Posted February 3, 2011
The revolutionary fervor that caught fire in Tunisia is rapidly spreading throughout the Arab world. Of special concern is the largest Arab nation, Egypt, a vital American ally that controls the vital Suez Canal and is a cornerstone in any chance for peace in the war-torn Middle East.
Source: Jerry Jackson at Flickr via Wikimedia Commons
After Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution toppled autocratic leader Ben Ali's government Jan. 15, protests have erupted in other Arab nations from Algeria to Yemen. But it is Egypt in particular that has the world's attention.
Tens of thousands of protesters in the streets of Cairo have voiced frustrations about the economy (about a quarter of young people are unemployed throughout the Arab world) and corruption. But protesters don't all share a common view of the solution—beyond removing President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 29 years. If the government falls, will anarchy, democracy, military rule or an Islamic regime emerge?
The United States and the rest of the Western world has come to depend on Egypt's stability for the 30 percent of the world's oil that is transported through the Suez Canal, as well as its assurance of peace with Israel. That peace has come at a high price of about $2 billion a year in American aid—mostly military aid—to Egypt. Who will control Egypt's vast array of the latest armaments?
Egypt in Bible prophecy
Throughout the Bible, Egypt was in contact and often conflict with the people of Israel. No wonder Egypt is mentioned 611 times in the Bible! Although none of the New Testament mentions of the nation of Egypt refer to end-time prophecies, there are plenty of them in the Old Testament. Here are just a few:
In the Bible's most detailed prophecy, Daniel 11, Daniel saw many specific events that then occurred over the next 400 years. The conflicts centered on the king of the North (the Seleucids, whose empire was swallowed up by the Roman Empire in 65 B.C.) and the king of the South (the Ptolemies, who ruled from Alexandria in Egypt).
Then the prophecy skips to end-time events. Daniel 11:36-38 appears to describe the actions of the Roman emperors and their successors, leading all the way up to a final king of the North of the end time.
"And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push [Hebrew nagach, to push or to attack] at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land…and the land of Egypt shall not escape" (Daniel 11:40-42, King James Version).
Good news for Egypt and everyone
Soon after this, Jesus Christ will return to save humanity from self-destruction and will be proclaimed king of all nations, including Egypt (Matthew 24:22; Revelation 11:15).
Through those end-time events of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, Egypt will be punished for rebellion against God, as all nations will. But God promises to heal Egypt: "They will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them" (Isaiah 19:22).
Then Isaiah records one of the greatest ironic twists of history. Egypt and Assyria, historically Israel's greatest foes, become blessed allies!
"In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, 'Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance'" (Isaiah 19:24-25). That is truly the good news of the peaceful Kingdom of God!
To understand the volatile Middle East today, and the real hope God promises for the future, read the carefully researched and detailed booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy .