PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE NATIONS
by Wayne S. Walker
The prophecies of the Old Testament, written hundreds of years in advance of the events foretold, containing details that would be far beyond the scope of mere human speculation, yet fulfilled in minute detail, constitute one of the strongest proofs of the inspiration of the Bible. Only a divine hand could account for such amazing predictive ability. In fact, God Himself declared that such evidence was a proof of His superiority over mere men and idol gods.
Our previous article in this series looked at prophecy as it related to the nation of Israel. In this article, we want to begin consideration of some prophecies concerning the nations. God said to Israel, "’For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished" (Jeremiah 30:11). The Hebrew people (or Jews), though punished, still exist as a people. But the other nations no longer exist.
One example is Egypt. Egypt was one of the oldest, earliest civilized, and longest-lived of the ancient empires in the near and middle east. The remnants of its glory can still be seen in the sphinx, the pyramids, and the ruins of its temples. Yet in Ezekial 29:2 God said, "Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt."
One of these prophecies against Egypt was that "the land of Egypt shall become desolate and waste" (Ezekiel 29:9ff). Ancient Egypt was reputed to be a very lush land. But over the years since then, the Nile River channel was not kept up and there was a change in the rainfall patterns. As a result, the water no longer carries as much silt to fertilize the land nor fish for food. Salt water now backs up in the delta and only a strip of land on either side of the Nile is currently arable. Thus, the land is far less productive than in ancient days.
Another such prophecy of Egypt was, "It shall be the lowliest of kingdoms; it shall never again exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over nations any more" (Ezekiel 29:15). The far-flung Egyptian empire as it existed in Bible days is no more. Yes, there is a political entity today known as Egypt. However, it does not rule over nations as it did in former times. It is not even made up of ethnic Egyptians but of Arabs. The people who made ancient Egypt a world power ceased to exist as a separate race.
One final prophecy about Egypt that we shall note is found in Ezekiel 30:13 where God said, "…I will also destroy the idols, and cause the images to cease from Noph; there shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt…." This prophesies the end of the ancient Egyptian religion and the rule by the Pharaohs. The idols of Egypt are no longer revered or worshipped. In 720 B.C. Egypt was conquered by Sargon of Assyria. Following this, it was ruled by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Macedonians. The Ptolemies did create an independent Greek Egypt for a time, but since 30 B.C., it has been controlled by Romans, Arabs, Turks, French, and English. Again, the country of Egypt today has none of the splendor and majesty of the ancient Pharaohs. Everything that the Bible said would happen to Egypt has occurred. (—taken from With All Boldness; June, 1995; Vol. 5, No. 6; p. 15)