When Dr. Muhammad Morsi was elected President by the Egyptian people, his name filled the annals of history not only because he was elected President of the most populous Arab nation, but also because of the circumstances of his election. Muhammad Morsi was the first civilian ever to be elected president by the Egyptian people in a free and fair election. Morsi (and the Muslim Brotherhood) was the beneficiary of the popular uprising, Arab Spring, which removed President Mubarak from the presidency of Egypt after thirty years in office (1981 – 2011).
Morsi’s personal history includes thirty-five years within the Muslim Brotherhood, during which time he rose within the ranks to lead the political wing of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood. “Morsi comes from Edwa, an impoverished village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, where his home is built of simple, unpainted red brick.” Yet, Morsi is not an uneducated man. He received his PhD in engineering at the University of Southern California (1982). He then returned to Egypt where he has been employed as a professor in Egyptian academia.
Morsi’s power as Egypt’s president is yet to be determined. He is opposed by Egypt’s military establishment. “Since 1952, the military has been the strongest government entity, comprising nearly half a million personnel and possessing vast land holdings and businesses. It plays a key social role, providing employment and a sense of national identity to many Egyptians. The military is led by 77-year-old Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.” When Mubarak resigned in February, 2011, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces” (SCAF) was put into place to guide the country until new political leadership could be elected, and a constitution drawn. SCAF’s candidate for president was General Ahmed Shafiq who was defeated by Morsi. Shafiq has reportedly fled the country to Abu Dhabai, along with his family and personal assets.
Morsi is actually the Muslim Brotherhood’s
“second string” candidate. Khairat al-Shater, the Brotherhood’s charismatic leader and preferred candidate, was eliminated from running by a technicality. This resulted in Morsi’s name being submitted at the last moment as a fill-in for Shater. Within the Brotherhood, Morsi has earned the nickname “spare tire.” According to the Washington Post, Morsi’s reputation within the Brotherhood is that of a “loyal foot soldier,” who is likely to be subordinate to the whims of al-Slater, the Brotherhood’s preferred candidate and co-leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi’s election represents a significant event for Egypt and the Middle East. He is an Islamist, a Muslim committed to Islam’s eventual dominion of the world. He was elected by democratic vote in an election with two distinct, opposing sides: the Islamist minded Muslim Brotherhood, and the remnants of Mubarak’s military regime, presently represented by SCAF (the Supreme Council of Armed Forces). The military regime has ruled Egypt for the last four presidents and the past 60 years. Lastly, Morsi is a loyal member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization whose deliberative policies are not a matter of public record; and, which recently garnered, along with the Salifis (another Sunni Islamist group, but far more “radical” that the Brotherhood; the Wahhabi sect of Saudi Arabia are Salifis), a controlling majority in Egypt’s Parliament (recently dissolved by Egypt’s Supreme Court because of election rule violations).
The point being, of course, that Egypt’s people
in the last two democratic elections have elected Islamists as their representatives (as opposed to Mubarak’s military regime still in power). Clearly, sharia law (perhaps, differently defined by many Egyptians) appears to be the desires and aspiration of the people. Given that Morsi was discipled by the Muslim Brotherhood for over thirty-five years, it should not be surprising that in his opening speech as president-elect, he borrowed statements first coined by Islam’s first Sunni Muslim caliph, Abu Bakr (the first caliph of Islam following the death of Muhammad in 632 AD), who stated, “If I don’t obey God in serving you, you have no commitment to obey me.” (see http://www.timesofisrael.com/who-is-mohammed-morsi/). And, how can one “obey Allah” unless the Qur’an is the foundation upon which all decisions are made? This has been clearly stated to be the case by the Muslim Brotherhood as reported by the Council on Foreign Relations: “the Brotherhood has said it will not change the second article of the current constitution, which says that the principles of Islamic law are the source for all legislation.”
This post will discuss the Bible’s end-time prophecies that relate to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, my interpretation will use the Islamic Paradigm, and I am assuming that all readers will have a basic understanding of this Paradigm (see www.whenthepiecesfit.org (the website for my book) and the related links on that site for an understanding of this Paradigm). From my perspective, the primary prophecies concerning Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood can be summarized as below:
1. Ezekiel 38/39. This passage prophesies of an end-time conflict against Israel led by “Gog” (interpreted as the leader of Russia and her allies, Ezekiel 38:2-3), and his Alliance (Ezekiel 38:5-6). This post will not address the whole of Ezekiel 38/39 but only whether Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood are present in this end-times attack against Israel.
