Online Bible College
Carelinks Home
FREE Literature
'The Last Days' Home
Bible Books Home
Buy this Book!
The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
email the author



The record of the great invasion of Judah by a huge Arab confederacy in Jehoshaphat's time, has so many links with other Scriptures which speak of the last days, either directly or through typology, that it is clear that this event is to be read as a type of the final Arab defeat at the hands of Jesus and a repentant Israel.   The record in 2 Chron. 20 has undeniable links with other 'last days' prophecies:-

2 Chron. 20


Zech. 14





1:14; 2:15












1:3; 2:16


:16 AVmg



:20 (" Tekoa" = 'blowing of trumpets')

















The careful student will also pick up a number of connections with passages which relate to the Assyrian invasion during Hezekiah's time.   Jehoshaphat's prayer for deliverance includes the imprecation " our eyes are upon thee" (2 Chron. 20:12), which is quoted in Ps. 123:1,2 - one of the Songs of Degrees written against the background of the Assyrian invasion, pleading for deliverance by God.   At the battle front he also exhorted the people: " Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be shall ye prosper" (2 Chron. 20:20). This is quoted in Isa. 7:9 to teach that Israel should have a stable faith in God, rather than being frightened by the Assyrian threat. 

Judah " looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped" (2 Chron. 20:24) is the language of the Assyrian defeat outside Jerusalem, probably in the same location as this Arab confederacy was also destroyed.   The stripping of the spoil from the dead was also repeated in Hezekiah's time (Isa. 33:4;  Mic. 4:13 cp. 2 Chron. 20:25).   The returning to Jerusalem with joy and God giving Jehoshaphat " rest round about" (2 Chron. 20:27,30) is the language of Isaiah's prophecies of how Israel would be restored after their Assyrian trauma, returning to Zion with joy upon their heads (Isa. 35:10).

The Assyrian invasion being the basis for that of Eze. 38 (note the many similarities between 'Gog' and Assyria), it is definitely typical of the invasion of the last days.   Therefore that of 2 Chron. 20, which alludes to it, must be  likewise interpreted.

There are a number of other links with passages which are typical of the last days:-

      2 Chron. 20

        :9              Lev. 26:40-42

        :15             Deut. 1:29,30 (the Arab tribes

                        initially in Canaan and the Egyptians

                        = the Arab confederacy).

        :15             1 Sam. 17:47 (David and Goliath)

        :17             Jud. 7:21 (Gideon and Midian)

        :17             Ex. 14:13,14 (the exodus deliverance).

        :21             The Jericho scenario.

        :25             Jud. 8:24-26 (Gideon and Midian).

        :27 A.V. mg.    Jud. 11:6,9 (Jephthah as Israel's head)

     - Jehoshaphat is

     Israel's head.

        :28             Similar praise after the victories over

                        Pharaoh and Goliath.

        :29             1 Sam. 17:46;  Eze. 38:23.

The sheer number of all these connections indicates that the invasion of 2 Chron. 20 is to be read as a summation of passages which speak of the final invasion of Israel.   There is good reason to believe that 2 Chron. 20 typifies the very  last part of the invasion, with its crushing by Jehoshaphat/Jesus as an immediate prelude to the establishment of the Millennium (" rest round about" , 2 Chron. 20:30).

Elijah's work

The invasion is set against a background of apostate Israel having been punished by an Arab invasion, and Judah having set about a serious spiritual revival.   Jehoshaphat set about implementing a 'back to the Bible' reformation, enforcing a return to " law and commandment, statutes and judgments" (2 Chron. 19:10), lest " wrath come upon you...from the Lord" (2 Chron. 19:10,2).  This is all reminiscent of Elijah's work, to make Israel " remember the law...with the statutes and judgments...lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:4,6).   This suggests that Jehoshaphat's revival of Judah after Israel's apostacy, typifies the work of Elijah in the last days.   As with the judges, Jehoshaphat typifies the work of both Elijah and Christ in the last days.

