Reuter’s Reports: “CHILMARK/VINEYARD HAVEN, Massachusetts - President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the United States is cancelling joint military exercises with Egypt next month, saying normal U.S. cooperation cannot continue in light of the armed forces’ bloody crackdown.” (Read more)
According to Reuter’s, “Stopping military exercises in Egypt was one clear way the White House could show its displeasure. It was the first significant U.S. move to penalize Egypt’s military rulers. Previously, the U.S. government had announced a decision to halt delivery to Egypt of four U.S.-made F-16 fighters.”
Perhaps a quick review of some key historical developments might be helpful:
- Egypt-Israeli peace accord signed in 1979 at Camp David, a consequence of which was the beginning of significant United States military aid to Egypt (and Israel). According to the Congressional Research Study (author Jeremy Sharp) #RL33003, p. 9, United States aid to Egypt and Israel in 1979 totaled $7.3billion, each. According to the same report, “Since 1979, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient, after Israel, of U.S. bilateral foreign assistance.”
- The United States aid to Egypt since 1987 has been $1.3 billion, annually. In addition to the aid of $1.3 billion, Egypt receives a significant portion of financing for its defense budget. According to CRS #33003, it is estimated that U.S. military aid covers as much as 80% of the Egyptian Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs.
- On February 11, 2011, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (1981 – 2011) “waived” his presidential powers over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Mubarak’s departure was in response to the developments in the Muslim world popularly known as Arab Spring. (Read more)
- On June 30, 2012, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Morsi was elected president of Egypt in what has been described as the first democratic election in the history of Egypt. In November, 2012, Morsi granted himself unlimited powers to “protect” the nation from the Mubarak-era power structure which remained in place following his election. He also gave himself the power to legislate without judicial oversight. Egyptians erupted over his actions (except, of course, his supporters; members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, and other Islamist groups). On December 8, 2012, Morsi rescinded his own actions, but mass protests had already begun and would only intensify. (Read more)
- On December 22, 2012, a new Sharia-based constitution was signed by President Morsi after its ratification by Egyptians in a democratic vote. The constitution had been drafted by the Islamist controlled Egyptian parliamentary and recommended for approval to the Egyptian people. (Read more)
- On July 3, 2013, the armed forces chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced that the constitution had been “suspended provisionally” and that Muhammad Morsi had been “unseated.” (Read more) The actions of General al-Sisi were described by many to be the result of a military coup; by others as an act to restore democracy to Egyptian people.
- On July 14, 2013, over 640 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Muhammad Morsi were killed by security forces in Cairo as they participated in peaceful protests. Reports estimated the wounded in the 1,000′s. (Read more) Other attacks against Christian targets occurred throughout Egypt in retaliation for the killings by the security forces:
- Islamists staged revenge attacks on Christian targets in several areas, torching churches, homes and business after Coptic Pope Tawadros (a member of the council that unseated Morsi) gave his blessing to the military takeover that ousted Mursi, security sources and state media said. (Read more)
- Military aid of $1.3billion to Egypt from the United States is in jeopardy. If a coup occurred in Egypt, United States law prohibits any further aid be given to Egypt. One report states:
- The United States says the action does not fit the legal definition of a coup because the military acted not to take over the nation but to restore democracy. If the Obama administration labeled the action a coup, it would be forced to withhold $1.3 billion in foreign aid that the United States gives the Egyptian military annually. Egyptians who have risen up against the Muslim Brotherhood also reject the “coup” label. (Read more) To the contrary, read more.
So what does all this have to do with Bible prophecy?
Daniel 11:42-43 (NASB) 42“Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels.
The prophecy is that the land of Egypt will “not escape.” That is — Egypt will fall. The Egyptian military is Egypt’s protector regardless of the political leanings of the current president. If the country falls, then the military has fallen. In addition, the Egyptian military is the protector of the “hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt.” Here is one article describing what is happening to the hidden treasures of Egypt during the chaos of Arab Spring and even more so the chaos ensuing at present. (Read here).
