Thursday, January 3, 2008

Isaiah 19 & 20

These two chapters deal with the "burden" of Egypt. There are several chapters in Isaiah which cannot not be particularly applied to one's spiritual life. When that happens, I look for prophecies dealing with the last days. Isaiah usually prefaces his latter-day prophecies with the phrase "in that day." There are a handful of latter-day events listed in this section.

Judah Terrorizes Egypt

In this context, the word terrorize means torment or overpower and not the current use of the word today in this post 9/11 world.

Ludlow thinks that this verse (Isaiah 19:17) was fulfilled in the 1970s when Israel dominated Egypt in modern warfare. He explains, "until the time of modern wars between Israel and Egypt - which began in 1948 and included conflicts in 1956, 1967, and 1973 - Egypt has historically had no hesitation in carrying on battles in Palestine. The low point of Egyptian military power in comparison to that of Israel was the Six Day War of June 1967." (218).

A Temple in Egypt?

Isaiah 19:19 says, "in that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord."

I do not know how much advancement the Church has made into establishing itself in Egypt, but I did find an article from 1983 describing a special mission for a couple who served there for 18 months (see Thomas and Judith Parker, “‘Blessed Be Egypt My People’,” Ensign, Sep 1983, 40).

In this age of temple building, there are still many, many places throughout the earth that do not have a temple. Slowly but surely, the work is moving forward and one day we may see an LDS temple in Egypt.

Isaiah 19:21 gives encouraging insight when it states, "And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day."

Egyptian, Iraqi and Israeli Alliance

Another latter-day prophecy describes an alliance between Egypt, Iraq and Israel (see Isaiah 19:23-25)

Ludlow's book was published shortly after the Camp David Accords and so he provides an interesting perspective on this prophecy. He explains, "most readers of the scriptures who understand the history of the area find it incredible that these peoples could ever come together before a millennial era is established upon the earth." He continues, "If, in the summer of 1977, experts on the Middle East had been polled and asked if they thought Israel and Egypt would sign a peace treaty before the summer of 1979, scarcely any would have thought it possible." (221).

Two nations of the three listed in the prophecy seem to have established peace. What about the third? Ludlow writes, "considering Iraq's strong ties with Russia and the fierce anti-Zionist attitudes of the Iraqi leaders, it seem highly unlikely that Iraq will ever be pro-American, let alone pro-Egyptian or pro-Israeli, within the next few decades."

Twenty six years since Ludlow's book was published, the likelihood of a "pro-American/Israeli/Egyptian" Iraq is closer than ever. After clearing the terrorists out of Afghanistan, the United States invaded Iraq in order to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003. In the following years, the popularity of the Iraq War has waned. Then in the summer of 2007, a surge of troops went into Iraq and now Iraq is more stable than since before the war began. Iraqis have held elections and are now considered allies to the United States. Much remains to be seen as to what will happen, but as of today, the fulfillment of this Isaiah prophecy is closer than ever.

1 comment:

Jack & Charlene said...

Good Job on these chapters. We think you are right on in your comments.