Hi Reggie, Glad you are doing a seminar in September, wish we could go. I have been wondering about Is 11:11-16 and Is 19:20-25 – the drying up of the Nile, a future highway for the remnant of His people and a confederation between Egypt, Israel and Syria. I have heard some say there will be a new nation made of present day Syria and Iraq into Assyria. Do you think these events are in the Millennium or just prior? It is amazing to think of Egypt as one day a nation who will honor God. I don’t hear many speak about this. Thanks.
The key phrase in all of these texts is “in that day.” There is one passage in particular that is decisive in showing that Isa 11:15-16 is fulfilled at the day of the Lord after the tribulation. It is Isa 27:12-13. The language is nearly the same in describing the return of the beleaguered remnant in connection with the miraculous dry crossing of the Nile. Only here, this “second” gathering of Israel (Isa 11:11) is signaled by “the great trumpet.” There can be no doubt that this is “the great sound of a trumpet” that Jesus mentions in connection with His post-tribulational return and the gathering of the elect (Mt 24:29-31). Here’s further evidence for that:
Chapters 24 to 27 of Isaiah have been called by scholars, “Isaiah’s little apocalypse.” This is because the narrative and context throughout these chapters is continually the post-tribulational deliverance Israel and the resurrection of the dead (see Isa 25:7-8; 26:19). It is very important to note that these events are inseparable. Where there is one, there is the other, and the time of both is very clearly AFTER the tribulation.
It can hardly be missed that the miraculous drying of the Nile in association with the ‘great trumpet’ of Isa 27:12-13 is parallel to Isa 11:15-16. The recovery of Israel “the second time” to the Land (Isa 11:11) is shown to be accompanied by the same miraculous phenomena in both places, only Isa 27:12-13 adds mention of the great trumpet.
Not only does Jesus mention a trumpet in connection with His return and the ‘gathering of the elect’ (see also 2Thes 2:1), but Paul also mentions a trumpet in connection with Christ’s return and the resurrection of the church, which trumpet Paul calls, “the last” (1Cor 15:52). By comparing scripture with scripture (line upon line), we can see the times and relationships of events as they line up with the day of the Lord.
That Paul has the same trumpet in view in 1Cor 15:52 is put beyond reasonable question when it is considered that he tells us precisely which time and which resurrection is in view. It is the time of the resurrection of the saints of the Old Testament Isa 25:8; 26:19). It is plainly evident that Paul is deliberately associating the time of the church’s translation with the time of the resurrection of the Old Testament saints. He clearly says that the time of the ‘last trump’ is also the time of the resurrection mentioned in Isa 25:8. This is precisely what Paul is doing when he says, “Then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written …” (1Cor 15:54).
When is “then”? Well, to the chagrin of pre-tribulational teaching, “the saying” is written in Isa 25:8, which is undeniably situated in a post-tribulational context. This is ignored by pre-tribulational teaching. Paul’s statement, “then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written,” is passed over in convenient silence. However, then means then, and Paul’s “then” is manifestly the time of the last trump.
Who can deny or ignore that the resurrection of Isa 25:8 is also the time of Isaiah’s personal resurrection in Isa 26:19? (see also Dan 12:1-2, 13, which shows that Daniel is also raised AFTER the tribulation). Significantly, the resurrection of Isa 25:8; 26:19 occurs in the same general context as the “great trumpet” of final return mentioned in Isa 27:13. Paul’s knowledge of both Jesus and Isaiah’s mention of a trumpet in connection with the events commonly associated with the day of the Lord can hardly be imagined to be speaking of entirely different times and events, as in pre-tribulational eschatology.
Notice also that this return includes every surviving Jew to the last man (Ezek 39:28). This has never happened yet. Isaiah calls this return, “the second time” (Isa 11:11). This is difficult, but any return that is not attended by the specifically described miraculous phenomena, at the time specified (“great trumpet” etc.), cannot be the regathering that Isaiah has in view in this prophecy. Context matters! We might say the present return is a providential and necessary first stage. It is definitely in fulfillment of express prophecy and the required conditions of prophecy (Jer 30:3; Dan 12:1; Ezek 38:8; Zeph 2:1-2; Joel 3:2; Zech 12:2-3; 13:8-9; 14:2). But anything short of this is not “that” which was spoken of by Isaiah (i.e., Isaiah’s “second time”).
