Does the Bible say anything about the future of Egypt?


The Bible contains quite a few Scriptures dealing with Egypt’s past, present and future conditions. However, there is also much speculation being circulated, which is not necessarily in agreement with Scripture, or which cannot be proven by Scripture. For instance, some say that in the end time, Egypt will be the king of the South, as mentioned in Daniel 11. Of course, Daniel 11 does not specifically identify the king of the South, and it says nowhere that it is Egypt.

In his booklet, “The Middle East in Prophecy,” copyright 1948, 1972, Herbert Armstrong wrote this:

“Ethiopia, the King of the South!

“Ethiopia was the only country in all East Africa that continued independent, and had a government and kingdom dating back before the Roman Empire. It was the southern part of the kingdom of the south. So it is the only possible government that could be the king of the south. At the time of the end — our time — this king of the south was to push at the king of the north, now at Rome!

“In 1895 King Menelik, of Ethiopia, sent an army of 9,000 to 10,000 men against General Baratieri’s Italian army. North of Ethiopia was Eritrea, belonging to Italy. And southeast was Italian Somaliland. In 1896 General Baratieri with 13,000 men tried to defend Eritrea against the Ethiopians. They lost 4,600 whites and 3,000 native troops, and more than 3,500 were taken prisoner. In a later engagement the Italians were cut to pieces because of their inexperience in fighting in mountainous country and because they were greatly outnumbered. This defeat was disastrous to Italian expansion in Africa.

“Ever since, Italy demanded revenge! In 1927 Mussolini set the time, at just 40 years from that defeat, or 1935, when he would be ready ‘finally to make our voice heard, and see our rights recognized!’ 1935 came. The hour struck! Mussolini attacked! Now notice verse 40: ‘… and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.’ A whirlwind comes in the air, sweeping all before it. Mussolini did send a great air force into Africa! Also many modern ‘chariots’ — trucks, tanks, etc. — and ships, loaded with soldiers. More than 100,000 sailed to Ethiopia. And, notice it, Mussolini’s forces were to pass over — in the air! It is at this precise point in this astounding prophecy that Mussolini’s struggle in Ethiopia and in World War II ended. Mussolini did not finish the prophecy. There is yet another leader to arise in Europe! Notice what will next happen!

“Verse 41 — ‘He shall enter also into the glorious land … ‘ — the Holy Land. This is yet to be fulfilled. When the coming revival of the Roman Empire takes the Holy Land, then the nations will be plunged into the initial phase of the great, last and final crisis at the close of this age! Other prophecies reveal that this revival of the Roman Empire will bring into subjection the U.S. and Britain!…

“‘And,’ continues verse 41, ‘many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon’ — the modern land of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The coming dictator will unite many others with him — 10 in all (Rev. 17:12) — reviving the ancient Roman Empire. Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now the ‘king of the south.’

“Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps — and he will then control them. Italy lost control of Libya and Ethiopia after the war. Verse 44 — but news out of the east and out of the north — Russia and the Orient — shall trouble the revived Roman Empire. Russia will enter the war! Verse 45 — the coming Roman Empire shall establish its palace, as capital of the revived Roman Empire, and eventually its religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2 says the city shall be taken! ‘Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him’! This language signifies the end of the ‘beast’ and the ‘false prophet’ at the hand of God! You will find this end described in Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12! And now what is the time of this end, at the close of this marvelous prophecy? The next verse, Daniel 12:1, says at the time of the resurrection of the just — at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!

“This prophecy [in Daniel 11] begins with the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, soon after the death of Alexander the Great — 2,300 years ago. But it ends at the time of the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ to bring peace at last to the region — and to the entire world! It is so plain, there can be no doubt of its right application!”

What Herbert Armstrong suggests in his booklet, and also in other writings, is that the prophecy in Daniel 11, referring to the king of the South, has already been fulfilled—so that there is no biblical need for another king of the South to arise. But if there is still another king of the South to come, according to Herbert Armstrong, it would NOT be Egypt.

