with: Daniel 11, E-mageddon, Egypt, eMageddon, King of the North
A wave of political uprising, unprecedented in the lifetimes of most people alive today, is sweeping across the Middle East. So far, although there seems to be no direct link between events in different nations, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, and Zimbabwe have so far been affected. Potentially, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Libya, to name a few, are also in danger of similar anti-government protests. There are, of course, natural, human explanations for this developing political “earthquake” which could leave in its wake an Arab world utterly unlike what has existed since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Nonetheless, those familiar with the prophecies of the Bible aimed specifically at the regions of North Africa and the Middle East, will recognize that God is ultimately behind what, though explainable by natural causes, is a dramatic shift in the world’s geo-political landscape.
So what’s going on? What natural causes can be blamed for these uprisings in diverse places? I call it “E-mageddon”—a potentially pre-Armageddon situation in the Middle East precipitated by widespread access to and use of electronic social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The fact is that the vast majority of the riots seen in Tunisia and Egypt to date have been youth-movements—people in their twenties and younger. And around the world, this demographic is no stranger to social networking.
James Rosen, reporting for FoxNews, writes:
Compounding the problem for Mideast despots — both those directly affected by the current wave of protests, and those eyeing it nervously from within their gilded palaces — are the raw numbers, the demographics, underlying the phenomenon. The tyrants’ antagonists are not conventional armies or coup plotters but literate and disaffected young people, more of them than ever before, armed with access to instant, global communications in the form of social networking media like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and the Internet.
Of 12 selected Arab-Muslim states in the Middle East, six of them — Egypt, Jordan, Morrocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen — house populations where more than 50 percent of the citizenry are under the age of 25. For the other six — Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates — the “under 25s” make up between 35 to 47 percent of the population.
The Bible predicts a disturbing wave of events to unfold in the “last days” involving many of these Arab Muslim nations and an occupying force from the North, usually identified as Russia. The scenes being played out on CNN and FoxNews during the last few weeks move me to wonder if “E-mageddon” might in fact precipitate Armageddon?
For some background and discussion of some of the key Bible passages, I’ve pasted below the content of an article I wrote and last updated in 2006 (Bible quotations are updated from the original to the English Standard Version).
Ancient Prophecies of Armageddon:
In the Last Days the Nations Turn Against Israel
The map [below] shows the nations described in the prophecy of Armageddon found in Ezekiel 38. The red dots are the enemies described as gathering together against Jerusalem (Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Put, Gomer and Beth-Togarmah). The blue dots seem to be nominal allies who, in the prophecy, raise a feeble protest against the agression of Israel’s enemies, but are either unwilling or unable to intervene on her behalf. Tarshish is of particular interest to many scholars and is often interpreted as loosely referring to the Atlantic powers of our time: Great Britain, Canada, and the U.S.. This stems from a plausible translation of the Hebrew text in Exekiel 38:13 as, “…Tarshish and the young lions thereof…”. The purple dot is, of course, Israel. [Note: Biblical names of nations are often taken from the names of ancestors, e.g. the “table of nations” in Genesis 10.]
The final conflict of nations against Israel is also predicted in Daniel 11. In order to decipher the prophecies in Daniel 11 concerning the “final conflict” spoken of elsewhere as “Armageddon,” it is necessary first to identify the character who is the subject of 11:36-39. Protestant, Historicist scholars over the past 4 centuries are divided on this passage: some identifying this “king” as the dynasty of Popes, called the Papacy, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and symbolic head of the the 10 prophetic nations of Western Europe; others identifying him as “Islam” under its various rulers. My grandfather, A. J. L. Haynes agreed with the former school of thought, that the Papacy is intended in this passage. And he may have been right. He discusses the implications of this view in his chapter “Other Prophecies of Daniel” in Tomorrow: What do the Prophets Say?. But what if they are correct who believe this passage concerns the rise of Islam? I believe that the implications of this passage and the following verses (Daniel 11:40 – 12:2) become very urgent if in fact Islam is the subject of verses 36-39. Let me make a couple of observations about what this passage seems to predict before returning to the subject of the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 regarding the attack against Israel by Gog and his allies.
