Focus On Jerusalem




The Mystery of Sheba and Dedan

By: Gary Stearman

(Of Prophecy in the News)



Focus on Jerusalem is pleased to present this excellent article on the identity of Sheba and Dedan that is referred to in the prophecies of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Gary Stearman is an excellent student of Bible prophecy, and his article on Sheba and Dedan are timely subjects for study in this present time, considering the war-on-terror and the rising threat posed by Shia Islam from Iran. (04-14-2006)

The Mystery of Sheba and Dedan


   Over the years, we have often referred to the signal battle depicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39. In graphic detail, it depicts a latter-day invasion. Led by Gog, it sweeps down toward Israel from the north. It features a vast array of allies, ranging from Persia to Eastern Europe. The opening phase of the assault apparently meets only a moderate, diplomatic resistance. And here, the story is of great contemporary interest, because of the Middle-Eastern power bloc that raises its voice against Gogís forces. We see this coalition of powers in Ezekiel 38:13, where it is shown in the act of questioning the leader of the invasion:


"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?"


   The invaderís forces are aimed at Israel, but involve the entire Middle East. Sheba and Dedan, aligned with a group of "merchants," are seen here questioning the motives of the northern aggressor. Since the powers represented by these names, Sheba and Dedan, seem to figure rather strongly among the latter-day world powers, they may very well have a message for us, today. But the question is, who are they, really?

   As we examine their biblical history, we shall see that the Bible has much to say about their geographic locale, as well as their "personality" and "character." They are a tough and wily people, with a culture forged by the millennia of political and economic crosscurrents that have ranged across the ancient lands of the Bible. The invasion that brings them to biblical prominence is, of course, the renowned battle of Gog, the leader of the land of Magog. Sheba and Dedan have a specific reaction to the offensive from the north. We shall analyze it closely, noting that it contains clues to the disposition of world powers. As we do so, we shall see that they remind us of something that we are seeing at the present time.

The Russians Are Coming


   It has been said that the only prophecy in the Bible that invokes a modern Gentile power by name is found in Ezekiel 38 and 39. There, we find Russia, called "Rosh" in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. In the King James translation, its name is somewhat obscured, seen in the word, "chief" in the following passage:


"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, "And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" (Ezk. 38:1-3).


   Virtually every other Bible translation follows the Hebrew text of verse two, which actually reads, "prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal," [kc,u lan atr thab nasieh rosh, meshech vítubal]. "Rosh" is a place name, rather than a positional title. Today, any standard Hebrew text (such as a newspaper) refers to Russia by using the proper noun, "Rosh." Many authorities add that Meshech and Tubal are the names of Scythian tribes, whose names have been standardized as modern place names.  Meshech is Russiaís capital, Moscow. Therefore, Magog is Russia. Its prince and leader is Gog. We know that throughout the twentieth century, Russia has dabbled with the extension of its power into the Middle East. This prophecy tells us that one day in the future, they will take their desire a step further, in an actual invasion. This being said, a question immediately comes to mind. Every student of the Bible has asked it more than once. Namely, when does all this occur? First, Ezekiel writes that it happens in the "latter years," when Israel has "Ö come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people" (Ezekiel 38:8).

   To further augment this idea, Israel is described as a "land of unwalled villages" (Ezekiel 38:11). This is the building style of today, not of the medieval or ancient eras, when even the smallest city was surrounded by a protective wall. The contemporary Israeli method of building does not include surrounding walls. Finally, the text plainly states the time and the result of the battle:


"And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes" (Ezekiel 38:16).


 *Focus on Jerusalem, while strongly supporting the theme of Mr. Stearmanís article concerning the identity of Sheba and Dedan, it however views the timing of the Russia-Persia invasion against Israel differently from that described in the paragraph shown highlighted here; (FOJ prefers to place the Ezekiel 38 scenario at the later half of the Tribulation era. The picture of Israel dwelling in peace is a picture of Israelís entrance into the false peace covenant of the Antichrist, and not a pre-trib scenario.) (Albeit, FOJ still recommends this article and even the further study of the pre-trib Ezekiel 38 scenario taken by Mr. Stearman, as Bible Prophecy is always a developing science in terms of current events.)


