Worlds events, coupled with the recent acknowledgment of Israel as a nation, have turned the thoughts of many believers to Prophecy, the Second Coming and the many strange and startling statements of Holy Writ concerning “the end”.
In other issues we have given expositions of the books of Daniel, Isaiah and the Revelation, in this series we are limiting our inquiry to the question “what is the extent of the Prophetic earth?” When we read of men’s hearts failing them for fear in looking after those things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21:26) are we to understand the trouble in the Far East, China and other distant lands, or is this passage concerned with a much more limited area? When we read of wars and rumours of wars, when nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:7) are we to look at the threat of “world”, or as the word is “global” war, or are we to remember that the quotation from Isaiah 19:2 rather focuses our attention upon Egypt. Does the king of the North spoken in Daniel refer to Russia? If so does this mean that the Soviet union will be dissolved and Russia once again be ruled by a “king”? This seems well nigh impossible. Shall we therefore set aside the term “king” as negligible? and if we do what value can we place on any term used by the prophets? Is there any warrant for associating the name Meshech with Moscow? Does Rosh mean Russia? Is Tubal, Tobolsk (Ezek. 38:2)? Scripture speaks of ten kings that are to rule under the anti-christian beast at the time of the end. Will these kings sit on thrones as far removed as China and Brazil? Or will their dominion be limited to the lands ruled over by Gentile powers envisaged in the image of Daniel 2? This, however, in itself, raises another question or series of questions. Does Rome come in the image at all? If it does, will the Roman empire be renewed? If it will not be renewed, is it reasonable to expect that where the prophecy was broken off, there it will be resumed? Can the final phase, the feet and the toes of the image, cover a greater area in rule and dominion, than that governed by the Gold, Silver and Copper phases of the great image in Daniel 2, at the time of the rejection of Christ? It will be agreed, we trust, by all who value the light of prophecy, that our enquire is a serious one, the answers to which must materially influence our interpretation of prophecy in general. We must neither seek an answer, nor expect one, from the opinions of men, of whatever rank and qualification they may be – our only answer can come from the Scriptures themselves. Let us make a test of the passage already quoted from Luke 21:26:
- ‘Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth‘.
What is the word used in the original here for the “earth”? The contextual reference to sun, moon and stars, would suggest nothing less than the whole world is in view. Yet, when we examine the passage we discover that the word translated “earth” here is the Greek word oikoumene. This word is properly the passive present participle of the verb oikeo “to inhabit” and means “the habitable”, generally with the ellipsis of the word “world” or “earth” – the habitable earth. This word can and has been taken to indicate the whole area of the earth’s surface which is inhabitable by man, and so would include vast tracks of land unknown to the writers of Scripture. On the other hand the word has a much more restricted meaning both in the scriptures and in the writings of the Greek historians, and we must therefore reserve our conclusions until we have acquainted ourselves with this usage, for usage is a supreme factor in establishing the meaning of any term.
Plutarch, who died A.D. 120 speaks of “many countries of the Roman world” Romaion oikoumenes, and Polybius, a celebrated Greek historian (born 203 B.C.) wrote “The Romans in a short time subdued the whole inhabited world” ten oikoumenen. Josephus has the following expression, “And let no one wonder that there was so much wealth in our temple, since all the Jews throughout the habitable earth, and those that worshiped God, nay even those of Asia and Europe, sent their contributions to it” (Ant. xiv. 7,2), and speaking of the days of Elijah, he wrote “the famine has seized upon the whole country” (Ant. viii.13,4). Here it will be observed, the term is limited to the land of Palestine (Israel). Again, where Acts 11:28 says that in the days of Claudius Caesar there should be a great dearth “throughout all the world” (oikoumene), Josephus says in the same period “a great famine happened in Judea” yet although it was said to be “throughout all the world”, Josephus adds “in which Queen Helena bought corn in Egypt” (Ant. xx.5,2). In Luke 2:1 where we read, “There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed”, it is evident that such a decree could not extend beyond the limits of the Roman empire. And, even though we allow a great margin for fanatical worshipers of Diana, their words “whom all Asia and the world worshipeth”, can hardly mean “the world” we now know, and it would be ludicrous to put Asia Minor and “the world” together as Luke has done. If the Ephesians meant the habitable world of their day, namely the Roman Empire all is plain. Isaiah uses the words “the world” of the Babylonian Empire which in the LXX reads he oikoumene hole (Isa. 13:11; 14:17). With these passages before us taken from Scripture, and from writings during Bible times, other places where oikoumene is used, begin to assume a somewhat different appearance, and must refer to a much more restricted area than is often imagined. If the Gospel of the kingdom is to be preached “in all the world” for a witness unto all nations, before “the end” comes, then centuries must roll their weary way before that blessed consummation is reached. But Matthew 24:14 limits this preaching to all nations that make up the oikoumene the area ruled over by Rome and Babylon and no problem arises. So when Christ was shown “all the kingdoms of the world” (Luke 4:5) it is reasonable to interpret the second occurrence of oikoumene in the light of the most evident meaning of the first occurence in Luke (2:1), Christ was shown the “world” that was ruled over by the successors in the image of Daniel 2.
