Arabs in Prophecy




John Hoole - January 2, 2011





For the past couple of weeks, we have been discussing the place Israel plays in End-time prophecy.  We have taken a look at the covenant God made with Abraham, and the fact that a parcel of land, as well as many nations would come from him.  We discussed this covenant and who has rightful ownership of the land.  The Arabs claim that the entire Palestine rightfully belongs to them.  and that the Israelis came to dispossess their land from them after World War II.  They claim they were the predominant population of modern Palestine before the great influx of Jews, first from Europe, and then from all over the earth.


The Jews, however, turn to the Bible to say that Palestine was the Promised Land that God gave to them in his covenant with Abraham.


Because the Bible focuses so much on God’s chosen people, Israel, we might think that the Bible has little to say about the Arabs.  While we do believe that the Jews are God’s covenant people, through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and though we believe the promise given to Abraham that all the world would be blessed through the Jews, and while we do believe that God promised to bring these scattered 12 tribes back to their own homeland, even over the protests of the surrounding Arabs, we also took note in the past two week, that God also promised to bless the Arabs greatly as well.


The problems between Arabs and Israelis, which we are seeing nearly everyday on the news reports, all began when Abraham and Sarah decided to help God out.  That’s a nice way of saying that they decided to run ahead of God’s plan.  They had grown impatient, waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise that they would be given an heir.  The result is, both Arabs and Jews are descendants of Abraham.


But, even though Abraham and Sarah tried to help God out, Ishmael was not to the be the promised child, nor heir to God’s covenant with Abraham.  Here is what God said when Abraham tried to get God to accept Ishmael as the promised child.


Genesis 17:15-21 NIV


15     God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.

16     I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

17     Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"

18     And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"

19     Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

20     And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

21     But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."


The Scriptures make it clear that the Arab people do not just have a passing role in the end-times events.  They have a prophetic future, as do also the Israelis.  For instance: When referring to the Arab people, the Bible speaks not only of judgment but also of blessing.  There are whole sections of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel that concern themselves with the Arab people.  Almost the entirety of Obadiah and Nahum are concerned with Arab nations.


More than 140 references are made in the Bible concerning Assyria.  There are 740 references with regard to Egypt, and 180 about Moab.


The first time the Bible refers to the Arabians is in 2 Chron. 17:11, where we are told the Arabs gave tribute, along with the Philistines and others, to the highly honored Jewish King Jehoshaphat, who ruled in the 9th century B.C.  Later on we find the Arabs joining the Philistines in an attack against Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram (2 Chron.21:16).  Later still, we see how God helps the youthful king Uzziah defeat the Arabians and the Philistines in the 8th century B.C..


By the time of Christ, all of the desert peoples who lived east and southeast of the Promised Land were known as Arabs.




         This is how many people view Arabs:


                   1.      They are Muslim by faith.

                   2.      They are wealthy because of oil.

                   3.      They are primitive in technological sophistication

                   4.      They are fanatical in their hatred of Israel and America.


         I believe it can be shown that none of these are true for all Arabs.




Most of the Arabs are descendants of Abraham’s firstborn, Ishmael.  But he is not the only father of the Arabs.  As the chart shows, others are descendants of Esau, Isaacs older son.  And when Sarah died, Abraham took another wife, named Keturah, who bore six sons.  Each of these became fathers to Arab nations.


Some define an Arab simply as “anyone who speaks Arabic.”      Others narrow the scope slightly, by saying an Arab is “anyone who speaks Arabic, who is also a descendant of Abraham.


It doesn’t all fit so neat and tidy as that.  Over the last 3,800 years, there has been considerable mixing of some of these families.  We have already noted the mixing of Ishmael and Esau.  But there are a number of countries existing today that we usually lump into the Arab camp, who, in a technical sense, may not be Arabic.


Take Syria, for instance.




