Isaiah

This is where we see that Ezekiel's Fire is a nova event.

In this chapter, we will look at Isaiah 30, 13, 14 and 17 - along with references to Isaiah 41, 43 and 51. All of those references will describe:

  • The day of the great slaughter
  • The greatest earthquake since The Great Flood
  • A moon as bright as the sun
  • A sun that is seven times brighter than normal
  • The sun and moon will then grow dark
  • Iran will destroy Babylon in a way that has never happened before
  • Rains shift south, turning the desert - the Negev - into a fruitful, well watered land
  • Damascus will be destroyed and never rebuilt
  • The day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound

That last one should look awfully familiar, since we have clearly seen it several times already. Binding up the bruise and healing wounds is the kind of wording that is central to salvation.

We've also seen elements of the other points, but not quite like this. Isaiah 30 gives us a snapshot of something global and earth shattering. This planet-wide catastrophe will leave no one unaffected and knock everything down. So, let's start with the chapter that describes the Day of Slaughter, when the Towers Fall.

Isaiah 30

Again, the key reason why we are looking at the events of Isaiah 30, is due to these words:

...In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.

Isaiah 30:26 (NKJV)

Everything that happens in the context of those words, will be a part of Ezekiel's Fire. Everything. So, let's take a look at what Isaiah 30 says.

The First Part Of Isaiah 30

The first seventeen verses of Isaiah 30 are a painful indictment of Israel's rejection of God. The irony is that we Christians have also rebelled against God in similar ways. When I read Isaiah 30:1-17, I am reminded of many churches with the same spiritual problems. I can hardly believe some of the spiritual and moral corruptions that our pastors and seminaries have led us into.

We MUST repent of our sins so that God will return His hand of protection to us.

It's time for your church to pray that God will reveal the corruption in your midst. I was in a church once, that did that. We came together to pray that God would reveal sin in our church, and just days later, we discovered that the assistant pastor had been committing adultery. But, moving on...

God Waits To Bless Israel

So, up to verse 17, Isaiah 30 was talking about the past – for Israel. But, God does not leave His people in the past without a promise. And that is what happens in verse 18:

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

When we become rebellious, God reaches out and gives us a thump - to teach us that our rebellion is futile. God has done that with Israel. For two thousand years – and more – the Lord has demonstrated to the children of Jacob that they could not save themselves by their own might and power – that they needed the Lord. And, the only way that you can have the Lord is by faith and obedience.

God promised that He would wait. The fact that this pause is two thousand years longer than we would like, means nothing. When the time is right, it will happen. But, let's move on to the core of the promise.

The Return of Jacob At Jerusalem

Again, this is a physical people, at a physical place, at a specific point in time. I know that some are surprised by my need to stress this, but there are lots of Christians who are confused about this issue.

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.

And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.

Isaiah 30:19-20 (NKJV)

TRANSLATION NOTE: The words 'though' and 'yet' are NOT in the original Hebrew.

This is salvation and spiritual transformation. It's the Return of Jacob to God. But, it includes something that none of us would be looking for:

The bread of adversity and the water of affliction

And, I believe that this points to what God said in Zechariah 13:

I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

- Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV)

It appears that - when God refines the Children of Jacob - that He will cause them to suffer great hardship. Jerusalem and the rest of Israel will be devastated. Transportation networks will be destroyed. Electricity will be out. No cars or trucks will run. Large buildings will have been turned into rubble. For those buildings that survive, there will be no water running in the pipes. It will take months - if not years - for Jerusalem to recover and thrive again.

The suffering will be terrible. But, it will be suffering that has a purpose. The next verse in chapter 30 this describes eloquently:

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV)

THAT is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

There is nothing in this world that is more precious than eternal salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is worth any amount of suffering. But, my heart is heavy at the thought of what they will go through.

And, how will God grant them eternal salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

When Peter spoke of Jesus to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4, he said this:

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

- Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

There is literally no other way to salvation and the Holy Spirit, except through Christ. And, there is no other way to Christ, except through faith. And, faith is...

...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

- Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

You should read all of Hebrews 11. It's the most powerful chapter on faith in the Bible. It demonstrates conclusively that salvation is impossible without faith.

Israel Turns Away From Idolatry

In verse 22, we see the result of their changed heart:

You will also defile the covering of your images of silver, And the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; You will say to them, “Get away!”

