Saudi Arabia in Bible Prophecy
By: Darrell G. Young
Saudi Arabia is in the news a lot these days. It is a country that many people in the West do not understand or know very much about. Yet almost everybody knows that Saudi Arabia has lots and lots of oil. They also know that Saudi Arabia is a strict Islamic State that is the birthplace and home of the religion of Islam. And they also know that it is the home of a man known as Osama Bin Laden.
For many centuries the Arabian Peninsula was little more than a vast dormant desert filled with nomadic tribes that were continually overrun by outside empires, such as Egypt and Turkey. But all of that changed with the conclusion of World War I and the emergence of the infamous House of Saud. Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdar-Rahman, better known as ‘Ibn Saud,’ and later as King Saud managed to consolidate the many tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and transformed the Arabian desert into the modern kingdom state of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
But the Saudi Peninsula is a region that has a very long, mysterious and legendary history. The Arabian desert’s harsh climate has historically limited very much settlement or city building, and the few cities that flourished served as an Arabian crossroads for trade and commerce between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf seaports. In the 7th century, the Arabian dessert region fostered the beginning of the Muslim era when Muhammad organized his followers and launched a successful campaign to recapture Mecca. Soon thereafter Muhammad instituted the religion of Islam. Many Arab tribes joined Muhammad before his death in 632 and afterwards the Muslims continued their expansion across the Arabian Peninsula and into Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq), Persia and westwards into Egypt and North Africa all the way to Spain. The Islamic sword also reached eastward, finally reaching Indonesia. The sword of Islam has become a major geo-political lynchpin throughout the world.
The History of the Hashemites and the House of Saud
The current Middle East crisis between the Israelis and the Arab world is the result of some of the most incredible blunders in history. Perhaps there is no greater blunder than some promises made by a British regional military commander to a bunch of backward camel-riding Arab Muslims from Western Arabia. Lt. Colonel T. E. Lawrence was sent by the British to recruit the enlistment of the help of the Arab Muslim tribes of the western Arabian region. The British needed them to act as irregular raiders against the eastern flank of the Ottoman Turkish army, thus helping the British Army to defeat them in the greater Middle East region during WWI. The principle tribe Lawrence enlisted was known as the Hashemites, who were then the guardians of the holy Muslim sites of Mecca and Medina, until the rise of Ibn Saud.
T. E. Lawrence and his infamous treaty with the Hashemites would have been only an obscure and forgotten footnote in the British Middle East campaign of World War I if were not for the legends built up around the character, "Lawrence of Arabia."By the time the Treaty of Sevres was negotiated in 1920, the British felt compelled to keep Lawrence of Arabia's promise to the chieftains of an Arab tribe called the Hashemites. The political structure of the Middle East today is the result of that promise. The Treaty of Sevres permitted the British to seize pieces of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the Middle East for centuries, but had allied themselves with the Germans in WWI. Instead of British colonies, the Ottoman territories were called League of Nations' mandates, for which the British badly needed puppet rulers. Thus the expanded rise of the Hashemite Royal family of Arabia.
Sir Lawrence of Arabia persuaded the British Crown to put together three provinces of the old Ottoman Empire and make one country called Iraq and give it to a Hashemite prince named Feisal. The people of these three provinces have hated each other for centuries, and that is still evidenced today as America attempts to forge a new democratic state in Iraq. Apart from a ruthless dictator like Saddam Hussein, no one has ever been able to mesh them together. Lawrence also was able to persuade the British to betray their mandate to create a homeland for the Jews. When the House of Saud drove the Hashemites out of Mecca and Medina, Lawrence persuaded the British to give Prince Abdullah the land mandated to the Jews known as Trans-Jordan as a consolation prize. (a ¾ betrayal of the Balfour Declaration) Today, Transjordan is today is known as the Royal Kingdom of Jordan. These events have helped set up a coming catastrophe that the Bible predicts someday will result in a global war against Israel. It is amazing what momentous prophetic events are set in motion by the interrelationships of nations and kings. But then, nothing of mans imaginations and schemes escapes God fore-knowledge.
The Cup and Sword that Intoxicates the Nations
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah prophesied about a “cup and a sword” that would be sent out to all the nations of the world in the Last Days, to intoxicate them into a madness, and bring them down against the city of Jerusalem. This “cup of fury” or “cup of trembling” (Isaiah 51:17) is God’s way of drawing a line in the sand, in defense of his Holy name, and of his Holy city. This cup of fury (filled with abominations) will cause the sword to be sent to all the powerful nations of the earth, and to geo-politically entice them into the great controversy over Zion, a controversy that is caused to swirl in the end-times by the Kings of Arabia, and the burdensome conflict over Israel.
