Prophecy Article
Expanded Internet Edition - December 1, 1994 

How Israel will
Conquer the Middle East

By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1994

 

 

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The title of this Prophetic Report has within it the word "conquer. " This is a word that often has accompanying its meaning the connotation of force and power. The word in national contexts usually gives people the impression that a total conquest is indicated by which the armed forces of a nation are used to compel other states into submission. But I must hasten to add that though the prophecies of the Bible show that Israel will have a supremacy of power and influence among most of the countries of the Middle East in the years just ahead, Israel's "conquering" will not be accomplished in the normal manner of one nation warring against another. Israel will actually "conquer" the Middle East in a far more subtle and esoteric way than most people imagine today. And the outcome is inevitable because the prophecies of the Bible show that Israel will be in a position of power and glory within the Middle East before the Second Advent of Christ. But how?

Let us first be aware of what will NOT apply in Israel's "conquering" of the Middle East. Though Israel is the strongest military power in their area of the world, with a highly technical and sophisticated military machine (with atomic weapons) which could wreck devastating power against any aggressor, the Bible shows that Israel will NOT use their military muscle in order to take over effective control of the Middle East. Oh yes, the military power will be there as a back-up, but the use of such force will not be the main way in which Israel will come to a governance in their area of the world. Let me explain the biblical answer why the use of military force as a primary weapon will NOT be the method to be used.

It should first be remembered from a biblical point of view that in remote times God brought Israel out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and commanded Israel to go into the land of Canaan and conquer the Canaanites who then inhabited the land. God intended for Israel at that time to "conquer" the land of Canaan by the ordinary method of using their armed forces. However, as we are all aware, ten of the spies sent to view the land grew fainthearted when they witnessed the physical size of the inhabitants as well as their well-trained armed forces and high walled villages and towns. Israel temporarily forgot how God had caused them to triumph over the superior forces of Egypt by the use of God's miracles, and now they were trembling that Israel was inferior in military strength to the Canaanites. This reluctance to invade the land immediately and "conquer' the land by military force caused God to get angry with Israel. He sent them into the wilderness for another forty years (for each day they spied out the land, they had to spend a year in the desert regions south of the land of Canaan).

This did not end the story, however. After forty years, the armed forces of Israel were finally led by Joshua into the land that was to become the "Holy Land,.'.' and they were able to secure most of the central region of what God intended them to have. But again they disobeyed God. They gave up the attempt to drive out the Canaanites and their various tribes from the "Holy Land" so God prophesied that from then on these people would continue in the land and be a "prick in their sides" (Numbers 33:55). God even made them the promise that he would not drive out the inhabitants of the land before them, and that they would continue to be a curse upon Israel (Judges 2:20-23; 3:3-7). And this very thing occurred. Even much later, when David finally conquered all the land of Canaan from the eastern branch of the Nile in the south to the river Euphrates in the north and east, God still let many of the Canaanites and Philistines remain in some of the choicest parts of the "Holy Land." Actually, even the area called the "Stronghold of Zion" at Jerusalem remained in Canaanite hands until the time of David. Even after this, the peoples of the land continued to reside in Israel and Solomon even used some of them for menial service, which lasted until after the Babylonian Captivity. As far as the Philistines were concerned (who later gave their name to what people call "Palestine"), they still inhabited the five cities on the southwest coast of Israel from Ashkelon down through what is now called the Gaza strip. Truly, God meant business with Israel. Since they steadfastly refused to invade, conquer and expel the Canaanites and the Philistines in the manner that God had decreed by the normal methods of war, God then told Israel that these people would remain in the land. This condition still exists.

The Foolishness of King David

Though at the time of the Exodus God told Israel to "conquer" the Canaanites by using their armed forces, their failure to respond to God's directions forced them into a situation in which they will never be able to rid themselves of the earlier inhabitants (or later immigrants into the region) by the use of their armed forces alone. Indeed, King David secured most of the promised land of Israel that God had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (though David did not expel all the Canaanites or Philistines). He then decided to do what God had not commanded. He ordered Joab, the commander of the armed forces, to muster a huge army from Judah in the south and Israel in the central and northern parts of the country. His intentions no doubt were to use this vast number of military personnel to take over Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. In a word, David thought it was now time for Israel to spread its wings and assume political and economic control of the whole of the Middle East. As a matter of fact, David's desire went further than that. Because of the influence of the Phoenicians in the western part of the Mediterranean and Egyptian dominance southward into the Sudan and central America, along with the control of the Aegean and Black Sea areas by the nations of Asia Minor, David would have effectively controlled the main part of the known world by conquering all those regions. Had he done so with the vast army that he had Joab to assemble, David would have taken over the practical control of the known world at the time. In writing some of the Psalms as he did during this period, he expressed his belief that he, or at least his son, would gain control over all areas of the world (Psalm 2 and 72). He felt that his Davidic dynasty would usher in what later people began to call "the Kingdom of God" which would dominate the whole world. This was no doubt the design of David when he ordered Joab to muster the armed forces and place them on a war footing.

But God had other ideas. David's ambitious plans were brought to a complete halt when God stepped in to frustrate the desires of David (I Samuel 24:1-25). At a much later period, Israel was also not allowed by God to overcome the Roman Empire in A.D.66 to 73 and again in A.D.132 to 135. And even today, Israel is only able, though quite effectively, to take care of its own interests in the Middle East. It does not now have the capacity to conquer and secure the whole of the area, and certainly not the totality of the world.