Isaiah 30:22 (NKJV)

These new Christians in Israel will no longer study the Talmud. They will no longer worship their rabbis, or their gold and silver plated Torah scrolls. They will no longer look to their traditions and their customs as their source of purity and righteousness. They will no longer wrestle with God, but will submit to Him, through the same exact faith in Jesus Christ that saved us.

Then, there will be a moment when the time of trial will be over. The next two verses describe the blessing that Israel will receive after this time of difficulty is over:

23 Then He will give the rain for your seed With which you sow the ground, And bread of the increase of the earth; It will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed In large pastures. 24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground Will eat cured fodder, Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.

Isaiah 30:23-24 (NKJV)

Notice how this parallels exactly what God promised to do for Israel in Ezekiel 36 and Ezekiel 37. And, in one sense, this blessing has already begun in the Land of Israel. Before the Jews came, it was barren and disease-ridden. After the Jews returned to their land, it became a lush, productive paradise. But, as good as it is now, it will be even better.

Israel Saved In The Day Of Ezekiel’s Fire

This is where we get to the main point.

Now, these next two verses demonstrate that prophecies flip back and forth between the event being prophesied and the results of that event. Verses 23 and 24 describe the end result of verses 18 to 22. And, the next to verses flip back to the catastrophe that brings the children of Jacob back to God:

 

25 There will be on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,
In the day of the great slaughter,
When the towers fall.
26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
As the light of seven days,
In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people
And heals the stroke of their wound.

Isaiah 30:25-26 (NKJV)

In the day of great slaughter?

Who is being slaughtered?

Well, we know, from Ezekiel that the army of Gog and Magog gets slaughtered. In fact, they will turn on each other as they run away. But, Zechariah also speaks of a terrible number of people dying in the Land of Israel. Two thirds of will die. That's close to ten million people being killed. But, 'the great slaughter' won't be limited to just Israel.

This will be a global catastrophe. This is why I believe that it will be our job, as Christians, to warn everyone to get out of their buildings when Gog and Magog comes, even if you are living in Zap, North Dakota.

However, it is vital that we focus on the key timing point:

In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people And heals the stroke of their wound.

THAT is salvation. You cannot interpret that phrase in any other way, unless you twist the context of the chapter, itself. Therefore, every passage in the Bible that talks about the salvation of Israel… must also be directly talking about the same moment in time. It is this salvation narrative that links the core prophecies together.

Ezekiel's Fire

So, as we collect each description of the salvation of Israel, and combine them together, it becomes clear that a nova event is coming. Again, the salvation of the children of Jacob is directly connected to:

...the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, And the light of the sun will be sevenfold, As the light of seven days,

The implications of this part of Isaiah 30:26 are truly horrifying. For a moment in time, the Sun will expand in brightness by seven times, (definitely a nova event) and it will bring our civilization to its knees.

What do OTHER passages say about this moment in time?

Well, Ezekiel says this:

And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 39:6 (ASV)

The Day Of Slaughter And Great Earthquakes

When Isaiah 30:25 says:

In the day of the great slaughter

And when Zechariah 13:8 says:

in all the land,” Says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,

You want to know HOW these people will be killed. And, I must confess that it took years for me to see the connection with the other thing that Isaiah 30:25 says:

...when the towers fall.

What could cause 'the towers to fall'?

Well Ezekiel 38 says this:

19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, 20 so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ ... 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’

Ezekiel 38:19-23 (NKJV)

This will be the biggest earthquake in world history, since the Great Flood. Everyone, everywhere, all over the world, will be affected by this literally earth shattering quake. And, it's clear that 'the day of great slaughter' is directly connected to the earthquake that makes 'the towers fall'. The only question is whether more people will die from the collapse of buildings, or from lack of water, food and sanitation that would come afterwards.

Two Thirds Of The World Die?

Now, the focus of Isaiah is on the Land of Israel, but the nova event and subsequent earthquake will be completely global. And, this brings me to an important point that we'll cover in more detail when we get to Zechariah. But, I want to raise it here.

If two thirds of everyone living in the land of Israel die (at least in part) from this fantastic earthquake...

...how much of the rest of the world dies from this earthquake?

I'm not looking forward to the answer to that question.