The repentance of Israel will be brought about by their sufferings at the hand of the Arabs, according to the typology studied so far.   It follows that the invasion we read of in 2 Chron. 20 points to a final Arab onslaught against Jerusalem in particular, which will come after a period of Arab downtreading and the work of an 'Elijah' prophet among them.   It is almost as if this final invasion is to test the depth of Israel's new faith and repentance.   Whether Christ will have returned before this is purposefully ambiguous - Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem, as Hezekiah in Jerusalem, may typify the presence of the Elijah prophet among the newly-faithful remnant, or that of Jesus.   Jehoshaphat being in the " forefront" (Heb. 'head') of the people as they return from the spoil, certainly echoes Christ rather than the Elijah prophet.   Likewise Israel chose Jephthah/Jesus as their 'head' after their repentance (Jud. 11:6).

The many Joel allusions in 2 Chron. 20 support this general outline.   Joel 1 describes the desolation of the land by a succession of Arab invasions, followed by a call to repent which leads to the invading army being called off, and then all Israel's enemies coming up again to " the valley of Jehoshaphat" to be finally destroyed, followed immediately by the establishment of the Millennium.   The events of 2 Chron. 20 concern Jehoshaphat's destruction of the Arab invaders, showing that they typify the final stage of Israel's redemption in the latter day " valley of Jehoshaphat" .

Arab confederacy

" The children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle...and Judah gathered themselves together" (2 Chron. 20:1,4) again shows the emphasis on how the Arabs will gather themselves together to make this final onslaught, perhaps implying that during the desolation of Israel just prior to it by various Arab incursions, there will be no unity of the type which will then be seen.   Time and again this 'gathering together' of Israel's enemies in order to attack them is highlighted, clearly showing how Arab disunity can only be solved by their concentration on capturing Jerusalem.  

This 'gathering together' is spoken of in latter-day passages - Zech. 14:2 and Rev. 16:14.   The previous Arab invasions which typify those of the future, also mention this 'gathering together':  Sisera's forces did this (Jud. 4:13), as did those of Ammon (Jud. 10:19;  1 Chron. 19:7), the Amorites (Jud. 11:20), the Arab powers with Assyria in Hezekiah's time (Mic. 4:11), Gog's forces (Eze. 38:7), the Arab-Canaanite tribes (Gen. 34:30) and especially the Philistines (Jud. 16:33;  1 Sam. 13:5,11;  17:1;  25:1; 28:1; 29:1;  2 Sam. 23:11).

This is quite some emphasis.   Thus while we can expect to see greater potential Arab unity developing around the Israel issue and perhaps a common allegiance to charismatic 'Nebuchadnezzar' figure for a brief period, their complete meeting of minds will not be until the final push against Jerusalem.

It is significant that this gathering together of Israel's enemies in the incidents typical of the last days, produced a parallel 'gathering together' of Israel in response.   They 'gathered together' in response to the threatened Philistine invasions (1 Sam. 14:20;  17:2;  28:4), those of the Ammonites (Jud. 10:18);  1 Chron. 19:7,12), the Babylonians (Jer. 6:1) and during their deliverance from Egyptian persecution (Ex. 4:29).   Their 'gathering together' under Jehoshaphat to fast and seek God's help (2 Chron. 20:3,4) is therefore typical of their doing so in the last days; indeed Joel 2:15-19 prophesies that this will happen.   The implication is that a new spirit of unity develops among the Jews as they realize their common need for salvation.   A like desperate awareness among the new Israel would have the same happy result.

Relevant to this theme is Mal. 4:6, which speaks of 'Elijah' reconciling the fathers to the children among latter-day Jewry.   Recall, too, how we suggested that Deborah, arising as a " mother in Israel" typified the inculcation of a spirit of unity and familyhood among the faithful in Israel due to their sufferings (Jud. 5:7).   Isa. 11:13,14 also speaks of how Ephraim and Judah sink their differences before devouring their surrounding enemies.

We have shown that the language of 'gathering together' is frequently used about the gathering of Israel's Arab enemies against her, which will be matched by her 'gathering together'.   This will occur both within Israel, and may also be matched by a 'second exodus' of the diaspora, being gathered together to Israel.   This could easily take place during the holocaust period within the land, which will doubtless be associated with Jewish pogroms world-wide.   With this understanding of 'gathering', at least three passages repay careful study:- 

Zech. 12:3

" In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people (i.e. all around Israel, as this often means):  all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" .

