An Israeli Alliance with Sheba and Dedan?
Arab states divide over Iran and some side with Israel
Saturday, November 23, 2013
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Welcome to Bible in the News. Over the past couple of weeks the rifts in the Arab world have become very clear. We’ve been watching divisions grown in Egypt where protests continue, and in Syria where civil war is raging. What is of particular note is the reaction of the Arab states like Saudi Arabia to America’s vacillating role in Syria, but of more concern, weak response to the prospect of a Nuclear Iran.
Traditionally the Arab states have remained united against Israel, but the threat of a nuclear Iran has divided the Arabs, with some finding themselves on the same side as Israel. This division follows Biblical prophetical lines.
A Division Amongst the Arab States
Reports have surfaced over the last couple of weeks that show alliances are being formed behind the scenes in an effort to protect unlikely allies from a common foe, nuclear Iran. The division is largely along religious lines, as was reported this week by CNN’s Barak Seener:
A Sunni-Shiite war is brewing across the region with the U.S.'s policies ironically emboldening Islamism by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its hands-off approach that emboldened jihadists in Syria. At the same time the U.S. is relinquishing its role in the Middle East to Russia much to the consternation of Saudi Arabia and Israel. At a time of austerity leading to the slashing of military budgets and a less than comprehensive foreign policy it is surreal that the Obama administration would seek to focus on imposing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The U.S. was reluctant to commit troops to Libya or Syria where mass slaughter has been committed, and yet is willing to commit troops to the Jordan valley.
Israel and America are being driven apart under the Presidency of Barak Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry. Seener went on to write:
Amid austerity, the U.S. has abandoned the promotion of democracy, prevention of humanitarian catastrophe and resisted becoming involved in "someone else's civil war." Thus President Obama is incompetent by being unable to prioritize security threats and strategic interests. A senior Israeli defence official told me that the alternative is that President Obama genuinely thinks that the Palestinians and Israel are the problem -- the source of all the region's ills. He revealed his country's national consciousness saying gravely, "Jews have heard that accusation before but today is different, the state of Israel exists and we refuse to be vulnerable."
Israel will not allow a Nuclear Iran
Addressing the United Nations in October Netanyahu clearly stated:
We all want to give diplomacy with Iran a chance to succeed, but when it comes to Iran, the greater the pressure, the greater the chance. Three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan famously advised, "trust but verify." When it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, here's my advice: Distrust, dismantle and verify.
Ladies and gentlemen, Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map. Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself.
I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet, in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others.
The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.
Israel welcomes engagement with the wider Arab world. We hope that our common interests and common challenges will help us forge a more peaceful future.
Commenting on Netanyahu’s “threats”, CNN’s Barak Seener wrote:
It is foolhardy to write off Netanyahu's threats as mere bluster and one has to understand the Israeli psyche. An Iranian bomb would be the death knell for Zionism. Former Iranian President Rafsanjani in the past observed that targeting Israel by the, "application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world."
An Unusual Alliance, Israel & Arab States
In his speech to the UN, Netanyahu openly declared that Israel was finding itself on the same side as some of its Arab neighbors. Evidence of this was verified this week with several news reports. Russia Today reported the following on November 17:
Israel’s Mossad, along with Saudi officials, is working on contingency plans that could include an attack on Iran if its nuclear program is not curbed enough during the negotiations in Geneva this week, a new report has revealed.
Both powers have expressed concern that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will not be enough. According to The Sunday Times newspaper, Saudi Arabia already gave Israel the green light to use its airspace in the case of an attack on Iran.
It was also revealed that the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating with the use of drones, rescue helicopters, and tanker planes. “Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” an unnamed diplomatic source told the paper.
This was confirmed again by the Israeli Prime Minister, speaking on CBS’s program, Face the Nation, Netanyahu had the following to say:
Remember, this is a country that has 10,000’s of people on the streets chanting, “Death to America!” the other day. This is a country that is participating as we speak in the mass slaughter of men, women, and children, 10,000’s of them in Syria. This a country that has fomenting terror in five continents. This is a country that pledges to destroy the state of Israel, and subvert so many of the other countries. It’s not only my concern that this is a bad deal, there are many, many Arab leaders in the region who are saying this is a very bad deal for the region and for the world. And you know, when you have the Arabs and the Israelis speaking with one voice, it doesn’t happen very often, and I think it is worth paying attention to us.
Biblical Division and Alliance
It is worth us paying attention too. The significance of this cannot be lost. For years Israel has been at variance with its neighbours, but in the time of the end described by Daniel the prophet a division is clear. Daniel informs us that some Islamic nations will be with the invading King of the North, while others not:
“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.” (Daniel 11:41–43)
So while the Libyans and Ethiopians are with the King of the North, the nation of Jordan which occupies the historical geographical area of Edom, Moab and Ammon will not… neither will the Egyptians.
Ezekiel 38 paints a picture which also gives a clear dividing line. Allied with the Gogian confederacy we find:
“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:” (Ezekiel 38:5)
Persia is the former name of Iran, it is allied with Gog along with Libya and Ethiopia. Standing in opposition, albeit a weak protest, we find:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Sheba and Dedan are the geographical area of Arabian peninsular combining many Arab states who are very concerned about Iran. Although they have vehemently denied any cooperation with Israel, the evidence in the news suggests otherwise, and more importantly their Biblical destiny is outlined, a destiny which they will be unable to avoid.
So we see alliances being formed in keeping with the prophecies of the scriptures right in front of our eyes. They are alliances, which are peculiar to us, but inevitable according to the scriptural course that has been indicated.
Israel’s safety from nuclear annihilation is certain, it cannot suffer nuclear obliteration. It is the land promised by God the Abraham and his descendants, the very people living in the land today, on the mountains of Israel. It is the land Christ will reign over, headquarted out of Jerusalem, the throne of his father David, where the law will go forth from Zion. May that day be soon.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.