The Ancestry of the Modern Arabs
Esau and his army stood in the way preventing Jacob from returning to his homeland. This event is prophetic of what will happen in the end times.
We have already identified who the sons of Jacob are, how they were divided into two camps, or two houses, and two kingdoms (the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Israel). But who are the descendants of Esau?
Many, if not most of the modern Moslems (especially the Arabs) trace their lineage back if not biologically then spiritually to Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hagar. Islam in its holy book, the Koran, claims that it was Abraham and Ishmael who founded the religion of Islam and built the Kaaba, which is the small building containing a stone that supposedly fell from heaven. This shrine is located in the midst of great mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Of Ishmael and his descendents, the Bible prophesies in Genesis 16:11–12,
The angel of YHVH said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because YHVH has given heed to your affliction. And he will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; and he will live to the east of all his brothers.”
The Koran has further twisted the biblical account to teach declare that the patriarchs were Mulims and that Abraham gave the birthright blessing to Ishamael instead Isaac. Both Israelites and Arabs, therefore, believe that they have a right to the Promised Land of Canaan, and, hence, this disagreement roots of the modern Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Scriptures further record that Esau (Edom), the disinherited son of Isaac, also had ought against his brother Jacob, who, in a sense, stole the birthright promise from him. Furthermore, Esau married the daughter of Ishmael (Gen 28:9). Thus, some of Ishmael’s and Esau’s descendants merged becoming a people-group who had a jealous feud with the sons of Jacob or Israel.
The Bible has more to say prophetically about the descendants of Esau, who scripturally are referred to as Edom (Esau’s alternate name) than about those of Ishmael. Edom is portrayed as an aggressive and bloodthirsty people who are opposed to Israel at every step. We will discover what the Scripture have to say about this below.
In the mean time, let’s take a closer look at Edom.
- Esau and Edom (meaning “red”) are synonymous (see Gen 25:25, 30; 36:1, 8–9, 19, 43).
- Esau intermarried with the descendants of Ishmael (Gen 28:9).
- Seir is another name for the land of Edom (Gen 32:3; 33:16; 36:8).
- Esau intermarried with the people of Canaan (Gen 36:2). He intermarried with the Hittites, the Hivites, as well as the Ishmaelites.
- His descendants included the Amalekites (Gen 36:12, 16) who fought against the Children of Israel upon leaving Egypt and as soon as they had entered the wilderness en route to the Promised Land (Exod 17:1).
- Esau’s sons were dukes or chieftains (leaders of clans) and kings (Gen 36:15–16, 40–43).
- Although Esau’s direct lineage was confined to the area of the traditional land of Edom, it is clear from the biblical record that he and his descendants intermarried with many of the neighboring nations, so that his descendants were scattered far and wide over the region that later became known as the Holy Land.
- The entire one-chapter Book of Obadiah is a prophecy against Edom. Let’s note several key points in this prophecy that might help us to understand some things about Edom in light of end-time Bible prophecy. This will in turn help us to understand end-time world politics and give us a further clue in identifying America in prophecy. Let’s analyze some key verses in Obadiah in light of end-time events.
Verse 2, The descendants of Edom are greatly despised (scorned, held in contempt, disdained).
Verse 3, They dwell in the clefts (places of concealment, retreats) of the rocks, they are proud and view themselves as invincible.
Verse 4, YHVH promises to bring Edom down.
Verse 7, Edom has a confederacy (league, alliance) of nations, which include many of the modern Moslem and Arab nations.
Verse 11, Edom’s eyes are on Jerusalem. Edom along with his foreign allies will cast lots for Jerusalem (seek to divide it among the nations/religions of the world as an international city under the control of the United Nations?).
Verse 13, Edom has entered into the gates of the land of Israel in the day of her calamity/disaster.
Verse 14, Edom will kill Jewish refugees trying to escape the land of Israel in her time of distress.
Verse 15, The time frame of the fulfillment of these prophecies is “near” the day of YHVH, when he will judge Edom and the other heathen nations.
Verse 16, Edom will be drinking (celebrating?) on the Temple Mount/YHVH’s “holy mountain,” and as a result, they shall drink the cup of YHVH’s wrath.