The Septuagint renders the first phrase as " a stone trodden down by the Gentiles" , clearly alluded to by Jesus in His description of Jerusalem being captured by the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).   Those who are 'gathered together' against Jerusalem must be the Arabs, according to the other uses of the phrase outlined above.   These Arab peoples will take Jerusalem, and suffer for it (" burden themselves with it" ).  The rejected likewise will be burdened with a heavy stone (Mt. 18:6), showing that they will share the judgments of Israel's enemies. Zech. 14:1,2 also indicates that we must expect the Arabs to 'take' Jerusalem in some sense during their latter-day invasions.   " All the people of the earth" who are gathered against Jerusalem referring to the Arabs, indicates that " the earth" must be the area around Jerusalem.   Alternatively, it may be read as 'the land' - of Israel.   The 'people of the land' would then refer to the Canaanite tribes who originally lived in the land, who are the forefathers of many of the present Arab peoples.   They are called " the people of the land (earth)" in Gen. 23:7, 12,13;  Deut. 7:6; Josh 4:24.   Another possibility is that they are 'people of the land' in the sense that at the times they gather themselves against Jerusalem they are present within the land of Israel.

Rev. 16:14-16

This and Rev. 19:19 appear to be based upon the ideas of the 'gathering together' of Israel's Arab enemies previously outlined, and also upon Zech. 12:3 just considered.

" The spirit of devils...go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day...into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" .   " The kings of the earth" can be interpreted as in Zech. 12:3;  " of the whole world" may refer to the world in relation to Israel (as in Dan. 2), or possibly to the fact that all nations literally will be incited to attack Israel.   'Armageddon' meaning 'the valley of Megiddo', takes us back to Zech. 12:9,11: " I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, the valley of Megiddon" .

The conclusion from this is that although Israel have repented before their victory in the valley of Jehoshaphat (the same area in terms of prophecy), according to the typology of 2 Chron. 20 and other passages, their full realization of the enormity of their sin of crucifying Jesus only comes home to them on seeing His complete rout of their enemies.   Thus their returning to Jerusalem with joy (2 Chron. 20:27) will be preceded by, or mixed with, tears of pent-up emotional release. The similarity of the 'gather together' language has led us to associate the following:-

-  The gathering together of Israel's Arab enemies against her at various times

-  The gathering of the Arab nations into a valley near Jerusalem (2 Chron. 20:16, A.V. mg.) for destruction in Hezekiah's time

-  Joel's prophecy of all nations being gathered into the " valley of Jehoshaphat" (3:2)

-  The gathering together of the Arab nations into the 'valley of Megiddo' (Rev. 16:16) to fight Israel in the last days.

It could be objected that the valley of Megiddo is in the North of Israel whilst that of Jehoshaphat is in the South, near Jerusalem.   However, the other similarities of language and context are so great as to suggest that they must refer to the same place.   It may be that Megiddo having been the scene of many previous Arab battles in Israel's history, it is being used symbolically in Rev. 16:16 rather than as a literal geographical reference.

Back in Rev. 16, the sixth vial has described how the nations will be gathered to their place of judgment in Armageddon.   The seventh vial then records the destruction of Babylon, who receives " the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath" in the form of huge hailstones (Rev. 16:19,21).   This equates the nations who are gathered to Armageddon with Babylon, which we will see is primarily a symbol of the Arab powers.    The cup of the wrath of God alludes to Zech. 12:2,3, where the Arab nations also are " gathered together" and have burdened themselves with Jerusalem are made to drink " a cup of trembling" by reason of doing so.   The punishment with giant hailstones recalls how Israel's Arab enemies were destroyed in the time of Joshua/Jesus (Josh. 20:11).   This confirms our interpretation of 'Babylon' as having an Arab context.