In order that every reader shall have full opportunity of testing this matter, we provide a concordance to oikoumene in the New Testament, see: Matth. 24:14; Luke 2:1, 4:5, 21:26; Acts 11:28, 17:6, 31, 19:27, 24:5; Rom. 10:18; Heb. 1:6, 2:5; Rev. 3:10, 12:9, 16:14.
“The world to come” (Heb. 2:5) is the oikoumene, and there are indications in this chapter of Hebrews that the sphere of the dominion is purposely limited. For example, this world to come is contrasted with some earlier rule exercised by “angels” (Heb. 2:5), and Adam is spoken of as being made a little lower than the angels (Heb. 2:7), and when the Apostle returns to the comparison in verse 16, he does not say, as we might have expected, “for verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the (nature of) the seed of ADAM”, it says “the seed of ABRAHAM”, thereby suggesting a less extensive dominion “under His feet” (Heb. 2:8) than is revealed in Ephesians 1:21,22 where the word oikoumene could not have been used.
Before we shall be in a position to come to Scriptural conclusion, we shall have to consider the teaching of the Old Testament, and the connection link will be use of oikoumene in the Greek O.T., the Septuagint version, and the Hebrew words that are so translated. At the moment everything we have seen points to the conclusion that the Prophetic Earth is limited to the lands ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors until the rupture which occured at the rejection of Christ and the subsequent of Israel.
The occurrences of oikoumene in the Septuagint
We have considered the use of the word oikoumene in the New Testament, but before we can arrive at a conclusion, an examination of its Hebrew equivalent is called for. The following words are translated oikoumene in the LXX.
(1) Erets “earth”. This word has a wide significance. It is used of the earth in its fullest meaning, as in Genesis 1:1, to the more restricted meaning “the dry land” as in Genesis 1:10, to a particular “land” (Gen. 12:3), to the different lands apportioned to the Gentiles (Gen. 10:5), to a piece of ground that could be bought for a burial ground (Gen. 23:15), or to the ground upon which one stands (Gen. 44:11). None of these references are translated oikoumene, they are given here, in the first place, to indicate the nature of the Hebrew word that is later on so translated. But, inasmuch as oikoumene does translate the Hebrew word erets in some places it will be realized that it is possible that any use of these meanings may be intended. This of course must be settled by the context. (2) Baal “be married”. (3) Cheled. This word is derived from a root which means “to move quickly” and gives its name to the weasel. (4) Yashab “inhabited”, from the primitive meaning “to dwell” Exodus 16:35 “until they came to a land inhabited”, so we see that the oikoumene here refers to Canaan, as contrasted with the wilderness. (5) Tebel. This word is important, and we will postpone an examination of its bearing upon our subject until we have given the usage of erets as it is translated by oikoumene, a fuller examination. Erets “earth” is translated in the LXX oikoumene nine times, one occurrence being in the Psalms, the rest in Isaiah. The passage in the Psalms comes in the great Psalm of David “for Solomon”, type of the greater Son of David “The King’s Son”. We must remember, that however much the dominion of Christ may exceed that of Solomon, that initially the terms used in this Psalm must have been true in Solomon’s day.
- ‘He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth’ (Psa. 72:8).
The extent of Solomon’s kingdom is given:
- ‘And Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life … he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on the side of the river’ ( I Kings 4:21,24).
“The river” is the Euphrates. Tiphsah means “a ford”, and was on the west bank of Euphrates, some 300 miles above Damascus. Azzah or Gaza is on the coast where the land of Palestine (Israel) begins to turn west towards the delta of the Nile. The two seas mentioned would be the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Once can sense something of the different outlook of the ancient world from that of modern times, in the expression “The Seven Seas”. The Talmudists speak of the land of Israel being compassed by seven seas, these include the Mediterranean, the sea of Tiberius and the sea of Sodom, and the Midras Tillim says: “I have created seven seas, saith the Lord, but out of them all I have chosen none but the sea of Gennesaret”. The Atlantic and the Pacific might well have never existed so far as these writers were concerned. When David spoke of the dominion of his son reaching “from sea to sea” therefore, we must beware of the temptation to interpret the words with a modern breadth, and read into them a meaning that would have been quite foreign to the reader of the day. Further, the dominion which was to extend from “sea to sea” is given another dimension, it was “from the river unto the end of the earth”. After Israel’s contact with Egypt is recorded, the Hebrew word yeor is employed when the Nile is intended, but when the Euphrates is meant the Hebrew word nahar is used (Gen. 41:1 and 15:18). It will be observed that when the extent of the promised land was given to Abraham in Genesis 15, its boundaries were given as from the river of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and in Genesis 13:14, Abraham was told to look “from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward”. From the river Euphrates, this dominion spoken of in Psalm 72 extended “unto the end of the earth”. If the extreme interpretation of these words is adopted, it will appear somewhat strange to attempt to measure the whole earth from such a datum line, and an examination of the term is therefore called for. The word translated “end” is the Hebrew word ephes, primarily means “to cease” and so comes to mean “an extremity”.
