By Pastor F. M. Riley
March 14, 2011
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord,” Romans 6:23.
“Behold, therefore, I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopa.
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.”
Egypt and other nations of the Middle East have been and continue to be very much in the world news this year. The riots and violent street demonstrations which began in Tunisia spread from one Middle Eastern nation to another. The world has watched via TV as leaders of these nations, one after another, have been deposed. As I write, fighting, chaos, and confusion continues in several of these Middle Eastern nations as leaders struggle to retain power and “would be” leaders struggle to gain power.
Although Egypt is not the nation that is making headlines at this moment, due to a question from a reader, Egypt is the subject which I want to feature in this study.
The Reader’s Question…..
“God talks about Egypt and its helpers laying desolate for FORTY years. How does that fit in with the rapture and the Tribulation? Egypt is not desolate yet, so…tell me?”
Dear sister, just as Bro. ________ states in his opening statement, “many Old Testament writers used the term “day of the Lord” to describe an impending disaster before they leaped off into the future to describe that coming disaster called the Tribulation Period.” The statement made by this brother is absolutely true! Many Bible students today, including prophecy teachers, totally fail to pay careful attention to what they are reading, and only read the Scriptures in a “general sense.” This causes them to miss many great prophetic truths contained in portions of Scripture which, at a glance, appear to be only historical but which in reality have a double fulfillment. Every true believer should remember, “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times,” Psalm 12:6. Therefore every word in a Scripture needs to be noted, looked at, and carefully studied in both the sentence it occurs in and the context in which the Scripture occurs. One such portion of Scripture dealing with Egypt is found in…..
If one just casually reads this chapter, it appears to be a historical account of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of ancient Egypt. But if one carefully studies each word and statement made in this chapter, it becomes obvious that there is a far greater future fulfillment concerning Egypt set forth in the chapter than that which occurred in the past.
For instance, the Lord’s explicit statement in verse 10 is usually almost totally ignored or overlooked by most Bible students. “For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Him of His adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.” This statement alone ought to make it obvious that what the Lord was setting forth in this chapter WAS NOT just the conquest of ancient Egypt by the armies of Babylon, but rather future events were being set forth which will be fulfilled in “the day of the Lord God of hosts” [the Tribulation period]. After all, the armies of ancient Babylon were just as much “adversaries” of the Lord as were the armies of the Egyptians. The Lord is speaking here of a day when He is going to take “vengeance” on all of His “adversaries.” The ONLY time set forth in the prophetic Scriptures when that will occur is during the coming “day of the Lord” [the Tribulation period].
An overlooked Invasion…..
What Jeremiah 46 actually reveals is that just preceding or shortly after the middle of the Tribulation period, Egypt and her allies are going to launch a surprise attack against Israel. Read it for yourself in 46:7-9. Notice that this will involve Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia. We today are familiar with all of these nations except Lydia. To identify Lydia look at your Bible maps! Lydia does not exist today as a nation, but the ancient land of Lydia is today a part of modern Turkey. Hello! Do I have your attention yet? Have we heard anything in the news media in the past few months about Turkey breaking its alliances with Israel and becoming friends with Israel’s enemies? You know we have! Now here in Jeremiah 46 is a prophecy about a future surprise attack upon Israel by four nations apparently led by Egypt, with one of those nations being modern Turkey. Hey! Whoever tells you that God’s inspired Word is not relevant and right up to date with the very times we are living in today is lying to you. God’s Word wrote today’s headlines, and it wrote them thousands of years ago as attested to by Jeremiah 46.
This passage in Jeremiah 46:7-9 tells us plainly that Egypt will “go up,” accompanied by her allies and will overrun the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. It is more than “coincidence” that the ONLY time in God’s Word where the city of Jerusalem is referred to as “Egypt” occurs in Revelation 11:8. The “time element” in this latter passage is right after the middle of the Tribulation period. Could this be because Egypt will have invaded Israel and will be occupying the city of Jerusalem at that time? ?????
Further, Jeremiah 46:8 explicitly states that Egypt has purposed to “destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.” I will suggest that this means that Jerusalem will be “nuked,” likely with an “electrical impulse” nuclear bomb which will kill off the people, but will not destroy the actual city itself. I would further suggest that this is the reason why the Lord gave a stern warning to the Jews in His Olivet Discourse to flee the city of Jerusalem in haste, not to even go back into their house for a coat. In the event of a nuclear explosion going off in the atmosphere over Jerusalem seconds will count in either saving their lives or losing their lives. Read Matthew 24:15-21 and Mark 13:14-19 for yourself in light of this passage in Jeremiah 46:7-9 and draw your own conclusions.
