What specific nations will come against Israel in the last days?
From John Ankerberg Show. Mar 18, 2013. This clip is from our series entitled, “Signs of the Last Days”. It answers the question: What specific nations will come against Israel in the last days? Credentials for the speaker, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and host, Dr. John Ankerberg can be found on the Sources Page of this website. All other sources that are listed in this article can also be checked for credential information on the Sources Page.
II. The Tribulation
A. We are now entering into a study of the future events that will lead to the tribulation. Scripture tells us of the destination of our journey of study. The events of unfulfilled events of prophecy will happen, and should not be dismissed.
B. The events of unfulfilled events of prophecy will happen, and should not be dismissed.
C. The Ryrie Study Bible divides the Tribulation into two stages in Matt 24. Verses 4-14 list the characteristics of the first half of the tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half. Verse 21 identifies the second half of the tribulation as being “great tribulation.” The second coming of Christ to earth is shown to occur in verses 29-31, “after the tribulation.” (Notes are shown under Mt 24:3).
D. Consider the following passage that relates to the tribulation.
1. Jeremiah 30:7-9 (606 B.C.)
New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.
7 Woe, for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
Yet he will be saved from it.
8 ‘It shall come about on that day,’ declares the Lord of armies, ‘that I will break his yoke from their necks and will tear to pieces their restraints; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
3. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. Jer 30:7. “the time of Jacob’s distress.” The coming days of tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob).
4. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. Jer 30:9. “that day.” I.e., the Day of the Lord, which will also see the restoration of Israel under Messiah, the son of David. (See the introduction to Joel, and the note on 1 Thes 5:2.
5. Joel Introduction (800 B.C.) Note: Ryrie Study Bible Note from Jer 30:9. “The Day Of The Lord.” The Day of the Lord, the major theme of this prophecy, involves God’s special intervention in the affairs of human history. Three facets of The Day of the Lord are discernable: (1) the historical, that is, God’s intervention in the affairs of Israel (Zeph 1:14-18; Joel 1:15) and heathen nations (Isa 13:6; Jer 46:10; Eze 30:3); (2) the illustrative, whereby an historical incident represents a partial fulfillment of the eschatological Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1-11; Isa 13:6-13); (3) the eschatological. This eschatological “day” includes the time of the Great Tribulation (Isa 2:12-19; 4:1) the second coming of Christ (Joel 2:30-32), and the Millennium (Isa 4:2; 12; 19-23=25; Jer 30:7-9).
6. 1 Thes 5:2 (54 A.D.) Note: Ryrie Study Bible Note from Jer 30:9.
New American Standard Bible 2020 Update.
a. Verse: “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord is coming just like a thief in the night.”
b. Commentary: Ryrie Study Bible. “the day of the Lord.” An extended period of time, beginning with the Tribulation and including the events of the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom on earth. Here, Paul focuses on the beginning of that day, which will begin (come) unexpectedly (“like a thief in the night”).
c. Commentary: Mine. The Second Coming Of Christ occurs when Christ stands on the earth and sets up His earthly Kingdom. (Mt 24:29-31; Rev 19:11-21). The Rapture of the Church occurs when Christ comes in the air from heaven and catches up His born again believers, and takes them back to Heaven with Him. At the time of the Rapture, Christ does not set foot on the earth (John 14:2-6; 1 Thes 4:13-18, 1 Cor 15:50-54).
III. Prophetic Events That Take Place Prior To The Tribulation.
A. As part of this study, we will discover judgments upon nations that have been unfriendly to God’s chosen people, Israel (Deu 14:2). We will begin this study in regard to nations that have common borders with Israel.
B. A study on God’s judgments against Israel’s unfriendly nations, that do not share borders with Israel, will take place later in this series of articles.
1. The judgments upon Nations Adjacent to Israel. These predictions are set forth in various portions of the OT, e.g., Babylon and Chaldea (Isa 13:1-22; 14:18-27; Jer 50:1—51:64), Moab (Isa 15:1-9; 16:1-14; Jer 48:1-47), Damascus (Isa 17:1-14; Jer 49:23-27), Egypt (Isa 19:1-25; Jer 46:2-28), Philistia and Tyre (Isa 23:1-18; Jer 47:1-7), Edom (Jer 49:7-22), Ammon (Jer 49:1-6), Elam (Jer 49:34-49). 1
2. The prophecies that will be shown in this series will be identified as being NOW Prophecies, which deal with the most relative information for this present age. This is because they describe events that will likely find fulfillment during this generation’s existence. All unfilled biblical prophecy is important to understand, but of most value to any given group, past, present or future, is the information that was specifically provided through the ancient Hebrew prophecies for that generation’s benefit. The NOW Prophecies are the unfulfilled ancient biblical predictions that appear to be imminent, which means they could happen NOW. These foretellings have either minor or no remaining preconditions inhibiting them from happening. 2
3. The NOW Prophecies include, but are not limited to, the globally impacting events that are shown on page 10 of THE NOW PROPHECIES. We will begin our study with “The Disaster In Iran” (Jeremiah 49:34-39), as follows. 3
a. Jeremiah 49:34-39 (600 B.C.)
b. New American Standard Bible 2020 Update
c. Prophecy against Elam.