In Psalm 72:8 the LXX translated the Hebrew word erets “earth” by the limited Greek word oikoumene. Apart from this one passage in the Psalms, the remaining references where erets is rendered oikoumene are all found in Isaiah. These references are: “In the midst of all the land” (10:23), “the whole land” (13:5), “to lay the land desolate” (13:9), “the whole earth” (14:26), “upon the face of the earth” (23:17), “the Lord maketh the earth empty” (24:1), “all the kingdoms of the earth” (37:16), “the Assyrians have laid waste all the nations”, margin “lands” (37:18).
If these passages be considered with their contexts, it will be seen that where a modern reader is likely to invest these predictions and threats with a world wide significance, the Septuagint translators limited them to the narrow sphere of the oikoumene. In like manner, the command of the Lord, recorded in Acts 1:8 has been looked upon as being of world wide scope, whereas it is most probable that is should read Jerusalem, Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the land. The Hebrew word tebel is translated oikoumene in the LXX more times than any other, it occurs twenty-six times or more than twice the number of all the other Hebrew words so translated put together.
Gesenius derives the word tebel from the word yabal “to bring forth”, and so indicates the fertile or habitable earth. We are distinctly told that the Lord formed the earth to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18), and the book of Proverbs takes us back to the day of creation where we read of One, spoken of as the personification of Wisdom, saying that He was “rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth” (Prov. 8:31), where the words tebel or oikoumene are translated “habitable part”. Bildad the Shuhite has a strange expression, he speaks of the wicked being driven from light to darkness, and “chased out of the world” (Job. 18:18).
If tebel refers to the habitable part of the earth, and particularly that which was promised to Abraham or ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar later, then we can understand the expression, but if we interpret the word “world” in its widest sense, how can one be chased “out of it”? The parallel which is instituted between “darkness” and “out of the world” calls to mind and illuminates the words “outer darkness” (Matt. 8:12, 22:13, 25:30), and probably also such expressions as “the four corners of the earth”. These terms must be interpreted with the land of promise as the centre. In Psalm 89:11 tebel, “the world” is differentiated from both “the heavens” and “the earth”. Again in Psalm 90:2 “the earth and the world” are spoken of as distinct, “or ever Thou hast formed the earth and the world” (see also Psalm 93:1, 96:10, 13, 98:7). The Hebrew word tebel occurs in places where the LXX translates it other than oikoumene, some of these passages are somewhat vaguely rendered, but here are a few. We have given one quotation from Job, but two others must be added:
- ‘Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? (34:13).
- ”The face of the world in the earth” (37:12).
Job 18:18 already quoted is parallel with the punishment of Cain, who became a fugitive or a vagabond “driven from the face of the earth” (Gen. 4:14). The LXX translated the Hebrew word tebel in Job 34:13 by the Greek tenhup’ ouranon, “that which is under heaven”.
From what we have gathered there appears a strong presumption in favour of interpreting the references to the Prophetic Earth so that they fall within the borders of the Babylonian Empire in the East, to the extremes of the Roman Empire in the West. If, as we believe, the prophetic image of Daniel 2 is about to be resumed after its veiled history during Israel’s blindness, it will be misleading to read into the Prophets or the Apocalypse references to the nations of the wide earth, where a far more limited sphere is intended. We must examine these references afresh and seek the light that comes from Truth alone.
From Spain to the Indus
Before we can go further in this investigation, and reach some conclusion as to the area covered by the Prophetic Earth, certain debateable matters pertaining to the prophecy of Daniel must be considered. The question of the area of the prophetic earth is linked with the question of the composition of the Gentile dynasty as symbolized in the image of Daniel 2. There are many expositors who see four, and no more than four successive kingdoms in this symbol, namely Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. These look for a revival of the Roman Empire at the time of the end. Some derive support for this number “four” from the subsequent vision of Daniel 7. Let us consider the second chapter.
The Gentile character of this vision is indicated by the change of language that occurs at verse 4: “Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac”. The words “in Syriac” mark the place where Daniel ceases to write in Hebrew, and thenceforth to the end of chapter seven employs the Syriac of Aramaic language.
Before going into detail it may be well to consider two of many interpretations that have been put forward, so that the way may be cleared and our study pursued unhindered.
