Disclaimer: The author intends these articles to assist the reader in understanding the End Times prophecies of the Holy Bible. There is no intention to provoke hatred towards any group, tribe, or nation. Even the family of the Antichrist deserves to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The book of Revelation states that there will be members of every tribe, nation, kingdom, and tongue, in Heaven! It is the hope of the author to provoke Christians to witness of the love and forgiveness of God toward all who will listen! It is his hope that we will share in the joy of seeing even family members of the Antichrist himself, in Heaven with Jesus!
A few years ago I discovered Ariel ministries, a Messianic Jewish ministry headed by Arnold Fructenbaum. Searching through the site I discovered Mr. Fruchtenbaum’s article on Revelation which I downloaded and read. Having been on their website recently I can’t find the article, except to note that it can be ordered from their resource page. For the most part it is a good study on Revelation and well worth reading.
There was one statement that I initially accepted, but later came to disagree with. As I can’t find it now, I’ll have to go by memory. Reading Daniel 11:41 the author simply notes that the Antichrist will not be able to defeat the modern nation which is represented by the ancient tribes of Edom, Moab, and Ammon;
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. Daniel 11:41
I have heard other bible scholars say much the same thing. The question that ultimately hit me is “The Antichrist is going to rule the whole world so how is it possible that this little nation will not fall to him?” This nation is smaller than Israel, after all, and is right next door. No! It’s not possible that any nation would be more powerful than the Antichrist and his armies!
There has to be a better explanation.
This observation led me to do a study of the biblical prophecies regarding the tribes of Edom, Moab, and Ammon. I found that there are a lot of prophecies in the bible, regarding these three tribes, and they are overwhelmingly negative, as well as timed in the End Times near the Day of the Lord. In fact Jeremiah 25 describes the armies of these tribes attacking Israel during Armageddon.
If these tribes were to be victorious against the Antichrist, if they were a righteous people, there is no hint of it in the pages of the bible. On the other hand it does appear that these people will actually support the Beast in his efforts to destroy Israel. (There is some evidence that some of their women will actually assist the Jewish refugees fleeing the Antichrist, even as their husbands are in his army, hunting them down, but that is a subject for another day)
Then, I began to look at Daniel 11:41 in a different light. Could it be possible that the Antichrist will not defeat this neighbour of Israel because he doesn’t have to? Is it possible that the nation of the heirs of Edom, Moab, and Ammon is the Beast’s home, and power base?
This is the best explanation for Daniel 11:41. How could God tell us where the Antichrist comes from, without actually naming the nation? The nation he does not defeat is his place of origin, his people, who support him from the beginning!
There was one little problem with this idea, however; We all know that the Antichrist will come from Rome. Don’t we? Daniel 9:26, on the surface, indicates that Rome will produce the Antichrist.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26
It was indeed the Roman armies who destroyed the city and the sanctuary, in their attack of 70AD, however, this is only part of the story. The armies of Rome were not entirely made up of Roman citizens. Rome was not large enough to control the whole empire without help. One of the first things I noticed was that the apostle Paul had a confrontation with a Roman centurion who was not from Rome.
Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. Acts 22:27-28
The armies were led by Rome, but we know for certain that they were ethnically mixed even up into the ranks of the officers. In fact Josephus sheds further light on this subject in his book The War of the Jews. As I read through his eyewitness account of the fall of Jerusalem I found that the father-son team of Roman Generals, Vespasian and Titus, were assigned the task of subduing the Jews.
On his way to Jerusalem Vespasian stopped in Damascus and collected the Roman armies as well as a large number of troops from kings in the area…Syrian Arabs!
So Vespasian sent his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been with Nero, to Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and. the tenth legions, while he himself, when he had passed over the Hellespont, came by land into Syria, where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the kings in that neighborhood. (The War of the Jews/Book 3/Chapter 1/Section 3)
On the surface this would seem to support the idea that the Antichrist might come from Syria, and this is what I thought at first, but there was that nagging idea that the Beast would come from Edom, so I read on…
It turns out that while Vespasian and Titus were gathering their armies, someone else had already made their way to Jerusalem! These people were Jewish by religion, at the time, but were descendants of Esau, by blood. They were known as Idumeans, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew, Edomite.
