Jordan is much in the news today, due to the horrific killing of its downed pilot. The world became aware of the pilot’s killing because the Muslim terror group ISIS released a video of it.
ISIS’ brutal killings, march of terror over the interior Middle East, and its famed videotaped beheadings certainly bring back to mind their ancestors, the Assyrians. In this same region several thousand years ago, the mighty kingdom of Assyria had arisen, with its capital, Nineveh. God used this nation to punish Israel.
In 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered Israel. The Assyrians were aggressive and effective; the history of their dominance over the Middle East is a history of constant warfare. In order to assure that conquered territories would remain pacified, the Assyrians would force many of the native inhabitants to relocate to other parts of their empire. They almost always chose the upper and more powerful classes, for they had no reason to fear the general mass of a population. They would then send Assyrians to relocate in the conquered territory.
When they conquered Israel, they forced the ten tribes to scatter throughout their empire. For all practical purposes, you might consider this a proto-Diaspora (“diaspora”=”scattering”), except that these Israelites disappear from history permanently; they are called “the ten lost tribes of Israel.” (Virtual Jewish Library)
|One small section of Sennacherib’s Lachish relief. Wikipedia|
Assyrian King Sennacherib’s statement inscribed on the relief: “Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment, before (or at the entrance of) the city of Lachish (Lakhisha). I give permission for its slaughter“
The Assyrians were known for their terrible brutality. When Sennacherib defeated Israel’s second most important city, Lachish, he commissioned a 12 foot tall relief commemorating the effort. In the Lachish relief we see the Assyrians flinging Israelites off the ramparts, leading them in a line with meathooks in their jaws, and worse. Just the name of Assyria brought terror to the hearts of its enemies.
In His sovereign plan, God used Assyria as His rod of judgment upon Israel. We read When Assyria was God’s Rod…
In Isaiah 10 our Lord spoke about the coming judgment of Israel through the prophet. He explained in vivid imagery that nothing remained for those who stood condemned, but the coming condemnation. In this case, God was going to rouse Assyria against Israel (Judah). To frame this judgment, the Lord says through Isaiah, that Assyria doesn’t intend to be God’s rod of correction; that they are merely another wicked nation and that this plundering of Israel is merely an expression of their own corruption. Once God has used the Assyrians to judge Israel, He will then judge Assyria.
He did. Assyria’s capital, Nineveh, was so thoroughly destroyed that though its destruction occurred in 612 BC, the city and environs were not re-discovered until 1849AD. God had promised Israel that He’d make an utter devastation to the place, and that the Assyrians would not bother them a second time. (Nahum 1:8-9).
Now, what of Jordan? Jordan’s history is pretty interesting. When the Ottoman Empire was defeated in 1916, the Sykes–Picot Agreement carved it up between Britain and France, defining much of the common border between Syria and what was to become Jordan, Palestine / Israel and Iraq. Wikipedia has more:
The Emirate of Transjordan, also hyphenated as Trans-Jordan and previously known as Transjordania or Trans-Jordania, was a British protectorate established in April, 1921. The Hashemite dynasty ruled the protectorate, as well as the neighbouring Mandatory Iraq, following the Cairo Conference. The territory was officially under the British Mandate for Palestine, but it had a fully autonomous governing system from Mandatory Palestine. In 1946, the Emirate became an independent state named the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. In April 1949 the name was shortened to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Emir of Transjordan from 1921–1946 was Abdullah I. The British Representative from Oct 1921 – Nov 1921 was T. E. Lawrence, also known as “Lawrence of Arabia.” Yes, he was a real man, it wasn’t just a movie.
The Hashemite emir Abdullah, elder son of Britain’s wartime Arab ally Hussein bin Ali was placed on the throne of Transjordan. The king of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today is Abdullah II. Both Abdullahs were/are Sunni Muslim.
After WWI, Abdullah I, alone among the Arab leaders of his generation, was considered a moderate by the West. It is possible that he might have been willing to sign a separate peace agreement with Israel, but for the Arab League’s militant opposition. Because of his dream for a Greater Syria comprising the borders of what was then Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the British Mandate for Palestine under a Hashemite dynasty with “a throne in Damascus,” many Arab countries distrusted Abdullah and saw him as both “a threat to the independence of their countries and they also suspected him of being in cahoots with the enemy” and in return, Abdullah distrusted the leaders of other Arab countries. Source.
|King Abdullah I|
In 1951, King Abdullah I was assassinated while visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The alleged reason was that his enemies suspected the King of engaging in secret talks to participate in a peace treaty with the new country of Israel. The regional distrust of the dynasty ruling Jordan continues today, partly because the peace treaty Jordan signed with Israel did come about (in 1994), despite pressure as recent as a few months ago to cancel it. We know from prophecy that in the end, no nation will be friends with Israel (Zechariah 12:3) so at some point that one remaining regional pact will disappear.