         Taking all this evidence, the clearest picture that emerges is one of Israel, regathered from the torments of its long Diaspora. Ezekiel pictures the regathered Jews as dwelling in peace, but with a false sense of security. In short, we are given a picture of todayís Israel, not the Israel of the past. The fact that they are living in relative peace also counters the possibility that the Russian invasion takes place during the Tribulation. This seven-year period is invariably depicted as a time of instability, characterized by earthquake, famine, disease and war. Thus, the alignment of nations, the geophysical description of Israel, and their sense of relative peace all weigh in favor of a pre-Tribulational event. But to drive the point home, Ezekiel offers us another prophetic time marker of unusual clarity:


"And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. "For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; "So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground" (Ezekiel 38:18-20).


   There is little doubt that these verses describe the initiation of the Tribulation. Take note of the phrase, "at the same time." It is quite unusual to find any prophetic event so directly linked to a specific physical event. We are clearly told that when the Russians invade the Middle East, then the Tribulation will commence. Furthermore, this time marker links Gogís invasion with the unveiling of the Lordís "fury." Note that the result is geologic upheaval, described elsewhere in Scripture as typical of the "Day of the Lord." In the New Testament, we read about the same period. But most often another word is used. Instead of "fury," we find "wrath." "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17).

   The concluding book of the Bible makes it plain that the Tribulation begins with a war, just as described in Ezekiel. The sixth chapter of Revelation features the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," they bring war, famine, economic collapse, and a deathly plague. Taken together, they are typical of a world war, in which there is a total breakdown of societal restraint, law, and infrastructure. It also tells us that victims will number in the millions, as in World Wars I & II. This war, however, will dwarf the conflicts of the twentieth century. And to make matters worse, after the smoke clears, the Antichrist will arise as peacemaker, promising to bring a better world.


Sheba and Dedan at the Beginning


   Now, letís return to the beginning of Ezekielís battle. Gog and his allies charge southward toward Israel. As we have already seen, Sheba and Dedan react to the offensive, not with reprisals, but with a question:


"Ö Art thou come to take a spoil?"


   In other words, they question Gogís motives. Perhaps through diplomatic channels, they inquire as to his real intentions. They wish to know whether or not he desires to rob them of their riches. As we shall see, they are very rich. They are descended from Cush. We first see their names in Genesis, where they are mentioned as the sons of Cush, who were descended from Ham:


"And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan" (Genesis 10:7).


    Historical authorities tell us that this genealogy is not complete. It has gaps, but it does serve to link the two tribal heads, Sheba and Dedan, with their earlier progenitors. They were not always as wealthy as they are today. For centuries, people known as Sheba and Dedan were a wandering people, migrating back and forth through the desert wastes of Arabia. Their origins are ancient. The same two tribal names are directly linked to a much later time as offspring of Abraham, through Keturah:


"Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. "And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. "And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. "And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. "But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country" (Genesis 25:1-6).

   This "east country" is Arabia. Technically, it lies east of ancient Ammon (modern Jordan) in the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. First Chronicles features two genealogies that terminate with Sheba and Dedan. The first is a repeat of Genesis 10:7:


"And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan" (1 Chronicles 1:9).


   The second genealogy repeats the Genesis 25 account of Abrahamís offspring through Keturah. Here, she is referred to as a concubine of Abraham:


"Now the sons of Keturah, Abrahamís concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.

"And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah" (1 Chonicles 1:32,33).


   Many have called the Chronicles a spiritual biography. They place as much or more emphasis upon holiness, than they do upon mere genealogy. For this reason, Keturah is called Abrahamís concubine, because his real ketubah (marriage contract) applies to Sarah. Keturahís sons founded the tribes of Arabia. It was first said by the historian Ptolemy, that Zimran established the region of Zabram, just west of todayís Mecca. The descendants of Jokshan have been loosely associated with Arabian tribes on the eastern side of the Arabian Penninsula. Medan and Midian are thought to have been neighbors, on the western side of the peninsula. Medan is the Hebrew word for "strife."