Jeremiah 25:15-17 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me:
Jeremiah 25:18-24 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea, Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners, And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,
In History and Geography
Askelon, Azzah, Ekron, and Ashdod were cities of ancient Philistia that make up today’s Palestine. Edom, Ammon and Moab were peoples of north and southern Idumaea that make up today’s kingdom of Jordan. Dedan was of Cush, or Northeastern Africa and Arabia, Tema, a son of Ishmael made up Egypt and Arabia, while Buz, a son of Nahor represented Mesopotamia. Zimri was an Arabian tribe that still represents the Arabian Peninsula. The Medes (Elam) make up today’s modern state of Iran, and Sheshak makes up Babylon. The kings of Tyrus and Zidon make up Lebanon. Uz was the son of Aram, and made up the land of Mt. Seir, and a nation of people that hated Israel.
The Wine Cup
But it is Jerusalem that is the wine cup of God’s fury. It is a cup of fury that has been filling up for centuries! Jerusalem is the city chosen by Jehovah for his name, and yet Israel became enamored of the gods about her and abandoned Jehovah and allowed the holy city to become a harlot. Therefore God has allowed Jerusalem to be trodden down not only of Gentile rulers, but also of pagan gods. Allah (Islam) has laid a claim not only upon Mecca and Medina (Arabia) but also upon Jerusalem, making Jerusalem the bone of contention and controversy between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
The Crafty Counsel of the Arabs
Psalms 83:1-8 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.
While these are all various ancient names, today they comprise the modern Arab states. For instance, in verse 6, Edom was in southern Jordan; Ishmael was the father of the Ishmaelites, one segment of the Arab world; Moab was in central Jordan; the Hagarenes were from Egypt. In verse 7, Gebal was up in Lebanon; Ammon was northern Jordan; Amalek was in the Sinai Peninsula; Philistia was in the Gaza Strip; Tyre was up in Lebanon. In verse 8, Assyria comprises all of what is today Iraq and quite a bit of Syria. Only since 1948 have all these nations combined forces against Israel. Such a total Arab alignment never occurred in ancient times. After the Six Day War of 1967, one Arab leader after another has clearly stated that the only way of gaining peace in the Middle East is by the total annihilation of Israel as a nation.
A Prophecy Concerning Ishmael
Ishmael is often depicted as being the father of the Arab world. Ishmael was of course a son of Abraham (as was Isaac through Sarah) Ishmael’s mother was an Egyptian, making Ishmael half Egyptian and a half Semite of the House of Abraham. The descendants of Ishamel, along with Esau, and Edom made up much of the Arab world. Kedar, Hazor, Dedan, Sheba, Raamah (Ezekiel 27) were later Arabian merchants.
Genesis 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
The first prophecy concerning Ishmael is that "he would be a wild ass among men." In Abraham’s day, there were packs of wild asses that roamed the desert. Ishmael and his descendants are characterized as being similar to these wild asses. Secondly, "his hand shall be against every man." The second characteristic of Ishmael was that of aggression. He would be against every man, attacking those with whom he has contact. Thirdly, "every man’s hand shall be against him." As he displayed aggression, he would bring upon himself retaliation. We have certainly seen this principle to be true in the History of Israel since 1948. On various occasions the Arab states have been aggressors against Israel, either by means of military conflict or terrorist action. This always nearly elicited some kind of Israeli response and/or retaliation in fulfillment of this prophecy. Fourthly, "he shall dwell over against his brother." The expression "dwell over against" is a Hebrew idiom meaning to dwell in a state of hostility. He would live side by side with his brother, but side by side in a state of hostility, as is the state of the Arab/Jewish situation today.
The towns of Mecca and Medina, both of which were thriving cultural and commercial center before and after Muhammad, are the holiest cities of Islam and the Saudi Royal kingdom today takes and holds the responsibility for protecting their integrity with the utmost seriousness. They have been outposts of commerce between traveling caravans and empires for centuries. More importantly, however is the fact that these Arabian cities came to be the birthplace of Islam, the religion of the sword.
Arabia was absorbed into the Turkish Ottoman Empire during the 16th century, after the capture of Mecca by the Turks in 1517, but subsequent local rulers were allowed a great deal of autonomy. Under Turkish supervision, successive Sherifs of Mecca governed the territory of the Hijaz, (the western part of the Arabian Peninsula including the Red Sea coast as far south as Yemen) until the onset of World War I.
In 1914 the British armed forces Chief Lord Kitchener offered the Sharif of Mecca a deal under which Hijaz would acquire independence, guaranteed by the UK, on condition that the Sharif supported the military campaign against the Turks. The Sharif accepted, and after the Turkish defeat, the Kingdom of Hijaz was recognized as independent at the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. However, on the other side of the peninsula, (east of the Hijaz) the leading potentate was Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdar-Rahman, better known as ‘Ibn Saud,’ the ruler of the province of Najd. In 1915, the government of India, then under British rule, recognized Najd and some other territories along the Persian Gulf as possessions of Ibn Saud. Throughout the 1920s, military clashes between Ibn Saud’s troops and forces loyal to the Hashemite King of Hijaz, Hussein, grew more frequent as the decisive struggle for control of the Arabian peninsula took place.