One last thing before we go to this week’s news. The Abdullah family traces its Hashemite ancestry back to Ishmael, (Abraham’s son by Hagar), and ancestry continuing through the prophet Muhammad and his daughter Fatima.
You might remember Genesis 16:11, where Sarai told Hagar to come to Abram and lay with Abram and Hagar did so. The LORD said the son from that union shall be called Ishmael.
You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen. (Genesis 16:11-12)
The LORD promised blessings to the line of Ishmael, but His covenant would be with Abram’s son Isaac and his line.
As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. (Genesis 17:20)
Ishmael’s half-brother Isaac was born a year later. However due to the laws of primogeniture wherein the first-born son is considered the inheritor, the line from Ishmael never recognized Isaac’s right to inherit and still to this day considers Ishmael the proper heir. That is why King Abdullah traces his line back to “Ismail”. However it was the LORD’S decision that not only will the covenant be through Isaac’s line, but the elder shall serve the younger. This was stated when Jacob and Esau were in the womb-
And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23)
In addition, the Ishmaelites forget that Esau purposely renounced his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. (Genesis 25:34).
King Abdullah II of Jordan was incensed this week that one of his pilots who crash landed in
Assyrian ISIS territory was put in a cage and burned alive. It was a barbaric and brutal event, made worse by its videotaping by conscienceless terrorists. He vowed to crush ISIS and retaliate with everything the nation’s got.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh later stressed to CNN that the airstrikes marked the beginning of his nation’s retaliation over the pilot’s death, but not the start of its fight against terrorism. He vowed to destroy ISIS. “We are upping the ante. We’re going after them wherever they are, with everything that we have. But it’s not the beginning, and it’s certainly not the end,” Judeh said.
Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on their king’s vow of vengeance for the horrific burning death of a captured airman — whose hometown the jets buzzed triumphantly after the mission. Reports from the Middle East said the latest strikes killed 55 members of ISIS, including a senior commander known as the “Prince of Nineveh.”
You can see by that statement that ISIS purposely identifies with ancient Assyria and with Nineveh itself. Nineveh has a long and terrible history. The city’s history goes back to just after the Flood, to Genesis 10. After Noah was 500 years old, Noah begat three sons, one of them was Ham. (Genesis 5:32). Ham begat Cush, and Cush begat Nimrod. (Genesis 10:8-9). Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod is specifically noted as the first on earth to be a mighty man, AKA a tyrant. Nimrod built Nineveh.
|A handshake between Hussein I of Jordan and Yitzhak Rabin,
accompanied by Bill Clinton, during the Israel-Jordan peace negotiations,
July 25th, 1994
Assyria was an actual nation and its name also stands for the type of nation which in the future, in all brutality will come against Israel. Another name for this type of nation is “Land of Nimrod.” Jesus will smite them and Israel will be at peace. This is an end-time Tribulation/Millennium prophecy. Some believe Micah refers to the antichrist when he says ‘the Assyrian’, but most commenters believe the Assyrian stands for the type of brutal enemy in general that the former nation of Assyria was. For example, Walvoord and Zuck’s Bible Knowledge Commentary says,
Though Assyria will not exist as a nation in the future, it represents nations who, like Assyria in Micah’s time, will threaten and attack Jerusalem (cf. Zech. 12:9; 14:2–3).
Micah 5:1-6 has the prophecy-.
Bible Knowledge Commentary again,
This is one of Messiah’s several accomplishments in bringing peace to Israel (vv. 5–15). He will be Israel’s peace because He will subdue the hostile powers around that nation. … The land of Nimrod (cf. Gen. 10:8–9; 1 Chron. 1:10) was a synonym for Assyria (cf. Assyria as a name for Persia in Ezra 6:22). Christ will enable Israel to defeat her foes, giving the nation a more-than-adequate number of shepherds or leaders (on the formula seven … even eight; cf. comments on “three … even four” in Amos 1:3). Whereas many nations have ruled Israel with the sword, in the Millennium the tables will be turned and Israel will rule over her foes because He, Messiah, will deliver her (cf. Zech. 14:3).
All of this to show several things:
1. The Preacher said,
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
and that which is done, is that which shall be done; what is done in the present age, nay, in this year, month, or day, shall be done over again in the next; Gill’s Exposition
War after war in the Middle East, man’s brutality, hatred of Israel, the long struggle between the two nations in Rebekah’s womb, the old Assyrians, the new Assyrians (ISIS) …all known to God and He will bring it to the good for those who love Him and to the justice of those who don’t. Either way, it all will end in glory.
2. God’s sovereignty, majesty, power, and might are demonstrated from the opening letter of the bible to the last amen. What’s happening now goes back to Genesis 10 and even before, to Genesis 3. All that is being done now on earth by men and demons are part of His sovereign plan which will culminate in the visible glory of our risen Christ coming to judge, rule, and reign. Prophecy is mighty in demonstration just Who is in control.
3. Prophecy marches apace. Today is one day closer to the fulfillment of all that is written. Hallelujah!