The Rest of Isaiah 30

Now, I could go on. But, since the chapter divisions were NOT God-inspired, this is a good place to stop. Stephen Langton, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was the one who set the chapter divisions for the Bible, and we should not feel bound by them. Having said that, someone needed to make these chapter divisions happen. Trying to keep track of everything in the Bible without chapter divisions would be extremely difficult, so Langton probably did more good than harm. Just understand that chapter divisions should always be treated with suspicion.

Isaiah 13 And 14

Now, we started this chapter with Isaiah 30, which gave us an absolutely vital bit of information that will help us understand Ezekiel's Fire. Of course, the rest of Isaiah has much more to say about all this. And, chapter 13 and chapter 14 are important for our discussion.

Since we have already established in my previous book, the timing of When Gog Comes, this means that the Return of Jacob must happen years (probably decades) before the Antichrist. Therefore, this passage must also happen years/decades before the Antichrist:

For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.

- Isaiah 14:1 (NKJV)

Having 'mercy on Jacob' and 'choosing Israel' are salvation phrases. But, that verse begins with an important word:

For

TRANSLATION NOTE: the actual word in the Hebrew is כי (pronounced kee). It literally means 'because'.

This means that Isaiah 13 and 14 are actually a single chapter. More importantly, the events of chapter 13 occur because of the purpose described in chapter 14. And, here is the key event of Isaiah 13:

9 Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
11 “I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,
A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,
In the wrath of the Lord of hosts
And in the day of His fierce anger.

- Isaiah 13:9-13 (NKJV)

Again, this happens because God will 'have mercy on Jacob' and 'choose Israel'. That is the purpose of the terrible events of those five verses.

Now, many will want to say that this is the Second Coming of Christ. That is a reasonable assumption, but it is deeply incorrect.

Why?

Because the Medes - Iran - are used to punish Babylon.

Wait... WHAT?

Oh, I forgot to mention that Isaiah 13 begins this way:

1 The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

- Isaiah 13:1 (NKJV)

And, Babylon is destroyed, here:

17 “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,
Who will not regard silver;
And as for gold, they will not delight in it.
18 Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,
And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not spare children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

- Isaiah 13:17-19 (NKJV)

This. Has. Never. Happened. Before.

And no, this is NOT Revelation 17, which says that Mystery Babylon is destroyed by the Ten Horns. The Medes are NOT the Ten Horns of Revelation 17. 'Mystery Babylon' is not a Chaldean city.

Many false teachers claimed the opposite and encouraged people to buy Iraqi dinars. That was a very bad move. And, lots of Christians lost a lot of money doing that.

For a city in Iraq to become this:

And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

- Revelation 17:18 (NKJV)

For a city in Iraq to one day rise to become the Great Harlot who rides The Beast and who will rule over the kings of the earth, so much will have to happen between now and then... that we would have a very, very long time to wait. It is hard to conceive of ANY city rising from the chaos of modern day Iraq, and reigning over much of anything.

Unfortunately, in the opposite direction, some might want to claim that Isaiah 13 has already been fulfilled. So, let me repeat that This. Has. Never. Happened. Before. The permanent desolation of the area described in verses 20-22 did not happen at ANY of the times when Babylon was captured by a foreign army. In fact, the area in and around Babylon is still inhabited today. Arabs still pitch their tents there. Shepherds still have sheepfolds there. Here is what those verses say:

20 It will never be inhabited,
Nor will it be settled from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there,
Nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
21 But wild beasts of the desert will lie there,
And their houses will be full of [a]owls;
Ostriches will dwell there,
And wild goats will caper there.
22 The hyenas will howl in their citadels,
And jackals in their pleasant palaces.
Her time is near to come,
And her days will not be prolonged.”

- Isaiah 13:17-19 (NKJV)

Please fix this firmly in your mind. The Chaldean city of Babylon was never destroyed. Not once. Not ever. It was abandoned after Alexander the Great captured it. So those three verses are for the future, even though the phrase 'Her time is near to come' is hard to understand, since this final destruction has been delayed by more than 2500 years.

As a case in point, think back to when Gubaru (also called Darius the Mede) conquered Babylon. It was almost a bloodless takeover. It seems that Belshazzar was one of the few to die, when Babylon fell. His father, Nabonidus, had been captured earlier by the Persians and eventually died in captivity.

The point that needs to be remembered about these two chapters is this:

At the time of the Return of Jacob to God...