Verse 17, The house of Jacob will get the Temple Mount back!
How many descriptions of the modern Palestinian and other Islamo-terrorists do we see in Obadiah? What other people-group fits this description? Is Edom a picture of many modern-day Palestinians and their Moslem backers who hate the Jews, the state of Israel and America?
We have learned who Jacob represents in end-time prophecy. Now we learn who Jacob’s descendants’ arch-enemy will be and who will attempt to prevent them from returning to the land of Israel. This will happen in the end times before the coming of the Messiah. We will learn more about this later.
Edom Has a Perpetual Hatred for Jacob (Judah and Ephraim)
As we have noted, Edom’s hatred for Israel has its roots in the antagonism between Ishmael and Isaac, and then afterwards between Esau and Jacob. The hatred that Esau had for Israel has been passed on down to successive generations of Edomites. The biblical prophets discusses this murderous antagonism on Edom’s part as being carried down generation to generation to the very end times. Let’s review some of these biblical prophecies.
Ezekiel 36 speaks about the conflict between end-time Edom and end-time Israel. In verse two, we see that the enemies of Israel have regarded the “ancient high [or declared, promised] places” of Israel as “ours in possession.” This is a clear reference to the holy places in Israel (e.g., the Temple Mount for the Jews and Bethlehem for the Christians—only in recent years have the Palestinians taken Bethlehem and forced—out of persecution and intimidation—the majority of the large Christian population of that city to leave). “High places” can also refer to the militarily strategic high places such as the Golan Heights and the ridges surrounding the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Next, let’s look at Ezekiel 35, which is a prophecy against Edom. In verses four through five, we see that end-time Edom will be devastated because of its perpetual hatred for the Children of Israel. They have killed their enemies by the power of the sword. This is how Islam has traditionally spread—by the curved scimitar sword. Advancing Moslem armies force its captives to leave, covert or die. According to verse five, this is to be occurring at the time of the punishment (of the Children of Israel?) at the time of the end (NAS) or the end of time (lit. Hebrew). This is another example of YHVH’s using Edom (Esau) to bring Ephraim and Judah to its knees in the time of the end.
In verses six through nine of the same chapter, we see that YHVH will punish Edom for its blood-thirstiness against Israel and will devastate its cities and slay large numbers of its people. Other biblical prophecies indicate that the militaries of Judah and Ephraim will be the means by which YHVH accomplishes this.
Finally, in verse 10, Edom (Islam) wants to take over or possess the two countries/nations/lands (Heb. eretz) of Israel: Judah and Ephraim even though YHVH was there (in the lands of his people). Their anger and hatred against Israel is based on envy or jealousy (verse 11) of Israel.
The Koran, the holy book of Islam, has taken the historic and prophesied hatred of Edom and formed a religion around it. The Koran was written by Mohammed, a Jew and Christian hater, more than one thousand years after the prophecies of Ezekiel and Obadiah. Here are some quotes from the Koran that confirm the prophecies of the Bible with regard to Edom.
Make war upon those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God [Allah] … and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle [Mohammed] have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled. The Jews say, “Ezra in a son of God”; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is a son of God.” Such sayings in their mouths. They resemble the sayings of the infidels of old! God do battle with them! How they are misguided! (Sura 9:29–30)
When thy Lord spake unto the angels, “I will be with you: therefore stablish ye the faithful I will cast a dread into the heart of the infidels.” Strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip. (Sura 8:12)
“O people of the Book! … Can I announce to you any retribution worse than that which awaiteth them with God? They whom God hath cursed and with whom He hath been angry—some of them hath he changed into apes and swine; and they who worship Thagout are in evil plight, and have gone far astray from the right path. (Sura 5:64–65)
Only recompense of those who war against God and His Apostle, and go about to commit disorders on the earth, shall be that they shall be slain and crucified, or have their alternate hands and feet cut off, or be banished from the land …(Sura 5:37)
YHVH to Use Edom as a Giant Paddle to “Spank” Apostate Ephraim
As noted above, YHVH will drive Ephraim (and Judah) to a place where in their state of spiritual apostasy they will be forced to bend their knees before the Almighty Elohim. They have forgotten who they are as YHVH’s people, they have forsaken their covenants and spiritual heritage believing instead that their power, wealth, and world prestige has been gained through their own efforts. Out of the depths of spiritual, economic, political and military despair, they will be forced to look up to the Elohim of their forefathers and acknowledge that their blessings have only been a result of his grace and his promises to their forefathers.