(1) Four kingdoms. One school of interpretation speaks of the image as representing four kingdoms only – Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, the legs representing the two divisions of the Roman Empire, the eastern and western, and the ten toes, the kingdom into which it will finally be divided, thus making Rome’s dominion either in its full power or in its divided form cover the whole period from before Christ to the present time, and necessitating a revival of ancient Rome at the time of the end. Some who endorse this view believe Rome to be the Babylon of the Apocalyps, whilst others believe that literal Babylon will be rebuilt. (2) The fourth kingdom regarded as Satanic. – Another view of the purport of the vision does not include Rome at all. The view is that Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece followed one another, but that by the time the Lord was here upon earth, the devil could claim that the kingdoms of the world had been delivered unto him (Luk. 4:6).
Let us now search and see. The succeeding kingdoms symbolized in the great image of Daniel 2 show a marked depreciation. Gold gives places to silver, silver to brass (or copper), brass to iron, iron to clay. Because we are far more likely to have handled a solid piece of lead than a bar of gold, many would place lead as the heaviest of metals. This, however, would be inaccurate, the specific gravity of lead being 11.4, whereas that of gold is as high as 19.3. Gold is the heaviest metal mentioned in Daniel 2 and it is of that metal that the head is constructed, so that the image of Gentile dominion is top heavy from the commencement. This can be seen by observing the relative gravity of each material:
- Gold … … … 19.3
- Silver … … … 10.51
- Brass … … … 8.5 (Copper 8.78)
- Iron … … … 7.6
- Clay … … … 1.9
The arrangement of these metals in the structure of the image indicates depreciation not only in weight, but also in the characteristics of the kingdom. The kingdom of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold was an absolutely monarchy. Of him it could be said: “whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive”. The Medo-Persian kingdom, represented by silver, was not absolute, as was Nebuchadnezzar’s. Darius was limited by the presidents and princes, and by his own laws “that could not be broken”. The Grecian kingdom of brass was a military kingdom, and consequently lower still in the scale. We will not here speak of Rome, as we have not yet dealt with the question of the fourth kingdom. We see enough, however, to realize that this prophetic image prevents us from ever believing that the kingdom of heaven will come upon the earth as a result of Gentile rule; rather are we clearly told that Gentile rule must be ground to powder before the kingdom of the Lord can be set up.
The times of the Gentiles are insolubly linked with one item of prophetic import, “the treading down of Jerusalem” (Luk. 21:24), a feature that continues into the book of the Revelation (Rev. 11:2) and to the middle of the final seven years of Daniel’s great period (Dan. 9). Those who would rule Rome out of the image of Daniel 2, must of necessity deny or ignore this great identifying characteristic. There is far more evidence in the Scripture that Rome dominated Jerusalem, that did Persia or Greece. Rome it was that compelled the mother of the Saviour to travel to Bethlehem. It was Rome’s penny, and Caesar’s image and superscription that was shown to the Lord. It was a Roman Governor who handed Christ over to be crucified, and he was reminded by the Saviour that the power he had exercised had been given him from above. It was Rome’s soldiers that guarded the tomb. It was Roman soldiers who safeguarded Paul, and it was to the Roman Caesar the Apostle made his appeal. Finally it was a Roman General who sacked Jerusalem and destroyed its temple. To deny all or any of these items betokens something more deadly than prejudice. Jerusalem is the key to the problem. Whatever Gentile power dominates Jerusalem, that power is in the succession symbolized by Daniel ‘s image. A two-edged argument has been employed by some in the attempt to rule Rome out from this succession. It is that Rome never ruled over the lands governed by Babylon. But this cuts both ways, Babylon never ruled over the lands dominated by Rome, and consequently the argument proves itself to be invalid. Indeed, if the argument be taken to its legitimate ends, Babylon itself would be suspect, for Nebuchadnezzar most certainly never ruled over the territory that had been given him, namely “wheresoever the children of men dwell”, to say nothing of the beast of the field and the fowl of heaven. God could hand over nothing less, for all dominion on earth is traceable back to Adam, but no man has yet or ever will fulfill this requirement. The Babylonian and Persian empires extended from Asia Minor on the West to the Indus on the East, and it was left to Greece and Rome to complete the oikoumene of the prophetic earth. At the death of Alexander, his kingdom was divided among his four generals as is indicated in Daniel 8:22, Ptolemy taking Egypt, Palestine and some parts of Asia Minor; Cassander taking Macedonia and Greece; Seleucus taking Syria, Armenia, territory east of Euphrates; and Lysemachus taking Bithynia, Trace and Mysia. Rome took all this territory except that which lay east of Syria, but added to it a great portion of Europe and the countries on the southern edge of the Mediterranean. The prophetic earth therefore, if it be limited to the territory governed by these four successive kingdoms, extends from Spain on the west, to the Indus on the east.