We read in Daniel 11:40, that in the end time, the king of the South will “attack” or more correctly, “push” at the king of the North (compare Authorized Version). The king of the North can be identified as a succession of emperors of the ancient Roman Empire, and its revivals, culminating in the final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, in Europe. The last king of the North is identified in other passages as the king of Assyria, “King Jareb,” or the beast—the military leader of Assyria or modern Germany, but he will also lead a confederation of ten European countries or groups of countries. (For proof, read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy”). By the same rationale, it could be possible that the king of the South (if there is still another final king of the South to arise) would be leading a confederacy of Middle Eastern nations.

But rather than speculating as to what the future may or may not hold for Egypt, let us focus on what the Bible reveals in that regard:

We want to focus first on the book of Isaiah.

We read in Isaiah11:11-16 that in the end time (the reference in verse 11 is to “in that day,” speaking of a time beginning about one year before Christ’s return), God will free the enslaved remnant of His people—the descendants of the modern houses of Israel and Judah—from countries such as Assyria, Egypt and Cush. This means that they will be slaves in these countries, when Christ returns. We understand that the modern descendants of the house of Israel can be found today in the USA (descendants of Israel’s grandson Manasseh), Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (descendants of Israel’s grandson Ephraim), while Judah or the house of Judah designates the Jews today. Assyria represents mainly modern Germany. Cush designates Ethiopia. We also read that the remnant of the people from the houses of Israel and Judah will be held captive in Pathros, which is the land of Egypt’s origin (compare Ezekiel 29:14, which also tells us that Egyptians will become captive themselves, see below).

Further information on the future of Egypt is provided in Isaiah 19:1-4, 14, 16-25.

First, we read in verse 2 that Egyptians will be fighting against Egyptians—a development which we are already observing today in that country. We read in verse 4 about the captivity and slavery of Egypt, and that a fierce king will rule over them. This is a reference to the king of Assyria, who is also referred to in Scripture as the beast and the king of the North.

Verses 16 and 17, 20, tell us that “in that day” Judah will be a terror to Egypt. This refers to the time when Jesus Christ, the Savior, has come; and verses 23-25 prophesy that when Jesus Christ rules on this earth during the Millennium, the nations of Egypt, Assyria and Israel will live together in cooperation and peace.

Isaiah 27:13 also explains that when the great trumpet sounds “in that day”—designating the resurrection of the just from the dead in the end time–captives from the houses of Israel and Judah will be released from slavery. We are also told that prior to their freedom, some will perish in the LAND of Assyria, and some will be outcasts in the LAND of Egypt.

Let us turn now to the book of Ezekiel.

We read in Ezekiel 30:1-9, 18-19 that at the time of the “day of the LORD” (another reference to the end time), the sword will come upon Egypt, as well as additional countries like Ethiopia (Cush), Libya (Put), and Lydia (or Lud; compare Jeremiah 46:8-9, showing that Egypt, Ethiopia, Lydia and Libya will be allies at that time of the end). Verses 4-5 refer to Chub, which is nowhere else mentioned in Scripture; the passage could also read, “and ALL (Chub) the men of the lands who were allied…” We also read specifically in verse 18 that at that time of the “day of the LORD”, Egyptians will go into captivity.

We might want to note that none of these countries referred to in this passage in Ezekiel 30 are mentioned in Psalm 83:1-8, which describes a confederacy between Middle Eastern nations and Assyria. It appears, then, that the countries mentioned in Psalm 83, which are allied WITH Assyria, are different from the countries, mentioned in Ezekiel 30, which are apparently allied AGAINST Assyria.