Getting Ephraim and Judah to acknowledge this will not be an easy task. They will both have to go through great hardships and will doubtless face near annihilation before they acknowledge their sin of apostasy and repent and turn back to YHVH. The Scripture verses that follow present this understanding.
In Ezekiel 35:15, we see that the House of Israel (America and other Christian nations) will become desolate (devastated, wasted), but so will Edom. YHVH will be glorified in the midst of all this, as we shall discuss below.
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so I will do to you. You will be a desolation, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am YHVH.
Ezekiel 38 gives us much detail concerning end-time prophecy that is yet to occur about a nation called Gog, which seems to represents all the Satanic forces of an Antimessiah (Antichrist) figure. Let’s look at some of these prophecies verse-by-verse.
Verses 2, 5–6, We see here a confederation of peoples from Turkey and north of Turkey extending into the southern Russia area, along with the countries of northeastern Africa along with Iran and Iraq. All are Islamic or Communist states today, or have tendencies in that direction.
2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says Adonai YHVH, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 “And I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Put [Libya] with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you. (emphasis added)
Verses 15–23, Edom and their allies are to come upon the mountains (nations) of Israel out of the north. Turkey is Gog and Russia is greater Gog. Both nations are north of Israel, and Russia is north of America (over the North Pole). They shall come militarily against YHVH’s people and YHVH shall sanctify his name among his people when this happens. In this incident, it seems very likely that both Judah and Ephraim will be judged. In the world today, we are seeing the formation of political, military and economic alliances between Russia and many of the Islamo-Communist nations.
Verses 15–16, These prophecies are to occur “in the latter days.”
And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you against my [YHVH’s] land, in order that the nations may know me [YHVH] when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog. (emphasis added)
Verses 21–23, Nuclear holocaust will come upon Edom and its allies.
21 “And I shall call for a sword against him on all my mountains,” declares Adonai YHVH. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 “And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 “And I shall magnify myself, sanctify myself, and make myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am YHVH.”’ (emphasis added)
Next, let’s note Hosea 11:8–9.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within me; my sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of my anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am El [God], and not man, the Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror. (emphasis added)
In verse eight, we see YHVH’s attempts to get backslidden Ephraim to return to him. It appears that he may even allow (nuclear) fire to come down upon some cities of Ephraim, though it grieves him greatly to do so. Verse nine tells us that Ephraim will not experience the full fierceness of YHVH’s anger and be totally destroyed.
Judgment to Fall on Edom—YHVH Will Use Ephraim and Judah to Destroy Edom
YHVH is the Just Judge of the universe. The enemies of YHVH’s people will be punished for their arrogance against YHVH and his anointed people.
The nation of Assyria (an ally and backer of Edom), one of the terrorist ringleaders who has continuously and arrogantly defied YHVH and his people, will have Damascus, its pride and joy, destroyed. Damascus, one of the oldest and longest continually inhabited cities on earth, which has never been destroyed, will become a ruinous heap (Isa 17:1). This prophecy has not been fulfilled yet. Because of this fact, the prophecy of Isaiah 17 is for the end times.
Ezekiel confirms Isaiah’s prophecy about Edom’s destruction. In Ezekiel 35:4, we read that Edom’s cities have yet to be laid waste (ruined) and made desolate (devastated), and Edom has yet to learn who YHVH is, even as Damascus has yet to be made a ruinous heap (Isa 17:1).
Then in Ezekiel 35:5 the prophet declares that Edom will be devastated because of its perpetual hatred for the Children of Israel. They have killed the Children of Israel by the power of the sword. This is how Islam has traditionally spread historically—by the curved scimitar sword. Moslems force their captives to leave, covert to Islam or die. This is to be occurring at the time of the end (see the NAS translation of this verse) or at the end of time (according to the literal Hebrew). This is another example of YHVH’s using Edom (with a reference to Islam) to bring Ephraim and Judah to their knees in the time of the end.