Josephus recounts how the Idumeans came to the city gates by day and were refused entry. This refusal probably added to their outrage. After dark, during a huge thunderstorm, the zealots allowed the Idumeans into the city, where they went first to the Temple and attacked there, killing some 8,500 men! Then they went throughout the city and killed another 12,000 people, for a total death toll of 20,500 people!
In the aftermath of this killing spree, the Idumeans held a trial for the High Priest, Ananus, and his deputy, Jesus. For this trial they appointed seventy citizens to act as jurors, but when the jurors failed to convict them, the Idumeans dragged them to the wall of the Temple and threw them over the edge, killing them.
Josephus lays the blame for the entire destruction of Jerusalem at the feet of the Idumeans because he knew that these two men, Ananus and Jesus, were aware that they couldn’t defeat the Roman armies, and were prepared to negotiate a surrender. (Josephus, The Jewish War, book 4, chapter 5, section 2)
The Idumeans left the zealots in charge, and these people had such a hatred for Rome that they were prepared to sacrifice the whole city in defiance of Rome. This is what they did, and as a result over one million people were killed, and the Temple and city were destroyed, just as Daniel had predicted some 800 years earlier.
One other detail that many ignore is also relevant; As Nero had died, and Vespasian was recalled to Rome to become the new Caesar, Titus became the general in command of the Roman forces. One might recall that the Roman legions were famous for their discipline. The legionaries would not go against the command of a superior officer, because the penalties were severe. (flogging or even death)
Titus had issued an order, before the attack began, that the Temple should remain intact. The Roman soldiers were not the first ones to begin looting in the Temple. Do you remember the Syrians that Vespasian had gathered on his way to Jerusalem? It is very obvious that it was those soldiers who disobeyed Titus’ order and began the looting in the Temple.
As a result of the widespread looting Titus was forced to change his order, so it wouldn’t look like he had lost control of his army. Thus history records that it was the Romans who destroyed the Temple, but its destruction can be traced to the Idumean attack shortly before the Roman armies arrived on the scene!
Compare this map with a modern map of the Middle East, and you will see the nation that today covers the territory of Edom, Moab, and Ammon. This is the nation who will produce the man known as the “son of perdition”, “the Beast”. and “the Little Horn”!
Josephus’ eyewitness account sheds new light on the destruction of Jerusalem, and on Daniel’s words “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” . I have no doubt that the Antichrist will come from Jacob’s brother Esau, on at least part of his family tree. The people of Idumea today make up a sizable percentage of the population of this nation. Once again, when you dig into the facts you find that things are not always what they seem on the surface!
So, why do so many Christians believe the Antichrist will come from Rome? Satan has a need for a scapegoat. He needs people’s attention diverted away from the real Antichrist. He needs a villain so his Antichrist will appear the hero! This is Rome’s role, which Satan has been preparing her for, for millennia!
This subject has always caused a little confusion through the years for prophecy scholars, and most have been adamant that the AC would come out of Europe. I now firmly believe your commentary- it hits the nail on the head!
Dan, do you think that the destruction of Damascus, will immediately be followed by the Psalms 83 war? It’s a boiling pot right now!
It’s good to hear from you.
In the Psalm 83 account you will notice that one of Arab groups that joins the attack on Israel is the Hagarenes;
6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
Bill Sallus speculates that the “Hagarenes” is a reference to Egypt, but the bible itself tells us where the Hagarenes/Hagarites lived. I don’t think they went back to Egypt, I think they are essentially still in the same area;
“And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.” I Chronicles 5:10
You may remember that the land of Gilead was on the east side of the Jordan and the sea of Galilee, known today as the Golan Heights. Israel currently occupies only about 30% of this area, the rest of it is in Syrian hands. God has promised them the land all the way to the Euphrates. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end up in their hands in either the Psalm 83 war, or Gog/Magog.
I think these people will drag Syria into the Psalm 83 war. If that is the case then the most likely destruction of Damascus would be in the middle of that war.