But back to David. In spite of being frustrated by God from carrying out his plan to "conquer" the world with his armed forces, God did allow Israel under Solomon to gain a decided control over all the earth, but by another means altogether. And it is this same type of maneuver that God will allow Israel to adopt and to practice to perfection in order for them to "conquer" the Middle East, and through their example, in the seven years before the return of Christ Jesus to this earth, to have an influence over all areas of the world. This is when a type of messianic ruler will emerge whom the apostles referred to (2 Thes. 2:1-12). He will come from the Middle East, and govern from Jerusalem in particular. On the heels of this will come the Second Advent and the Kingdom of God which the kingdom of Solomon was a type. Now note this important point. Solomon managed to control (or, to "conquer") the Middle East and to influence the world, but NOT by the use of his army.

Solomon's Kingdom a Type

Soon we are going to find that the people of Israel will once again adopt the principles of Solomon in coming to dominate the Middle East. His methods will work every time if they are done in benevolence and good-will. And what did Solomon do in a typical fashion in order to have the Middle East and finally the whole world prostrating at his feet? Note what the Bible says in the clearest of language. It is by using these methods that Israel will be very effective at this end of the age. Israel is soon going to adopt them once they realize that the Holy Scriptures have the answers to all their social, political and economic problems as well as their national and international interests. Let us see what Solomon did that brought him a control over the Middle East.

There are several points that Solomon adopted, but let us attend to the more obvious. Look at I Kings 10:24. "And all the earth sought [margin: sought the face of Solomon], TO HEAR HIS WISDOM, which God had put in his heart." The essential faculty that Solomon possessed above all other men at the time was "wisdom," and the rest of the great men of the world knew it. "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all the children of the east country and all the wisdom of Egypt, For he was wiser than all men.. .and his fame was in all nations round about" (I Kings 4:29-31). The Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem to see Solomon and said: "Behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard" (I Kings 10:7). So, to gain the admiration of all on earth, Israel must begin to show exceeding wisdom in its affairs with others.

This fact of Solomon's wisdom led to other similar accomplishments. Solomon began to provide culture to all the world by his creation of literature (he spake 3000 proverbial stories) and his 1005 musical compositions (I Kings 4:32). Education in the sciences was a great attribute of his. He was a first class botanist and zoologist (verse 33) and he brought animals from around the world to Israel (I Kings 10:22). He established a wonderful transportation system over the Middle East (I Kings 4:26-28). His chief desire was to bring happiness and prosperity to all in his domain to Israelites and Gentiles alike (vs. 20,21). Solomon was a top-notch negotiator and he brought peace among warring tribes and nations (v.24), and this brought safety to Israel (v.25). He made Israel the economic capital of the world and established a cartel which set the prices involved in trading around the Middle Eastern area (I Kings 10:28,29). And besides this, he secured treaties with the nations of the world by having the kings send their daughters to him to be in his harem, and this helped to control the nations of the world (I Kings 11:3). And though these princesses of the world finally turned away Solomon's heart from God, he was able to secure peace throughout the period of his reign because of the treaties he made with the foreign powers in the world.

Now, much has changed since the time of Solomon and we no longer have harems for peace treaties, but the same principles on the other matters still apply. Israel will have to wake up and begin to practice the ways of Solomon in aiding NOT ONLY ISRAELITES, but also the Gentiles still in the lands of Israel and in their neighboring countries. They need to start treating their neighbors and inhabitants (whether Jewish or Gentile) with the same kind of educational and cultural and economic benefits that Solomon began to provide to all within his territory. And though Solomon did not actually control the Middle East and the world by having his armed forces everywhere on earth, he still influenced and conquered them by his example: his wisdom, his peace, his patience, his knowledge, his understanding, his powers of negotiating, his benevolence and his care for all people under his supervision. When Israel as a nation begins to do these things in the next few years, God will bless them abundantly for their philanthropy and good deeds. Indeed, the kingdom of Jordan, Lebanon and even Syria (among others) will be' inviting Jewish professionals to come into their territories and help them to build up their economies and societies. The Bible also shows that many Jews will finally go into areas of Jordan and Lebanon and settle there (Zech.10:10). Even in Saudi Arabia Jews will be welcome if they come bearing with them the wisdom, knowledge, understanding and good-will of Solomon.

Does this seem like a fantasy? Is this a pipe-dream without any practical application in this part of the world where hatred now permeates the very air? Listen! It is God who will intervene in that area. God will soon send a spirit of grace and supplication to Israel (Zech. 12:9-14). They will make an "about face" in dealing with their neighbors and those within their territories. They will start showing the attributes of Solomon when they accept the One who is greater than Solomon, and that person is their real Messiah (Matt. 12:42). Israel will soon begin to mourn for the One who was pierced when He secured the salvation of the world. And though it was Israel by their prophets who introduced the teaching of the Messiah to the world, they are the very ones who remain without him. They have a messianic religion, without a Messiah! Yet this will change. They will be wise enough NOT to accept the long haired "Messiah" who was invented by Constantine and his successors and mimics the pagan gods. Israel will opt for the real Messiah with credentials from the Holy Scriptures. When they do, "ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations.. .the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you" (Zech.S:23). So, when Israel begins to show that grace, good-will and love to other people as did Solomon, and also accept the One greater than Solomon, they will "conquer" not only the Middle East, but they will also have the admiration of all on earth. That day is just on the horizon.

Ernest L. Martin

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