   The land of Midian, of course, offered safe haven for Moses, when he fled from the Egyptians. There, he encountered the hospitality of Jethro, and became a shepherd in the vicinity of Mount Horeb, the Mountain of God. Though he found refuge there for forty years, the territory was always hostile to Israel. Of Ishbak and Shuah, little is known. Their territory is thought to have been close to the Midianites. The Arabian culture began with a long journey eastward. They ranged eastward to the Persian Gulf, northward to ancient Persia and Assyria and southwestward across the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. They became expert at surviving in the desert, as nomadic traders whose lives were built around a few village oases that were sprinkled across trackless wastes.  They lived by the sword, defending their trade routes and caravans from competing tribes. To this day, that is their mentality. They are shrewd traders who twist the truth, when necessary to complete a business deal.


Dedan, the Brother


   Brother to Sheba and grandson to Abraham, Dedan is an important patriarch of the Arab tribes. His sons are the Asshurim (unrelated to Asshur, son of Shem), the Letushim and the Leummim. Their territories are unknown, except by indirect reference. This is true of most Arab tribes, since until recent times, they were nomadic, traveling from one trading site to another, lodging in a widespread network of oases. For centuries, territory was less important to them than trade. In the following scripture, Isaiah depicts Dedan in this very setting:


"The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye traveling companies of Dedanim. "The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. "For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: "And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it" (Isa. 21:13-17).


   Like most Arab tribes, Dedan is not known as a power associated with any particular geographic area. But in this quotation from Isaiah, he is associated with Tema. It is probably the modern city of Tayma, located about two hundred miles north of Medina. Also mentioned in this prophecy against Arabia is the power known as "Kedar." As long ago as the seventh century, BC, the chronicles of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal mention a battle against Kedar. This would make central-to-northern Arabia the region most likely to be the homeland of this tribe. Thus, even though Arab literature is not known before the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD, Kedar is indirectly recognized as a power to be reckoned with a thousand years earlier.

   But there is another fact that makes Kedar most interesting. His authority and position are recognized by Islam, itself, whose biographers make careful note of his lineage. Kedar, they say, dates back to Abraham through Ishmael. In this way, they make themselves the inheritors of the Holy Land. However, in the Scripture below, there is a clear reference to the disposition of Ishmael. It should be recalled that when Hagar and Ishmael fled to the desert after leaving Abrahamís home, they came to the well Lahai-roi. There, the angel of the Lord told them that Ishmaelís descendants would become a multitude. Later, as illustrated by the following verses, it is Isaac who possesses this oasis, not Ishmael:


"And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi. "Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abrahamís son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarahís handmaid, bare unto Abraham: "And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, "And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, "Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: "These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. "And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. "And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren" (Genesis 25:11-18).


   In the genealogy above, Ishmael is the father of Nebajoth and Kedar, said to be the "Nabatoei et Cedrei" mentioned by the Roman historian Pliny. They would correspond to the Nabateans of northern Arabia. Additionally, Dumah, Tema, Naphish and Kedemah have all lent their names to villages throughout Arabia. Their tribal strongholds reach from the Persian Gulf to Egypt ("from Havilah unto Shur). But it must be remembered that Kedar is given a special place in the Islamic claim to Abrahamís land grant. Because of this fact, he may be considered a metaphor for Islam, itself. This study will make it clear that this is indeed, the case. Today the Islamic movement is growing exponentially. Over a billion and a half strong, and it is increasingly wielding its force upon the worldís stage. It would be strange, therefore, if we didnít find Islam in the biblical prophecies that speak of the latter days.


Merchants of Tarshish


   On that note, we return to Ezekielís prophecy concerning the reaction of Sheba and Dedan to Gogís southward advance. As earlier noted, they question his motives, most likely inquiring through diplomatic channels whether or not he is coming to take their riches. But they do not act alone. They are affiliated with, "the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof" (Ezk. 38:13).

   Concerning this group, there is no mystery at all. Tarshish is the biblical term for the West. Some have positively identified it as the modern city of Tortosa, on the Spanish east coast. Others have placed it as far north as the ancient seaport of Roman Londinium, todayís London, England. However, it describes not a single location, but the world outside ancient Israel.

   The merchants of Tarshish began as the ancient Phoenician traders, whose ships circled the Mediterranean and exited it through the Strait of Gibraltar, before sailing northward toward ports in the territory we now call Europe. They also sailed southward around Africaís west coast, then around its southern cape, before heading toward the ports of call in the east, where the silk and spice trade awaited them. Some sources say that they sailed as far west as the future territories of North and South America. These merchants were the early global traders. Tarshish is the generic term for their trade in the world at large.    

