What will be the future relationship between major Middle Eastern Nations and Israel?
In our last Q&A, we answered the question whether there still will be a future king of the South. We explained that even though the prophecy in Daniel 11 regarding the king of the South has been fulfilled, the prophecy could be dual and find another end-time fulfillment in the near future, but if so, the king of the South would have to be Ethiopia which could be leading several Arab nations, including Egypt and Libya, against Europe.
In addition, we showed from Psalm 83 that other Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, will at first form a confederacy with Europe (under German leadership) against “Israel.”
The previous Q&A limited and confined our comments mainly to the friendly or hostile relationship of Middle Eastern nations with continental Europe. In this Q&A, we will address the relationship of Middle Eastern nations with “Israel.”
We have written at length about the following nations, mentioned herein, in previous Q&As and our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
In this Q&A, we will set forth in a condensed summary format the important conclusions which we came to, based on the Bible, pertaining to some major Middle Eastern nations in regard to their dealings with “Israel.” For an in-depth study, we recommend reviewing the above-mentioned booklet.
One of the most antagonistic countries against “Israel” will be TURKEY. It is identified in the Bible as “Edom” or “Esau.” The Bible and history show that the Turks are the modern descendants of ancient Esau or Edom, the twin brother of Jacob or Israel. As mentioned in the previous Q&A, modern Edom will be part of a confederacy with the modern Babylonian system of Europe under Assyria or Germany, together with Arab nations. This confederacy (literally, “cutting a covenant”) will be directed against “Israel”—the state of Israel, the Jews in general, and the modern descendants of the House of Israel which are mainly to be found in the USA and the United Kingdom, as well as other English-speaking nations such as Canada and Australia.
The Bible does not say that Edom will become part of the current EU, let alone the final configuration of ten European core nations or groups of nations. While Europe will be collaborating for a while with Turkey and other Arab nations, this does not mean that there will be full partnership and unification between them.
Turkey will continue to become an extremely hostile nation towards the Jews and the House of Israel, under a ruthless and dictatorial Turkish leadership.
After an initial collaboration between the EU and Turkey, things will drastically change. Edom’s allies, and especially Assyria and the entire Babylonian system, will turn against Edom.
Obadiah 6-7 says that “ALL THE MEN IN YOUR CONFEDERACY” will turn against Turkey—this includes modern Assyria (Germany) and modern “Tyre” (the end-time European system). This means that Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinians, Western Iraq and perhaps Lebanon will also turn against Turkey. In Obadiah 8-9, God makes clear that this will happen “in that day”—after the Great Tribulation and during the Day of the LORD—and that God will inspire the former allies of Edom to act in this way.
Psalm 60:8 and Psalm 108:9 indicate as well a future defeat in war and captivity for the people of Edom (as well as Moab, i.e. modern Iraq). The modern Babylonian system under Assyria’s lead will conquer Edom (modern Turkey) and enslave it, after Edom (and Moab) had at first escaped the modern Assyrian “king of the North” (Daniel 11:41).
The Bible tells us that the reason for Turkey’s future destruction is its abominable conduct against “Israel.” We read in Ezekiel 35:1-15 that Turkey “had an ancient [or everlasting] hatred, and [has] shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity… you have said, ‘These TWO NATIONS and these TWO COUNTRIES [referring to the Houses of Israel and Judah] shall be mine, and we will possess them…’”
Obadiah 1:10-15 confirms this by stating that “In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress (Menge Bible: the Great Tribulation). For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you…”
Israel and Judah will have to go into slavery, and Edom will actively participate in this future war against Israel and Judah which will bring about the complete downfall of those two nations. Edom will possess at least parts of Israel’s and Judah’s territories. But then, God will use the modern Babylonian power bloc to punish Edom or modern Turkey severely due to Edom’s hatred and violence towards Israel and Judah.
Focusing on ETHIOPIA, we read in Nahum 3:9 that ETHIOPIA, as well as Egypt and Put (Libya; see below), will at first be modern Nineveh’s “strength” and helpers (that is, the modern Babylonian system under Assyrian or German leadership, ancient Nineveh being the capital of Assyria). They will help modern Nineveh to fight against Israel and Judah.
