By Bill Salus Following closely behind the 2010 pullout of American boots on the ground in Iraq, the first quarter of 2011 experienced an unprecedented period of Arab Protests. Even today’s top eschatologists are asking who opened up Pandora’s Box in the Middle East. Like California wildfires, these Arab protests have spread out of control across the region.
Chronologically ordering the protests, which have often morphed into revolts, helps achieve a greater understanding of where Mideast events could be heading.
January 5, 2011 – Shiite Muslim Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr came out of self-imposed exile in Iran to team up with pro-Iranian Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in Iraq. In a slap to America’s face, Iraq is now closer to becoming an Iranian proxy state than ever before. Although Iran (Persia) is prominent in Ezekiel 38:5, Iraq seems to appear in the Psalm 83 prophecy along with Syria under the banner of “Assyria.” (Ps. 83:8)
January 13, 2011 – Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah convinces 11 Lebanese cabinet members to resign, collapsing the government of Lebanon. Hezbollah shows up in Psalm 83:7 as the stateless “Inhabitants of Tyre.”
January 15, 2011 – Tunisians protest the 23 year rule of Arab dictator Zine El Bidine Ben Ali causing him to step down from his presidential post. This represented the first time in history that an Arab dictator was overthrown by popular revolt. The consensus amongst many end time’s experts is that Tunisia enlists with Russia under the banner of "Put" in Ezekiel 38:5
February 11, 2011- Egyptians crowd Tahrir square for 18 days provoking Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to relinquish his 30 year reign. Interestingly, the Egyptians are still protesting. However, now they want chief military leader Mohamed Hussein Tantawi to step down. Recently, Egyptian protesters crowded around the Israeli embassy promoting the “May 15th Million Man Arab March” against Israel. The goal of this March is to bring hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Refugees from the surrounding Arab communities to the borders of Israel.
All of the activity in Egypt hints of the soon fulfillment of Isaiah 19:1-4, which predicts Egyptian unrest will lead to regional conflicts and ultimately a cruel master over Egypt. The Palestinian march could find association with those forced to the border of Israel in Obadiah 1:7. Additionally, Egypt shows up in Psalm 83:6 as the descendants of Hagar under the banner of the Hagarenes or Hagrites in some bible translations, and the Palestinian refugees as the stateless “tents of Edom.”
February 11, 2011 – Algerians and Yemenis begin independent protests. Many expositors believe Algeria participates in the Ezekiel 38 & 39 invasion of Israel as part of the "Put" delegation. Conversely, the Yemenis show up in Ezekiel 38:13 objecting to Russia's invasion plans under the banner of Sheba.
February 11, 2011 – King Abdullah II of Jordan sacks his cabinet to sway off a popular revolution against his ruling Hashemite Kingdom minority.
February 13, 2011 – King Abdullah II engages in the first round of a series of meetings with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The MB is pro-Palestinian and Anti-Israel. Additionally, they support Jihad against the Jewish State. Jordan appears in Psalm 83:6-8 as the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and children of Lot.
February 15, 2011 – To the extreme displeasure of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, rebels protest his 40+ year rule and call for his ouster. Shortly thereafter, civil war breaks out between the rebels and Gaddafi supporters. At the time of the issuance of this article, Gaddafi is still ruling the country. Libya is listed among the Ezekiel 38 invaders.
March 18, 2011 – Libya’s civil war drags France, Britain, and the USA into the fighting by implementing a “No-Fly” Zone over Libyan airspace.
March 25, 2011 – Saudi Arabia annexes Bahrain as a 14th province under the jurisdiction of Riyadh in order to protect the ruling Sunni minority from violent protests emanating out from the Shiite majority. This move ruffles Iranian and Iraqi feathers and forces Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to combine forces and deploy 11,000 troops and numerous tanks into Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia shows up in Psalm 83:6 as the “Ishmaelites” and as a protester alongside Yemen against the Ezekiel invaders. They are listed as Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13. The fate of this pending face off over Bahrain between Iran and Saudi Arabia remains unknown at the time of this article.
March 29, 2011 – Syrian protesters flood the streets of many Syrian towns calling for radical reforms in the Alawite led government of Bashar Assad. Due to state censored media it is difficult to know how bloody the protests have been. However, numerous reports suggest that many protesters have died and / or been injured and Syrian soldiers have been killed for disobeying orders to shoot the protesters. As mentioned earlier, Syria and at least northern Iraq seem to be listed in Psalm 83:8 as the “Assyrians.”
Meanwhile, Israel has become increasingly insecure and isolated as a result of all the protests and renewed rocket assaults out of Gaza from the Hamas. Hamas, is identified in Psalm 83:7 as Philistia. This renewed violence has prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recently visit Germany to procure a sixth “Dolphin Class Submarine.” These subs can support a nuclear payload and Israel presently has three in operation, two coming soon, and hopefully a sixth a few years down the road.
Additionally, Israel has deployed their Iron Dome Defense System, which has intercepted 8 out of the 8 rockets aimed within its vicinity as of April 9, 2011. According to the “Israel Project,” which monitors the number of Hamas rocket assaults, Hamas has fired 315 rockets into Israel as of April 10, 2011. This eclipses the 238 rockets lobbed into Israel in 2010 and has many Israelis concerned its “Operation Cast Lead” all over again.
Due to all the events above, the department of Homeland Security has raised the terror threat level to orange (high), which is its highest level since the twin towers were toppled on September 11, 2001.
Additionally, due to increased oil prices, Americans are again experiencing pain at the pump. In 2009 the average price per barrel of crude oil was $53.48. In 2010 a barrel of crude averaged $71.21. Already in 2011 a barrel of crude oil has cost $108.00, prompting many economic analysts to project a summer spike of $150.00 per barrel. Many believe the cost per gallon of gasoline will soon surpass the $5.00 mark.
While the world is struggling to remedy its global financial crisis, Mideast unrest is threatening to turn world economies into a tailspin. Liberal pundits believe the protest will result in Arab democracies popping up in the affected areas; however the irony is that all of these populations surface in the end time war prophecies of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38. Therefore, we can logically conclude that when the Mideast dust settles, the Israeli war prophecies will begin.
I’m watching for the fulfillment of Psalm 83 first followed shortly thereafter by the Ezekiel 38 invasion. Both of these prophecies could occur between now and anytime real soon and likely during this present generation.