The “earth” as defined by the Prophets
From the combined evidence of the words oikoumene and tebel, together with the testimony of Scripture concerning the extent of the dominion of the successive kings of the Gentile dynasty, we appear to be well within the truth, if we affirm that the prophetic earth extends from Spain in the west, the furthermost point of the Roman Empire, to the Indus in the East, the furthermost point of the Persian Empire, which necessarily includes all that was ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar. It seems a sound argument to affirm that by reason of Israel’s lo-ammi condition at Acts 28, the time element in the history of the successive rulers from Nebuchadnezzar should cease to have a place, and it seems reasonable to believe that when the prophetic clock again begins to tick, the parenthesis will be closed and the powers indicated by the two feet and the ten toes (which toes are symbols of the ten kings yet to reign with the Beast at the time of the end) will reign, in the first place, over the same territory as was governed by their predecessors. Some commentators look for the revival of the Romans Empire, and would place the the ten kings in Europe, but at the time of the end, the last power will apparently combine in itself all the powers of each successive ruler (Dan. 2:45, 7:4-7, with Rev. 13:1,2), and Revelation 17 and 18, together with Jeremiah 51 makes it clear that Babylon also is to be revived. These features convince us that we have attained with a fair approximation of truth to the extent of the prophetic earth. The prophets contain a number of geographical references, and it is our present intention to consider them with a view to discovering how far they do or do not conform to the limits we feel bound, at the moment, to set to the extent of the prophetic earth.
Commencing our reading with Isaiah, we find that every geographical reference in the first twelve chapters falls well within the limits suggested, unless we take exception to “the islands of the sea” and “the four corners of the earth” (Isa. 11:11,12). These are undefined and for the moment must be left out of the account. With chapter thirteen, a series of prophetic “burdens” commences, and each burden is connected with a special land or nation. Thus Babylon, Moab, Damascus, Egypt, Tyre and such less defined places as “the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia”, “the desert of the sea” and “the valley of visions” (Isa. 13-23). If we continue and read on to the last chapter, we shall discover that the prophecy has Jerusalem for its centre, and in the bulk of references the lands mentioned are in the immediate vicinity of the holy land. In chapter sixty-six, we read of Tarshish, Pul and Lud, Tubal and Javan. Taken by itself Tarshish could indicate a Phoenician port in Spain, but is associated in Ezekiel with Persia (Ezek. 27:10 and 12) and is linked with Pul and Lud, it appears therefore that the Tarshish of 1 Kings 10:22 and Jeremiah 10:9 is intended, and that this would be somewhere in the vicinity of the Red Sea. Pul is connected with Assyria (2 Kings 15:19) and Lud is associated with Persia in Ezekiel 27:10. So also, in the same chapter of Ezekiel, is found Javan and Tubal, these are Japhetic peoples. Javan being looked upon as the representative of the Greek race, Alexander the Great being called “The King of Javan” in Daniel 8:12, in the A.V. Grecia. Tubal is reckoned to be in the southern range of the Caucasus, on the east of the Black Sea. It is evident that Isaiah never visualized the wide earth in his prophetic vision, but limited his range to a circle of the earth’s surface bounded by Greece on the West and Persia on the East.
Jeremiah also contains a number of geographical references, but his range is even more limited than that of Isaiah. Ezekiel too is just as circumscribed, but the names Gog, Magog, Rosh and Meshech found in chapters 38 and 39 call for a fuller comment. Gog of the land Magog, was the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:2, 39:1). The people of Magog are described by Jerome as “Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable who live beyond the Caucasus and the lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even outward India”. Meshech is rendered in the LXX Mesoch which in the opinion of many stands for Moschi, a tribe that inhabited the Caucasus, and this tribe gave their name to the Muscovites with whom the modern Russian is allied, and from whom the ancient capital Moscow was named. Whether this brings Russia itself into the realm of the prophetic earth however is another question. Where the Authorized Version reads “chief prince” the Revised Version reads “the prince of Rosh” the Hebrew word for prince being Rosh. This however is too slender a basis to build any prophetic reference to Russia. Gomer, mentioned in Ezekiel 38:6 is generally regarded as the ancestor of the Celts or Cimmeri (the Cymri-Welsh) who settled to the north of the Black Sea and gave their name to the Crimea. The same argument that would conclude that Russia is intended because the word Meshech may indicate a Muscovy tribe, would prove that Wales is intended because they are the descendants of Gomer! The great powers outside the limits of the prophetic earth naturally play their part and exert a great influence, but just as the reference to the new heavens and new earth in Isaiah is localized, and our attention is focused upon “Jerusalem” (Isa. 65:17-18), or millennial blessings are peculiarly associated in the first place as with “all My holy mountain“, before the earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord (Isa.11:9), so the doings of the nations in the limited zone of the prophetic earth precede and anticipate the wider activities and judgments that follow.