Rev. 18:19

" The beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (Jesus, v. 11), and against his army" . The connection with 2 Chron. 20 and the other references to Israel's Arab enemies 'gathering together' invites us to see the beast as a primarily Arab organization.   If there is a detailed allusion here to the 2 Chron. 20 scenario, Jehoshaphat (against whom the Arab kings initially gathered together) would represent Jesus, and Jehoshaphat's army would tally with the resurrected saints.   In this case, the final Arab onslaught will be after the return of Jesus.   In passing, note the differentiation between the leaders in this conflict and their armies:  " The kings of the earth, and their armies...him that sat on the horse (Jesus) and against his army" .

This would suggest a specific Arab hatred of the Lord Jesus which is separate from, although in addition to, their antipathy towards Israel and the saints.   It may also be possible to see in the separation between " the kings of the earth, and their armies" a certain degree of coercion, or difference of motivation, between leaders and people. It may be that an Arab-dominated U.N. or similar organization controlling some kind of global army will fulfill such requirements.

Final details

Back in 2 Chron. 20 a number of other details serve to confirm the general picture presented by other prophets:-

-  The invaders approached Jerusalem from the South (2 Chron. 20:2) - as the final push will do in the last days?

-  Jehoshaphat prayed, " Rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?" (2 Chron. 20:6).   The implication is that by God's victory over the Arabs, they would be made to see the truth of this.   The language of Dan. 4:17,32 appears to look back to this in that through his fall Nebuchadnezzar and his people of Babylon learnt the same lesson.   This is yet another connection between 'Babylon' and the Arab tribes.

-  " They...come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit" (2 Chron. 20:11) shows that those Arabs were using the same argument against Israel as they do today: 'God gave us the land, not you - we are the real seed of Abraham, so, shift!'

-  " Then upon Jahaziel...a Levite (like Elijah)...came the Spirit of the Lord" - to give an inspired message of encouragement (2 Chron. 20:14).   The role of the word of God spoken forth by prophets or Angels to encourage Israel in their final suffering is a repeated theme in the Judges and other passages typical of the last days.   'Elijah' and his school of prophets who fill this role could be:-

                - we who are living just prior to the second


                - the resurrected saints

                -  Angels

                -  natural Jews given the spirit gift of

                   prophecy just prior to the final judgment

                  of Israel's enemies (Joel 2:28-31).  

                   Compare this with the comments on the two  witnesses in

                   Section 3.

-  " The wilderness of Tekoa" (2 Chron. 20:20) means 'blowing of trumpets' - associated with the rallying of natural Israel, and also the resurrection and judgment of the saints.   This could be another hint that the final Arab invasion occurs after Christ's return. The feast of Trumpets may be the time for some significant event in the last days (see Chapter 12).

-  The Arab invaders massacred each other:  " every one helped to destroy another" (2 Chron. 20:23).   This seems to have been sparked by their ambushing the wrong group:  " The Lord set ambushments (amazingly, the Hebrew word for this is 'arab'!) against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir" (2 Chron. 20:22).   Truly, Arabs against Arabs!   This is a theme in the latter-days passages: Zech. 14:13;  Jud. 7:22;  1 Sam. 14:22.   Whilst such confusion is easily possible given modern high-technology warfare, it would seem more likely that a few initial mistakes of this sort could open up old rivalries which are then fought out to the death.   Indeed, we could sensibly look for even more rifts to occur between the Arabs, e.g. over oil.  

It would appear that they pick on one particular group of Arabs first:  " when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another" (2 Chron. 20:23).   The prophecy of Seir's destruction in Eze. 35 should be read as being executed by fellow Arabs.

The prediction of the Philistines' destruction by Babylon in Jer. 47 may also have its latter-day fulfilment at this time.   Amos chs. 1 and 2 describe how apostate Israel and six Arab nations will meet their end by fire.   This complete (seven-fold) destruction points forward to the last days, when apostate Israel will share the punishment of the Arabs.   The emphasis on fire is understandable if the Arabs unleash their missiles on each other.

-  " They were three days in gathering of the spoil" (2 Chron. 20:25) inevitably suggests our Lord's three days in the grave in order to provide 'spoil' of spiritual riches for the people of God.   This is one of many examples of Christ's victory over the political manifestation of sin in the last days, being described in terms which are reminiscent of His conquest of sin through His sacrifice.