From Abraham’s brother, Nahor, through his grandson Aram.  In Hebrew, the land was called Aram.  When translated into Greek, it was called Syria.  You will find the word Syria, or Syrian in the King James, New King James, and A.S.V in several references from the Old Testament.  Most translations, like NIV, NAS, TLB, RSV, use the word Aram, or Aramean.


By the way, small portions of both the Old and New Testaments are written in Aramaic, a language akin to Hebrew.


We can see from Genesis that the Syrians, or Arameans, are not technically descended from Abraham, but from Abraham’s brother.  But, today 90% of the people in Syria speak Arabic.  And, today we usually view Syria as an Arabic country.


Before we leave Syria, here is another side note.




Where did Isaac get his wife Rebekah?  Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, went to Padan-Aram, where he found Rebekah.  The name, PADAN-ARAM, means the "plains of Aram."


Genesis 25:20 NKJV


20     Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.


                       The NIV uses the word Aramean.


Rebekah was the grand-daughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor.  And she was Syrian (Aramean).  That same verse should indicate to you another link between Syria and Israel.  Jacob worked for 14 years for Laban, the brother of Rebekah, for his two wives, Leah and Rachel.  So Leah and Rachel were Syrian.


Now let’s get back to the subject of how to identify an Arab.  A popular misconception is that Arab identity is determined by religion - that if you are a Muslim, then you are an Arab.  That is not true.


About 90% of all Arabs are Muslims, while only 15% of all Muslims are Arabs  Although Islam was born in Arabia, .more than half the world’s Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia.  The countries with the largest Muslim populations are Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.  For instance, Indonesia is an island nation in Southeast Asia.  Indonesians are not Arab.  They are Malays.


Nearly six million Muslims live in the United States, and today Muslims live in every country on the globe.


The majority of Arabs belong to the Sunni branch of Islam.  The minority group are called Shi’a.


The nation of Iran is composed mostly of Muslims, but they are not Arabs.  They are Persians.  Neither is Arabic their national language – “Farsi" is.  Additionally, Egypt is not Arab per-se.  Both Egypt and Persia were in existence prior to the time of Abraham.  As we learned in an earlier lesson, Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, was Egyptians  (Gen. 16:3;  25:12).  Ishmael also married an Egyptian woman selected by his mother (Gen. 21:21).  Esau married an Egyptian daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 28:6-9), --- so we see a definite alliance between Ishmael and Esau.  These facts tell us that most Arabs have some Egyptian blood in them.




Joseph, while in Egypt, married Asenath, an Egyptian woman  (Gen. 41:45).  She was the daughter of Potiphera.  That makes both Ephraim and Manasseh – two of the 12 tribes of Israel – partly Egyptian.


While it is true that not all Muslims are Arab, the Islamic religion seems to be the one thing that holds them together.  But, even then, the many Arabic factions are still not very trusting of their brothers.


The Bible records that the people who roamed the northern Arabian Desert area were largely the descendants of Ishmael.  You can read that in Genesis 25:18.  It also records that Esau (also called Edom) was the father of the country of Edom today known as Jordan.


Not all Arab peoples have been nomadic.  Those that were, were for the most part descendants of Ishmael.  But many of them were very industrious and intelligent.




There are probably many reason why we are less aware of the contributions of the Arabs.  One primary reason is that while the Arabs were at the zenith of their existence, Europe was under the burden known as the “dark ages.”  Westerners did not realize that while they lived in mud huts and had open drainage in their cities, Baghdad and Damascus were building palaces and drainage. One of their crowning contribution to modern man is the simple system of Arabic numbers and the Zero along with its cousin, the decimal system.  As a mathematician, who has studied various number systems, this is one of the greatest of all contributions to the study of mathematics.


Rom Landau, in his book The Arab Heritage of Western Civilization, says,


         “Had the Arabs given us nothing but the decimal system, their contribution to progress would have been considerable.  In actual fact they gave us infinitely more.  The men who advanced Western mathematical and astronomical knowledge sufficiently to enable us today to send rockets to the moon were Keppler, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton.  Yet none of these could have arrived at his scientific conclusions had it not been for the spadework done several hundred years earlier by the Arab mathematicians and astronomers."