2. Daniel 11:42-43. Egypt is prophesied by this passage to be destroyed by the leader of an empire (perhaps, this leader is the Antichrist), and Egypt’s “precious things” fall into the hands of this leader (for a time (11:45)). Related to this passage is Daniel 7:20 which prophesies that three “kingdoms” will be destroyed by the Antichrist, the “other horn” of Daniel 7:20, 24-25, which this writer interprets to be Shia Islam’s prophesied al-Mahdi. Al-Mahdi is also interpreted as the Antichrist of Revelation 13:11-18 and the leader of the 8th empire (Revelation 17:10-13, i.e., the “scarlet beast”). Since Egypt is the most populous Sunni Muslim, Arab, nation, it is likely that it will be one of these three Muslim nations that are defeated, provided this writer has correctly interpreted the Antichrist to rise from Shia Islam (not Sunni Islam), not Sunni Islam. Otherwise, the “different” characteristic of Daniel 7:23 cannot be met.
Other information. The Muslim Brotherhood as well as the military regime/SCAF of former President Mubarak are primarily Sunni Muslims. However, the military regime/SCAF aligns itself with the royal family of Saudi Arabia (America’s petroleum spigot, and therefore, its most important Arab ally), as well as the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood is not an ally of Saudi Arabia nor the United States. According to a very recent Congressional Research Report, Egypt, since 1979, is the second-largest recipient of military aid from America, second only to Israel. The impetus for this increased level of aid began with the 1979 Arab-Israeli Peace Treaty. America has paid billions in aid to Egypt, including the military resources that have allowed Egypt to be the Middle East power that it is. The instability of current Egypt-Israeli relations culminated in the September 2011 siege of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo by Arab Spring protestors, in which Israeli diplomats holed up inside their compound came perilously close to being confronted by rioters before Egyptian commandos rescued the diplomats at the urging of the Obama Administration. If you are wondering why it is important to distinguish who are allies of who, remember that this writer interprets Russia/Iran to lead the Alliance of Ezekiel 38. Russia’s Allies are Iran, Syria (Assad’s regime), Lebanon, Palestine Liberation Organization, HAMAS (Gaza Strip), and any other nations/groups that align itself against the royal family of Saudi Arabia, or with the United States/Israel. In the future, we should expect to see Turkey more clearly align itself with Russia as Ezekiel 38’s prophecy begins to be grounded in modern-day reality. As the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt becomes more solidly in control in Egypt, this writer sees it aligning with Russia as well.
To correctly interpret the Muslim Brotherhood’s presence in Ezekiel 38/39, we must understand the roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The prominent and respected Council on Foreign Relations made these recent statements about the Muslim Brotherhood:
Founded in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna, it is widely considered the world’s most influential Islamist organization, with numerous branches and affiliates. It is “the mother of all Islamist movements,” says Shadi Hamid, … The Brotherhood has historically combined religion, political activism, and social welfare in its work. It adopted slogans such as “Islam is the solution” and “jihad is our way.” … Sayyid Qutb, a prominent member of the Brotherhood, laid down the ideological grounds for the use of jihad, …, against the regime in Egypt and beyond. Qutb’s writings … have provided the intellectual and theological underpinnings for the founders of numerous radical and militant Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda. Extremist leaders often channel Qutb to argue that governments not ruled by sharia are apostate; and therefore legitimate targets of jihad. … the group continues to have some links to HAMAS … some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists were once members, including Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Certainly, as in all organizations, political or otherwise, there are individuals within those organizations with different sympathies and differing views. The Muslim Brotherhood, reports the Council on Foreign Relations, is no different. However, consider this recent statement (June 14, 2012) made by Muhammad Badie, the General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and translated from the group’s Ikhwan Online website:
Every Muslim will be asked about the Zionists’ usurpation of al-Aqsa Mosque [located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem along with the Dome of the Rock]. Why did he not seek to recover it, and wage Jihad in His way? Did he not care about the fatwa of the ulema [scholars] of the Muslims, ‘Jihad of self and money to recover al-Aqsa is a duty on every Muslim.”?
The previous quote from the Council on Foreign Relations specifically mentions the late Sayyid Qutb, a prominent member of the Brotherhood, who formulated much of the Islamist ideology for the Brotherhood. Here is what Qutb stated in his renowned Islamist work entitled, Milestones:
It is in the very nature of Islam to take initiative for freeing the human beings throughout the earth from servitude to anyone other than God [Allah]; … It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries to continue the message and its declaration of universal freedom within their domain. But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying the Jizyah [humiliation tax on Dhimmis], which will be a guarantee that they have opened their doors for the preaching of Islam and will not put any obstacle in its way through the power of the state. (Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, p. 73.)