The British and other Western powers switched their support between the two sides as it suited them. Eventually, Ibn Saud finally pushed out the Hashemites altogether, and in 1926 he was recognized as the ruler of the Kingdoms of Hijaz and Najd. In 1932 this became the United Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Hashemites, now dispossessed of Mecca and Median were consoled with the thrones of Iraq and Transjordan (later Jordan). Then in 1933 something else happened that would change the world for good. The first explorations began for oil and vast deposits were discovered in the eastern part of the country. This set Saudi Arabia on the road to its current economic prosperity, and its elite position as oil distributor to the whole world.
Ibn Saud’s descendants comprise the dynasty which has ruled Saudi Arabia since 1932. They like most Saudis, are adherents to the strict Wahhabi sect of Islam, which subscribes to Sunni Muslim doctrine, and its Islamic laws are strictly enforced by the mutawwa (religious police). The oil search of the 1930s brought the USA into contact with Saudi Arabia for the first time in history. America quickly became the House of Saud’s principal Western ally.
Nonetheless, there is one issue on which Saudi Arabian and US policies are implacably opposed, and that issue is Israel. Washington’s consistent and traditional support for the Jewish State has been a constant source of friction for Saudi Arabia. This became spectacularly clear in 1973 when Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of the USA’s staunchest allies in the region, led the OPEC cartel in trumping up the price of oil overnight in response to America’s support for Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The mid-70’s period of cool relations between Saudi Arabia and the US was eased somewhat with the fall of the Shah and the revolution of fundamentalist Islam in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Iran was perceived to pose a threat to Saudi Arabia for a number of reasons: the Shia branch of Islam followed by the Iranian mullahs is fundamentally opposed to the Sunni Wahhabi interpretation of Islam which prevails in Saudi Arabia under the House of Saud. Moreover, Iran is an important strategic force in the Gulf in its own right. For those reasons, as well as Arab solidarity, Saudi Arabia provided massive financial support, to the tune of over US$100 million to Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iran–Iraq war, which lasted most of the decade of the 1980s. The Saudis were thus astonished in 1991 when, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Saddam’s forces seemed to be poised to strike south and occupy parts of Saudi Arabia. After initial doubts and furious debates within the royal family, the US-led UN coalition was authorized to base its forces in the country prior to the ‘Desert Storm’ military operation which Iraq out of Kuwait. After the expulsion of the Iraqis from Kuwait, the Saudis backed the US policy of ‘dual containment’ designed to keep both Iran and Iraq in check. US forces have remained in the country ever since, in what has become a very sensitive political issue, and which would later became a point of contention for Osama Bin Laden.
v (the US policy of dual containment was devised and orchestrated originally by Zbigniev Brezinzki under the Carter Administration in the late 1970’s)
As the main arbiter of world oil prices, by virtue of being the largest OPEC producer, the Saudis are also subject to strong international pressure to keep a lid on prices. Saudi Arabia’s political future is unstable and uncertain, and that fact is a huge factor in the confidence of the great oil-consuming (US) economies. Crown Prince Abdullah belongs to a generation of leaders who have governed Saudi Arabia since the death of Abdul Aziz, all of whom are now in their seventies. Hence there is no clear line of succession and there may develop a debilitating power struggle among the 6000 male descendants who now make up the House of Saud, something Al Qaeda is keen on using for its benefit. The most likely victors are the branch of the family descended from one of Ibn Saud’s wives, bint Sudairi, who forms a powerful clan within the clan (commonly known as the ‘Sudairi Seven’). Abdullah is not among them, but all occupy key ministerial, administrative and diplomatic posts throughout Saudi Arabia.
In 2002, the United States was Saudi Arabia’s top trade partner, with 18.7 percent of its exports going to America and 11.2 percent of Saudi imports coming from the United States. About 17 percent of US oil imports annually came from Saudi Arabia. With its strong infrastructure, the kingdom is also best poised to expand oil production should disruptions occur in other parts of the world, such as when Venezuelan workers went on strike earlier this year. "Saudi Arabia is likely to remain the world's largest oil producer for the foreseeable future," the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration states in energy report. Saudi Arabia is eager to maintain and even expand its market share in the United States for a variety of economic and strategic reasons. The Saudi royal family often uses its oil revenues to buy protection from the more extreme elements in Saudi society, and it usually looks to the US for military hardware or security alliances. Even a temporary disruption to US demands on the Saudi oil supply could result in serious instability and jeopardize the royal family's political status, and also affect America’s position in the oil rich Arabian Peninsula.