Leaving these great prophecies, we turn to the great prophecy of the day of the Lord, namely the book of Revelation. The scene opens in Patmos, an island in the Mediterranean, and the book is sent to seven churches on the mainland of Asia Minor. Satan’s throne is said to be in Pergamos, a city of Mysia about fifty miles south of Troy. The great battle which follows the pouring out of the sixth vial takes place at Armageddon, literally the Mountain of Megiddo. This is situated in the plain of Esdraelon, and destined to be the greatest battlefield of time. The kings that are gathered to this battle by the supernatural agency of demons, are said to be “the kings of the earth and of the whole world.” The word here for “world” is oikoumene the prophetic earth, and does not include the vast continents of America, Asia or India. Again, the reference to the kings of the East (Rev. 16:12) does not refer to the Far East as we speak of it to-day. The Greek word anatole is used of the home country of the wise men (Matt. 2:1). The corresponding terms in the Hebrew are mizrach which means “from the rising (of the sun)” (Josh. 4:9) or qedem, a land, comprehending Arabia Deserta, Ammon, Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia. This is the anatole of the Hebrews. To this region belong the kings of the East, for the Hebrew words melchi qedem, a land, comprehending Arabia Deserta, Ammon, Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia. This is the anatole of the Hebrews. To this region belongs the kings of the East, for the Hebrew words melchi qedem are found in Isaiah 19:11 and are there translated “ancient kings”, but Pharoah may be boasting here that he is descended from the kings of the East. Jeremiah 25:19-26 may give a fair survey of their dominion. The way of the kings of the East of Revelation 16:12 therefore cannot be constructed to indicate an invasion of Mogul, Mongolian, Chinese or other rulers of the Far East. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan is loosed out of his prison he goes out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, these nations are called Gog and Magog (Rev. 20:8). The English word “corner” is used in the Scriptures to translate a wing, a shoulder, a side or quarter, a turning, a tread, a rib, an extremity in the O.T. and a beginning and an angle in the N.T. In Revelation 20:8 the Greek word is gonia an angel, recognizable in the English “diagonal”. In the Revelation gonia is translated once corner, and once quarter. In the LXX this word is used of the four corners of the altar (Ex. 27:2), and it would appear that the four corners of the earth refer to the parts most distant from the sphere of blessing which has Jerusalem as the centre. To these regions the “outer darkness” may refer, and in these regions Gog and Magog, the great enemies of Israel in the past had settled during the thousands years reign.
It appears therefore from what we have seen, that the prophetic earth is exceedingly limited in extent, its utmost borders being from Spain to the Indus, but in the majority of cases the regions referred to lie within a circle whose centre is Jerusalem, and whose circumference is at the end of a radius of a thousand miles in length. This limited region being the microcosm, wherein would be enacted in miniature, the vaster movements that would embrace the whole earth.
Conclusion for these times: …
Psalm 84 refers to “crafty counsel” taken by those who are “confederate against” Israel, and have said:
- ‘Come and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance‘ (Psa. 83:4)
Words that have been unconsciously repeated by Arab leaders and reported in our newspapers in our time. Then, we ask, is it accidental that TEN NATIONS of the Middle East are immediately enumerated?
- Edom, Ishmaelites, Moab, Hagerenes, Gebal, Ammon, Amalak, Philistines with Tyre, Assur and Lot (Psa. 83:6-8).
Two items of peculiar interest are OIL and THE SUEZ CANAL, the oil fields of Iran and Irak (Persia (Iran) and Mesopotamia (the middle of Irak), and so including Babylon) and the canal which passes through Egypt. It may well be that a “corner” in oil and a command of the Suez Canal will make the rest of the world say of the last dictator: “Who is able to make war with him?” (Rev. 13:4).
(Articles out of the Volumes: 36, 37 of the Berean Expositor by Charles H. Welch -London) ……………………….
Commentaar: de tijden der heidenen …
- The times of the Gentiles are insolubly linked with one item of prophetic import, “the treading down of Jerusalem” (Luke 21:24), a feature that continues into the book of Revelation (Rev. 11:2) – Ch. H. Welch
- Some claim that Israel now has complete control of the city Jerusalem, but we cannot dogmatized on this. If it is true, then the times of the Gentiles are completed – Stuart Allen
- So, it can be deduced that since 1967, the time of the Gentiles, at least as far as Yerushali’im is concerned, has now ended. There may very well be a yet future period, in which foreigners will once again control Jerusalem. But for now, it appears that the longest period in history, during which the nations had possession and control of the Eternal city has ended – Uriel ben-Mordechai
- De beroemde Joodse geleerde uit Jeruzalem David Flusser gelooft, dat de profetische woorden van Jesjoea uit Lucas 21:24 met de inname van Jeruzalem op 7 juni 1967 tijdens de ‘Zesdaagse oorlog’ vervuld werd – David Flusser
Het doel van de vijanden: de vernietiging van Israel – Tot vele malen toe hebben de omliggende staten (oikoumene) van Israel geprobeerd het land in een totale oorlog te vernietigen.
