Hello this is Matt Davies joining you for another Bible in the News.
In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 that God compelled his prophet, Ezekiel, to pen almost 2600 years ago, we read of the state of the world of our day. The prophecy has to do with the time when the Jews have returned to their land after a period of dispersion (v8 and v12). This time period can be said to of begone from 1948 onwards - after the state of Israel was declared and the Jews began consistently returning.
Two power blocks of nations are listed. One block antagonistic to Israel in verses 1-6 and one block seemingly sympathetic to Israel in v13.
The prophecy speaks of a great invasion of Israel before God finally acts. When harmonised with other prophecies it can be seen that this great crisis heralds the return of Jesus to the earth.
In the antagonistic block of nations, we have listed the names of the ancient peoples of Europe along with North African and Far Eastern peoples.
Of particular note is the nation called “Gomer” and one called “Magog”.
The ancient historian Josephus, who lived about 600 years after Ezekiel, placed Gomer and the "Gomerites" in the area of Western Galatia. He wrote: "For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, but were then called Gomerites."
It’s interesting to note that in the Greek the name “Galatia” refers to the area of Gaul. Diodorus Siculus records how this came about when speaking about an ancient leader called Galates:
“Becoming renowned for his bravery he (Galates) called his subjects Galatae or Gauls after himself, and these, in turn, gave their name to all of Galatea or Gaul” Diodorus Siculus (approx 50AD).
We know from history that Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and before. It encompassed present-day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine.
This area clearly relates then to Western Europe.
The other nation to note is that of ‘Magog’ mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2 and 39:6. Again, the Jewish historian Josephus writes the following about this nation:
“Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1:6:1, c. 94 AD).
But where was Sythia? The Greek historian Herodotus lists eight rivers which went through Sythia - all of these rivers are in Eastern Europe. They stretch from the river “Ister” (the modern-day river ‘Danube’ which originates in Germany) to the river “Tanais” (the modern-day river ‘Don’ in Russia). See Herodotus, Histories, Book 4:46-47, c. 400 BC).
“Magog” then is the territory covering modern-day Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and even parts of Western Russia. This is a description of Western Europe.
Combining the mention of the peoples of Gomer and Magog then we pretty much have the whole of the peoples of the EU.
The sympathetic nations of Ezekiel 38 are termed Tarshish, Shebah and Dedan.
Shebah and Dedan are ancient names for the peoples living in the Arab Gulf.
The identification of Britain and the Biblical nation of Tarshish has been made on Bible In The News many times in recent years.
As a short summery consider the following which connects Britain with Tarshish:
1. Its people are descended from Japheth who emigrated across western Europe & is an island or coastal power. Gen 10:4-5
2. It was well known as a maritime power. 2 Chron 9:21 Psalm 48:7 Isaiah 2:16, 23:1, 60:9, Ezekiel 27:25
3. In ancient times, especially around 900-600BC it traded in global markets and particularly traded in the East. 2 Chron 9:20-21
4. It is located to the far west of Israel. Jonah 1:3
5. At the time of Ezekiel (600BC) it was a source of silver, iron, tin and lead & traded with the ancient Phoenicians of Tyre. Ezekiel 27:12
6. After the Phoenician city of Tyre was destroyed (around 300BC) Tarshish was to replace Tyre as the worlds trading power. Isaiah 23:6
7. It is a colonial power, having political offspring. Ezekiel 38:13
The only modern power that fits these characteristics is the British power.
Brexit and prophecy
Based on the above conclusions we can, therefore, see why it is that Brexit has occurred. As the European Union pools it’s sovereignty and pushes for ever closer union God has determined another destiny for Britain. A separation has to occur.
We are witnessing the detachment of the Tarshish power from the powers of Gomer and Magog.
In Ezekiel 38 it would appear that the “Merchants of Tarshish” are trading with Shebah and Dedan when the antagonistic nations attack Israel. This would lead us to conclude that the Tarshish power’s main economic ties are not with the European countries but with the Gulf. We can, therefore, expect a more focused effort by Britain into this region therefore in the post-Brexit world.
We can also expect a dramatic unshackling from the EU to enable this.
The latest Brexit complications
The government of the UK have recently put together a blueprint for negotiating a deal for Brexit with the EU. Prime Minister May had sort to get her cabinet behind this plan at her country residence called “Chequers”. At this place, she held a marathon 12-hour cabinet meeting back in July.
Shortly after, the Brexit secretary, David Davis and the famous, Boris Johnson resigned due to it being too aligned to the EU and compromising the UK's sovereignty.
Prime Minister May then took the Chequers Deal to EU leaders at an informal EU meeting in Salzburg, Austria. It was rejected.
On the 21st of September, Mrs May made a Statement stating the EU must treat the UK with more "respect" in Brexit negotiations.
The BBC reported that “Theresa May has warned that the Brexit negotiations are at an impasse and there will be no progress until the EU treats her proposals seriously. She has accused EU leaders of showing the UK a lack of respect after they rebuffed her Chequers plan at the Salzburg summit without, she said, any alternative or explanation.”
There are likely to be two more formal EU summits in the remainder of the year - one in October and one in November where it is thought a deal could be brokered.
The Conservative Party is having a conference this weekend where this will be a huge topic of debate. The Guardian ran an article on the 29th September entitled “May under microscope as EU searches for signs of Brexit cooperation”
But, even if a final deal is confirmed, it then needs to be drafted and put to the European Council. If it passed that it then would need to have approval from 20 countries before it can be ratified. In the UK the UK Parliament also needs to confirm they would be happy with any deal. The complexity of this makes it seem unlikely a deal will be able to be made.
If this is the case then in January 2019 huge political upheavals could take place with MPs debating what then to do. They could proceed with leaving the EU without a deal or seek to delay things further until one is reached.
Already movements are afoot though for a clean break. On the 11th of September the BBC reported:
“A group of Tory MPs has endorsed a plan for a "clean break" from the European Union (EU), with the UK defaulting to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules when it leaves the EU. The proposals are contained in a report by the pressure group Economists for Free Trade (EFT).”
Wouldn’t it be interesting in the light of Bible prophecy, if this gained more popular and widespread support in the coming months?
God’s purpose for Tarshish
In these things we remember the words of the Bible “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” Daniel 4:17.
God has set out a purpose for Tarshish. It is not attached to the European powers in the great war of Ezekiel 38 which sees Christ’s return to defend Israel and establish God’s Kingdom on the earth.
It is at that point in “the latter days” that we read in Isaiah 2:3 “for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
Psalm 72 is a prophetic Psalm about the Kingdom of God when Jesus Christ will be ruling on the earth. In verse 10 we read: “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”
This is the destiny of Tarshish. To become subject to Jesus Christ in the time of the Kingdom.
In Isaiah 60, a prophecy about Israel in the future, we read how that the Tarshish nations brings a gift to Christ, the Holy One of Israel:
“Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.” Isaiah 60:9
Tarshish will be humbled and brings its wealth to Christ in that day. It will help to bring the sons of Israel, the Jews, back to their homeland in obeisance to Christ.
These things have been prophesied and so will happen. Therefore as we watch world events let us consider this great purpose God has for this people of Tarshish. It is to this end that they are unwittingly being prepared.
This has been Matt Davies joining you. Stop by again next week, God Willing for another Bible in the News.