The King of the South in the Latter Days
Identifying the King of the South in the Latter Days and Watching for the Push.
Friday, July 23, 2010
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Bible students have long watched with great interest the shaping of the nations in preparation for the “time of the end” spoken of by Daniel the Prophet. Welcome to the Bible in the News. We join Daniel as he describes struggle over the holy land in great detail in the 11th chapter of his prophecy.
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11:40-45)
John Thomas explained the struggle in his booklet, the Exposition of Daniel. The accuracy of the conflict is so precise that critics of the Bible have tried to explain it away by suggesting Daniel 11 was added to the Biblical record after the events took place.
Identifying the King of the North and the King of the South.
The story began with Alexander the Great who was the might king of verse 3 who stood up and ruled with great dominion, doing according to his will, displacing Xerxes, the king of the Medes. However his kingdom was to be divided amongst his four generals “towards the four winds of heaven”. The struggle of Daniel 11 would develop until there were two major players:
1) The first is the King of the North which answers to the successor to the Seleucid Empire north of Israel who exercises power or influence over the Northern nations.
2) The second is the King of the South which answers to the successor to the Ptolemy Empire south of Israel. The Ptolemy’s exercised power or influence over the Southern region, and specifically Egypt where they ruled until their last queen Cleopatra was subdued by the Romans.
Both the north and the south were brought under control of the Romans. When Rome was divided in two by Constantine, this area was under the Byzantine Roman empire until it was gradually subdued by the Islamic powers ending in domination by the Ottoman Turks. The end of Ottoman rule signaled the “time of the end” identified by verse 40 which brings us into the current era when there is a latter day equivalent to the “king of the north” and the “king of the south”.
The latter day “king of the North” who would come like a whirlwind in verse 40 is identified with Gog who rules over Rosh or Russia in Ezekiel 38. Russian is the dominant military power influencing the region once ruled by the Seleucid empire.
The latter day “king of the South” who “pushes” at the king of the North in verse 40 is identified with Britain, America and the Tarshish powers of Ezekiel 38 who are allied with Sheba and Dedan. The queen of Sheba was referred to as the Queen of the South by the Lord in Luke 11:31. While Britain was the first power to dominate the Middle East and defeat the Ottoman power, an event described as the drying up of River Euphrates (Rev 16:12), its influence decreased after Britain turned its back on the Jews leading up to and following World War II. America, the oldest of the young lions, assumed the role as protector of the region following the loss of the British Empire.
The Bible clearly identifies the Tarshish power with its young lions being in the region at the time of the end in Ezekiel 38. Britain remained mostly absent from Middle Eastern affairs following the Suez Crisis in the 1950’s and its discovery of oil in the North Sea which reduced its dependency on the Arab states for oil. Now that North Sea oil reserves are dwindling, Britain again has a renewed interest in the Middle East. President Obama’s now forgotten spring commitment to move the focus from Middle Eastern oil to Gulf of Mexico oil has been destroyed by the oil spill disaster in the Gulf which has resulted in a ban on deep water drilling in the gulf. America’s dependency on the Middle East is once again renewed.
Scripture requires that this Tarshish team remain in the area up to the time of the end in order to engage in the “push” that will trigger the whirlwind response:
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (Daniel 11:40)
America’s continued influence as the “king of the south” in the area was highlighted by the Economist this past week in a special report on Egypt and an article entitled, “America’s Lieutenant”.
The article stated, “WOULD-BE rulers of the world have always coveted Egypt, and for good reason. Rich in resources and in a choice position, it is also easily controlled, with no forests or mountains for rebels to lurk in. The Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans all grabbed it. So did Muslim Arabs, Ottoman Turks, Napoleon’s France and finally Britain. The Crusaders, Tamerlane and Hitler all tried and failed to take it. The cold-war superpowers vied for influence too; Egypt flirted with both, but America bid higher and won. Egypt became America’s Arab poodle, a role that is no less uncomfortable under Barack Obama than it was under George Bush.” July 15, 2010.
The description of Egypt as America’s Arab poodle demonstrates that America is the dominant foreign power in the area exercising influence of Egypt in her role as part of the latter day King of the South. This influence has shaped Egypt’s foreign policies, encouraged its peace agreement with Israel in the 1970’s and its cooperation with Israel in closing of the Gaza strip to stop the flow of terrorist arms.
The King of the South Shall Push at Him.
The King of the South under British control certainly pushed the Ottoman power out of the region. However the wording of Daniel 11:40 seems to have a much more immediate response from the King of the North. The whirlwind response described would appear to be much more retaliatory than a 93 year delayed reaction if it were limited to Britain’s role in pushing the Turks out of the Holy Land almost one century ago.
