Islam from a Biblical Perspective III
Same Story, Different Eyes
What we will see is the same general story repeated many times but told in different ways through different views. Read each scripture reference along with the blog for best understanding.
Genesis 3:15 - This is referred to as the "protoevangelium" which is defined: The term for the first declaration of the gospel, which occurs in Genesis 3:15. It is a prophecy that Christ will overcome the devil and redeem mankind. The first proclamation of the Gospel comes immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve and shows God's intention of saving men from sin. It clearly states He will crush the head of the serpent. It is the restoration and redemption of all creation, precisely what the apostle Peter meant when he spoke of "the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" Acts 3:21.
The "protoevangelium" is simply an overview of the entirety of redemptive history. Satan's seed would be at war with the "Seed", which is the Messiah; and His followers. According to this ancient prophecy, history would be the story of the people of Satan in conflict with the people of God. God declared that Eve's "Seed", the Messiah, will make right all of the damage done on that very sad and dark day in the Garden. In a single verse, in one brief declaration, we have a synopsis of redemptive history. These verses show the Ruler from Israel who crushes Moab, Edom, and the sons of the East. The Moabites and the Edomites were a people who lived to the east of modern day Israel in what is today the nation of Jordan. Mount Seir was a prominent mountain within the territory of Moab.
The phrase "latter days", in the Hebrew (acharyith yawm) literally means "the last days". In Matthew 2, the Magi asked, "where is He that is born, King of the Jews". This prophecy is ultimately pointing us to Jesus the Messiah and the work He will accomplish at the time of His return. While Genesis 3 is vague, Numbers 24 is specific. The Messiah comes back to crush the heads of Moab, Edom, Seir, the sons of Sheth, and the Amalekites.
Numbers 24:8-11 - The Sovereign Lord will crush Moab according to these passages. The context of this passage is the future, at the return of the Messiah. Obadiah; the entire theme of the short prophecy is the ultimate victory of "the Mountain of Zion" over "the Mountain of Edom". Mountains are a commonly used Biblical motif for kingdoms. Obadiah is the judgment of the Lord against Edom. It states in 1:21 that "the kingdom shall be the Lord's": "Saviors (or, salvation) shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's".
Obadiah 1:17-20 - The prophet Obadiah reiterated that which so many of the other Hebrew prophets emphasized:
Obadiah 1:8-10, 15 - The people of Edom are simply the descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. Obadiah uses all three names of the people as is typical in Eastern poetic prophesy. Ezekiel 25 is God's judgment against Israel's surrounding neighbors.
Ezekiel 25:12-17 - Is he just referring to modern day Jordan? Actually much more. Included in Edom's judgment is the ancient city of Dedan, located in what is now Saudi Arabia and known as Al-'Ula, as well as Palestinian territories. Because the extent of the judgment includes both Teman (modern day Jordan) and Dedan (north central Saudi Arabia), we must take note that according to this text, God's judgment is directed against the entire region stretching from Jordan southward along the Red Sea well into north-central Saudi Arabia.
Ezekiel 30:1-5 - In Ezekiel 30 is the Day of the Lord against Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Arabia, Turkey, and North Africa.
Zephaniah 2 - In Zephaniah 2 is the day of God's anger against Israel's neighbors. Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, the Cherethites, Canaan, and the land of the Philistines will all be utterly ruined. Together, these names point to the whole region of modern-day Israel's southwest coast, including the Gaza Strip.
Zephaniah 2:3-5, 12, 13
So far, it seems as though Israel is being surrounded. What does Jesus have to say about this time in prophecy?
Matthew 21:20-24 - The Lord Jesus Himself comes down from heaven to deliver Jewish prisoners from the surrounding nations.
Psalm 102:13, 19-20
We can see that the ultimate context of Zephaniah 2 is the return of Jesus. But beyond judgment against Gaza and the Palestinians, the prophecy continues with a warning concerning the future of Moab, Ammon, the modern day Republic of North Sudan (Cush), as well as Assyria and Nineveh:
Zephaniah 2:8-9, 12-13 - The location of Moab, is east of Israel. Ammon was the region immediately to the north of Moab, also in modern-day Jordan and Syria. During Zephaniah's day, in the sixth century BC, Assyria straddled the borders of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The ancient city of Nineveh, now called Mosul, is in Northern Iraq.
Joel 3:1-4 - Joel 3 is the Lord's judgment against Lebanon and Gaza for dividing the land of Israel. The nations mentioned Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia are essentially references to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
Isaiah 34:5-9 - Isaiah 34 is the Lord's sacrifice in Bozrah and Edom. Why is Jesus judging Edom? To uphold "the cause of Zion". The Hebrew for controversy is riyb. It carries the connotation of a legal dispute or controversy, which is precisely what Israel finds itself embroiled in today.
Isaiah 63:1-4 - Isaiah 63 is the treading of the winepress of the wrath of God Almighty in Edom. Isaiah is looking eastward from Jerusalem. He sees Jesus marching toward his throne in Jerusalem out of Edom and Bozrah. Today it is called Petra.
Revelation 19:11-16 - Revelation 19 contains the most well-known passage concerning Christ's return. Where did this blood come from and to whom did it belong? The answer is in Isaiah 63 from which Revelation 19 was taken.