No, this final and permanent recovery of the beleaguered remnant to the Land is in repentance and faith. It is always accompanied by specifically described miraculous phenomena (Isa 11:15-16; 27:12-13; 35:1, 6; 41:17-18; 43:19-20). This great and everlasting return follows upon the resurrection of the righteous and the “great trumpet” at Christ’s return (Zech 12:10; Ro 11:25-26). There are indeed mysteries, but the time could hardly be clearer.
With these manifest connections in view, it is clear that all of this takes place at the great day of the Lord, which, of course, comes at the end of the great tribulation (Mt 24:29 with Acts 2:20). This is the fixed point of ultimate transition between this age and the next. To always note this is an important key to the interpretation of the eschatology of both testaments.
I also notice that Egypt is not among the nations that come down in the initial Antichrist invasion of Israel (Ezek 38:5-6). Though Ezekiel is otherwise quite prolific in his mention of Egypt in many places throughout the book, here, when it comes to the specific armies of the Antichrist (Ezek 38:17), Egypt is conspicuous for its absence.
Dan 11:42 shows why. There we see that Egypt is not conquered by the Antichrist until sometime towards the end of the tribulation, which manifestly began with the abomination of Dan 11:31. This means that Egypt is not one of the ten kings that unite with the Antichrist in his initial invasion of Jerusalem.
It also seems quite significant that Egypt is not mentioned in Ps 83, which lists the 10 nations of Israel’s perennial foes. Here, they are confederated with one sworn objective: The cutting off of Israel, not only from being a nation, but from being any more in remembrance (Ps 83:4). Certainly, ‘this’ is the “everlasting hatred” (Ezek 35:5). These are the nations that I’ve always believed are in view in Daniel’s reference to the ten nations that accompany the Antichrist in his attack on Jerusalem. Daniel would have known this Psalm.
These are the nations of antiquity that were continually mentioned in prophecy. It just happens that their modern counterparts make up much of the Islamic world, including those warring kings in Dan 11:27 that are able to mend their differences long enough to plot together in their mutual hatred against “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30; i.e., Israel’s divine right to Jerusalem). Significantly, the Antichrist shares Islam’s demonic obsession to possess Jerusalem with complete intolerance of any Jewish claims.
This brings to mind one final thought: Whoever the Antichrist turns out to be, one thing seems beyond dispute: He will be able to exploit this ‘ancient hatred’ to his desire to usurp the appointed place of Messiah’s rule from Jerusalem. Those looking for candidates for an Antichrist from a presumed “revived Roman Empire of Western Europe” should ask why the Islamic world would suspend their zealous quest to set a Muslim on the throne of Jerusalem in order to install the Pope or some other leader of the West (Prince Charles (?) etc. etc.)
This, and the inadequacy of many of the interpretations that I’ve heard, has inclined me to look further than the popular expectation of a Roman Antichrist. In view of a futurist interpretation of Dan 8:9; 11:21-30, along with Ezek 35, 36, 38, Obadiah, and Ps 83, it just doesn’t add up. I believe the world will be caught up in the ancient feud that began in Abraham’s tents between the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, and the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. It’s all about the demonic war over covenant election. More ultimately, it’s all about grace and works.
I realize that the fourth kingdom of Daniel’s prophecy was Rome, but most of these lands were once within the territorial reach, if not direct rule, of Rome. It is also well to remember that Rome had an eastern division as well as a western. It should not escape our notice that these lands are a prominent part of the Islamic world of today.
Furthermore, it is not entirely certain that the four kingdoms of Daniel are intended to be reckoned strictly in terms of territory. The great world dominions of the gentiles can also be seen in the more generic sense of the comprehensive dominion of man, the mystery of iniquity in its distinct stages of progress until its completion in the revelation of the ‘man of sin’ (2Thes 2:4, 7-8). That’s another way to look at it.
I also note that the former kingdoms are depicted as continuing to live on in the successive kingdoms until the stone cut out without hands breaks in pieces and destroys “all these kingdoms” at once (Dan 2:44). Even then, their ‘dominion’ is taken away, but “their lives are prolonged for a season and a time” (Dan 7:12). This is curious language, but if we note that the time is set in relation to the destruction of the beast in Dan 7:11, and the universal sway of Christ in Dan 7:13-14, then it seems clear that these kingdoms continue to exist as nations throughout the millennium, only now without their former teeth and claws.
Well, that went a little beyond your question, but I would rather be too thorough than too skimpy.
Let me hear how you are doing. I return often in my thoughts and prayers to some of the things we prayed about when I was down there.
Much love, reggie