But we also read that this particular alliance will change and that the modern king of Babylon (Europe) will attack and conquer Egypt and Ethiopia (Ezekiel 30:1-9; 29:10; compare also Isaiah 18:1-6). Zephaniah 2:12 tells us specifically that “You Ethiopians also, you shall be slain by the sword.” We also read in Daniel 11:42-43 that the modern king of Assyria of the Babylonian system will be ruling over the Ethiopians.
We are specifically told in Isaiah 11:11 that at the time of Christ’s Return, the survivors of the modern descendants of the Houses of Israel and Judah will find themselves enslaved in countries such as Assyria (Germany), Egypt, Cush (Ethiopia), and Elam (Iran).
We don’t know when and exactly how the survivors of Israel and Judah will become captives in Ethiopia and in some of the other countries mentioned above. It could begin to happen when Ethiopia fights with Assyria against Israel, or later, when Assyria fights against Ethiopia and then transfers and settles some of its Israelite captives there.
We also read that some Ethiopians will become a part of an army, led by Russia and China and other Far Eastern nations, to invade the Promised Land. This will happen just after Christ’s Return to this earth; compare Ezekiel 38:5.
Regarding EGYPT, we read that Jews will be enslaved in Egypt just prior to Christ’s return. Isaiah 27:13 explains that when the great trumpet sounds “in that day”—designating the resurrection of the just from the dead in the end time–captives from the Houses of Israel and Judah will be released from slavery. We are also told that prior to their freedom, some will perish in the LAND of Assyria, and some will be outcasts in the LAND of Egypt.
Hosea 9:3 states that Ephraim (mainly the UK, but by extension including the USA, Canada and other English-speaking nations) shall return to Egypt and eat unclean things in Assyria. On the other hand, Hosea 11:5, 10-11 informs us that Ephraim shall not return to the LAND of Egypt; rather, it will go into the kind of “Egyptian” slavery which ancient Israel experienced when it was in Egyptian captivity. The modern king ruling over the modern House of Israel (including the UK and the USA) will be Assyria. Deuteronomy 28:68; 17:16 confirms as well that “Egyptian” slavery is decreed over both the Houses of Israel and Judah.
According to Isaiah 27:13, a part of the enslaved remnant will return from the LAND of Egypt. Since Ephraim will not be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt, it follows that those who will be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt will be mainly those from the House of Judah (the Jews). This fact is supported in Joel 3:19, which tells us that Egypt will become a desolation, because of their violence against the people of JUDAH or the Jews.
Zechariah 10:10-12 tells us as well that some (apparently referring to Judah) will be freed from slavery and brought back from the LAND of Egypt, while others (Ephraim) will be freed from Assyria.
Focusing on LIBYA, not much is stated regarding its end-time relationship with “Israel” prior to Christ’s Return.
As we mentioned in the last Q&A, Daniel 11 shows that the modern king of Assyria will turn against Egypt and the nations allied with her, including Ethiopia and Libya, and conquer, control or even enslave them. However, the Bible shows that after ten European nations or groups of nations under modern Assyria (“the Babylonian system”) will have subdued and conquered many nations, they themselves will be defeated in war by the modern Medes—Russians and Ukrainians.
We do not know whether the alliance of Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya, which is directed against Europe, will be friendly or unfriendly towards “Israel.” But we do know that shortly AFTER Christ’s Return, a mighty Far Eastern army (under Russian and Chinese leadership) will try to invade the modern Houses of Judah (the modern Jews) and of Israel (mainly the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, as well as some nations in North-Western Europe). By that time, all the Israelites and Jews, who will have survived the Great Tribulation, will have been brought back to live in the Promised Land.
In regard to the future attempt by that great Far Eastern army to invade and conquer the Promised Land, Ezekiel 38:5 states expressly that “Persia, Ethiopia and LIBYA are with them.” It is possible that this hatred against “Israel” already developed and existed prior to Christ’s Return.
In the end time, SYRIA or Aram will face utter destruction just prior to Christ’s Return. Scriptures like Isaiah 17:1-4; Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Amos 1:3-5 describe the destruction of Damascus (the capital of Syria) in vivid terms. If we look at prior historical events, we conclude that it is possible that Syria’s destruction will occur through the modern Babylonian system under the leadership of the modern “king” of Assyria. In ancient times, the king of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser, destroyed Damascus and enslaved the Syrians. He fought the House of Israel [under King Pekah] and Syria [under King Rezin] at about the same time.