But then YHVH will turn the tables on Edom, for in Ezekiel 35:6–9, we read that YHVH will punish Edom for its blood-thirstiness against Israel and will devastate its cities and slay large numbers of its people. Other biblical prophecies indicate that the militaries of Judah and Ephraim will be the means by which YHVH will accomplish this.
YHVH will judge Edom (Isalm and its allies) because it wants to take over or possess the two countries (nations or lands) of Israel (i.e., Judah and Ephraim) even though YHVH was there (in the lands of his people) (Ezek 35:10). Their anger and hatred against Israel is based on Edom’s envy or jealousy (verse 11) toward Israel.
Then in Ezekiel 38:16, we read about a confederacy of nations coming up against the mountains of Israel (verse 8) in the last days (or the end times), but that it is YHVH who will bring greater Edom up to Israel so that YHVH may be sanctified in Israel in the eyes of Israel’s enemies. What will be the end result? Either horrific conventional weaponry will be unleashed against Edom, or a nuclear holocaust. YHVH says of Edom,
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood, and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am YHVH. (Ezek 38:22–23)
There is some question as to the time frame of the fulfillment of the Gog prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39. This prophecy could have an end-time—before Yeshua’s return—fulfillment, or an end of the Millennium fulfillment, since in both cases Gog is destroyed by fire from heaven (see Ezek 39:6 cp Rev 20:9).
We believe that the Ezekiel 38 and 39 has an end-time fulfillment because in the final verses of chapter 39 there is a discussion about the return of the House of Israel to the land of Israel. Perhaps not all Israel will have returned by the end of the Millennium and some will still need to be flushed out of the nations, but in light of other prophetic passages pertaining to the regathering of Israel (e.g., Ezek 37) we believe that this is an end-time prophecy. Whatever the case, Satan and his human forces will array his armies against the saints and Yeshua at the second coming. They will also repeat this move at the end of the Millennium just prior to the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:7–10.
Assuming the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is premillennial, we see that YHVH will turn Gog and the confederacy of nations accompanying it back and five-sixth of them will be slaughtered upon the mountains of Israel (verses 2–6). As a result, YHVH’s name will be glorified among the isles (verse 7). As noted earlier, the isles could well be a reference to Christian Ephraim of which America is the spiritual leader.
The little Book of Obadiah is a one-chapter indictment against Edom. After judgment comes upon Edom, verse 17 says the House of Jacob will get the Temple Mount back! Verse 18 then prophesies that Ephraim and Judah as a unified force will destroy Edom with fire. This is confirmed by the prophet Zechariah, as well (Zech 9:13). Ephraim and Judah in their time of despair will rise up (by YHVH’s grace) and will defeat Edom. Few if any from the house of Edom will survive (verse 18).
Obadiah nineteen says that those Israelites of the south or Negev desert area of Israel will possess Mount Seir (the land of Edom), the plain of the Philistines (Gaza) along with the country of Ephraim and Samaria.
In Zechariah 9:13, we read that Ephraim and Judah will destroy their enemies. Judah will be the bow, and Ephraim the arrow against Greece, which may very well be a biblical metaphor for western non-Christian Europe. This is YHVH’s arrow of judgment that will go forth like lightning and he shall sound the shofar, and like the storm winds or a whirlwind of the south, he will go forth (verse 14). (It is possible that his whirlwind of the south may be a reference to the fight between the king of the south and the king of the north of Daniel 11.) Judah and Ephriam will be in YHVH’s hand to destroy their enemies (verse 15; see also 10:5).
Then in Zechariah 14:12, we have the well-known passage that many Bible commentators believe is a direct reference to nuclear war that YHVH will use as a means to defend his people and destroy the enemies of Israel. All this is to occur in the time period called “the day of YHVH” (verse 1), and in the general time period of the second coming of Yeshua when his feet will touch the Mount of Olives (verse 4), and when YHVH will be king over all the earth (verse 9).