You teach that the Bible contains end-time prophecies, involving many modern nations and peoples, referring to them with ancient names. Would you please explain the identity of major modern nations, as mentioned in Biblical prophecy?
We are glad to do so. The following is a very brief summary and only relates, in passing, a few pieces of the Biblical, historical or archeological evidence, to raise interest and curiosity:
The ancient tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph, is dominant in the United States of America. Ephraim, another son of Joseph, basically constitutes the English-speaking, Anglo-Saxon member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly known as the British Commonwealth). This includes modern countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, as well as part of South Africa. There are actually many proofs which establish these facts. We read in the Bible that a descendant of the house of David would always rule over the house of Israel, throughout all generations, until the return of Jesus Christ (who will then, as a descendant of David, rule over the house of Israel forever). In Ireland, tradition marks the arrival in the first half of the sixth century B.C. of a small group of people led by a white-haired prophet, known as Ollamh Fodhla. Irish tradition identifies this man as the prophet Jeremiah. The traditional belief of the kings of Scotland and England is that the house of David was transferred, through Jeremiah, to northwestern Europe from Palestine. When Jerusalem fell, Jeremiah brought with him the daughter of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, who then became queen of Ireland. Today, the throne of David can be found in England.
The tribe of Judah (the Jews) is scattered among all nations, with a large number now living in the modern state of Israel.
Other ancient tribes of the house of Israel seem to be located in the following areas:
Reuben can be found today in parts of modern France; Dan in Ireland and part of Denmark; Benjamin in Norway and Iceland; Zebulon in the Netherlands; Issachar in Finland; Gad in Switzerland; Asher in Belgium and Luxembourg; and Naphtali in Sweden. We are unable to determine the modern identity of Levi and Simeon, as they were prophesied to be scattered among the rest of the tribes of Israel (compare Genesis 49:7). Strong evidence suggests that many in Wales are descendants of Levi, and some Scots — especially around Glasgow — are descendants of Simeon, as well as of Levi.
We should mention, of course, that people from many other countries have joined and settled among all of the above-mentioned nations. This means that not everyone living in the United States, for example, is a descendant of the tribe of Manasseh.
Some have claimed that the American Indians are the descendants of the “lost tribes” of the ancient house of Israel. This is incorrect. Biblical research, history and archeology reveal that the American Indians are descendants of Tiras, son of Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah. Tiras was one of Noah’s grandsons. Tiras is referred to in Genesis 10 and in 1 Chronicles 1:5. He became the most isolated branch of Noah’s grandsons. The American Indians are closely related to groups of Asiatic peoples in eastern Asia, who likewise descended from Japheth. Certain American Indian tribes are also closely related linguistically to peoples of northeastern Asia. We find the name “Tiras” preserved among various New World Indian tribes, such as, Tauri, Taras, Turas, Dures, Dorasques, and Atures.
Ancient Chaldeans or Babylonians can be found today in central and northwestern Europe. Some of the ancient Chaldeans were driven northward out of the Near East by the Assyrians and Medes prior to 610 B.C. They headed west into the Roman Empire. They settled in northern Italy, southeastern France, and parts of Spain and northern Africa.The ancient Chaldeans of Babylonia were also sent into exile to Syria in the Greek period. The Latin Romans often bought these people as slaves; afterward, their descendants were freed.
The ancient Assyrians can be found today among some of the Germans, Austrians and other German-speaking countries. Small portions of ancient Assyrians can also be found today in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. The Assyrians had settled, around 550 B.C., at the southern shores of the Black Sea, and then moved north. They migrated into Central Europe. Historical works point out that Germanic tribes had migrated into Europe from the countries around the Black Sea. The ancient tradition of the city of Trier has it that the city was founded by the Assyrian king Trebeta, son of Ninus. Josef K.L. Bihl writes, “In Deutschen Landen”: “The inhabitants of Trier maintain that their city is the oldest in all Europe… Trier was founded by Trebeta, a son of the famous Assyrian king Ninus. In fact, one finds… in Trier the inscription reading, ‘Trier existed for 1300 years before Rome was rebuilt.'”
The modern people of Poland are descendants of Elam, a son of Shem. The Elamites named the most famous mountain in their land Elwend. The Germans used to refer to the Poles as “Wends.”
In addition, strong evidence suggests or proves, depending on the case, that the following Biblical terms describe, or may prophetically refer to these modern nations:
Amalek — PLO
Ammon — Jordan
Aram — Syria
Cush — India, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia
Elam — Iran
Esau or Edom — Turkey, perhaps also, in some instances, Palestinians
Ishmael — Saudi-Arabia
Javan — Greece
Lot — Jordan
Magog — China
Moab — Jordan, perhaps also Western Iraq
Pathros — India
Put — Libya
Shinar — Iraq
Teman — Turkey
Togarmah — Siberia
Tubal — Russia
Bible prophecy clearly speaks of many nations which will be the focus of end-time events. These nations can be traced through both the foundation of the Biblical record and the verification of secular history. National identities are being revealed in our generation by those who actually fulfill events which God foretold. Therefore, it is especially important that we continue to carefully watch world events in order to fully understand their true meaning along with the identity of individuals and nations spoken of by God in the remarkable prophecies of the Bible!
For further information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.” If you can read and understand German, you may also want to download from our Webpage our free German booklet, “Deutschland in der Prophezeiung.”