If history is our guide, then it would be interesting to contemplate the possibility that the destruction of Damascus and the overthrow of Syria could occur at approximately the same time when the modern “king” of Assyria will attack the modern House of Israel. Ironically, “Ephraim” will make a covenant with modern Assur (Hosea 12:1) and ask them for help as well (Compare Hosea 5:13, which states in the New American Bible and the Menge translation: “Ephraim went to Assyria, and Judah sent to the great king.”). At that time, the modern “king” of Assyria might just comply with both requests.
But he will not really rescue the Jews nor modern Ephraim (Hosea 7:11-12; 5:14-15). Even anciently, we read in 2 Chronicles 28:16-21 that Tiglath-Pileser, King of Assyria, did NOT really help Ahaz, King of Judah, even though he had pretended at first to help Israel against the Syrians. Rather, he “distressed” or “oppressed” him (verse 20). In fact, we read that the modern “king” of Assyria, leader of the revived Roman Empire, will ultimately engage in a decisive war against the modern Houses of Israel AND Judah.
Focusing on SAUDI ARABIA, we read in Psalm 83:6 that Ishmaelites—the kingdom of Saudi Arabia—as well as other Arabic tribes will enter into a covenant with Assyria or modern-day Germany against Israel.
When God intervenes in world affairs, He will begin to pour out His wrath and fury over all nations, by bringing the sword over them (Jeremiah 25:15-17), including Arabia and Tema, one of Ishmael’s sons (Jeremiah 25:23). This will happen during the Day of the LORD of God’s wrath (Jeremiah 25:33), which will begin approximately one year prior to Christ’s Return.
Isaiah 21:13-17 gives us another prophecy about Ishmael’s or Saudi Arabia’s destruction. We are not specifically told there who exactly will defeat the Arabs in war, but we note that in Old Testament times, the Assyrians did so, and most commentaries apply the prophecy of Isaiah to that occurrence. They overlook, however, that the prophecy is primarily for our times today. If the prophecy is dual, which it appears to be, then Assyria will again be the enemy defeating the Arabs in war, after they first had entered into an alliance with Assyria against Israel.
Finally, when focusing on Scriptures about IRAN, formerly known as Persia, we find that the modern-day Iranians are descendants of the ancient Elamites.
As we have seen, the Jewish people and the modern House of Israel will be conquered and enslaved by the final European revival of the ancient Roman Empire, under Assyrian or German leadership, called modern “Babylon” in Scripture. When Jesus Christ returns, He will free the survivors of that captivity and bring them into the Promised Land. Several Scriptures tell us that prior to Christ’s Return, survivors from Israel and Judah will be enslaved in Elam–Iran (Isaiah 11:11).
Isaiah 22:6 prophesies, in the context of the future enslavement of the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem (compare verses 1-4): “Elam [Iran] bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.”
The timing is the Day of the LORD or “in that day” (verses 8, 12), when God has “removed the protection of Judah” (verse 8), since they looked to their armor or military, rather than to God (verses 8, 11). We note, from Ezekiel 27:10, that at one time, “Those from Persia [Iran], Lydia and Libya Were in [the mystical “Tyre’s” or the modern Babylon’s] army as men of war.” So it appears that Iranians will participate in the military attack of modern Babylon against the state of Israel.
It appears further that after their mutual attack on Jerusalem, modern Babylon—a confederacy of many nations–will turn against Iran and enslave the Iranian people (Jeremiah 49:35-39). Subsequently, the modern Iranians will be freed—apparently by the Medes or Russians, as both will together attack modern Babylon (Isaiah 21:2). A future alliance between Russia and Iran (which is already developing today) is not surprising, given the fact that these two powers were allied in the past, as the “Medo-Persian Empire.”
Russia’s and Iran’s hatred against the modern descendants of the ancient Houses of Israel and Judah will not easily disappear. After Christ’s Return, Iran or “Persia” will be a part of a great confederacy of hostile nations (Ezekiel 38:5), under Russian and Chinese leadership, in an attempt to invade the Promised Land which will then be occupied by the modern Houses of Israel and Judah.
From the foregoing, we can see that especially countries such as Turkey, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran will (continue to) play an important anti-Israeli role in the Middle East. The GOOD NEWS is, as our above-mentioned booklet points out, that survivors from ALL those nations will repent and turn to the true God of Israel, AFTER Christ’s Return.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link