    Going west meant leaving the Holy Land and the will of God, as when Jonah refused a direct order from the Lord:


"Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD" (Jonah 1:1-3).


   The prophet Jonah was told to go to Nineveh, a trip that would take him by land, via the trade routes that led northeast. But he knew that Nineveh was a cruel and godless place. He would have nothing to do with taking the Lordís word there. So he headed to a place where he thought God would never find him. He fled to Tarshish. He probably wanted to live out the rest of his days there, in the blissful tropics of the western Mediterranean. Maybe he wanted to go even farther, to a place where, even if God found him, it would be too far to return. This is Tarshish, the Old Testament term for the far-flung continents of the Gentiles.

   The princes of ancient Tyre, whom we now call Phoenicians, established the precedents of international trade. Their methods of banking and credit, of sales and management would grow through the centuries to become todayís international banking complex, with its fleets of ships, planes and real-time global monetary system. The entire chapter of Ezekiel 27 is devoted to a lament over the fall of this great system. Indeed, this is one of the Bibleís dominant themes. In the third verse, the tone is set:


"And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty" (Ezekiel 27:3).


   Ezekielís view of Tyreís trade routes expands to take in virtually the entirety of the ancient civilized world:


"Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs. "Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market. "They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules. "The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony. "Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. "Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. "Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. "Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market. "Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. "Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were they thy merchants. "The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. "Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Assur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants" (Ezekiel 27:12-23).


   The traders listed above ranged from the Ionians to the Scythians. (And remember, Meshech is in todayís western Russia.) Togarmah, todayís Armenia and Turkey, met with the ancient tribe of Dedan. Even then, they headed up large traveling caravans of goods, borne to the ancient seaports where trade could be established. Above, we discover Dedan specialized in the riding clothes of charioteers.

  Syria, Judah and Israel are prominently mentioned. It should also be recalled that Hiram, king of Tyre provided the bulk of the materials for the construction of Solomonís Temple. The princes of Kedar represented Arabia. Raamah, a son of Cush, was father to Sheba and Dedan. Ptolemaic history places Raamah on the Persian Gulf in eastern Arabia. But again, it should be kept in mind that Arabic tribes, given to constant travel, are difficult to link to any particular geographic location.

   Finally, Ezekiel mentions the merchants of Mesopotamia, Assyria and Nineveh. The system of Tarshish brought them all together. Down through the years, the old and established trade routes expanded and strengthened. Many times, they changed hands, but have remained the same, right down to the present era.

   The wooden ships of the Dutch East India company followed the very sea lanes habituated by the Phoenicians. In the era of the worldwide British Empire, their ships reigned supreme along the same, identical routes. As sailing skills improved, traders and men of war took to the high seas. Wooden ships were replaced by iron steamers. Today, millions of shipping containers are taken from truck beds and placed aboard trains and diesel cargo vessels, where they cross the sea, to disembark onto identical truck beds in other countries.


Big Oil


   But there was one commodity that the ancient traders never thought of shipping: energy. Today, tankers take millions of barrels of oil and tons of liquefied natural gas to every port in the world. Itís no mystery to anyone that the production and distribution of oil are the number one political concern in the world today.

   The twentieth century witnessed the worldís first oil boom. It began in Americaís eastern states. But it literally exploded in the central part of the country, in the state of Oklahoma, where a shallow supply of sweet crude blasted the world into an oil race that continues to this day. It has been rightly said that more gold came out of Oklahomaís Glen Pool than from all the gold mines in California. But this was only the preparation phase of the oil rush that took place in the Middle East.

    Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, Britain and France cut up the Middle East like a pie. In 1922, Ibn Saud created the empire of Saudi Arabia. He was a British ally, who valued his new connection with the European powers. The Bedouin had become a king. At that point, oil was not a factor in global politics, even though it had been discovered in Persia in 1903. But thirty years later, in 1938, oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia. The British were already in place to take advantage of the situation.

   British Petroleum became heir to an enormous supply of wealth. In rapid succession, oil was discovered in other states around the Persian Gulf. One after another, they sprang to wealth. Petroleum wealth gave the sheikhs and emirs untold riches. As good as this seemed to them, they soon discovered that their riches locked them into a marriage of convenience with the West. In order to retain their hold on a growing fortune, they were forced to preserve their ties with the Westís production technology and distribution systems. Thus, they had to walk a tightrope between their Islamic past and their increasingly technological present.