"The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine."

"[God] will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,"

"[God] will make a mortal more rare than fine gold"

That is Ezekiel's Fire. And unfortunately, this is not the Second Coming. And, I proved that in my book When Gog Comes. And, I say 'unfortunately', because I don't want you or myself to experience any of that. I don't like suffering, and that is a LOT of suffering.

When we get to Zechariah 12 and 13, we'll see that two thirds of everyone in the Land of Israel are killed. But, it looks more like two thirds of everyone in the world will be killed, too. And, I'm afraid that I have yet another book to write, that I am tentatively calling The Black Horse Rides.

Even without this massive cataclysm of death and destruction, our world will see a massive die-off of at least five billion people. We could have avoided this, but we chose to ignore what was happening. Furthermore, this die-off will probably start before this moment in time begins. In fact, I believe that they are connected.

My personal theory is that Gog and Magog comes against not just Israel, but the whole Middle East. And, this war against the Middle East will occur over natural gas oil - the most energy dense substance on earth, in its raw form. As civilization crumbles due to a lack of energy resources, a central Asian alliance of nations will seek to capture the area of the world that produces the most energy - Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.

And, it looks like they will start with Iraq.

As I write this, in the Fall of 2021, we are seeing Europe and East Asia struggling to acquire enough coal and natural gas to keep homes warm and factories open. Fertilizer plants are shutting down due to a lack of natural gas, which means that the growing season in 2022 could be challenging.

We'll see what happens over the coming months and years, but it's becoming easier and easier to see the following three events happening:

US and NATO withdraw completely from the Middle East.

Israel and Arab countries band together to block the threat from Iran, creating a loose confederation that covers most of Iraq, Syria, the Arabian peninsula and northeast Africa.

The rest of Africa, Iran and Central Asia band together to invade Iraq from the North, West, East and South. Once they succeed in obliterating Iraq, they gather their army together and invade Israel.

The details of what actually happens could be different. I'm hardly a prophet. But, from our current vantage point, it's hard to see how prophecy will play out any other way. But, let's not stop there. Isaiah has more connections to make between Ezekiel's Fire and the Return of Jacob.

Isaiah 17

Isaiah also describes the same moment in chapter 17. However this time, he refers to Damascus. And, the key verse that makes the connection that we are looking for is this one:

In that day a man will look to his Maker,
And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.

- Isaiah 17:7 (NKJV)

As I said before, this is the thread that weaves all of these prophecies together. The recognition of God and spiritual salvation is the purpose and focus of Ezekiel's Fire. There will be revival amidst the death and destruction, but participating in this revival will be impossible for those who die. We want to avoid that, so let's get into why chapter 17 is important.

To start off, I need to admit to a little embarrassment. It has taken years for me to understand how and why Damascus ceases to exist. Part of the problem lies in how we normally think of it - 'the Fall of Damascus'. For thousands of years, we have assumed that the capital city of Syria will be destroyed in war. But, that's not what the Bible says:

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

Isaiah 17:1-2 (KJV)

The KJV translates those two verses better than the NKJV. The original Hebrew for 'taken away' is מוסר (moo-sar), and it's something far more permanent than merely being destroyed. It means that it will no longer be able to be a city. No, worse than that... the area where Damascus sits right now will no longer be able to support a group of people of any significant size. And, there's something very, important about that. Furthermore, like in Isaiah 13...

This has never happened. Ever.

Again, like Babylon, Damascus has never suffered this kind of annihilation. Every time it was conquered, the battle damage was repaired and city life resumed. No one ever completely destroyed Damascus, ever - mainly because no one wanted to.

Damascus has always been the perfect place for a regional capital, which is why everyone chose to rule the eastern shores of the Mediterranean from Damascus, instead of Tyre, Sidon, Yaffo or Jerusalem. There was water. It was easy to defend. It was at a key location to control vital trade routes. It was perfect.

So perfect, that every empire ruled this part of the Middle East from Damascus. The Babylonians, Persians, Hellenes, Seleucids, Romans and all the Muslim empires – they all made Damascus the regional capital for that part of the Middle East.

In fact, do this search:

“oldest continuously inhabited cities”

Damascus is on almost every list that you will find in that search, but Isaiah 17 indicates it will one day join a different kind of list:

“ghost towns”

“lost cities”

How did they become 'ghost towns' or 'lost cities'?

