King Abdullah of Jordan meets with Obama
The Kingdom of Jordan, the Palestinian Problem and the Peace Talks
Saturday, February 15, 2014
www.bibleinthenews.com Audio & Print versions
You may have been thinking that Bible in the News could have been on the Olympic Hockey game that took place today between the King of the North or Russia and the King of the South! However, this week we are going to consider events in Jordan and their relation to Bible prophecy. Welcome to Bible in the News, this is David Billington with you.
The King of Jordan met with President Obama in the United States on February 14. No doubt they had a lot to talk about. The second round of Syrian peace talks has ended with no progress and after their meeting Obama threatened to "apply more pressure" on the Assad regime. The conflict in Syria is a great concern to Jordan, Syria's neighbour to the south; who over the three years of the Syrian civil war, have had about 600,000 refugees flood over their border. The other area of concern for Jordan will be the ongoing Palestinian "peace talks", which American Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing so hard. Whatever the outcome of the peace talks, there will be a huge impact on Jordan. Finally, Obama and King Abdullah probably discussed the stability of the Jordanian regime itself, and the possibility of an "Arab Spring" style uprising in that country.
Jordan occupies the region of Biblical Moab and is mentioned in some latter day prophecies. Events that transpire in Jordan can have a significant impact on the Palestinian Arabs in the area of the West Bank. For these reasons events in Jordan can be of great interest to the student of Bible prophecy.
Jordan is a fairly new country relatively speaking, not too much older in fact that the State of Israel itself. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire as a result of World War One, the area known as Jordan today and all of the modern state of Israel was part of the British Mandate for Palestine. Transjordan was created by the British in 1922, by dividing the area of the British Mandate into two, with the larger portion as Transjordan. The British of course had promised in the Balfour Declaration to use their best endeavours to create a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine. With the creation of Transjordan the area for the National Home had become much smaller. In 1947 the UN partition plan called for the dividing of the remaining portion of the British Mandate into two parts, half would be part of the Arab State and half would be the Jewish State. The Arabs rejected the plan, Israel declared statehood in 1948 and the War of Independence broke out. The invading Arab armies lost the war and Israel ended up being larger that the UN plan had determined. Jordan served as a base for Guerilla attacks into Israel during the 50's and 60's. Yassar Arafat became the leader of the Palestinian movement know as Fatah, which called for armed struggle against Israel. Due to the closing of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping by Egypt, effectively blocking Israel's Southern border and a number of other factors caused Israel to launch a surprise attack on Egypt and Syria during June in 1967. Jordan entered the war attacking Israeli West Jerusalem. Israel responded and ended up routing the Jordanian army back to the Jordan River, which became the new border. After the war Arafat gained power in Jordan and his group began to take over the country. Jordan is a majority Palestinian Arab, ruled by the Hashemite Monarchy. A civil war which became known as Black September resulting in Arafat and his gang fleeing into Syria from Jordan and from there into Lebanon where he set up camp and continued his activities, which led to the Lebanon war with Israel. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1993 relinquishing it's claim over the territory west of the Jordan River; while also loosing the responsibility for the Palestinian refugees in that area. No doubt that Jordan would also be happy to loose some of it's Palestinian population to a new Palestinian State, which may help strengthen the monarchy. This history should help to bring into focus, how significant and worrying the current Mid-East climate is to the Jordanian monarchy.
From the preceding historical review we can see that the West Bank Palestinian Arabs are historically and culturally aligned with Jordan. The Gaza strip Arabs are much closer to Eqypt. The division between the Gaza strip Hamas and the West Bank PLO goes deeper than who their rulers are. The idea of uniting these two areas together in a viable state is a very shaky proposition.
Something like the following four points would be on the agenda for the meeting between Obama and King Abdullah:
1. The civil war in Syria is of great concern to the Jordanian monarchy.
2. The last thing Jordan wants is refugees from Syria.
3. There is a real and significant threat of an "Arab Spring" style uprising in Jordan.
4. Jordan has a stake in the future of Palestinian Arab refugees, as there is a majority Palestinian population in Jordan.
Jordan is in a rather dire situation. The country is propped up by American aid, of which Obama pledged more at his meeting with Abdullah. As we have seen Jordan is in many ways a ticking time bomb and could quite likely face some kind of an uprising similar to other Arab countries.
From a prophetical perspective events in Jordan can be very significant. One of the elements which we watch for - although not a prerequisite for the return of Christ - is a situation of peace in Israel, as described in Ezekiel 38.
Speaking to the invader from the North, the prophet says, "After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them...And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates...Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?"
The text is quite emphatic on two points. First, that there will be a period of peace, safety and prosperity before Gog comes from the north and invades Israel in the latter days, which would include Israel dwelling without walls, bars and gates. A supposedly comprehensive peace. Secondly, it is clear that there are Jews returned from the diaspora who are living upon the mountains of Israel in the midst of the land. As we look at the situation today, however this comes about the nation of Jordan will be involved one way or another. Therefore events in Jordan are significant, in particular the fate of Palestinian refugees.
In the prophecy of Daniel 11, which is a parallel to the invasion in Ezekiel 38, the King of the North comes into the Middle East and the territories of Edom, Moab and Ammon would escape or be delivered. Daniel 11:41, "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." From this we can see that the area of Jordan will not be allied with the King of the North when he invades. To confirm this, Ezekiel 38 does not mention them as being with Gog either. In fact, they escape or are delivered from the hand of Gog. This may help us in understanding a prophecy concerning Moab, the area of modern day Jordan in Isaiah 16:4,5.
"Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness."
Verse 5 is clearly the time of the establishment of the kingdom and the two verses are connected by structure and subject. At this time outcasts of the Jewish people, fleeing from the invading spoiler find refuge in Moab.
The following is true of Jordan / Moab at the time of the end:
1. A situation of peace exists. In order for this to come about, it seems that a solution to the intractable Palestinian refugee problem must be found - without the removal of the returned Jews from the Mountains of Israel.
2. The attitude of Jordan / Moab, in regards to the Jewish people has changed at the time of the end. They are prepared to be a shelter or covert for the fleeing Jews from the invading spoiler.
3. Jordan is allied with the King of the South and at this point under the command of Christ, who commands them, "Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab..."
It may seem impossible to imagine this situation today. But it will come to pass. In the meantime, as we watch and wait, may our faith be strengthened as we see these things begin to come to pass.
Luke 21:28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
Return next week, God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com. Thanks for listening.
Printed: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Visit www.bibleinthenews.com for a weekly analysis of world politics in the light
of Bible prophecy!