The attention of the world has been riveted to the images coming out of Egypt over the past week. It reminds me of watching CNN over 20 years ago, as Bernard Shaw reported live that the Berlin wall had been breached. Even as I write, Fox News is broadcasting live footage of the rapidly changing situation with speculation mounting about which direction the military is going to go—with the anti-Mubarak or with the pro-Mubarak factions. The television screen is filled people running, Molotov cocktails exploding, violence escalating and gunfire ringing out.
At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate the significance of Egypt’s role in the present course of world events. The entire complexion of the political and military situation throughout the region could change dramatically in just a matter of days or even a few hours. Likewise, it must be remembered that the Bible extensively recounts the significance of Egypt’s past role in world history, as well as foretells her yet-future role.
Egypt in the Past
“Egypt” is found 588 times in 537 verses in the Old Testament—more than once for every fifty verses. Two-thirds of these are found in Genesis through Esther, with the context of the majority being Israel’s deliverance from Egypt or a reminder of that deliverance.
Through the first nine plagues, Egypt’s agricultural base was wiped out as crops and livestock were decimated. Through the tenth plague, the fabric of Egyptian society was torn asunder with the death of all the first-born. Through the loss of much of her silver and gold and the loss of its slave labor force, Egypt’s economy was left in shambles. And through the miracle at the Red Sea, the powerful Egyptian army was utterly destroyed.
In stark contrast, through the sacrifice of the Passover lamb, God protected and preserved the children of Israel. For Jews following the events in Egypt today, they should be mindful that they owe their very existence to what the Lord did to Egypt over 3500 years ago.
The final third of all Old Testament direct references to “Egypt” (184/588) are found in the books of the prophets. The majority of these refer to Egypt’s impending defeat by the Assyrians (around 670 B.C.) and the third destruction of Egypt at the hands of the Babylonians 70 years later.
The pyramids stand as a monument marking the grave of what was once the most formidable of world empires. The pharaohs, who once defiantly claimed deity for themselves, are silent.
Egypt in the Present
No one knows for sure where all of this is going, but many are expressing their concern that radical Islamists could sweep in to fill the power vacuum that would be created by President Mubarak’s resignation. Some in the Muslim Brotherhood are already calling for war with Israel. This could shatter the peace treaty forged between Israel and Egypt at the Camp David Accords in 1978.
In addition, three of Israel’s sworn enemies, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, are reportedly involved with the anti-government forces. And with King Abdullah dissolving Jordan’s parliament and appointing a new prime minister on Tuesday, Israel has no stable ally left in the region.
It is worth noting that it was because of Egypt’s unreliability as Israel’s ally that she and her allies were to be judged by God (Ezekiel 29:6-7).
The need for a new and more comprehensive peace deal to provide for Israel’s national security could hardly be greater (cf. Dan. 9:27).
Egypt in the Future
In addition to the prophecies against Egypt which were fulfilled in the
6th and 7th centuries B.C., there are others which are yet-future. The present crisis in Egypt seems to have the potential of setting the stage for those events.
On Saturday (1/29/11), ABI cofounder, Jimmy DeYoung, discussed this matter on his weekly Prophecy Today broadcast. In the “A Look At The Book” segment, he examined the biblical passages which speak of Egypt’s role in the coming conflagration in the Middle East.
Saturday’s entire program is truly a must-listen as Dr. DeYoung conducted a series of interviews with Prophecy Today broadcast partners who provided expert analysis on the present crisis, developments in the region and on relevant prophetic passages.
I encourage you to listen to all the interviews, as well as the Bible study at the end of the program. They can be streamed from the links below. (These links are also available on the ABI website.)