Special Report: Ezekiel’s List
Vol: 63 Issue: 26 Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Over the course of the past few months, we’ve looked long and hard at events taking place in the Middle East and how they compare to the scenario outlined by the prophet Ezekiel for the last days.
The prophet Ezekiel foretold the rise of a great military alliance headed by Russia and including much of the Muslim Middle East. Ezekiel specifically names Persia, or modern Iran, as Russia’s principle ally.
According to Ezekiel, they mount a military invasion against Israel in the last days. Both Ezekiel and Joel predict that God will intervene on Israel’s side, destroying five-sixths of the invading army.
Judging from the political alignments now taking shape, the Ezekiel scenario makes perfect sense. Although certain difficult questions concerning the timing of these events suggest the stage is not yet fully set for the Ezekiel scenario to play out.
Bible scholars wrestle with the question of whether Ezekiel’s scenario plays out before the Tribulation, somewhere at the mid-point, or at a point near the end.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that at some point in the coming year, Israel will again face the combined forces of the Arab world in another all-out war aimed at their annihilation.
That is a horrifying statement, and one I don’t make lightly. But it is difficult to imagine what diplomatic miracle could occur at this late date that would stuff Pandora’s demons back into the box.
Ahmadinejad has no intention of giving up his nuclear quest. Iran continues to threaten Israel with total annihilation.
Hezbollah is rearming Lebanon, convinced it can repeat the successes of its recent conflict with Israel. Syria was emboldened by Israel’s poor showing in that same conflict.
The UN is unlikely to come up with a diplomatic alternative to war. The General Assembly’s antisemitism is openly displayed at every opportunity.
If the UN accomplishes anything, it will be assigning Israel the blame for being attacked.
But Ezekiel’s timeline is still somewhat out of synch with the situation on the ground. True, Russia continues to court and build close relationships that line up with Ezekiel’s timeline, but much of what Ezekiel forecast is still in its early stages of development.
I’ve been giving it a lot of study and prayerful consideration, and the result has been a re-thinking of my position.
First, let me share some of the problems with assigning a sense of imminency to the Ezekiel Scenario.
Ezekiel predicts the attack will come at at time when Israel is dwelling in peace and security. Israel is in the twelfth year of what Israelis called the ‘Oslo War’. It is ringed by enemies openly sworn to her destruction. Along their borders the Palestinian territories are about to explode into civil war.
It doesn’t fit Ezekiel’s picture.
Ezekiel says the invasion will take place when Israel is a ‘land of unwalled villages’. Israel is currently building a wall, not taking it down. So that doesn’t fit, either.
Ezekiel’s alliance includes much of modern Turkey. Although Turkey is an Islamic state and is trending toward the Islamic side, it is currently still and ally of the West. It doesn’t yet fit the Ezekiel scenario.
While everything seems to be coming together along the general lines of Ezekiel’s prophecy, there are still too many discordant notes for it to ring true at this point in the timeline.
Ezekiel carefully listed Israel’s major enemies among the Gog-Magog alliance. It is worth noting the nations that didn’t make Ezekiel’s list.
One glaring omission would seem to be Syria. Syria is among Israel’s most dedicated enemies and no effort to annihilate Israel seems complete without it. It is equally worthy of noting that none of Israel’s geographical neighbors make Ezekiel’s list, but we’ll explore that more shortly.
For now, let’s look at Syria, and in particular, her capital city of Damascus. Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, tracing her history back almost five thousand years.
Damascus is unique among the cities of antiquity in that it has never been destroyed and rebuilt. In contrast, Jerusalem has been destroyed a dozen times or more thoughout her history.
But Damascus survived the ages intact. That is why its absence from Ezekiel’s list appears puzzling. The prophet Isaiah assigns Damascus another destiny. “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap,” Isaiah writes in Isaiah 17:1.
This is an event yet future — as noted, Damascus has survived history unscathed to this point. But the unfolding war scenario almost certainly includes Syria, and it almost as certainly will involve nuclear weapons. Particularly if Syria deploys its non-conventional warheads in the fight.
It is worth remembering Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir’s warning a quarter century ago. “The Arabs can fight, and lost, and return to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.” Golda was alluding to the Israeli military contingency plan nicknamed, “The Samson Option.”
In the event of certain defeat, Israel will use ALL its weapons, including nuclear weapons, to ensure its survival. And if it can’t survive, it will take its enemies with them.
The nickname is derived from the story of Samson after he was defeated, blinded and chained by the Philistines. He pulled the two main pillars from the palace, bringing it down on his own head, but taking his enemies with him.
Tomorrow, Part Two of this Omega Letter Special Report: “Zechariah’s Puzzle” — does the Bible predict a nuclear strike on Israel? You won’t want to miss it.