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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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8-7 Assyria And Daniel 11

Isaiah was able to give explicit assurance concerning their survival against Assyria.   He accurately foretold how the Assyrian army would begin to retreat due to rumours of other neighbouring Arab armies threatening his own security:   " I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land" (2 Kings 19:7).   Thus at the very time of Assyria's destruction by God, her previous allies turned against her, exemplifying how Arab in-fighting will be one of the means which God will use to finally destroy them (Zech. 14:13, etc.).

" A blast" (Heb. 'ruach', a spirit/angel?) being sent upon Sennacherib is the same term used about Pharaoh's destruction (Ex. 15:8) and that of Babylon (Jer. 51:1), both of which are typical of the final Arab defeat.   Babylon also hears 'rumours' at the time of her destruction (Jer. 51:46).   It is to these 'rumours' of Arab wars which Christ may allude in Matt. 24:6, speaking of " rumours of wars" in the very last days.   The smaller Arab nations associated with Babylon/Assyria also hear " tidings" (same word as " rumour" ) in Jer. 49:23, showing that they meet the same judgment as 'Assyria' to some extent.

Daniel 11

The same word is also translated " tidings" in Dan. 11:44.   Close analysis of Dan. 11:40-44 reveals that it is couched in terms of the Eze. 38 invasion, which is based upon that of Assyria.   However, it is also full of direct allusions to the Assyrian invasion:-

" The king of the north" (Dan. 11:40) - Assyria (cp. Zeph.2:13).

" Shall come against him like a whirlwind" (Dan. 11:40), as God will against the Arabs in response to this (Zech. 9:14;  Is. 28:2).   God comes up " like a storm...a cloud to cover the land" in a similar way (Eze. 38:9).   A whirlwind attacks from all sides.   The combined typology of the previous Arab invasions has shown them coming from all points of the compass.   The final combined 'Assyrian' invasion will also have this feature, as it did in Hezekiah's time.

" With chariots, and with horsemen" (Dan. 11:40), for which the Assyrians were famous, and Gog likewise (Eze. 38:4).

" He shall enter into the countries" (Dan. 11:40) as Assyria did en route to Israel, " And shall overflow and pass over" (Dan. 11:40), as Assyria under Sennacherib (Is. 8:8; 43:2) and Babylon (Jer. 47:2) are said to have done.   The Hebrew root for " overflow" means " to cleanse" , occurring in Eze. 16:19 concerning God 'thoroughly washing away' Israel's sins in the last days, as a result of their Arab tribulations.   Thus the 'Assyrian'/Arab 'overflowing' of the land in the last days will result in Israel's spiritual cleansing.   " The consumption decreed (the Arab/Babylonian invasion) shall overflow in righteousness" (Is. 10:22).   " He shall enter also into the land of delight" (Dan 11:41 A.V. mg.).   At the time of Sennacherib's destruction, God termed the land 'delight' (Is. 62:4).

This could indicate that this invasion comes after the return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom.   The ambiguity is because of the 'variable' timing of Christ's return, seeing this is related to Israel's spiritual reformation - at least it appears this is how God wishes us to see it.

" Many countries shall be overthrown" (Dan. 11:41).   2 Kings 18:34 lists these countries in the Sennacherib context.   This confirms that there will be inter-Arab conflict immediately prior to the final 'Assyrian' attack on Israel.

" But these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief ('rosh') of the children of Ammon (Dan. 11:41).   These areas were not meddled with by Sennacherib.   There is a triple emphasis on how the other nations fell into his " hand" in 2 Kings 18:33-35.

" He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, continues this " hand" connection, " and the land of Egypt shall not escape" (Dan. 11:42).   There is a possible allusion here to Moses stretching out his hand upon Egypt (Ex. 9:15), which would show that the latter-day " king of the North" will claim that he has received Divine guidance to judge Israel.   Assyria's invasion of Egypt was associated with that of Israel, further demonstrating that Dan. 11:40-43 was Sennacherib's battle plan.

" He shall have power (the Hebrew signifies political power) over the treasures of gold and silver" (Dan. 11:43).   This is the Assyrian extraction of gold and silver from Hezekiah's Israel (and other countries?) by their political bullying (2 Kings 16:8;  18:15,16).

