By Gary Stearman
Arab wealth has become legendary. To its dismay, the Obama administration has discovered that their wealth is manifesting itself as power. Recently, the Saudis have blatantly rejected a plan for Middle East peace, in which they were invited to play a major role. They have powerfully established themselves as major players in foreign policy agreements involving Israel.
We often revisit Ezekiel 38 and 39, where we find some of the most obvious allusions to contemporary conditions in the entire Bible. The invasion from the north is mentioned in many Old Testament prophecies, but only in Ezekiel do we find the names of specific nations destined to be involved in the battle.
One part of Ezekiel’s prophecy mentions Sheba and Dedan. In a previous article we documented the history of these two tribal names, concluding that they were the progenitors of the modern Arab tribes. Sheba was one of Cush’s grandsons. A bit later, this name is listed as a son of Joktan. He is usually named as the patriarch of an Arab tribe, the Sabeans.
The name Dedan can be traced to two biblical sources. First, as a son of Raamah, who was the son of Cush. Historically, they established colonies on the western side of the Persian Gulf. In general, Sheba represents the northern division of the Arabian power structure. The Kuwaiti House of al Sabah is the most obvious modern connection to this ancient house, but there are many others. Dedan represents the tribes to the south, from Yemen, northward through Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Their latter-day importance is seen in Ezekiel’s prophecy through their linkage with the Western powers at the time of the invasion.
"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,Ezekiel mentions an opposing power that raises diplomatic questions at the outset of the invasion, which is mounted against an Israel at peace. It is a power bloc, bringing together the Arabs and the "merchants of Tarshish," another name for the Western powers … Europe, the U.S.A., and others. We see precisely this arrangement today.
"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, 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?
"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
"And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
"And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes" (Ezek. 38:11-16).
At the time of the invasion, these nations are obviously operating in unison, on the basis of some common interest. Today, that interest revolves around oil and free access to the Persian Gulf. Until quite recently, U.S. and European powers could dictate terms to the Saudis. Today, that is no longer true, but the Bible says that right up until the moment of the northern attack, the present coalition will hold.
A Display of Saudi Temper
As reported on August 1, by DEBKAfile, the Saudis flatly rejected U.S. goals involving Israel:
"Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal’s rejection of the Obama administration’s Middle East approach was a lot more comprehensive than a blunt refusal to improve relations with Israel to help restart peace talks. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that in closed-door talks with U.S. leaders, including secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Saudi prince urged the U.S. to get off their backs on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and deal more seriously and effectively with top-urgency action for stopping Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.Without a doubt, the Saudis now see themselves as having a new equality in the region. Before the Obama administration came to power, the Saudis were accustomed to making deals in a time-honored way, swapping their huge oil supply for wealth and local power. Now, however, the U.S. is in financial crisis, and its leftist leadership is trying to maintain the status quo, without the political leverage they have had in the past. Obama’s appeasement strategy has fallen flat, leaving the Saudis in a commanding position, dictating policy with surprising authority.
"After those talks, Saud said his government would not consider steps suggested by the Obama administration until Israel accepted Arab demands ‘to withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territories.’
"With Clinton looking on at a joint State Department news conference Friday, July 31, the Saudi foreign minister dismissed Obama principles one by one: ‘Temporary security and confidence building measures will also not bring peace,’ he maintained and rejected ‘incrementalism and a step-by-step approach.’
"What is required, he said is ‘a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final-status issues, including a future Palestinian state, control of Jerusalem, the return of Palestinian refugees, water and security.’"
Will the Saudis’ demand for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital be realized? Prophecy says not. Ezekiel says that the northern force will invade "… the mountains of Israel" (Ezek. 38:8). Furthermore, the Jews will emerge from the battle victorious.
Will the Saudis reject their alliance with the West? Again, prophecy says not. In spite of disagreements, the Arabs will arise in concert with the West at the time of the invasion.
Currently, they have forcefully suggested to the Obama administration that its real business should be with the nuclear threat posed by the Iranians. The Arabs know how the game is played there, and they believe that Iranian nuclear power is the real problem in the Middle East, not Israel. How strange, that the Arabs are the ones who have cut short the constant drumbeat that calls for a Palestinian state, and have advised us to remove the Iranian threat.
White House condemns Qaeda attack on Saudi minister - AFP
Saudis eyeing more than Russian choppers - UPI
Musharraf visits Saudi Arabia to meet King Abdullah - PTI
BP Makes "Giant" Oil Find In Deep U.S. Gulf Well - Wall Street Journal
Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel - Ron Rhodes (Book)
Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East - Bill Salus (Book)