Ancient Arabs made significant advances in mathematics and astronomy.  Fully 600 years before Columbus, a group of Arab scholars determined that the earth was round, and calculated the earth’s circumference at the equator.  They missed by only 822 miles.


Yagut of Baghdad compiled the forerunner of our modern encyclopedia, by arranging geographical, biographical, and scientific information in alphabetical order.


Many Arab words have become commonplace in the English language.


         The word “Alphabet” is an Arabic word. So is:








In the 9th century, al-Khwarismi utilized the concepts of algebra developed earlier by Greek, Hindu and other Arab scholars.  Along with other Arab scholars, he used both positive and negative signs, thus allowing for the use of algebra in many new ways.  Algebra was developed into a science by the Arabs, though it was not known and used in Europe until the sixteenth century.


In the field of astronomy, they contributed the science of Spherical Trigonometry.  They made some very important contributions in medicine, such as noting the contagious character of diseases.


God has fulfilled the promise made to Abraham to bless Ishmael.  But, let’s take a closer look at those prophecies concerning Ishmael.  One of the reasons Ishmael is most recognized as the father of the Arab people, is because of the careful account given of Ishmael’s birth and the promises of God concerning him as recorded in the Bible.


Earlier in our lesson, we read the promise made by God to Abraham concerning Ishmael.  But before God makes this promise with Abraham, one chapter earlier, we find God speaking with Hagar, who is pregnant with Ishmael.


Genesis 16:10-12 NIV


10     The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."

11     The angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.

12     He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."


When you couple these promises with what was said to Abraham, you cannot help but be impressed with their detailed fulfillment, even to the present day.


The promises are:


                   1.      He would bless him and make him fruitful.


                   2.      He would bring forth 12 princes or nations.


                   3.      He would make of him a great nation.


                   4.      The Arab people would be independent.


Let’s look at each of these four promises.


1.      He would bless him and make him fruitful.


God declared that He would multiply Ishmael.  God has been very faithful to his promises concerning the Arabs.  They have been very fruitful and have greatly increased in number.


Today there are 21 Arab nations, plus Gaza and West Bank, with a combined population of nearly 366.7 million people.  The Arabs occupy a total area of 5.0 million square miles of land, much of which is rich in oil.


By contrast, there is only one Jewish state with a population of 7.4 million people, of which 5.6 million are Jews, all of whom are squeezed into only 8,000 square miles of space.  That’s a 45 to 1 population ratio, and a land ratio of 586 to 1.  The Arabs have truly been blessed.  There are approximately 12 million Jews living elsewhere in the world.


2.      He would bring forth 12 princes or nations.


Practically every Bible student is aware of Jacob’s 12 sons.  But the 12 “princes” of Ishmael – his sons – are only known by a few.  They are listed in Genesis 25:13-15.


         •  Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema,

            Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.


3.      He would make of him a great nation.


The Arab people have reason to feel that this particular promise of God has been fulfilled.  With over 5 million square miles, and two-thirds of the world’s proven oil resources, they have become some of the wealthiest countries in the world.


A question I often hear is this.  Why is it, when the Arabs have a 45 to 1 population ratio over the Jews, that they are unable to just annihilate the Jews.  That leads us to the 4th prophecy concerning the Arabs – specifically Ishmael.


4.      The Arab people would be extremely independent.


God said that Ishmael would be “wild donkey of a man.” (Genesis 16:12).  He adds that “his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."  By and large the Arab people have managed to be free, maintaining their independence for most of the past 4,000 years of recorded history.  Yet, the wars, uprising, and rebellions that have plagued the Arabs are definitely a fulfillment of God’s Word.


