Islam from a Biblical Perspective IV
The overwhelming emphasis of the Lord's anger and judgment is directed toward the hostile nations that surround the nation of Israel. It is interesting to note that they are ALL Islamic states. It will become quite clear that the Bible prophesies a vastly powerful, yet limited empire controlled by the Antichrist and these are the base of his operations. According to Daniel chapter 7, the Antichrist's empire is primarily a ten nation alliance. This "beast" is said to have "ten horns":
Daniel 7:7 - An angel informed Daniel that the ten horns represent "ten kings" which would arise from this kingdom. The leader of these ten kings is the Antichrist:
The Lord has so obviously placed on the number 10 as the number of nations that would be the willing supporters of the Antichrist. As the study progresses, you will see that it will expand, but this will be the base. As a side note, scripture is clear that the Antichrist will never literally conquer or control every last nation of the earth. Daniel 11 says the Antichrist will "invade many countries":
Daniel 11:44-45 - Notice it says "many countries", not "every nation". It specifically lists three that will be "delivered out of his hand". Because of the grouping of Edom, Moab, and Ammon together, the passage seems to be referring to the modern day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Just a few verses later, we learn that in the midst of his campaign of conquest, the Antichrist hears of "news from the east and the north", which troubles him and throws him into a frantic state of rage and annihilation. As a side note, because this is a military conquest, this "news" should be taken in that, very specific context.
Daniel 9 makes it clear that right up until the very end, the Antichrist will be at war with "many nations".
Daniel 9:26 - To put it simply, a king with absolute power and authority is NOT at war. The presence of wars establishes the fact that the Antichrist does not control every nation. However, Revelation 13 shows his military apparatus will be a force to be reckoned with.
Revelation 13:4 - Hyperbole is to exaggerate to make a point. For example, "I've told you a million times". The phrase "the whole earth" in the previous passage is "kol'ara" in Aramaic. It is understood here as a large , but limited section of land. Daniel 2:39 uses this exact phrase of the Alexandrian Greek Empire:
More examples of Hyperbole in scripture:
It was not a contradiction for the Biblical authors at times to refer to "all the earth", "the whole earth", and "all nations", in similar phrases when simply some vast region was in mind. When desiring to interpret the Bible properly, the Western reader must be very careful not to apply a modern, Western mind set to the pages of this ancient, Eastern text. The main objection to this thinking is:
Revelation 13:7-8 - While compelling, even the phrase "every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth" is immediately limited by "those whose name has not been written... in the book of life".
Daniel 5:18-19 - The Septuagint version of this verse uses the same exact words in Revelation 13. If we use the same logic, every human on the earth was afraid of Nebuchadnezzar; even the far away Pygmies that everyone brings up for argument sake. Also consider the phrase "authority was given him over..." The word for "over" in Greek is epi. It can mean "in, on, or upon" as well as over. If Islam is truly the religious system of the Antichrist, He will have followers in virtually all nations of the earth. So, while the Antichrist's dominion may not necessarily be over every last nation, it is possible that he will possess authority within every nation, including many that do not come under his complete governmental authority. All the nations or just the surrounding nations and their coalition?
Zechariah 14:2 - In Hebrew, the phrases are goy cabiyb "the surrounding nations" and am cabiyb "the surrounding peoples". The following gives a wider reading:
Ezekiel is very clear here:
Ezekiel 28:22-24 - The phrase translated here as "all their neighbors" is once again cabiyb, the same word used in Joel and Zechariah to speak of the surrounding nations. The specific use of the Greek word Kosmos, which means "the world, universe, or circle of the earth" is only used in speaking of Jesus possessing complete and global rule. On the other hand, in every passage in Revelation that speaks of the Antichrist's reign, the words used are either ge or oikoumene, which can mean either "the whole world", "all the inhabitants of the earth", or "the land/ a fixed region". As we progress in this study, you will see that the Antichrist's reign and dominion are focused on the middle east. However, through Islam, he will have power over most nations. A similarity would be the Pope's power oer the Catholic church throughout the world.