Mar 11, 2009

Q & A

By Jerry Robinson

...Where is America in Bible Prophecy?

Q: Dear Jerry, I was curious where you feel that the United States fits into Bible prophecy. Is America mentioned in the Bible and what role does the U.S. play in the last days? ~ Michael G.

A: Michael, this is one of the most common questions that I have received since I have been in the ministry. It seems logical that America, the greatest and most prosperous nation in world history, would be anticipated and prophesied in scripture. However, most modern Bible students are shocked to discover that America is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Despite the Bible’s numerous end-time prophecies, it is commonly agreed by the majority of Biblical scholars that America is never specifically identified, or even mentioned.

But when we stop to think about it, the reason the Bible is silent on the subject of America is quite obvious. God’s Word, the Bible, is Israel-centric. It is Middle-Eastern centric. It is not Western-centric. The ancient prophecies found in the Bible revolve around Israel and its regional neighbors (i.e. Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc.) While all the nations of the world will be drawn into the battle of Armageddon, the only nations that God specifically mentions by name are those in the surrounding regions of Middle East.

Despite the Bible’s silence on America’s role in the last days, some ministers and researchers have tried to find America in scripture through loose Biblical interpretation. Some of these views include:

1) Ezekiel’s “Young Lions” - This view believes that America is referred to in Ezekiel 38:13 with the phrase "young lions."
"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, 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?"

Ezekiel 38 details a prophecy regarding the last days invasion of Israel by several Middle Eastern countries. The reasoning behind this theory is that “Tarshish” is thought to be a historical reference to Great Britain, whose national symbol is a lion. America, as an offspring of Great Britain, is said to be young lion of Tarshish. However convincing this interpretation may be, historical research has concluded that Great Britain was never referred to as Tarshish. Instead, archaeological research implies that Tarshish may have been located in Spain, but certainly not Britain. While this theory is interesting, it is pure conjecture lacking any historical evidence.

2) America as Babylon the Great - After 9/11, there was a surge in some circles in the belief that America was indeed the book of Revelation’s mysterious Babylon the Great. The proponents of this theory (from whom I will receive many emails after this article is published) point to the terrible excesses and moral decadence of America. While there is little doubt that America stands guilty of innumerable sins, this is not the only proof that is needed to link it to John’s vision of Babylon the Great. But one researcher who believes that America is Babylon the Great presents this proof:

“America has defeated the lands of ancient Babylon known as Iraq. This makes America the latest world power to conquer "Babylon" and from a prophetical standpoint, America holds title to Babylon and thus America inherits the "Mystery Babylon" title.”
Once again, fanciful interpretations of prophecy that are not grounded in the Word of God are simply conjecture. Scripture should be used to interpret scripture whenever possible.

In the case of America, there exist no such definitive scriptures. This could be due to the fact that America’s population is wiped out by the rapture of the Church. Or this could be because America is taken out as a major global player prior to the rise of the Antichrist through economic devastation and/or major terrorist attacks, or through assimilation into a global government. Regardless, most commentators agree that America does not appear in scripture without the employment of suspect interpretative methods.

Michael, I hope that answers your question. If you still have further questions, contact me.