The difficulty that modern-day interpreters have with the Muslim Brotherhood is whether their public statements advocating tolerance and nonviolence are a true reflection of the real ideology of the Brotherhood.
Regardless of what the truth really is about the Muslim Brotherhood, what does the Scripture say about them? Are they present in important end-times prophecies such as Ezekiel 38/39?
Here are the verses from Ezekiel 38 that list the nations/groups that will wage war against Israel in the end-times. If the Brotherhood (or Egypt) is present in this conflict, then we must find them in these verses:
Ezekiel 38:5f (NASB) 5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you. … 8 “After many days you will be summoned; … 15 “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, … and a mighty army; 16 and you will come up against My people Israel. .. , so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
Interpreting from the NAS version (and the NKJV), “Gog” is the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal…” (Ezekiel 38:2-3). Rosh is interpreted as a proper noun (not an adjective describing “prince”). He is the end-time leader of the superpower nation, Russia (Ezekiel 38:7), who leads an alliance against Israel in the end-times. H.W.F. Gesenius, whose Hebrew lexicon was first published in 1847, defines “Rosh” as Russia. Gesenius states,
A northern nation, mentioned with Tubal and Mesheck; undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by the Byzantine writers of the tenth century, under the name of “Ros,” dwelling to the north of Taurus, and… described by Ibn Fosslan, an Arabic writer of the same age, … .” (See H.W.F. Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 752.)
Gesenius’ opinion is important because it is made prior to Russia (1847) becoming one of the modern-day superpower nations. The significance of this is that Geseneus’ interpretation is without the prejudice that a modern-day interpreter might have when identifying “Rosh” as Russia. Also, once concluding this, the interpreter can properly interpret Ezekiel 38:7 which includes descriptions relevant to a modern-day superpower (such as, Russia) supplying arms to the nations that make up its Alliance. (I am aware that there is quite a bit of disagreement on the identity of “Rosh,” and I encourage readers to consult additional support for this conclusion in my book, p. 251 – 258).
Once concluding that Russia is the superpower in Ezek 38/39 that leads the Alliance, we move to determine where Egypt is in the Alliance. Below is a map of the nations specifically included in the Alliance (yellow) and those not included in the Alliance (green) as described in Ezekiel 38:5-6. Significant is the fact that the nations in green are all Muslim nations, and they are all contiguous to Israel. Egypt is one of those nations.
5. Saudi Arabia
These six nations are all Muslim nations. They have all been at enmity with Israel since ancient times, the time of Ishmael and the time of Esau (Psalm 83).
How is it possible that these six nations are not included in the Russian Alliance attacking Israel when many of them have historically been dedicated to the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth?
Let us suppose that the reason Egypt is not listed in the Alliance is that when Israel is attacked, Egypt’s inclusion is not as a nation, but as a Sunni Muslim organization, i.e, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has branches all over the Middle East and the world. Ezekiel 38:6, 38:9, 38:15, and 38:22 all seem to have this type of group in mind when the phrase “many peoples with you” is included as a group separate from the troops of the Russian Alliance that attacks Israel. Why would the phrase “many peoples with you” have any meaning at all, unless all Islamist organizations, e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and similar “religious terrorist” organizations, be intended?
It is the view of this writer that some of the nations in this group of six (Saudi Arabia) have been defeated by Iran either prior to or after the attack of Israel. Daniel 11:42 seems, on the surface, to include Egypt in this group as well. However, Egypt’s fall appears to occur after the leader “enters the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall.” (Daniel 11:41; 42). Perhaps, at the time of the attack of Israel, Islam has been united by its hatred of Israel which is greater than its hatred of one another, and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is a modern fruit of this hatred, which combines with the Russian Alliance (and Iran (Shia Muslim)), to trample Jerusalem. Then, following the fall of Jerusalem, and perhaps during the 42 months that Israel is “trampled” (Revelation 11:2), Egypt and other Muslim countries fall against one another. This would fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 83:3-5 as to the Arabs (but not to Iran which is Persian) and Israel: “… Come let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more… against you they make a covenant.” The prophecy of Ezekiel 38:21 which describes the Alliance turning against one another would also be fulfilled.
Conclusion. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (not Egypt as a nation) will join the Ezekiel 38:5-6 Russian-led Alliance in an end-times attack against Israel. The Brotherhood is included in the phrase “many peoples with you” of Ezekiel 38:6 and related passages. If this is the correct interpretation, we should expect to see Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood gaining more and more strength in Egypt, and the military regime of former President Mubarak losing more of what it once held. It is likely that this strength will be gained while the Brotherhood uses the subterfuge of nonviolence, tolerance, and a public distancing of itself from Islamist ideals, all the while its true agenda is the destruction of Israel.