" The Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps" (Dan. 11:43) may appear to contradict Ethiopia suddenly becoming opposed to Assyria during the final attack on Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:9).   This can be reconciled by realizing that Dan. 11 speaks of two phases in this final invasion.   Ethiopia is with Assyria during the blitzkrieg towards and through Israel, but is not necessarily with her in the final 'going forth with great fury' against Jerusalem (Dan. 11:44).

There were these same two phases in the Assyrian prototype - the " great fury" of the king of the north is modelled upon Sennacherib's rage of 2 Kings 19:27,28.   The fact that Ethiopia is described as being with Gog in the Ezek. 38 invasion may be an indication that this prophecy is not concerning the final push on Jerusalem, but rather the Assyrian/Arab pillaging of the land for " a spoil and a prey...cattle and goods" (Eze. 38:12) after the pattern of the Arab raiders in the Judges period.  

Ethiopia being mentioned in tandem with Libya in both Eze. 38:5 and Dan. 11:43 could suggest that the North African Arabs break ranks with those of 'Assyria' during the attack on Jerusalem, as evidently occurred in Hezekiah's time (2 Kings 19:9).   At the very moment, the Angel slew the Arab invaders (2 Kings 19:35), typifying how God's destruction of the latter-day Arabs will be partly by their turning against each other (Zech. 14:13 etc.).   Someone hitting the wrong button could so easily spark this off.

Is. 20:4-6 records how Assyria was at war with Egypt and Ethiopia some years before Sennacherib's invasion;  it is not surprising that even though those nations initially support Assyria's invasion of Israel (Dan. 11:43), they will easily turn against them.   Thus major Arab wars should not lead us to think that the invasion of Israel is far off.

The rampant spread of Islam in black Africa may mean that African Moslem troops will be among 'Libya and Ethiopia' mentioned in these latter-day prophecies.   In this case racial tensions would never be far below the surface, and could easily rise during the confused house-to-house fighting for Jerusalem, which we earlier reasoned the Arab forces will have to engage in.

According to the prototype, Ethiopia will turn against Assyria specifically.   This may be part of the process whereby the horns " hate the whore" of Babylon/Assyria during the final stage of their persecution of God's people (Rev. 17:16 cp. Hab 2:8).   Nah 3:9 points out that the real strength of Assyria against Israel was on account of the support she received from the smaller Arab powers.   Similarly no one Arab nation presently has any likelihood of dominating the Middle East in terms of military power.   Iran and Iraq (geographical 'Assyria') will need the assistance of the other Arab nations to realistically invade Israel.

" Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him" (Dan. 11:44) uses the same word translated " rumour" in 2 Kings 19:7, concerning the 'rumour' Sennacherib heard of his Ethiopian allies turning against him.   These 'tidings' can be interpreted in a last-days context as referring to news reaching 'Assyria' of her smaller Arab allies turning against her - the horns hating the whore (Rev. 17:16).   " Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many" (Dan. 11:44) is a commentary on Sennacherib's rage (2 Kings 19:27,28).   Rabshakeh boasted immediately after the receipt of the " rumour" that Assyria would 'utterly destroy' Israel still (2 Kings 19:11).   This is matched by " to destroy, and utterly to make away" in Dan. 11:44.   The fury of Assyria against Jerusalem because of their recognition that they only had limited time to destroy it before having to turn their attention against the Arab rebels is the basis of the Arab beast of the last days going forth against God's people with " great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Rev. 12:12,17).

" He shall plant the tabernacles of his the glorious holy mountain" of Zion (Dan. 11:45) is the language of Is. 14:13,14 concerning both Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar desiring to take Jerusalem.   Thus Dan. 11:45 is saying that the latter-day Assyria/Babylon will do this, seeing that Jerusalem will be taken by their final invasion (Zech. 14:2).   Dan. 12:1 says that it is at this time of the latter-day Assyrian/" king of the north" being in Jerusalem, that Israel will suffer " a time of trouble such as never was" , out of which the righteous remnant will be delivered (" every one that shall be found written in the book" ) by God's intervention, which will be associated with the resurrection (Dan. 12:2).  

The structure of this aspect of the prophecy appears to be purposefully ambiguous as to whether this salvation of the remnant out of Arab-occupied Jerusalem will be due to Christ's return and resurrection of the dead, or due to Christ's intervention, having already returned to earth.   The exact timing of Christ's coming appears impossible to dogmatically slot into the sequence of events which the latter-day prophecies present.