It is a Scriptural fact that the Lord explicitly states in Jeremiah 7:20 and 17:27 that a “fire” will be kindled in Jerusalem which “shall not be quenched.” Could a nuclear device cause such a fire? It could, especially if it resulted in opening some sort of crevice or crack in the surface of the earth itself exposing molten fire in the bowels of the earth beneath. I think this is quite possible!
However, those leading Egypt at that time are going to make a terrible mistake. Instead of stopping once they have occupied the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, their armies will move on northward towards the Euphrates River. In light of the situation that has developed in the Middle East today and is continuing to develop even as I write, the
Egyptian army and her allies may decide to continue pushing northward towards the Euphrates to settle accounts with Iran. This is pure speculation at this point. Their reasoning for doing this will come to light at the proper time. Regardless of their reasoning, they will push on to the Euphrates, thus making a deadly and costly mistake.
When Egypt reaches the banks of the Euphrates river, they will meet head on the confederated armies of Russia pushing southward to invade Israel and the whole Middle East, Ezekiel 38:4-7. When the two armies butt heads, guess who is going win and who is going to lose? In Jeremiah 46:2 it is explicitly stated that this chapter is a prophecy “Against Egypt.” In 46:6 it is explicitly stated that “they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.” In 46:20 it is explicitly stated, “Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north.” Again in 46:24 the inspired Word states explicitly, “The daughter of Egypt [modern Egypt as contrasted with ancient Egypt] shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people[s] of the north.” Is this stated plainly enough? Egypt will be destroyed by Russia and “the peoples of the north.” Yes, the word “peoples” in this verse is plural in the Hebrew text. Look it up for yourself.
The Forty Years
Now go to Ezekiel 29 in your Bible. Those readers who seriously study their Bibles should already know that Ezekiel 29, 30, 31, and 32 are all prophecies against the land of Egypt and her people. It is in Ezekiel 29 that the destruction of Egypt as a land and nation is explicitly prophesied. Twice in this chapter the Lord explicitly stated that Egypt would cease from being a nation for “forty years,” 29:11-12. One more time the Lord refers to the “forty years” by stating that at the end of that period He will regather them back to their land from “the people[s] whither they were scattered, 29:13.
It is then this 29th chapter of Ezekiel that prophecies the destruction of Egypt for a period of “forty years.” In many years of serious study of Biblical and world history, I have never found a time anywhere in the past where Egypt ceased to be a nation for “forty years” with the Egyptian people being scattered “among the nations” and her people dispersed “through the countries” as described in this chapter, 29:12. Therefore it certainly appears to me that this prophecy has to fulfilled in the future.
Jeremiah 46 then tells us WHO it is that is going to destroy Egypt, and WHERE the Egyptian armies will be destroyed. Egypt and her armies will be delivered into “the hands of the peoples of the north” for her destruction, and her armies will fall at the “Euphrates River.”
But there is one more highly important point in this study that needs to be emphasized. In Ezekiel 30 it is explicitly stated three times that the land of Egypt will be destroyed by “fire,” 30:8; 30:14; 30:16. What “kind” of “fire”? No, I am not asking a silly question! It is stated explicitly in Ezekiel 29:11, “No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.” Dear readers, there are deserts in various places all over the earth. But any honest person familiar with the deserts of the earth would readily tell you that many different varieties of animals and birds live in those deserts. The deserts of the earth ARE NOT presently uninhabited and uninhabitable by all living creatures. So why is the Scripture absolutely specific in stating that “no foot” of either man or beast will pass through the desolate land of Egypt for “forty years”?
I can think of ONLY one reason….. The Lord states clearly three times that He will “set a fire in Egypt.” If this “fire” comes upon Egypt as the result of nuclear bombs, then it is easy to understand how that the very soil in the land of Egypt might become so contaminated with nuclear radiation that neither man nor animal could even enter that land for “forty years.” Significantly, “forty years” is a term often used by nuclear scientists to express the amount of time required for an object or area contaminated by nuclear radiation to become “radiation free” and “safe” to enter again. It sometimes takes approximately this long for the radiation to dissipate. Is this just “coincidence”? Well..??