“Armageddon” Prophecy in the Book of Daniel
” 40 “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. 44 But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. 45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him. 12:1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Dan 11:40-2 ESV)
Verse 40 begins this prophetic drama of the final conflict in the Middle East by mentioning an attack by the “King of the South”. I agree with my grandfather’s conclusion (in the above mentioned chapter of his book) that the “King of the South” is a designation for whichever world-power is the polar opposite to the “King of the North.” At present (in 2006), the most likely candidate for the title “King of the North” is still Russia and therefore, the most likely candidate for the title, “King of the South” is the United States of America. But in verse 40, who does the U.S.A. attack? The word “him” in the above quoted passage, I believe, refers to Islam. It is hard for modern readers to grasp “Islam” as a single entity, but the fact is that radical, militant Islam, from Al Qaeda to Hezbollah, has as its goal to restore the rule of Islam to at least the extent of it’s borders under the last great empire of the caliphs. That is why the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel is essential to the mission of both terrorist organizations and their state supporters, whether Shiite or Sunni. Radical Islam is in fact a trans-national religious and military movement. It is this “movement” that I strongly suggest may be intended as the “king” who is attacked by the King of the South (U.S.A.) in verse 40 of Daniel 11. When did this attack take place? I wrote a short article just two days after “September 11” in which I cautioned readers to watch for just such an attack against an Islamic state or states by the United States. Since I wrote that article, the U.S.A. and her allies invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and subsequently attacked and invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. These events of the last half-decade may constitute the fulfillment of the first portion of verse 40 of Daniel 11. If I am on the right track in the interpretation of this passage that I am suggesting, then we should be looking for the fulfillment of the next part of Daniel 11:40–the attack by the “King of the North”. I am suggesting that Russia is the “King of the North” intended in verses 40-45. I am also suggesting that if I am correct in this interpretation so far, then we should be alert to a massive movement of Russian troops and equipment into Islamic states in the coming years. These events would then parallel the prophecy concerning Gog in Ezekiel 38.
“Armageddon” Prophecy in the Book of Ezekiel
“The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. 5 Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes–many peoples are with you. 7 “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. 9 You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. 10 “Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’ 14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. 16 You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 17 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? 18 But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD. ESV Ezekiel 39:1 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 2 And I will turn you about and drive you forward, and bring you up from the uttermost parts of the north, and lead you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will strike your bow from your left hand, and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. 6 I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 “And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, declares the Lord GOD. That is the day of which I have spoken. 9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bow and arrows, clubs and spears; and they will make fires of them for seven years, 10 so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons. They will seize the spoil of those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, declares the Lord GOD. 11 “On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord GOD. 14 They will set apart men to travel through the land regularly and bury those travelers remaining on the face of the land, so as to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make their search. 15 And when these travel through the land and anyone sees a human bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. 16 (Hamonah is also the name of the city.) Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth–of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan. 19 And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you. 20 And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,’ declares the Lord GOD. 21 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22 The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. 23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them. 25 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and thr
ough them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29 And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”” (Eze 38:1-29 ESV)
As we can see in Ezekiel’s prophecy about Gog, that is if Gog is in fact Russia, Russia appears to invade Israel, a land of people who had returned from being scattered among the nations for nearly 2000 years (Ezekiel 38:8). Russia appears to be the leader of a multi-national military force including, first, Iran (Persia), Ethiopia (or possibly Sudan), and either Egypt or Libya. The list of Russia’s allies in Ezekiel 38:5 seems to parallel the list of nations in Daniel 11:43. The one notable difference between the two verses is that whereas in Ezekiel 38:5 “Egypt” (or “Libya” in most translations) is an ally, in Daniel 11:43 events are seen to have unfolded that result in Russia’s forces conquering Egypt (ancient “Libya” mentioned by Ezekiel is not identical with the modern state of Libya, and so since ancient usage sometimes referred to north Africa and even all of Africa by the name, “Libya” [See Wikipedia article], it is at least possible that Ezekiel may be referring to either modern Libya or modern Egypt or both). The second group of allies that follow Russia’s leadership in this future multi-national force is, according to Ezekiel 38:6, Gomer and Beth-togarmah. Again I agree with my grandfather that Gomer indicates a group of ethnically related peoples including Cymrians, Celts, Galatians and most notably Gauls. For this reason, I suspect that Russia’s allies will include a prominent number of French and Turkish troops. The rest of the prophecy in Ezekiel 38 seems to run very closely parallel to that of Daniel 11:40 to 12:2. Ezekiel 38:13 predicts that certain nations will raise a protest, most likely diplomatically, challenging Gog’s motives for invading Israel and the other neighboring nations. This seems to imply that Gog’s motives up until the challenge of verse 13 will be thought by the International community to be noble: perhaps for peace-keeping or establishing a cease-fire and end of hostilities between Israel and one of her neighbors. But Ezekiel 38:11-13 is in harmony with Daniel 11:43 in which it appears that Gog’s / The King of the North’s / Russia’s motive will be to control “treasures” of the land: probably oil reserves. Following this opposition, such as it is, Daniel 12:44 foresees a time when Gog will hear news about events in the North and East (probably relative to Israel) that will alarm him. He then will act with the purpose to cause great destruction. The purpose, at least one of the purposes, of these prophecies is to lead Israel to put their trust in God who will protect the Jewish nation and destroy her enemies. The end result of these events will be the return of Christ Jesus to establish His Kingdom, and the realization of all peoples and all nations that Jesus Christ is Yahweh God.
A final word of advice: do not use scriptural prophecy to try and predict the future, but rather as a guide to be alert to world events as they develop. The purpose of Scripture in keeping Christians alert is to motivate Christ’s followers to authentic discipleship, holy living and evangelism. As Jesus commanded in His “great commission,”
“Going therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”
For more information on this interesting subject, we recommend the short book by A.J.L. Haynes, Tomorrow: What do the Prophets Say? In particular we suggest the chapters on Ezekiel and “Other Prophecies of Daniel.”
This page [SOURCE] was updated on: July 28, 2006.