This king of Cush
(also featured in Ez. 38:5, N.I.V.) has the epithet 'Rishathaim', meaning
'double wickedness'. This serves to emphasize how the Arab
invasion will be headed up by an individual who is unashamedly a 'man
of sin', a true anti-Christ. He was " king of Mesopotamia"
(Jud. 3:8), literally meaning 'Aram
(Syria) of the two rivers"
, i.e. Tigris and Euphrates. This would point to a geographical
location in modern Iran/Iraq.
The phrase "
the Lord sold them into the hand of..." , which occurs here in Jud.
3:8, runs as a refrain throughout the record of Israel's
punishment at the hand of her Arab enemies. The force of what
this will mean in practice is brought out in Deut. 32:30: "
How should one chase a thousand (Jews), and two put ten thousand to flight,
except their Rock (protecting Angel) had sold them...?"
Given the huge numerical superiority of Israel's Arab enemies, this shows
a total military collapse by the Israelites in the face of this Arab aggression.
This is a far cry from the arrogance, confidence, bravery and 'fight to
the death' attitude of modern Israelis.
No doubt such a collapse
could be due to a fear of some terrifying Arab weaponry, but " chase"
implies a complete collapse and unwillingness to fight. The
Hebrew word for " chase" , 'radaph', is almost identical to
'rahab', the symbol of Egypt; their enemies would 'rahab' them in
the sense of persecuting them after the pattern of the Egyptians, placing
these things in the first stage of persecution. Israel at
that time seem to have been submissive and browbeaten by their persecutors
(see previous comments on this).
The reason given
for this at the time of Rishathaim's invasion is that Israel had married
the surrounding Arab peoples, " and served their gods."
If they could do it then, there is no reason why we should not expect
to see a certain degree of rapprochement between Israelis and certain
groups of Arabs living in the land, with, perhaps, a nominal acceptance
of Islam thrown in. Far-right Orthodox rabbis claim that this
is what is effectively happening today. Such a situation could
more easily come about if Israel won a dramatic victory against the Arabs,
apparently knocking out all possibility of any trouble from them in the
foreseeable future. They would then live in the spirit of
" peace and safety" which will have (has?) descended on spiritual
has always been persecuted after a period of intermarriage and mingling
with the surrounding world. The holocaust which will fall
upon Israel in the Land may therefore be expected to be a corrective to
their doing these very things.