I expect that the war will go so bad for Israel, that they will be forced to use nuclear weapons. The scriptures also call for the destruction of Lebanon by fire as well as a city of Egypt
“Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.” Zechariah 11:1
“In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.” Isaiah 19:18
The bible doesn’t specifically say that any of these cities are destroyed during the Psalm 83 war, but that time frame is the most logical. These nations are at peace with Israel when the Gog/Magog armies attack, and I can’t see the Arabs making peace with Israel, and sticking to it, unless they first suffer devastating, and humiliating, losses. I expect that other Arab cities not mentioned in Scripture, like Baghdad and Riyadh, will suffer the same fate.
I think the current conflict in Syria will result in the Muslim Brotherhood forcing Assad out. This will allow the Sunni Arabs to unite to attack Israel. The question remains about the status of Lebanon and Iraq. You may have noticed that the major terrorist organization in Lebanon is Hezbollah, who’s major sponsor is Syria, and Iran. Once Assad falls, Hezbollah will be cut-off from their major support base.
Al’Qaeda is already calling for a civil war in Iraq. I expect it will occur, and the Iran-leaning administration there will vanish.
Somewhere along the line Iran will temporarily lose their interest in attacking Israel. Three losses to the Sunni Arabs, plus an American/Israeli/European attack on their nuclear facilities will set them back temporarily.
As you mentioned there is a lot of confusion over the origin of the Antichrist. It is in Satan’s interest to keep us confused. One of his best strategies is to produce counterfeits. Most Christians know this, but few ever think he is smart enough to counterfeit the counterfeit! I think this is why so many signs point to Europe. He’s going to produce his best counterfeit of the Antichrist in Europe!
I also think that Satan will attempt to counterfeit many of the major events of Revelation during the time between Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38.
All of this stuff could take a few years. In the mean time, keep looking to Jesus. He’s really good, He’s really powerful, and He’s our only hope!
Hi, Dan! I have such a feeling of excitement right now – things are building rapidly in the middle east! News is centering around Damascus, and their chemical weapons that are being moved right now-could it be…?!
Have you ever taken a look at the events, that have happened in history on or around the time of The Feasts of the Lord? Grant Jeffery had a book out years ago, with charts of these events. I just found the charts! Take a look-it’s simply amazing!
We are coming up on the ninth of Av-that’s on July 27-28! This has always been horrific days for the Jewish people-I’d love to see the Lord turn that around for Israel. However, I do believe there will be many Israeli’s killed during this time.
I didn’t realize that the Hagarites didn’t go back to Egypt. God does say that he will restore Egypt, so are they actually Egyptians?
Dan, I’ve been trying to finish this post, but I have a house full of grandsons-I actually have seven gsons! It’s so noisy I can’t hardly think, so I will finish this later this evening.
Yes, God does say that He will restore Egypt, and also Assyria, but in the mean time they will both be on the wrong side during the Tribulation. The restoration will wait until Jesus returns. After He has dealt with the unbelievers, the believing remnants will unite in faith.
To date no one has given me any evidence that the Hagarites ever returned to Egypt. They were two tribes of Ishmael’s descendants. Egypt was already a large nation before Ishmael was born. I guess if the bible gives us a location for a nation, and others speculate on a different location, I tend to go with the bible, unless there is compelling evidence otherwise.
You can find the names of the tribes of the Hagarites in I Chronicles 5:19 “And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.” Two of these names are listed as sons of Ishmael in Genesis 25:12-15. Evidently there was a split between ten tribes of Ishmaelites, and the other two. The other name is likely a patriarch of a part of one of the other tribes.
I don’t believe that any of the names in Psalm 83 represents an entire nation, but rather they are a significant part of their respective nations and their hatred of Israel will drag the entire nation into that war.
Paul Irvine here from Northern Ireland. I have never heard this stuff before but everything you say makes perfect sense.
Shalom and God bless
Glad to hear from you. I hope my site will be a blessing to you.
One thing I have discovered is that the God of the bible is the inventor of logic. The more I study Scripture the more logical it appears. While I don’t know everything, I have found that if we approach Scripture with an attitude of faith, God often rewards our faith with answers.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hi Dan Thanks for the reply.
I have been studying the whole area of Israel and the Church. Totally agree with you in your article “The Israel of God” in fact this is how I came across your blog on Google. Will be ordering your book very soon.
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