Yet, despite the value of the “hidden treasures” of Egypt, one cannot help but wonder if there is not another item far more valuable than ancient artifacts? Consider the Suez Canal, the producer of approximately $2.5billion annually, 10% of annual revenues for Egypt, which simply put is “worth it” to whomever controls the canal:
The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس Qanāt al-Sūwais) is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows transportation by water between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa. The northern terminus is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez. Ismailia lies on its west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) from the half-way point. (Read more)
Recently, political unrest in Egypt led to chaos even along the bordering towns of the Suez Canal. General al-Sisi made this statement nearly six months before Muhammad Morsi was unseated. Read the statement in light of Daniel 11:42 just quoted:
CAIRO — As three Egyptian cities [the three critical cities bordering the Suez Canal, Port Said, Ismailia and Suez] defied President Mohamed Morsi’s attempt to quell the anarchy spreading through their streets, the nation’s top general warned Tuesday that the state itself was in danger of collapse if the feuding civilian leaders could not agree on a solution to restore order. … With the stakes rising and no solution in sight, Gen. Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, the defense minister, warned Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their opponents that “their disagreement on running the affairs of the country may lead to the collapse of the state and threatens the future of the coming generations.” (Emphasis supplied) (Read more)
It appears that the General took things into his own hands when he “unseated” President Morsi on July 3, 2013. His actions placed him in the “driver’s seat” so to speak; for what purpose? To save his country from self-destruction.
How might we assess modern day events in light of prophetic Scripture?
The spirit of antichrist is working in the hearts of Egyptians to bring about a total collapse of Egyptian society (2 Thessalonians 2:11 NASB; 1 John 2:18 NASB). The spirit of antichrist is working in the “sons of disobedience” (unbelieving humanity) to bring in the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:6 NASB and Colossians 3:6 NASB). Death, violence, destruction, disunity, anger, and unrest are the odor of his breath; such is the case for Egypt today; and such has been the case for the Muslim world in general: “To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt (twice), Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara.” (Read more
- Egypt will fall.
- The military will be unable to bring reconciliation between the Islamists and secularists (which includes both Muslim and non-Muslims). The prophecy tells us of this event.
- The military will likely continue its assault against Islamists to the point that the United States will be forced to withhold $1.3billion in aid to Egypt for no other reason than the political pressures applied upon it by Americans in general, and by the United Nations and the European Union in particular. No matter how you look at it, democratic free elections brought in Muhammad Mursi; the people who elected him are now being targeted by the security forces of Egypt for no other reason than they support him. If Syria’s Assad and his military murdered people to keep him in office, and the United States condemned such actions, how can we not do the same in Egypt? And how else do we evidence that condemnation than by the withholding of aid?
- The economy of Egypt will fail. It is already on the precipice, and the withholding of United States aid will be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.” The continuing unrest socially between supporters of Morsi and supporters of the military will escalate resulting in the closing of businesses and an eventual impact upon all revenues, including oil and gas revenues impacted by the inability to export same.
- The Suez Canal will be closed because of the inability of the military to provide safe passage for shipping vessels. The chaos and lack of leadership in Egyptian society will either close the canal or result in the captains of sea vessels opting for the long way around the continent of Africa to insure delivery of their cargoes. Already questions are being asked about the impact on Suez traffic of rebellion along the bordering cities, particularly Port Said.
- The 1979 Egypt-Israeli treaty will be terminated. With the Egyptian military no longer at the wheel to maintain the treaty, and with United States aid withheld, whomever is in control will have no financial incentive to maintain the treaty. Daniel 9:27 NASB will be fulfilled in this event. The tribulation of Ezekiel 38/39 against Israel will be brought in through the doors of Egypt.
- The Antichrist will fill the void in the Middle East, perhaps beginning with Iran and Shia Islam, as Iran pulls the trigger upon Israel. Other bible prophecies warn that he will conquer the world in the process. Revelation 13:7-8 NASB.
Stretching it you think? Perhaps, but not from where I sit. Look at the events in the Muslim world over the last two years. Look at the events of the last week – the military (and/or police) killing its own by the hundreds? Who would ever have imagined that the leader of the Egyptian military would warn his own people that unless they reconciled with one another the collapse of the nation was at stake? This has an uncanny resemblance to the prophesied event of Daniel 9:42.
Jesus come quickly.