A Whirlwind from the Coasts of the Earth
Jeremiah 25:31-32 A noise shall come even unto the ends of the earth, for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
Might it be that the United States is the great whirlwind that is raised from the coasts of the earth? The US is known by the geographic euphemisms of the East Coast and the West Coast. The vast majority of America’s population and industrial-technical base is located along its coastal regions, including cities such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Seattle-Tacoma, New Orleans, Tampa-Miami, and on and one the list goes. Then still other US cities lie with river access to coastal outlets such as Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. Truly, America is a coastal power, with the greatest naval armada in the history of nations.
Also, America is a seacoast super-power that is greatly and logistically distanced from the region of the Middle East. No other present national power could be described in the fashion depicted by Jeremiah for the Last Days, as “one that comes to the Mid-east region from the far-away coasts” of the earth. This prophecy has unique implications given the fact that the US has the history with Saudi Arabia that it has had for the last seven decades since the discovery of oil in the Arabian dessert. In light of America’s current economic-geo-political involvement in Iraq, and the Middle East it would seem that the coastal whirlwind so described by Jeremiah is already beginning to blow, and may be gathering steam for the prophesied scenario in Jeremiah 25:33.
The Saudi Arabia-US Alliance is Shaky
The infamous Saudi-US alliance came about as a result of the discovery of large reserves of oil in the Arabian dessert region in 1935. The US is the world’s largest consumer of oil while the Saudi kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter. These two factors lie at the heart of the shaky and often quarrelsome alliance between the two nations. The Standard Oil Company discovered oil in the Saudi kingdom in 1936, and commercial oil production began during World War II. The oil reserves, nearly 1/3 of the world’s known reserves, allowed the Saudi kingdom to become very wealthy. Saudi Arabia was neutral until nearly the end of WWII, and it was permitted to be a charter member of the United Nations in 1945. The country joined also the Arab League in 1945 and took part in the 1948–1949 war of extermination against Israel. Saudi Arabia still to this day does not recognize the state of Israel.
But there often comes a time in the history of relations with every oppressive state when the need for change is suddenly and widely understood to be imperative. The US is obviously approaching that point in its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Inevitably, in the affairs between nations an incident occurs that undermines the legitimacy of the alliance. For the US and Saudi Arabia, such an incident might have occurred on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by 19 terrorists, 15 of whom were Saudi subjects, did as much to subvert the authority of the Saudi monarchy at home as it did to warn the world of the menace of Arabic Wahhabism, the totalitarian form of Islam that inspires al Qaeda and is the Saudi kingdom's state religion. The same event, of course, also made obvious the need for the United States to alter its cozy relationship with the Saudi monarchy, and to seek strategic modifications. Rudely awakened by the 9-11 blow, Americans who cared to follow news from the kingdom have been able to learn a great deal. In early 2002, there was the revelation that the Saudi government openly funds, and continues to fund "martyrdom," including suicide bombings in the Palestinian confrontation with Israel; and it has done so to the tune of $400 million in 2001 alone. International investigation of terrorist financing has confirmed the role of Saudi-backed Islamic charities in such terror-related activities, including inside the United States. Saudi authorities repeatedly affirm their commitment to the war on terror, but continue to fail to deliver on promises to shut down terror-funding charities and apprehend rich supporters of al Qaeda inside the Saudi kingdom. And how can they, seeing as how the State religion of Wahibism teaches terrorist ideals.
Another shaky factor in the US-Saudi alliance is the recent liberation of Iraq, and the specter most terrifying for the House of Saud, is that of a Western-oriented, proto-democratic regime on Saudi Arabia's long northern border. Such an Iraq would almost assuredly be led by Shia Muslims, whom the Wahhabis view about as favorable as the Nazis viewed the Jews. The US-Saudi relationship is unique in our history, and redefining it in the light of what Americans now know about terrorism, Wahhabism, 9-11, and Saudi kingdom’s hatred of Israel is very serious business.