But notice also that modern Babylon or mystical Tyre—which refers to the end-time resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire in Europe–is described as an economic power in Ezekiel 27, with whom all nations have been dealing up to a point, including Russia, Persia (modern Iran), Syria and Israel. And it does say in verse 10 that at one time, those from Persia, Lydia and Libya were or would be in Tyre’s army as men of war. (Persia or Iran, together with Ethiopia and Libya, are also listed in Ezekiel 38:5, describing an attack under the leadership of Russia, China and other Asiatic nations, against the modern house of Israel, AFTER Christ’s return). For more information on mystical Tyre, please read chapter 3 (“Ancient and Modern Tyre in Prophecy”) in our booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Ezekiel 32:11-15 explains and confirms again that the king of modern Babylon—the king of Assyria or the king of the North, i.e. the beast–will ultimately rule over Egypt, just prior to Christ’s return.

Turning to the book of Daniel, we read in Daniel 11:41-43 that the king of the North (the king of Assyria or the beast) will conquer many countries in the Middle East, including Egypt; and that Libya and Ethiopia will also be in subjection to him, but that countries such as Edom (modern Turkey, and perhaps also Palestinians), Moab (Jordan and West Iraq) and the prominent people of Ammon (Jordan) will escape—note that these countries which will not be enslaved by Assyria are some of the countries that had entered into a confederacy WITH Assyria, pursuant to Psalm 83. (You will find more information on the modern identity of biblical nations in one of our Q&As).

We obtain further pertinent information on the future of Egypt in the book of Hosea.

Hosea 7:11-12 tells us that Ephraim will try to get help from Assyria and Egypt, but will not receive it, and we are also told that the very fact of that occurrence will be announced in the last day. Technically, Ephraim designates Great Britain and perhaps countries of the British Commonwealth, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but since Ephraim was the leading tribe over the ancient house of Israel, the reference to Ephraim includes in all likelihood other major tribes of the modern house of Israel, including Manasseh or the USA.

Hosea 9:3 elaborates on the prophetic concept that Ephraim shall return to Egypt and eat unclean things in Assyria. On the other hand, Hosea 11:5, 10-11 informs us that Ephraim shall not return to the LAND of Egypt; rather, it will go into the kind of “Egyptian” slavery which ancient Israel experienced when it was in Egyptian captivity. As we have seen, the modern king ruling over the modern house of Israel will be Assyria. Deuteronomy 28:68; 17:16 confirms as well that “Egyptian” slavery is decreed over both the houses of Israel and Judah. But according to Isaiah 27:13, a part of the enslaved remnant will return from the LAND of Egypt. Since Ephraim (and at least some within the modern house of Israel) will not be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt, it follows that those who will be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt will be mainly those from the house of Judah. This fact is supported in Joel 3:19, which tells us that Egypt will become a desolation, because of their violence against the people of JUDAH or the Jews. For more information, please read chapter two (“The Modern House of Israel in Prophecy”) in our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Finally, in Zechariah 10:10-12, we read again that some (apparently referring to Judah) will be freed from slavery and brought back from the LAND of Egypt, while others (Ephraim and some, if not many modern tribes from the house of Israel) will be freed from Assyria.

Zechariah 14:16-19 concludes by telling us that Egypt will slowly learn to accept God and His way of life in the Millennium, but it will take time. Ultimately, however, as we have seen before in Isaiah 19, Egypt will be blessed, together with Assyria and Israel.

In conclusion, when we take all the passages together, as quoted above, we should realize that developments in the Middle East are leading to the end-time crescendo of an outright war in the Middle East, and Egypt will play a prominent part in those developments. However, it is not altogether clear, for example, as to how and exactly when the different stages of slavery and captivity will come about for the houses of Israel and Judah, as well as for Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. We should be careful to view all Scriptures on the subject, lest we pick and choose to create our own prophetic scenarios which might or might not be in accordance with the inspired Word of God. We should be patient enough to allow God to show us how these end time events will come about, rather than jumping ahead with our own imaginations, lest we be found wanting in our postulations and proclamations. Rather, we need to follow Christ’s command to watch world events, knowing that in His due time, God will reveal to His true servants exactly how the prophetic Scriptures will be fulfilled, and when the LORD has spoken, THEN His servants will proclaim it (Amos 3:7-8).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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