As the Bible predicted, wildness and inter-tribal conflict have characterized the Arabs throughout their history.  Attempts to unite the Arab world have always been frustrated by their own fiercely independent behavior.


One reason that the Arabs have been almost powerless against Israel’s presence in the Middle East, is the fact that the various Arab factions can’t agree with each other.  The Arabs are constantly at war with each other.


During the 1980’s there was the Iran – Iraq war.  Then Saddam Hussien invaded another Arab country, Kuwait, with the ultimate intention of probably going on into Saudi Arabia and others.


However, the Bible shows that the Arab nations, though disunited, see a common enemy in Israel and plot for her downfall.  This is clearly seen in Psalm 83.


Psalm 83:3-7 NKJV


3       They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.

4       They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more."

5       For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:

6       The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites;

7       Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;


Will the Arabs ever unite?  What does the Bible say?  First of all, the Bible does not picture a single Arab “nation” in the end times.  The Arabs will not unite under a single flag.  Those that are Islamic will continue to pay lip service to the ideal of Islamic unity, but such unity will not really happen.


God has made multiple contracts with these varied, interrelated seeds.  Each contract will be kept.  God is not confused with the mixing of people groups.  And history will be written God’s way.


Some might say, “But what about the Palestinian people?  Don’t they deserve a state?   First of all, keep in mind that in God’s promises, both to Abraham and Hagar, no specific piece of land was part of those promises for the descendants of Ishmael or Esau.  Also keep in mind, with regard to the Palestinians, that a Palestinian state has never existed in the past.


From A.D. 70 until 1948 the geographical area now known as Palestine was never an independent state, nor did the Arabs residing there have any consciousness of themselves as a separate nation of people.  They regarded themselves primarily as Syrians.  And Jerusalem has never served as the capital of any Arab nation, whereas it has been considered the capital of the Jewish people since 1000 B.C.


Also noteworthy is the fact that when the West Bank and Gaza were under Jordanian autonomy from 1948 to 1967, there was not any effort to create a separate Palestinian state.  The PLO was formed during that time, not for the purpose of creating a Palestinian State, but rather for the purpose of exterminating the Jewish State.


Equally important is the fact that a Palestinian state already exists and it is four times larger that Israel.  The Palestinian state is Jordan.  In the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British originally promised all the Palestinian Mandate to the Jews as a national homeland.  But in 1922 they broke that promise by using 77% of the Mandate to create the Arab state of Jordan.  Today, that state’s population is 75% Palestinian.


Ok, so God never promised a separate parcel of land for the Arabs.  What does the Bible say about the Arabs in prophecy?


Before getting into some specific prophecies, a couple of additional pieces of information will help us as we examine them.


1.    After the nation of Israel divided into two – with Judah and Benjamin staying with Rehoboam, and the other 10 went with Jeroboam, all of the northern 10 tribes are sometimes call Ephraim, because Jeroboam set up his capital in Ephraim.  Likewise, Judah represent both of the southern tribes of Israel.


2.           The name “Edom” – the descendants of Esau – is sometimes used to represent all Arabs.


3.           Mount Seir is also another name of Edom.


With that in mind, lets first look at a passage that tells us that in the last days, the Arabs would claim the land of Israel for themselves.


Ezekiel 35:2-10 NIV


2     Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir; prophesy against it

3     and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you and make you a desolate waste.

4     I will turn your towns into ruins and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

5     Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax,

6     therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.

7     I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go.

8     I will fill your mountains with the slain; those killed by the sword will fall on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines.

9     I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

10   Because you have said, "These two nations and countries (Ephraim & Judah) will be ours and we will take possession of them," even though I the LORD was there, ‘


The Edomites – Arabs – wanted to take possession of the land occupied by Judah and Ephraim.  The scenario continues in the next chapter.


Ezekiel 36:2, 5 NIV


2     This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The enemy said of you, "Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession." '


5     this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.'