The first task before any future presidential administration remains what it was on September 12: to obtain a full and transparent accounting of Saudi involvement in 9/11, no matter how high it reaches into ruling circles. Saudi Arabia is a country that sponsored the Taliban regime of Afghanistan. It is the country that bans any form of Jewish or Christian worship, even in the privacy of individual homes. The Saudis have a history of stonewalling U.S. anti-terror efforts going back to the Khobar Towers in 1996. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is among, if not the largest, states that support terrorism in the world. The Saudi royal family fears Wahabbi Islam a lot more than it does the West and has been financing militant Wahabbis, who finance terror for years. The Saudis no longer fear Iraq. Saudi Arabia is America's largest arms customer, $39 billion since the Gulf War, and the Russians would be only too happy to step in and assume any unfulfilled defense contracts. On the other hand, America imported 1.7 million barrels of Saudi oil per day last year. Crown Prince Abdullah castigated the US for supporting the Israelis in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to Prince Abdullah, America's failure to interfere on Yasser Arafat's behalf is "indefensible," saying Israel is the reason for suicide bombings, suggesting that Israeli checkpoints, retaliatory strikes, incursions and gunfights are the cause of Palestinian suicide attacks, rather than being the result of them. The oil rich Middle East countries use their oil reserves and market share-production as a political lever to influence America to stop supporting Israel’s right to exist, and to force American diplomats to coerce Israel into false peace deals.
Saudi Arabia has drafted a strategic plan that envisions the end of a US military umbrella over the kingdom and the procurement of nuclear weapons. Western intelligence sources said that the Saudi leadership has begun seriously considering the option of acquiring or developing its own nuclear weapons. Saudi rulers believe that nuclear weapons are required to save the Saudi regime from Iran, (remember the Persia-Russia alliance from Ezekiel 38:5) and its Shiite brand of Islam, and from bands of thugs such as Al Qaeda, which many in the Royal family see as being an unwitting tool of the Zionists.
In fact, Saudi Arabia may be America’s worst enemy. American leaders are being foolish and are deceived to think that we can have any kind of stable and secure relations with a nation made up of Wahabis, the sect of Islam that is the most deadly in funding and carrying out the kind of
terrorism that attacked our country on 9/11. But one presidential administration after another shields this dark-side image of Saudi Arabia due to political correctness, cheap oil, and the current alliance mantra: She is assisting us in our war on terror. Thus she is excluded from the “axis of evil” nations and continues being wined and dined in America as her leaders visit and display false admiration and respect for us. But the fact is that both pre and post 9/11, Arabia did nothing to expose the threat against us. Arabia helped finance the 9/11 attack on us and also finances the Arafat-Palestinian terrorists against Israel. The Saudi record against us has been consistent, starting with the oil boycotts of the 1970’s. Yet we repeatedly, for the sake of cheap gasoline, and continued motoring, look the other way on these matters.
The FBI and the CIA have demanded total transparency from the Saudi Arabians in the light of their double game: contributing, on the one hand, millions of dollars in "charity" not only to Hamas but also to other extremist organizations in their country, while at the same time ostensibly supporting the US in its war against terror. For these reasons, Crown Prince Abdullah sponsored a Saudi initiative holding out an illusory solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Saudi "peace plan" was based on an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, after which Saudi Arabia would participate in achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Arab countries in general. In reality the Saudis were trying to divert attention away from their responsibilities for Islamic Jihad terror and focus it on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. In the spring of 2002 the State Department was looking for a way to get Israel to make concessions to long-time Saudi ally Yasser Arafat, and accusing Israel of "rejecting the Saudi peace initiative" was a lot easier than confronting the Saudi terrorist-hothouse. It is now clear that the Saudi initiative was simple political duplicity. In any case it didn't help the royal house and it proves something is rotten in the Arabian desert kingdom. The Saudi’s often refer to the “wedge” when talking about America’s war on terror and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict. The Wedge is diplomatic double speak about the conspiracy of the terrorists to drive a wedge between the US and the Saudi Kingdom.
Ezekiel’s Prophecy Concerning Arabia
Ezekiel 38 and 39 probably is referring to the Saudi kingdom in his prophecy about the Russian invasion of Israel. Ezekiel 38:13 pictures Sheba and Dedan asking of Russia; (Ezekiel 38:13 Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?) Very clearly, the American umbrella of protection-alliance for Saudi Arabia has been removed at this later point in history! (late-tribulation)
Ezekiel 38:8-13 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, (Israel) and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: (nuclear war?) And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, (Saudi Arabia) and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? (oil perhaps?) hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
The Sword of Wahabism in Saudi Arabia
Relying on “warrior-preachers”, known as Ikhwans, ("Brothers" in Arabic) Wahabism remained a thriving force in the center of the peninsula, the conquest of which it assumed at the beginning of the 20th century under the leadership of future King Ibn Saud. (House of Saud) After Hedjaz and the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina were subjugated, which drove the Hashemite family into exile, the Wahabi movement led to the 1932 creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The 20th Century History of the House of Saud
In 1902, Abdul Aziz recaptured Riyadh, the Al-Saud dynasty's ancestral capital, from the rival Al-Rashid family. Continuing his conquests, Abdul Aziz subdued Al-Hasa, the rest of Nejd, and the Hijaz between 1913 and 1926. In 1932, these regions were unified as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Boundaries with Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait were established by a series of treaties negotiated in the 1920s, with two "neutral zones," one with Iraq and the other with Kuwait created. The Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone was administratively partitioned in 1971, with each state continuing to share the petroleum resources of the former zone equally. Tentative agreement on the partition of the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone was reached in 1981, and partition was finalized by 1983. The country's southern boundary with Yemen was partially defined by the 1934 Treaty of Taif, which ended a brief border war between the two states. A June 2000 treaty further delineated portions of the boundary with Yemen. The location and status of Saudi Arabia's boundary with the United Arab Emirates is not final; a defacto boundary reflects a 1974 agreement. The border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was resolved in March 2001. The border with Oman also is not demarcated.
