by Jack Kelley
For most of the past two weeks my in box has been clogged with questions about Egypt. During that time several articles have appeared on various web sites. In most cases writers have observed current events as if they are the fulfillment of end times prophecy and then searched through the Bible to find something that fits. But in my opinion it’s really too soon to do that. We don’t know what the ultimate outcome of the current situation will be so we really don’t know what if any prophecy is being fulfilled.
So let’s take a deep breath and back up a step to see if we can arrive at a reasonable answer to the real question, which is “What’s to become of Egypt?”
Like I said it’s still too early to determine the outcome of the current unrest in Egypt. But we can tell from Scripture that eventually Egypt will become part of the End Times Roman (Islamic) Empire, also being called The Caliphate. According to Daniel 11:40-42(where it’s referred to as the King of the South) Egypt will make an unsuccessful play for leadership during the Great Tribulation by attacking the forces of the anti-Christ, and will be defeated, but not destroyed. This will happen shortly before the anti-Christ moves his headquarters to Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45).
To me this is confirmation that Egypt is not likely to play a major part in the Psalm 83scenario, which I believe will precede Daniels 70th Week. Neither is Egypt included in the line up of Ezekiel 38 that will follow shortly afterward. Participation in one or both of these battles would be expected if Egypt becomes a radical Islamic nation in the days ahead and disavows the Camp David treaty with Israel, but would probably render them incapable of challenging the anti-Christ a few years later. I think this tells us Egypt will not succumb to radical Islam immediately but will do so more gradually instead.
However, the situation is still volatile so only time will tell. As of this writing, the Egyptian military has taken direct control of the country, as opposed to being the power behind the throne as they’ve been since 1952, and has promised to leave international treaties like the one with Israel in place.
Back To The Future
Of all the nations who either are now or have been significant in the Middle East in the past, only Israel, Egypt and Assyria are mentioned at the outset of the Millennium, and all three are held in high esteem by the Lord.
The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:25)
This will be the result of Egypt’s national conversion to the Lord, following their second defeat of the Great Tribulation, this time by Israel.
In that day the Egyptians will be like women. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the LORD Almighty raises against them. And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the LORD Almighty is planning against them. (Isaiah 19:16-17)
Zechariah explained it this way. At the time when all the nations of the Earth will be gathered against Judah and Jerusalem to besiege them, the Lord will infuse the leaders of Judah with “break out” strength and courage. (Zech. 12:1-5)
“On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.” (Zech 12:6)
Although similar in appearance, this is not the Battle of Armageddon but a prelude to it. We know this because although all the nations of the world are gathered against Jerusalem, (Zech 12:3) only the surrounding peoples will be destroyed (Zech 12:6). Following this battle the Lord will set out to destroy all the other nations (Zech. 12:9) and that will be the Battle of Armageddon.
Also in Zech 12:6 we’re told Jerusalem will be left in place at that time. In the Battle of Armageddon the city will be captured and half will go into exile (Zech. 14:2). And finally,Zechariah 12:10-14 speaks of Israel’s national conversion to the Messiah which is placed between the battle spoken of in Zech 12:1-9 and Armageddon which comes inZech 14.
The Great Pyramid?
In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. (Isaiah 19:19-22)
Only Egypt has a location that’s both on the border and in the heart of the country. That’s possible because in Hebrew, Egypt’s name is Mizraim, a plural word that means “two Egypts.” In ancient times they were two countries, Upper (southern) Egypt and Lower (northern) Egypt but they were joined to become one.
The name of this central / border location is Giza. It’s on the border between the two Egypts and is in the heart of the combined country. And there’s already a one-of-a-kind ancient monument there, called the Great Pyramid.
The Great Pyramid is thought to have been built in the 22nd Century BC on a 13-acre base made level to within less than 1″. 900 million cubic feet of granite blocks were used in its construction. To this day engineers can’t explain how the workers managed to fit those huge blocks together so carefully in building a monument nearly 500 feet high. Some of the larger ones weigh nearly 80 tons.
It originally had a face of polished white limestone consisting of 115,000 stones finished on all six sides to within .01 inch of being perfectly straight. Cut on a bevel, they fit together with seams of less than 1/50th of an inch. They were then cemented together and polished to a high sheen. It’s said that the pyramid shone as if made of light itself and could be seen from over a hundred miles away. Over time the face has been stolen and carried away.
Unlike the 80 or so other pyramids in Egypt, which are vastly inferior copies, the Great Pyramid was not built as a tomb but as a monument, one that has architectural and astronomical features experts would be hard pressed to duplicate today. There are those who believe it was built as a unique tribute to God by beings with supernatural abilities. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this amazing structure could again become an altar and a monument, restored by the Egyptian people as an expression of gratitude for the Lord’s mercy upon them.
Due to the fact that Egypt’s conversion will take place near the end of the Great Tribulation, Isaiah 19:19-22 will likely be fulfilled in the Millennium. If so the reference to being stricken with a plague and healed could be leading us to Zechariah 14:16-19which says,
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
This could also be the fulfillment of Ezekiel 29:8-16 which records an outstanding judgment against Egypt consisting of a 40 year period of desolation. Biblical records indicate the Lord has never executed this judgment, and it’s not likely to happen before the 2nd Coming. (Can you imagine the Lord dispersing 82 million Egyptians and making the country desolate for 40 years before the 2nd Coming? What would prompt Him to do this?) That leaves the Millennium as the most likely time of fulfillment. Zechariah 14:16-19 is clearly Millennial in its focus and Isaiah 19:22 appears to be as well.
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-25)
So it appears that early in the Millennium after Egypt has been brought securely into the fold of the Lord’s people on Earth, Egypt and Assyria will join Israel as God’s favored people. By the way, don’t confuse Assyria with modern day Syria. Assyria was much larger, encompassing nearly all of the Fertile Crescent from the Persian Gulf in the East around the Arabian Desert and down the Mediterranean coast to the Nile region in the West.
And so like Lebanon, where the government toppled just a few weeks ago, Egypt is in for a rough time over the next few years. But unlike Lebanon, which will return to its original status as part of Israel, Egypt will remain independent. Having come to the Lord in the final days of the Great Tribulation, Egypt will struggle and be disciplined at the outset of the Millennium, but will survive to be known as God’s people, alongside Assyria His handiwork, and Israel His inheritance. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.