For some of those cities, their purpose for existing ended. Gold towns ran out of gold. Oil towns ran out of oil. Farm towns run out of farms. But, the most common reason is...

...WATER.

And, here's why Damascus will run out of water:

There will be on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,
In the day of the great slaughter,
When the towers fall.

Isaiah 30:25 (NKJV)

There will be an earthquake so big, that everything will be knocked down - including Damascus. The earthquake will turn it into a 'ruinous heap'. But, when you look at history, cities that are destroyed are always rebuilt in the same place, as long as there isn't something stopping them. But, I focused on the last part of that verse.

For Damascus, the key will actually be the first part:

There will be on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,

It took me WAY too long to see that connection, until I looked up the source of water for Damascus. This is how Damascus gets its water:

Barada River in Damascus

That's the Barada River, running through Damascus. But, the main source is here:

Fijah Spring

That's the Fijah Spring. The other source of the Barada is further upstream at the Barada Spring - which they call 'Barada Lake'. (That's a lake? I've seen bigger ponds.) The only other source of water for Damascus is a stream called the Awaj River, that is to the south. And, the Awaj isn't much more than a muddy ditch.

Our focus has been on the massive, global earthquake because we have an interest in personal survival. But, when this earthquake does this:

There will be on every high mountain
And on every high hill
Rivers and streams of waters,

It means that the flow of water underneath the ground will be changed - radically. Underground aquifers will be rearranged. Water that flowed to one place, will flow somewhere else. And, the most important change will be in Israel. But, let's keep our focus on Damascus for a moment, and the one thing that you cannot ignore is...

You can’t have a city, if you don’t have water.

Yes, I know that we could think of other reasons why Damascus would be permanently ruined, and why Syria would cease from being a country. But, even the most horrendous nuclear, chemical and biological weapons would eventually allow people to return to places nearby. And again, the destruction of Damascus is not described in the same way that Babylon is destroyed - like that of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now, water is a complex subject, because there are a lot of factors involved in how you get the water that you drink. And, the biggest factor of all is geography. So, let's look at the geography of Damascus:

The reason why the areas along the Mediterranean coast are green, while further inland the land is brown - has everything to do with air flow and mountains. Basically, as clouds bump up against the mountains, they dump their water. If the mountains are low enough some of these rain-laden clouds will discharge on the other side. And, it seems like Damascus has low enough mountains to the west, for some of the rain to make it into the Barada Awaj Basin.

The rain that makes it over the mountains, collects in the underground aquifers that feed the springs that then feed the Barada and Awaj rivers. So, to permanently stop the flow of water to Damascus, one of two things would need to happen:

Raise the height of the mountains to the west.

Damage the underground structure of the aquifers.

(or both)

Consider what Ezekiel says will happen to the Gog and Magog invasion: fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22). When the volcanoes underneath the Golan blow up, we might want to consider what the result will be - aside from the clouds of ash and lava.

What would happen to the height of the Lebanese mountains?

What would happen to the underground structure of the aquifers of the Barada Awaj Basin in and around Damascus?

There's also a third possibility:

The change in the movement of rain clouds

If you live in Jerusalem long enough, you eventually give up on using an umbrella. Rain happens only in the winter, and it comes in... sideways. And, it's freezing. Nothing seems colder than a Jerusalem winter.

But, what if the winter rains shift southwards?

What if they come more often in the south?

Here's a passage that gives us a clue about the change in rain patterns that will happen:

19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

- Isaiah 43:19-21 (NKJV)

Also, Isaiah 41:17-20 and Isaiah 51:3. They too describe the deserts and wastelands becoming well watered and fruitful.

I've been through the Judean desert multiple times. It's called the Negev, and there are few places more 'waste howling wilderness' (Deut 32:10) than the Negev. South of Beersheva, it's a blasted moonscape of ridges and ravines without a drop of water in sight. But, it seems like that will change.

Remember what we talked about in When Gog Comes, in this chapter:

The Antichrist In Daniel

The King of the North is the Antichrist. He actually can't be anyone else, because of what happens in Daniel 12.

Who does the King of the North attack?

The King of the Negev.