Ezekiel says that “all Edom” will be dealt with in the end times because of its hatred against the Jews.  The book of Obadiah prophesies a similar fate for Edom in “the day of the Lord”  (Ob. 15-18).


Consider Joel 3:19.  This passage has a clear end time context, and in that context it says,


       “Egypt will become a waste, and Edom will become a desolate wilderness, because of the violence done to the sons of Judah, in whose land they have shed innocent blood.”


This animosity between the descendants of Jacob and Esau has existed ever since they were young brothers, when Jacob tricked Esau into selling his birthright to him.  He literally “stole” the blessing of inheritance that usually goes to the oldest son.


Because of that, Genesis 27:41 (NIV) records Esau’s feelings.


41   Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."


This enmity between Israel and Edom (Jacob and Esau) continued to develop.  During the Israelite exodus from Egypt some 400 years later, Edom would not allow them to pass through their land (Num. 20:14-21 and Jud. 11:17).  This animosity continues to fester to this day.


What we see in the Middle East today is the longest family feud in history.  The competition that existed in Abraham’s household still exists today.  Much of the enmity between Jews and Arabs probably springs from the ancient rivalries between Isaac and Ishmael….as well as between Jacob and Esau.  Neither group trusts the other at all.


When we read of Hitler’s hate of the Jews, or the white separatist movements and their hatred of Jews, we call them Anti-Semitic.  I don’t think you can say that the hatred Arabs have for Jews is Anti-Semitic.  Why?  Being descendants of Abraham, both Arabs and Jews are Semitic, along with a mixture of Egyptian blood.


Arab Future


But the future for the Arabs is not all bleak.  They must suffer for their sins, just as the Jewish people will suffer during the Tribulation time.  But, like the Jews, a remnant of the Arabs will emerge from their suffering, with their hearts turned to the one and only true God.


Jeremiah 12:14-17 NIV


14   This is what the LORD says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them.

15   But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country.

16   And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, `As surely as the LORD lives'--even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal--then they will be established among my people.

17   But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.


Our love for the Jewish people and Israel does not negate love for the Arab people, many of whom are also descendants of Abraham through his other sons and grandsons.  God promised Abraham that He would establish an everlasting covenant through his yet-to-be-born son Isaac, Sarah's firstborn.  But he also assured Abraham that Ishmael and his descendants would also be blessed.


Genesis 17:20 (NIV) says:


20               And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.


Note the words, "I will surely bless him."  This may come as a surprise to some who love Israel, but God does not intend for Ishmael's descendants to be denied their portion.  This may account for the fact that, in our generation, more and more Arabs, many of whom have been followers of Islam for centuries, are coming to acknowledge the blessings that come to them through the promised Jewish Messiah.


God also has plans for a group of three tribes in the future – in the last days -- the tribes of Edom, Ammon and Moab.  You will find these three groups mentioned together dozens of times in the Bible.  This is not really surprising, because these three make up the nation of Jordan today.


Daniel 11:40-41 (NIV) tells us that during the Tribulation, the Antichrist will try to put a vise-grip on Israel.


40   "At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.

41   He will also invade the Beautiful Land [Israel]. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.


Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will escape the invasion of the antichrist.  Here is another side note.  The capital city of Jordan today is Amman, taken from Lot’s son Ammon.


Here is some more information about Edom.  Who is perhaps the most well-known Edomite in the Bible?  Maybe this verse will help.


Lamentations 4:21 NIV


21   Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz……


This verse lets us know that Uz was in Edom.  Who do we know from the Land of Uz?  Job.  Eliphaz, one of Job’s comforters, so called, was from Teman, a city in Edom.


The early capital of Edom was Selah  (2 Kings 14:7).  Later it was rebuilt by the Nabataeans and named Petra.  It is believed that the reason God saves Edom, Moab and Ammon from the invasion of the Antichrist, is because, during the invasion by the Antichrist into Israel, many Jews will flee from their land into this area.  In Isaiah 16:1, we find God speaking to the Edomites, instructing them to accept the refugees fleeing out of Israel.  The city of Petra is believed by many Bible scholars as a major place where they will flee.