King Abdul Aziz died in 1953 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Saud, who reigned for 11 years. In 1964, Saud abdicated in favor of his half-brother, Faisal, who had served as Foreign Minister. Because of fiscal difficulties, King Saud had been persuaded in 1958 to delegate direct conduct of Saudi Government affairs to Faisal as Prime Minister; Saud briefly regained control of the government in 1960-62. In October 1962, Faisal outlined a broad reform program, stressing economic development. Faisal was proclaimed King of Saudi Arabia in 1964 by senior royal family members and religious leaders.
The mid-1960s saw external pressures generated by Saudi-Egyptian differences over Yemen. When civil war broke out in 1962 between Yemeni royalists and republicans, Egyptian forces entered Yemen to support the new republican government, while Saudi Arabia backed the royalists. Tensions subsided only after 1967, when Egypt withdrew its troops from Yemen. Saudi forces did not participate in the Six-Day (Arab-Israeli) War of June 1967, but the government later provided annual subsidies to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria to support their economies. During the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, Saudi Arabia participated in the Arab oil boycott of the United States and Netherlands. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia had joined other member countries in moderate oil price increases beginning in 1971. After the 1973 war, the price of oil rose substantially, dramatically increasing Saudi Arabia's wealth and political influence.
In 1975, King Faisal was assassinated by a nephew, who was executed after an extensive investigation concluded that he acted alone. Faisal was succeeded by his half-brother Khalid as King and Prime Minister; their half-brother Prince Fahd was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister. King Khalid empowered Crown Prince Fahd to oversee many aspects of the government's international and domestic affairs. Economic development continued rapidly under King Khalid, and the kingdom assumed a more influential role in regional politics and international economic and financial matters.
In June 1982, King Khalid died, and Fahd became King and Prime Minister in a smooth transition. Another half-brother, Prince Abdullah, Commander of the Saudi National Guard, was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister. King Fahd's brother, Prince Sultan, the Minister of Defense and Aviation, became Second Deputy Prime Minister. Under King Fahd, the Saudi economy adjusted to sharply lower oil revenues resulting from declining global oil prices. Saudi Arabia supported neutral shipping in the Gulf during periods of the Iran-Iraq war and aided Iraq's war-strained economy. King Fahd played a major part in bringing about the August 1988 cease-fire between Iraq and Iran and in organizing and strengthening the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group of six Arabian Gulf states dedicated to fostering regional economic cooperation and peaceful development.
In 1990-91, King Fahd played a key role before and during the Gulf war. King Fahd's action also consolidated the coalition of forces against Iraq and helped define the tone of the operation as a multilateral effort to reestablish the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait. Acting as a rallying point and personal spokesman for the coalition, King Fahd helped bring together his nation's GCC allies, Western allies, and Arab allies, as well as nonaligned nations from Africa and the emerging democracies of eastern Europe. He used his influence as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to persuade other Arab and Islamic nations to join the coalition.
King Fahd suffered a stroke in November 1995. Since 1997, Crown Prince Abdullah has taken on much of the day-to-day responsibilities of running the government. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of King Abd Al Aziz Al Saud, and that the Holy Qur'an is the constitution of the country, which is governed on the basis of Islamic law (Shari'a). There are no political parties or national elections. The king's powers are limited because he must observe the Shari'a and other Saudi traditions. He also must retain a consensus of the Saudi royal family, religious leaders (ulema), and other important elements in Saudi society. The leading members of the royal family choose the king from among themselves with the subsequent approval of the ulema. The kingdom is divided into 13 provinces governed by princes or close relatives of the royal family.