   For their part, the British and later, the Americans, discovered that they were locked into a conflict between Arab nationalism and the march of Zionism. Following the Balfour Declaration and World Wars I & II, Israel became a nation. France departed the region after the Second World War, leaving British and American oil interests with a problem that they could not resolve. Nor could they free themselves from its clutches.

In the 1950s, the powers of Europe released direct control of the region. As the oil industry increased in global importance, the United States became the dominant energy entrepreneur. American oil developers brought immeasurable wealth to Islam. Growing religious zealotry was fueled by seemingly unlimited oil. Soon, the region was rocked by revolutions in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

    Today, the US and its allies of the West are defenders of both the wealthy monarchies of the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emerites, and the State of Israel. This is indeed, a conundrum for all concerned. In a delicate balance of world oil pricing, Islamic zealotry and conflicting nationalism, the US is centrally poised in perhaps the most critical balancing act in history.


The Mystery Solved


   Thus, the merchants of Tarshish, the Bibleís symbol for the latter-day complex of trading nations, are inextricably linked with the emirs of Arabia. It is from this conflicted situation that Sheba and Dedan (in league with the global merchants) ask, "Are you, O Gog, coming to take our wealth?" Also present are the "young lions." These would be the latter-day partners in global trade, whose riches have catapulted them to world power.

   Earlier, we mentioned that one of the ancient Arab tribes, Kedar, was very likely a metaphor for Islam, itself. Kedar has become known for its amazingly successful strategy of playing both ends against the middle. Shrewd Arab traders who, in the last few centuries have become unified around Islam, have long valued the principle of "divide and conquer." They quietly inject themselves into a society. Then, when their numbers become sufficient, agitate for equality, and finally, supremacy. Their credo holds that if you are not with us, youíre against us. Now, they have learned to incorporate energy wealth and Western technology into their struggle for dominance. This has come to include what are called WMDís, weapons of mass destruction. Chemical gasses, biological terror and nuclear power are all at their fingertips.

   And since the 1950s, the Russians have sent their "advisors" to assist in the process of bringing Islamic tribal nomads into the nuclear age. This goes on even to the present moment. In a very real sense, the Arabs have learned to play the antagonists of the old Cold War, playing Russia and the US against each other. A remarkable Psalm brings this fact into focus Ö from the Israeli point of view:


"A Song of degrees.  "In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. "Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. "What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? "Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar! "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. "I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war" (Psalm 120:1-7).


   The seven verses of this Psalm are a succinct and heart-rending expression of the awful truth. The word "Mesech" has precisely the same Hebrew spelling as "Meshech" in Ezekiel 38. In other words, it is the spectre of Russia that is invoked here. This Psalm is Israelís lament that Russia and Islam are wholly given over to war. They lie with impunity and bare their weapons for the purpose of forcing foreign policy. But in the end, Islam will turn against itself, as the Russian alliance charges south. And so, the mystery is solved.

   Sheba and Dedan seem best described by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and a few other Arabian partners. Because of their commitments to the US over the last seventy years, they will continue to side with the West, and the merchants of Tarshish, including the US and Western Europe. Right up until the time of the great invasion from the north, Arab determination to produce and sell oil will win out over their desire to be good Islamists.

    The present Saudi monarch, Abdullah Al-Saud holds exactly this position. To the contrary, other Islamic factions have already aligned themselves with Russia, making Islam a house divided. When Russia is finally dragged into the Middle East on a full-scale basis, the illusion of Islam as a united force will be shattered. Israel will emerge as the victor. Concerning Gogís fate, Ezekiel writes:


"And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. "Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. "Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. "And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezekiel 39:3-6).


   A war is coming. Call it World War III or Armageddon. It will begin in the Middle East, but will extend to "the isles." This is the biblical way of expressing the idea of other continents, dominated by Tarshish. One of them may well be North America. Currently, we are the head of the nations, situated in the Western Hemisphere, far from the center of the action. But our alliance with Sheba and Dedan (and Israel) makes us as much a target as if we were located in the Middle East.



Articles Grace Room

Links Email Introduction

Subscribe Books Subscribe

Map Room Library Home

Study Room Webmaster

About This Ministry

Questions and Answers