The Prophetic Scenario
What I have set before our readers is this….. About the middle of the Tribulation Egypt is going to launch a surprise attack against Israel. Egypt will sweep across the land of Israel like a flood, Jeremiah 46:8. They will take the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, and then their armies will push on north and east towards the Euphrates River. But at the Euphrates the Egyptian armies will meet the Russian armies headed south. The Egyptian armies will be defeated, and the land of Egypt will be destroyed, very likely by a nuclear attack. Millions of the Egyptian peoples will die, Ezekiel 32:18-20. Those who do survive will then be scattered among the nations of the earth, Ezekiel 30:26. The Egyptian people will remain scattered among the nations of the earth until their land is safe to dwell in again at the end of “forty years,” Ezekiel 29:13-14. Then the Lord will regather them from among the nations and place them in their own land again, and make them a blessing to all the peoples of the earth, Isaiah 19:22-25.
It appears to me that this scenario will cover the last half of the Tribulation and extend approximately 36 years into the Millennial Kingdom for a total of “forty years.” I am not being dogmatic on this at all, and if any reader has more Scriptural insight on the subject, I would welcome it.
Now let’s look at the big picture of this scenario, setting forth the Scriptural significance of…..
Egypt as a nation and people was offered an opportunity to become a God fearing nation and the recipients of God’s blessings some 3,500 years ago in the days of Joseph and his father, Jacob. Egypt had the blessing of having Godly Joseph ruling over them followed by the Israelites dwelling among them for more than two centuries, from which they could have learned about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But Egypt rejected the God of Israel and went deeper and deeper into paganism, idol worship, witchcraft, and unbelief. As a nation and people they “blew” their God given opportunity to “know the Lord.”
Israel finally left the land of Egypt after the righteous judgment of God came upon that country and their people. Sadly, instead of Israel leading Egypt to God, many of the Israelites who came out of Egypt had been contaminated with the paganism, idolatry, witchcraft, and unbelief of ancient Egypt. This contamination resulted in the Israelites having to spend “forty years” wandering in the wilderness before “a remnant” was blessed with being allowed to enter the “promised land.” Are these two periods of “forty years,” which are expressly connected to the same two peoples in the Scriptures, Israel and Egypt, just “coincidence”? Or is the Lord God of Heaven revealing that He has not forgotten the wickedness of Egypt and the injustices they brought upon His own chosen nation and people? Think about it!
When Israel went down into Egypt, the entire extended family of Jacob were worshippers of the true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But when the Israelites came out of Egypt over two centuries later, they were contaminated with the paganism, idolatry, witchcraft, and wicked unbelief of the Egyptians. The Israelites as a people have never been free from this contamination through all these centuries. Their paganism, idolatry, witchcraft [the Kabbalah], and unbelief with which as a people they had been contaminated in the land of Egypt so many centuries ago, ultimately led to the Jewish people being scattered among all the nations of the world.
It is obvious from the Scriptures we have looked at in this study that the Lord God of Heaven has purposed to scatter the Egyptians among all the nations of the world for “forty years.” Again, is this just “coincidence,” or is our righteous God going to “recompense” Egypt for the suffering that His own chosen people have had to endure across all these centuries? I leave it up to our readers to decide for yourself!
One thing I do know! How awesome is our God! He knows all about each and every person and nation and people on the earth, Proverbs 15:3. Further our righteous God has a long memory. Every injustice against Him and His people will be recompensed in due time. Genesis 12:3 is still in the Bible. So is Galatians 6:7-8 and Revelation 22:12. Let every reader take heed!
Folks, the only way to escape “the wages of sin” [Romans 6:23] is through true repentance towards God and a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Acts 16:30-31; 20:21; Romans 10:8-13. I urge every reader to “examine yourselves” and make absolutely certain “Jesus Christ is in you,” 2 Corinthians 13:5. The coming of our Lord to resurrect and rapture His people to glory is “right at the door.” Therefore “make your calling and election sure,” 2 Peter 1:10. Oh yes you can KNOW and have assurance of forgiven sin and salvation and peace through a personal faith in Jesus
Christ our Lord. GOD’S WORD SAYS SO! Read it for yourself in 1 John 5:13. I would like to meet every reader in glory when the Lord comes. Please don’t disappoint me!
May the Lord add His blessings to this study is my prayer.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
All comments, questions, and correspondence should be addressed to: Pastor F. M. Riley, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256. Or I can also be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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