The king of the north includes the territories of the former Seleucid Empire including Iran. Iran or Persia is also identified in Ezekiel 38:5 as being armed and “with them”.
What has been of great interest has been a series of newspaper articles written by former CIA operative Ruel Marc Gerecht. He states,
For the Israelis today, Iran has become an unrivalled threat. Although anti-Semitism has been widespread in the Middle East since the 1930s, the strain among Tehran's ruling elite is akin to what European Jews observed in Austria, Germany and Russia in the early 20th century.
Americans and Europeans don't like to dwell on the problem of anti-Semitism in the region, preferring to see it as… treatable by the creation of a Palestinian state. But Israelis are acutely conscious that unrelenting anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are important factors in the Shiite Islamic Republic's increasing popularity among Arab Sunni fundamentalists -- especially in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood would probably triumph in a free election. In Iran, the anti-Jewish passion among the revolutionary elite appears to have actually increased as ordinary Iranians have soured on theocracy and state-sanctioned ideology.
Never before have the Israelis had to confront a rabidly anti-Semitic enemy with nuclear weapons and a long track record of supporting deadly killers such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Americans and Europeans can seem to Israelis all-too-nonchalant about the challenge they face -- and Western counsel to calm down and get used to the idea of mullahs with nukes doesn't sit well with a people who have already lived through the unthinkable.
As far as Europe’s position, the article quotes Thérèse Delpech, a leading nonproliferation expert at France's Atomic Energy Commission, who warned last October at a Brookings Institution lecture:
"We [the Europeans] have negotiated during five years with the Iranians . . . and we came to the conclusion that they are not interested at all in negotiating, but . . . [only] in buying time for their military program." In those five years, she also noted, Tehran never implied that if only the Americans were at the table the clerical regime would be amenable to compromise.
In the article written this week, Gerecht describes the inevitability of a military strike by either the USA, Israel or both to put an end to the fast growing nuclear threat Iran poses to the Middle East and further afield. He points out:
Any Israeli raid that could knock out a sizable part of Iran's nuclear program would change the dynamic inside Iran and throughout the Middle East. There is a chance that it would spare the Israelis the awful, likely possibility that other Middle Eastern states-especially the Saudis, Iran's arch-religious rival-would go nuclear in response to a Persian bomb. The Israelis know that many in the Sunni Arab world would be enormously relieved if the Israelis did what the Americans have declined to take on. The United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States recently revealed what is likely a Sunni Arab consensus: Bombing Iran might be bad; allowing Khamenei to have a nuke would be worse.
Unless Jerusalem bombs, the Israelis will soon be confronting a situation without historical parallel. The Islamic Republic currently has 8,528 uranium-enrichment centrifuges installed at the Natanz facility. Almost 4,000 of these are operational. A 3,000-centrifuge cascade could produce fuel for one warhead in 271 days. Natanz is designed to hold 50,000 centrifuges, which could produce enough fuel for one warhead every 16 days. Ignoring the possibility that Khamenei's nuclear experts will transfer Natanz's cascading centrifuges to covert facilities once they figure out how to maintain and array them (hence the urgent need to blow up the facility), uranium production will soon create a command-and-control nightmare. Envision nuclear warheads on missiles and on planes, dispersed throughout Iran to ensure that an American or Israeli first strike couldn't take them out. Now focus on the fact that the Revolutionary Guards Corps will have possession of these weapons. Khamenei isn't likely to give command-and-control to "moderate" guardsmen; he'll likely give it to the folks he trusts most-a nuclear version of the Quds Force, the expeditionary terrorist-and-assassination unit within the Corps that does most of the regime's really dirty work and has direct access to the supreme leader.
The frightening scenario that this former CIA operative describes could well be the impetus for a “push” made by the powers of the south which will draw down the king of the north like a whirlwind.
The destiny of the king of the North is described,
“The king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the coutnries and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land (or Israel)…. he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45)
Musical Chairs about to begin
The other interesting point of note is the shifting of the sands in the Middle East. Both Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah are in their 80’s and are ailing. The music is about to play and when it stops two of the most influential chairs in the Middle East will have new occupants. Mubarak has been the dictator in Egypt longer than both of his predecessors combined. This will no doubt impact the policy and direction of these two countries. It will be interesting to see who the Most High will give these chairs to as he rules in the kingdoms of men (Dan 4:17).
However the end results play out, we have to realize we are on the knife-edge of our Lord’s return when all the nations are being prepared for the great day of God almighty.
As we pray for Israel’s deliverance, let us prepare ourselves to meet our Lord when he comes, and may that day be soon.
This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you for the Bible in the News.