Arabia and the Influence of OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference in 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by eight other Members: Qatar (1961); Indonesia (1962); Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1962); United Arab Emirates (1967); Algeria (1969); Nigeria (1971); Ecuador (1973–1992) and Gabon (1975–1994). OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the first five years of its existence. The headquarters was later moved to Vienna, Austria, on September 1, 1965. OPEC rose to international prominence during the 1970’s as its Member Countries, and especially Saudi Arabia took control of their domestic petroleum industries and acquired a major say in the pricing of crude oil on world markets. Saudi Arabia continues to play the major influence on OPEC decisions. There were two oil pricing crises triggered by the Saudi promoted Arab oil embargo in 1973 and during the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
OPEC stands the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It has a lot of influence on the world economy and upon world affairs. Saudi Arabia and the smaller, oil-rich Arab states on the Persian Gulf, fearful that they might become Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's next targets if Iran conquered Iraq, made large financial contributions to the Iraqi war effort during the 1980s. At the same time, cheating by other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), competition from nonmember oil producers, and conservation efforts by consuming nations combined to drive down the world price of oil. Saudi Arabia has one-third of all known oil reserves, but falling demand and rising production outside OPEC combined to reduce its oil revenues from $120 billion in 1980 to less than $25 billion in 1985, threatening the country with domestic unrest and undermining its influence in the Gulf area.
At the start of 1996, King Fahd passed authority to Crown Prince Abdullah. In 1998 the House of Saud's oil income fell by 40% because of a worldwide decline in prices, and it entered its first recession in 6 years. In 2000, Saudi Arabia, along with other OPEC nations experiencing a recession, decided to reduce production to raise oil prices. In 2001, OPEC cut oil production three additional times. Saudi Arabia's relations with the U.S. were strained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as 15 of the suicide bombers and 100 of the 150 captured Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan were Saudis. Despite the monarchy's close ties to the West, much of the extremely influential religious establishment has supported anti-Americanism and Islamic militancy.
In March 2002, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia offered a Middle East peace plan at the annual Arab summit: all Arab governments would offer “normal relations and the security of Israel in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab lands, recognition of an independent Palestinian state with noble Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the Palestinian refugees.” This was an extraordinary offer because it promised the backing of the entire Arab world. The Saudi plan nevertheless seemed unrealistic in the concessions it expected from Israel. And without a cease-fire in Israel’s ongoing terrorist war with Yasser Arafat, much less an agreement to negotiate between the Israelis and Palestinians, the plan languished, but has since been largely incorporated into the Quartet sponsored Roadmap Plan.
In August of 2003, following the U.S.-led war on Iraq in March and April 2003, the United States withdrew its troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, due to political pressure from the Saudi’s. The U.S. had maintained troops in the country for the previous decade, a source of great controversy in the strongly conservative Islamic country. One of the major reasons for the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden, was the presence of U.S. troops in the home of Islam's holiest sites, Medina and Mecca. On May 12, suicide bombers killed 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh. Al-Qaeda was suspected. Saudi Arabia's commitment to antiterrorist measures was again called into question by the US and other countries. In July, the U.S. Congress bitterly criticized Saudi Arabia's alleged financing of terrorist organizations and for harboring a civil servant who had ties to two of the September 11 hijackers. While the Saudi government has arrested a sizeable number of suspected terrorists in the past year, it remains a hotbed of Islamic militancy, and is constantly a target of Al Qaeda extremists who wish to drive a permanent wedge between the Saudi-US alliance.
Through the 1950s, the Saudi government built its infrastructure around the oil industry, and the wealth of the region grew exponentially. The Saudi royal family spared no expense in building up their kingdom and their own personal international portfolio’s. One enterprising young construction magnate who played a critical role in this early development and expansion was an enterprising man named Muhammad Awad bin Laden, who became one of the wealthiest men in the world as a result. Muhammad bin Laden crafted intimate ties with the royal family, and as they built the Saudi empire together; bin Laden became a hero of the state and a powerful dealer in Arab-Muslim influences. In 1955, he had his 17th son, a boy named Osama bin Laden, a development which was an event that didn't seem particularly important at the time, but September 11th and a group called Al Qaeda changed all that.
The Saudi-Iraq Connections
To begin to get a grasp on what the current trouble in Iraq is all about, the Saudi connection cannot be overlooked. Iraq was created by the British in 1921 after World War I, has been a fountain for Arab nationalist distaste for the creation of a Jewish homeland since the day Iraq was created. When Winston Churchill was Secretary for the British colonies in 1921, he helped out in creating the modern States of Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. Palestine, as it was presented under the Balfour Declaration was intended to be in its entirety a homeland for Jewish people under British Mandate. Great Britain decided to carve out the present borders of Iraq and Jordan and hand them over to a couple of handpicked kings, Abdul and Feisal, the sons of the Sharif of Mecca.
The British Mandate resulted in a June 14, 1921 announcement "to set up Arab governments”, in the new kingdoms and to have them take the responsibility in their respective regions, while maintaining friendly relations with Great Britain, and at the same time reducing the burden on the British Crown.
