Isaiah 13 describes a future war against Babylon, and since it’s in our future (and how much future do we have left?), “Babylon” most likely refers to the modern nation of Iraq. Isaiah 21 and Jeremiah 50-51 also describe this battle as parallel passages, in my opinion.
The timeline for this attack is when “the day of the Lord is at hand.” Since “the day of the Lord” begins with the rapture, then the rapture in this case must be imminent. Doesn’t that sound like our modern times?
The apparent reason for this war, in which every man, woman, child and animal in Iraq will be killed, is their complicity in initiating an end-times invasion of Israel, together with the adjoining Arab nations. The subsequent nuclear response by Israel obliterates much of these nations.
“The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
“They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isaiah 13:1-6).
Isaiah 13 identifies a particular nation—described in verse 2 as “the high mountain”—as leading a coalition of nations against Iraq. In Bible prophecy, “mountain” often refers to a nation, “high mountain” to a great nation, and “the high mountain” to a particular great nation which is the leader of this coalition of nations against Iraq.
Isaiah further describes this great nation in verse 3: “I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.”
The term “sanctified” means “to set apart for sacred use.” God has called these “mighty ones” to execute his anger on Iraq, and finally describes this nation as “even them that rejoice in my highness.”
The first successful colony leading to the formation of the United States was founded in 1620 by pilgrims who wanted the freedom to worship God in simplicity and purity, outside of the established traditions of the Church of England. Eventually—on July 4, 1776—the new nation declared independence from England and its oppressive laws, and thereafter became a beacon of godliness, freedom, and liberty for the entire world.
The US has sent out the vast majority of the world’s missionaries, and is responsible for planting more churches in developing countries than any other nation on earth. We indeed have been “sanctified ones … even them that rejoice in my highness.”
We also are “mighty ones”—militarily the strongest nation on earth, and leader of the coalition of nations (“the kingdoms of nations gathered together”) against Iraq in 1991 and 2003. We also “come from a far country, from the end of heaven.” The preponderance of Scriptural evidence, therefore, seems to point to this great nation described in Isaiah 13:1-5 as being the United States, in my opinion.
Although “the high mountain” in verse 2 then could symbolically represent the United States, the literal translation is “the bare hill” which, physically speaking, could refer to the US Capitol in context. It has a “bare” white dome and sits on Capitol Hill, and also has a flag (“a banner”) flying on top.
I get the impression that the overall picture here is one of God calling Congress into session (“exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand”) and then urging them into chambers which they enter into through “the gates [doors] of the nobles.” Having worked for a US senator, I can tell you that the Senate definitely is aristocratic, and the doors to the Senate chamber truly are “the gates of the nobles!”
Isaiah 13:3 then goes on to describe a probable declaration of war (“I have commanded my sanctified ones”) in verse 4: a large group of very angry coalition nations (“a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations”).
According to the parallel passage in Jeremiah 50–51, God tried to deal kindly with the Iraqis (“We would have healed Babylon,” Jeremiah 51:9), but she participated in treacherous deceit and homicide; and now the command is to “forsake her.” In addition, Jeremiah 50:11 apparently describes the Iraqis as laughing at all the damage they caused (“Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage”); therefore, the decision was made to deal with them like the sociopaths they are: complete annihilation.
If this thesis is true, then this will be the third US-led coalition invasion of Iraq. The first two invasions, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion, I believe are mentioned as the first and second “rumour” of Jeremiah 51:46. These were followed by “violence in the land, ruler against ruler,” just like Jeremiah says.
I am absolutely, jaw-dropping amazed that the US Capitol would be mentioned in the Bible—not to mention our Congress being called into session!—but a careful reading of Isaiah in context leads me to no other conclusion.
According to my thesis, the fact that war in the Middle East appears imminent also indicates that the rapture is imminent, and we should be looking up for our blessed hope, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ for his church!
I go into end-times prophecy in much more detail in my second book, End Times Dawning (available from www.endtimesrecord.com), which has just been published. In particular, I cover a description in Isaiah 18 of what I believe is the rapture actually happening in the United States.
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Yours in Christ,