- 1947-1948: Burgeroorlog
- 1948-1949: De Israelische Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog
- 1956: Sinai oorlog – De Suez Crisis
- 1967: De Zesdaagse oorlog
- 1973: De Jom Kippoer oorlog
- 1982: De eerste Libanon oorlog
- 1987 -1993: De eerste Intifada
- 2000 – 2005: De tweede Intifada
- 2006: De tweede Libanon oorlog
- 2008 – 2009: De eerste Gaza oorlog
- 2012 – 2012: De tweede Gaza oorlog
- 2014 – 2014: De derde Gaza oorlog
De profetische Psalm 83:2-5 omschrijft exact het doel van de vijand. In deze Psalm is de stem van het volk Israel hoorbaar, dat in zijn verdrukking tot God roept om hulp:
- ‘O God, zwijgt niet, houd U niet doof, wees niet stil, o God! Want zie, Uw vijanden tieren, wie U haten, steken hun hoofd omhoog. Zij beramen listig een heimelijke aanslag tegen Uw volk en beraadslagen tegen Uw beschermelingen. Kom, zeiden zij, laten wij hen uitroeien, zodat zij geen volk meer zijn en aan de naam van Israel niet meer gedacht wordt‘.
In de eerste vernietigingsoorlog tegen Israel (1948/1949) probeerden de legers van de volgende landen Israel van de kaart te vegen:
- Transjordanie (vanaf 1950 ‘Jordanie’ genoemd)
Deze legers werden gesteund door de ALA, het Arabische bevrijdingsleger, waarin Palestijnen en Arabieren uit verschillende landen vochten. Daar kwam ook nog het Leger van de Heilige Strijd bij, aangevoerd door Abd al-Qader al-Hoesseini, een neef van de grootmoefti van Jeruzalem en nazicollaborateur.
- In de tweede vernietigingsoorlog tegen Israel (1967) vochten de legers van Egypte, Syrie en Jordanie. Ze werden gesteund door troepen uit Irak, Saoedi-Arabie, Soedan, Marokko, Algerije, Libie en Koeweit, en door 10.000 PLO-strijders uit de Gazastrook.
- In de Jom Kippoer oorlog, de derde vernietigingsoorlog tegen Israel (1973), streden Egypte, Syrie en Jordanie, gesteund door Marokko, Algerije, Tunesie, Libie, Soedan, Oeganda, Cuba, Noord-Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saoedi-Arabie en Koeweit. Ook de Palestijnen leverden hun bijdragen aan de strijdkrachten.
Het verbond van de vijanden: de Arabische Liga. Op 22 maart 1945 werd de Arabische Liga in het leven geroepen, een internationale organisatie van Arabische staten. Tot de oprichters behoorden de volgende landen:
Deze staten voelden zich nauw verbonden met het door Engeland bestuurde ‘Palestina’. Een van hun voornaamste doelen was het steunen van de Palestijnse Arabieren door tot elke prijs te voorkomen dat er een Joodse staat zou worden gesticht. Toen in 1948 de stichting van de staat Israel ondanks deze grimmige tegenwerking een feit werd, werden in de jaren erna de krachten gebundeld om het land alsnog te vernietigen en zijn burgers uit te roeien. Het woord ‘Liga’ komt van het Latijnse werkwoord ligare, dat zoveel betekent als ‘binden’ of ‘verbinden’. Het woordenboek geeft voor Liga de defenitie ‘bond’ of ‘verbond’. In Psalm 83:6-9 staat dat de vijanden die de totale vernietiging van Israel voor ogen hebben, samen een verbond – dus een liga vormen:
- ‘Want samen hebben zij in hun hart beraadslaagd; dezen hebben een verbond tegen U gesloten: de tenten van Edom en de Ismaelieten, Moab en de Hagrieten, Gebal, Ammon en Amalek, Filistea met de bewoners van Tyrus. Ook Assyrie heeft zich bij hen aangesloten, zij zijn voor de zonen van Lot een sterke arm geweest’.
Van dit verbond wordt gezegd dat het zich tegen de God van Abraham, Izaak en Jakob richt. De verklaring hiervoor is dat een aanval op Gods uitverkorenen volk altijd ook een aanval op God zelf is, zoals staat in Zacharja 2:8b: …
- ‘…want wie u aanraakt, raakt Zijn oogappel aan’.