Today, President Bush's concept of what is needed to reshape and stabilize the Middle East, (under the Bush Doctrine) particularly as it pertains to Iraq, is essentially the same as Winston Churchill's was back in the 1920’s. Palestine however, now severely partitioned into Israel and a projected new State of Palestine remains the volatile flash-point to the Middle East sceanrio. The problem, then as now, is that Arab nationalism, coupled with recent rise of (1979-present) Islam fundamentalism constantly threatens to overtake the European dream of a stable, cooperative Middle East tuned to Western sensibilities (EU concept) and willing to live peacefully with a Jewish State in its midst. (a purely American concept) Thus the EU and the US are constantly bickering with each other over the formula for extracting a peace and safety net across the Middle East. Had it not been for the unforeseen rise and rebirth of the modern State of Israel right in the middle of the 20th century, (right on the doorstep of the Islamic-Arab world) perhaps the West could have realized a bilateral superpower alliance with the Arab world that would have assured utopia. Back in Churchill's era, radical Islamic Wahabi tribes ruled by a desert Sheik named Bin Saud caused trouble for the British vision. After incessant warfare with his rivals, Saud prevailed and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was born. That country continues to this day to be the most determined promoter of an extreme form of Islam that is virulently anti-Semitic. Wahhabism, then and now, is at the heart of the Arab nationalist resistance to foreign influence, and is the basis for the rise of militant anti-US Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda. The primary reason these groups hate America as opposed to European is simply the traditional American Judeo-Christian support for Israel. It is at the heart of Osama bin Laden's crusade to get wedge the House of Saud from its eco-security alliance with the US, who he believes have sold out to the Americans without gaining geo-political assurances against Israel.
With the break up of the Turkish Ottoman Empire that had ruled the Middle East for over 400 years, the Allied powers, consisting primarily of Great Britain, France and Italy, carved up the Middle East into the present Arab nation-states. The new borders that they carved out were oblivious to the ancient tribal lands, and this factor continues to fester and cause civil strife. For example, as an after thought they sought to come back and carve out a place for Kurdistan. But with the rise of the Turkish military under Kemal Ataturk, the Treaty of Sevres (1920), which called for creation of Kurdistan, left the Kurds a people without a country.
This was the beginning of a long bloody persecution of the Kurds by the Turks, Syrians, Iraqis and Iranians. They all fear a united Kurdistan. The Kurds are natural warriors. Because of this, the Kurds have been relentlessly persecuted, suppressed and rejected as citizens by the nations that sit astride their ancient homelands. Hundreds of thousands of them have been slaughtered.
The Drunken Madness of the Sword leads to Armageddon
The Lord God has declared that he will cause every nation to drink from the cup of his fury. In fact, whether the nations want to be involved in the controversy of Jerusalem or not, they are going to find that because of economics, religion and politics and international globalization that they cannot constrain themselves from being burdened with the evil designs the world has upon Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 25 concludes with the Armageddon scenario that is repeated in Revelation 14:14-20. It is that great Day of the Lord event when Jesus Christ shall roar as a lion from on high and appear on the horizon of Jerusalem’s eastern perimeter to trample the armies of the world that are gathered together around Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 25:27-30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
Jeremiah 25:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.
Islamic Fundamentalism has targeted two nations as their most hated enemy, Israel and the United States. They see the United States as the leader of Judeo-Christian culture, which in their view is the greatest threat to Islam.
The history of the Arab peoples, the rise of Islam, the hostility they have maintained toward the Jews, and the present contention over the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, all prove that the Bible is true and that we are in the very last days of the end time.
Since America and the West of the last days must be ruled and led by the revived Roman culture of Europe, the United States must fade from power. It is on this basis that I see the Islamic world as the main force that will cause the demise of the US as the leader of the Western sphere of world power. Islamic terrorists now have the ability to destroy our economy and moral and social infrastructures, and in the process take tens of thousands of lives. No wonder President Bush so often says, “the war on terror is a war we must win”. On Sept. 20, 2001, President Bush speaking to the nation before a joint session of the Congress stated: "We will starve the terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." The President paused, drew a deep breath, and told the Congress, the country and the world, "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
As those last words fell from the President’s lips after 9-11, I wondered aloud deep within my soul, (and knowing a little bit of Bible Prophecy for our times) if he could possibly imagine how much of a challenge he was biting off, and how small the lack of support America would find from the rest of the world would likely be. I knew that the war on terror would find America more and more isolated from the building Global community that will ultimately embrace the Antichrist!
Saudi Arabia (King of the South?)
Many people automatically assume that the King of the South will once again be Egypt, as it was in the first century, but I submit to you the strong likelihood that the Last Days Armageddon
King of the south depicted in the prophecies of Daniel will be the King of Mecca and Islamic progenitor.
Daniel 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the “king of the south” (Saudi Arabia) push at him: (Antichrist) and the king of the north (Russia) shall come against him (Antichrist) 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.
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry