Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Some thoughts on Egypt in Biblical perspective

Our buddy Fred Butler offers some perspective on the situation in Egypt.

I would add two things.

First: Egypt is on firmer soil than we in America are.

How so? Try as they might, Biblical scholars have not found America in Biblical prophecy, with any confidence. However, Egypt is present, beyond doubt — and it ultimately has a bright future:
16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.

18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD  in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD  of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:16-25)
Second: do not think of these demonstrators as analogous to our Founding Fathers. Plug in the same reservations I had (and have) about young Iraq, and I think you'll have a good perspective on at least part of what's going on.

Maybe more to say in Friday's HT.


Robert said...

Sorry for my mistake...I think my screen scrolled somehow before I saw the Scripture reference. Either way, it'd still be good for people to dig into the prophecies before trying to make any claims about what is going on.

DJP said...

You didn't make a mistake, except in commenting instead of emailing me. Usually if it's just a correction, I just do it, no need to publish a comment about an error I correct.

Wendy said...

"...and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them."

Is this reminiscent of when Israel was oppressed by the Egyptians and they cried out, God sent a "savior", and became a pillar for them in the wilderness? (I don't know if reminiscent is the right word).

Lynda O said...

Yes, it's interesting that the Bible does say some good things about Egypt ultimately, in the Kingdom age. Of course, as Fred said, we don't yet know the details as to whether this particular situation will directly relate to the situation at the end-time. Yet it does fit in with the "stage-setting" of all the players, the Middle-East countries that hate Israel.

In my more immediate world... how do we answer those who say, "just because the Bible doesn't mention America, that doesn't mean that it won't exist and won't play a part."? I answer that it probably means that the U.S. will not be a world leader or influencer, just another non-descript country of no importance at that point in time. But the same person who says the above to me, also declares that we who believe all this (regarding the literal future importance of Israel and the significance of the Middle East in Bible prophecy) are into some cult that worships Israel instead of God -- and does not listen when I try to explain what it is we believe. Amazing that some people, who profess Christ, are so blinded in their Church Replacement ideas, that we who think differently are said to be in a cult that worships Israel.

DJP said...

To that person I might say, "Wow, you believe that Jesus, the apostles, and all the prophets worshiped Israel instead of God? Hokey smokes!"

To America in prophecy: who knows? It's all speculation. There could be a revival sweeping the country, leaving it in a nasty lurch after the Rapture. Or Obama-thinking could prevail in reducing it to a debt-pulverized, afraid-of-its-shadow, decimated fifth-rate power, so dependent on foreign oil as not even to be a player when the final dice start rolling.

RealityCheck said...

I remember, not too long ago, when the rapture was the best explanation for America’s absence in end time accounts. What better explanation could someone come up with to explain the absence of such a dominate force on the world stage?

How sad that such an explanation becomes ever more unnecessary as America’s moral nosedive keeps picking up speed.

“There could be a revival sweeping the country…”

From your lips (or finger tips) to Gods ear!

trogdor said...

Hey, remember that time when moderate citizens of a muslim country sought to overthrow their radical Islamic suicide cult of a government (which happens to be the most dangerous threat to the free world), had them on the verge of collapse where the slightest push from, oh, say, a superpower nation would have brought that wretched regime to its knees, and the leader of the free world did nothing? (Oh, sorry, he urged them to show restraint in their killing of the protesters. How silly of me to forget such a bold statement.)

Remember the time when radical Islamic forces fomented revolt in a moderate muslim country (an ally of Israel, no less), seeking to turn it into Iran West, and the leader of the free world said yeah, we should give them what they want?

Elections have consequences, folks.

Rachael Starke said...

Okay, this is a complete tangent, one that will no doubt reveal my sinfulness. But, what's with the equating of women with shrinking, blubbering fear? I checked the cross-references and there it is a couple more times. Ouchie.

richard said...

Are the promises given to Egypt in Isa 19, given to the people of the Geo-political nation that exists at that future time or to the literal blood descendants of the Egyptians at the time of Isiah's writing? Will Assyria be restored into an actual nation populated by the literal blood descendants of the ancient Assyrian people? What about the promises concerning the Philistines, Edom, Moab and Ammon in Isaiah 11? Will all these nations be reconstituted into literal nations with their respective literal blood descendants?

DJP said...

I'd say — welcoming Fred's input — that it's likely the inhabitants of the area. Most lands are not currently held by blood-descendants of the original inhabitants. There isn't a stress in these prophecies, as far as I know, on continuity with a blood-line or progenitor — making them a stark contrast, for instance, with the prophecies concerning Israel.

Steve B said...

I think this Egypt this is a case of "be careful what you ask for." Different doesn't always mean better.

As bad a Mubarak may be in many respects, Sharia would be a big step down/backwards. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

Fred Butler said...

@Richard: In short, yes. I see this passage primarily speaking to a future for Egypt. Events that will take place during the millennium.

By the way, folks need to back up and read the entire portion of Isaiah's prophecy starting in 19:1. The context is striking.

lee n. field said...

>How so? Try as they might, Biblical scholars have not found America in Biblical prophecy, with any confidence.

And I'm not sure why anybody tries. The United State is a late coming blip in history that happens to be where we live.

CR said...


As I understand it, The Egyptians living in Egypt are not the original Egyptian race. They're Arab Africans.

DLW said...

Am I understanding this correctly, that the prophecy concerning Egypt in chapter 19 has not come to pass? Who is Zoan and Memphis? There is information revealed in Wikileaks that Obama and Clinton worked with the revolutionists to bring on the current events.