34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:
35 “This is what the Lord of armies says:
‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam,
The finest of their might.
36 I will bring upon Elam the four winds
From the four ends of heaven,
And will scatter them to all these winds;
And there will be no nation
To which the outcasts of Elam will not go.
37 So I will shatter Elam before their enemies
And before those who seek their lives;
And I will bring disaster upon them,
Even My fierce anger,’ declares the Lord,
‘And I will send the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
38 Then I will set My throne in Elam,
And eliminate from there the king and officials,’
Declares the Lord.
39 ‘But it will come about in the last days
That I will restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
Declares the Lord.
5. Commentary. The prophecy concerning Elam referred to an area east of Babylon, known today as Iran. The destruction of Elam was described as breaking her bow, for, like Kedar, Elam was noted for archery. The complete destruction of Elam does not seem to have been fulfilled in history and may have its final chapter in the future in connection with judgments at the second coming of Christ. Elam was promised, however, restoration (v. 39). 4
6. Commentary. Jeremiah’s statement about Elam’s destruction seem to take on eschatological dimensions, as God said He would “set up My throne in Elam to supervise her destruction.” These events were to happen in the last days (cf. Jr 23:20). Yet, Elam’s destruction will not be total because God will restore the fortunes of Elam (cf.48:47; 49:6). 5
7. Commentary. Connect Jer 23:20 with Jer 49:39.
a. Jeremiah 23:20 – New American Standard Bible 2020 Update
“The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.”
b. Commentary. “latter days.” They wouldn’t listen, but the day would come (v. 12) when the judgment would fall and then they would “understand.” (MacArthur Study Bible).
8. Commentary. In this prophecy Jeremiah declares that a time would arrive when the Lord would be furious with the leadership of Iran. We know this because Jeremiah 49:38 says that the king and the princes will be destroyed. This most likely represents the Iranian government in place when the prophecy occurs. The Lord would never destroy good kings and princes, so we can safely presume that bad Iranian leadership is the problem. But, why is the Lord fiercely angry with the government of Iran at the time of the prophecy? The reason is because Iran wants to launch something powerful somewhere. This is why the Lord will break the bow at the foremost of Iran’s might in order to prevent such a lethal launch. This qualifies Israel today, because Iran has declared on numerous occasions that it wants to wipe Israel off of the map. Thus, it is safe to say that Israel and Iran are presently enemies. Should Iran get nuclear weapons, the destruction of Israel becomes a strong possibility. Even the attempted destruction of Israel is not something the Lord will tolerate. A few years ago, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree to close all home churches, imprison all pastors and persecute all Christians. This ruthless behavior has increased with the advent of the JCPOA nuclear deal negotiated on July 14, 2015. Converting to Christianity in Iran today is a guaranteed push to severe persecution, if not martyrdom, and yet Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world. But, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, and his radical regime are proactively attempting to extinguish the growing flame of Christianity inside Iran. This can not please the Lord! 6
9. It is important to locate ancient Elam on a modern day map. Elam is the area of Iran that hugs the Persian Gulf. Elam represents about one-fifth of modern day Iran, and Persia spreads across the remaining four-fifths of the nation. Persia was the name for Iran until 1935. 7.
10. We must consider how God’s judgment will be inflicted on Iran. Psalm 83 was authored by Asaph about 3000 years ago. Among Asaph’s several spiritual attributes, was the gift of prophecy. He was a prophet according to 2 Chronicles 29:30. 1 Chronicles 25:1-2 informs that Asaph and his sons were specifically instructed by King David of Israel to prophesy. It is important to emphasize Asaph’s ability to prophesy because some Bible experts don’t consider Psalm 83 to be a prophecy. They treat it simply as an imprecatory prayer, or a prayer of lament. In the Psalm 83 War, the Psalm foretells of a coming Arab alliance that conspires together to eradicate the Jewish state of Israel. This confederacy will be soundly defeated by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). 8
11. God will utilize whatever means of judgment that He finds to be sufficient for the task at hand. Gods will, “will be done.”
IV. Consider the following video.
A. Where is Iran mentioned in the Bible?
B. John Ankerberg Show. Aug 25, 2017. Drs. John Ankerberg, Ron Rhodes, and Mark Hitchcock discuss the situation of Iran vs Israel. From the Series, 5 Great Debates of the End Times https://www.jashow.org/resources/5-gr…
1 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, pg 314.
2 Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 9.
3 Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 10.
4 John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, Prophecy concerning Elam, pg 151.
5 Charles Dyer with Eva Rydelnik, Moody Bible Commentary, pg 1181.
6. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 31, 32, 34, 35.
7. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 29.
8. Bill Salus, THE NOW PROPHECIES, pg 111.