Most Bible translations say 'King of the South', but the word for 'south' in Daniel 11 is 'Negev'. Of course, the Bible sometimes uses 'negev' to indicate a southern direction. But, the word 'negev' doesn't mean 'south'. It literally means ‘dry’. Nagav is the root of a verb that means ‘to dry’. I always 'nagav' my clothes after they've been in the washer. (Although, 'yavesh' would be a better word to use.)

So, does God change the rainfall patterns in southern Israel?

Would this change in rainfall cause Damascus to lose access to water?

It sounds like the answer is 'yes' to both of those questions. This means that after the earthquake that knocks down Damascus, it won't be rebuilt because there won't be enough water to support a city at that location. The mountains, aquifers and rainfall patterns will change, making it impossible to support a population of any size.

Furthermore, all of this is credible proof that Isaiah 17 happens at the same time that the coming of Gog and Magog occurs. And, we get confirmation of this as we move deeper into this chapter. So, let's look at the next two verses:

3 The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
The kingdom from Damascus,
And the remnant of Syria;
They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
4 “In that day it shall come to pass
That the glory of Jacob will wane,
And the fatness of his flesh grow lean.

Isaiah 17:3-4 (NKJV)

Without Damascus, the country of Syria will collapse into a hodge podge of Sunni tribes. The Alawite towns and villages near the Mediterranean will survive because they have mountains between them and Sunni cities of Aleppo, Idlib, Hamah and Homs. Although, I wonder about how many of those Sunni tribes will survive the massive non-Sunni Gog and Magog invasion that will sweep through the Iraq and into Syria, before attacking Israel. And, if the rain patterns really do shift southwards, that will depopulate Syria even further.

Furthermore, when it says that 'The Fortress also will cease from Ephraim', the word for 'cease' is not the same as for Damascus. It's נשבת (neesh-baht). Whenever you see שבת (sheh-vet or shah-baht) or שב (shev) in a Hebrew word, it does point to a 'ceasing'. But in this case, it's the kind of 'ceasing' because you are sitting down. You've stopped working. You are resting.

So, my interpretation is that these 'fortresses' in northern Israel will no longer be needed. Israel will no longer fear an invasion of Israel by Syria. And, if the rains shift southwards, that might explain how the 'glory of Jacob' will 'wane' in the northern areas of Israel.

However, I'm speculating. Feel free to claim that נשבת points to a different understanding. I've been wrong before.

The Coming Of Gog And Magog

Verses five and six continue the description of the desolation that we see in verse four. And, this follows the pattern laid out by Zechariah. When God speaks of refining Israel in the same way that gold and silver are refined, it will not be a pleasant process. But, the result in verse seven will be worth it:

7 In that day a man will look to his Maker,
And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
8 He will not look to the altars,
The work of his hands;
He will not respect what his fingers have made,
Nor the wooden images nor the incense altars.
9 In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough
And an uppermost branch,
Which they left because of the children of Israel;
And there will be desolation.

- Isaiah 17:7-9 (NKJV)

In verses ten and eleven, God mentions the reason why they will suffer this desolation:

"Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation,"

And, the price for turning their back on God is eloquently described in the second half of verse eleven:

But the harvest will be a heap of ruins
In the day of grief and desperate sorrow.

- Isaiah 17:11 (NKJV)

Then, God turns away from the judgment of Damascus and Israel, and speaks to the rest of the world:

12 Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 Then behold, at eventide, trouble!
And before the morning, he is no more.
This is the portion of those who plunder us,
And the lot of those who rob us.

- Isaiah 17:12-14 (NKJV)

That's Gog and Magog, along with their defeat at the hands of God. That's Ezekiel's Fire and the global earthquake that knocks everything down.

Conclusion

We could dig even deeper into the Book of Isaiah, but we don't really need to. It's enough to establish that the following happens at the same moment in time:

  • The day of the great slaughter
  • The greatest earthquake since The Great Flood
  • A moon as bright as the sun
  • A sun that is seven times brighter than normal
  • The sun and moon will then grow dark
  • Iran will destroy Babylon in a way that has never happened before
  • Rains shift south, turning the desert - the Negev - into a fruitful, well watered land
  • Damascus will be destroyed and never rebuilt
  • The day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound

Again, the key is the Return of Jacob to God. That's the central point that ties all these events together. However, it's also the moment in time in which cities around the world are destroyed and life as we know it is changed for a very long time.

 

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Click Here For Jeremiah 30, Micah 5 and Zephaniah 3

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