Petra is one of the most spectacular archaeological ruins in the Near East and is a popular attraction on Holy Land tours.  Most of the buildings and tombs of Petra are cut into the rose-red rock cliffs of the area.  Because of its rock formations, Petra is sometimes called the rose-red city.  It is located 45 miles almost directly south of the Dead Sea.  One of the main sites of Petra was featured in the movie, “Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade.”


After the Antichrist has invaded Israel, he hears of tiding from the north and east, about a large army marching in his direction.  So, before he can pursue the fleeing Israelis, he changes plans and leaves the territory.  God uses Edom, Ammon and Moab to protect Israel.  The Bible also records some favorable comments about Egypt in the last days.


In Isaiah 19, we find God smiting Egypt and Assyria.  He goes on to say that when this happens, they will turn to God and He will have compassion on them and heals them.  Isaiah then presents an incredible picture of Egypt, Assyria and Israel living together in peace, worshiping the same God.


Isaiah 19:21-25 NIV


21   So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them.

22   The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.

23   In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.

24   In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth.

25   The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance."


This passage tells of a time when an open highway will link Egypt, Israel, and Assyria (Iraq/Syria/part of Turkey).  This will be a time when God is looking on all three with blessing.


God has decreed that the family feud between Arabs and Jews shall one day be ended.  In that day, Ishmael and Isaac will at last embrace.  And Esau and Jacob will embrace.


Before leaving this subject of God’s blessing upon the Arabs, please note with me one additional passage.  In Ezekiel 47 & 48, we see God instructing the distribution of the land of Israel during the Millennial reign of Christ.  He goes into great detail as to where each Israeli tribe is to be located.


Notice what is said in Ezekiel 47:21-23  (NAS)


21   So you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.

22   And it will come about that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the strangers [foreigners, aliens] who stay in your midst, who bring forth sons in your midst. And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

23   And it will come about that in the tribe with which the stranger stays, there you shall give him his inheritance," declares the Lord GOD.


My question for you is this:  “Who are these strangers or foreigners?”  Could these be the Arabs who will have been displaced from their lands.  Verse 22 speaks about them as “strangers who stay in your midst.”  Whoever they are, they have elected not to leave.  And God tells them to treat these “who have stayed” as native-born brothers, and they should be granted property by which ever Israelite tribe they happen to live.


We find a similar statement in Isaiah 14:1 NKJV


1     For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.


The most lengthy dispute in human history, the age-old conflict between Arabs and Jews, will be reconciled - possibly in our generation.  In the last century we have seen an increase in the animosity these two factions.  It has resulted in the death of millions of innocent and not-so-innocent people throughout the Middle East.  The Bible tells us that the causes of ancient hatred and fear will be removed from the hearts of all mankind, including Arabs and Jews.


One day, when Jesus Himself returns to this earth, the long-sought peace will prevail.  Jerusalem, which has millenniums of violence and death, will finally know peace as indicated by its ancient name: Jerusalem, which literally means, "The city of peace."  That city's name is somewhat ironic because no other city has been besieged and conquered more than Jerusalem.  King David conquered the ancient city, which at that time had the name, Jebus, after the Jebusites who lived there.


Later, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Persians, Arabs, European Crusaders, Turks and the British in turn conquered Jerusalem.  At least 27 times over the last four thousand years, Jerusalem has fallen to its enemies.


The destiny of the Arab world is not forgotten.  God's plan is that the Arabs enter their fullness in the kingdom of God.  Yet they, just as all the nations of the earth, must come to God through a Jew, the Jewish Messiah. 


This is exactly what Jesus told the Samaritan women in John 4:22  -- "...salvation is of the Jews."  Whether you are American or Iranian, all of us must come to God through the Jewish Messiah.