Tegenwoordig telt de Arabische Liga alles bij elkaar 22 leden. De Arabische Palestijnen hebben zich, vertegenwoordigd door de PLO, in 1976 aangsloten. Bovendien hebben zes landen de waarnemers status. Hieronder volgt een lijst van de 22 lidstaten van de Arabische Liga (het jaartal tussen aanhalingstekens is het jaar van toetreding:
- Egypte (1945; van 1979 tot 1989 werd Egypte geschorst, vanwege het vredesverdrag met Israel)
- Algerije (1962)
- Bahrein (1971)
- Djibouti (1977)
- Irak (1945)
- Jemen (Noord-Jemen: 1945; Zuid-Jemen: 1967-1990 lid; sinds 1990 zijn Noord en Zuid-Jemen verenigd)
- Jordanie (1945)
- Qatar (1971)
- De Comoren (1993)
- Koeweit (1961)
- Libanon (1945)
- Libie (1953)
- Marokko (1958)
- Mauretanie (1973)
- Oman (1971)
- Palestijnse Autonome Gebieden (1976, vertegenwoordigd door de PLO)
- Saoedi-Arabie (1945)
- Somalie (1974)
- Soedan (1945)
- Syrie ( 1945)
- Tunesie (1958)
- Verenigde Arabische Emiraten (1971)
In Psalm 83:6-9 worden verschillende namen van de leden van dit bondgenootschap tegen Israel genoemd. Asaf, de dichter van deze psalm, gebruikte namen van steden en volken die in zijn tijd, rond 1000 v. Chr., werden gebruikt. Met behulp van een Bijbelatlas kan elke Bijbellezer deze namen geografisch plaatsen:
- ‘Want samen hebben zij in hun hart beraadslaagt; deze hebben een verbond tegen U gesloten: de tenten van Edom en de Islamieten, Moab en de Hagrieten, Gebal, Ammon, en Amalek, Filistea met de bewoners van Tyrus. Ook Assyrie heeft zich bij hen aangesloten, zij zijn voor de zonen van Lot een sterke arm geweest’.
Een geestelijk les … Het gaat ‘uit Israels profetie‘ feitelijk om de volheid der tijden, een proces dat zich manifesteert van ‘de volheid der heidenen’ naar ‘de volheid van Israel’, evenzo van de ‘volheid van Israel’ naar ‘de volheid der heidenen’ (Rom. 11:12, 25-26).
Op ‘t ogenblik zijn er in Israel 45 Messiaanse gemeenten actief waarvan er 12 in Jeruzalem gevestigd zijn, daarbij gevoegd de 28 Messiaanse bedieningen en hiervan er 13 in Jeruzalem plaatsvinden; wordt het aantal Messias belijdende Israeli’s ergens tussen de 15.000 en 30.000 geschat. Zie voor info: de site van Comité Gemeentehulp Israel: www.cgi-holland.nl of Prayer for Israel: www.prayer4i.org.
Het gaat dus in de ‘eindtijd om die twee volheden’, wat met met zich mee brengt: ontsteek, de ‘volheid’ die ook voor Israel komt! Die twee ‘volheden’ als die van de heidenen en die van Israel zijn aan elkaar gekoppeld! Daar in het ‘Epicenter’ der aarde, dus in de stad Jeruzalem kan ‘de Eeuwige’ opnieuw Zijn geest aan ons kwijt, want dan zegt de HEERE, … dan gaan ze met die gaven die Ik wil geven niet hun eigen zaakjes opbouwen maar dan gaan ze Jeruzalem opbouwen, en als ze Jeruzalem ermee willen opbouwen, dan bouwen ze aan Mijn koninkrijk, en zal het ‘Evangelie van het Koninkrijk’ alsnog gepredikt worden in de ganse wereld (oikoumene), hetgeen zal plaatsvinden aan het begin van de 68e jaar week op een totaal van 70 weken zoals beschreven door de profeet Daniel (Matth. 24:14, 28:19-20; Dan. 9:20-27; Openb. 7:1-17).
(Let wel, vooralsnog ‘provisorisch’) daar er in en rondom Jeruzalem in het ‘eindtijd scenario’ opnieuw een tijd zal aanbreken van grote benauwdheid voor Israel; maar uiteindelijk zal Jeruzalem de lichtstad worden voor de koningen der aarde, die hun rijkdommen zullen inbrengen ter ere van de ‘God van Abraham, Izaak en Jakob’ (Jer. 30:7; Jes. 60:1-3, 9-11; 62:1-12;).
Zie ook de onderstaande sites:
Gerard J.C. Plas
Genocide By the Jews?
by Shoebat Foundation on July 24, 2014 in General
Posted by Keith Davis political commentator
Douglas Murray a righteous non Jew, one of the few British journalists who speaks with clarity and truth regarding the issues of the Middle East. The world has gone bonkers over “Israeli aggression’ yet thousands of Muslims and Christians are being murdered in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and many other countries on a slightly smaller scale.
Here is a powerful interview done with Sun News of Canada a couple of days ago.
Are the Jews committing Genocide?