As I have been researching for a possible up-coming book (I really haven’t decided quite yet) I have uncovered an an interesting prophecy from the Christian bible which bears a striking resemblance to the Islamic teaching about the al-Mahdi’s Army of the Black Flags.
But Before I begin I must state that prophecy is not confined to the prophets of Israel alone, but can be seen in many of the ancient cultures. Many ancient cultures exhibit deep profound wisdom. This also true of the Christian tradition, though I personally am not a Christian.
However, the prophecies contained in the Hebrew Bible are stand above the prophecy and wisdom of the nations, and have shown themselves to be accurate in all their details. A Jewish proverb states:
“If a person tells you that there is wisdom among the nations, believe him, as it says in Obadiah, “I will destroy the wise ones from Edom and the intelligence from Mount Esau.” If one says that there is Torah among the nations, believe him not.”
The Torah text, which has been hand written and passed down in an unbroken chain of transmission from the time of Moshe to this very day. It’s veracity has been established time and time again when scoffers sought to disprove it as a fabrication of fables and stories. Each time the Tanakh has been challenged, evidence has come forth to repudiate the claims of supposed men and women of science and re-establish itself as the exclusive word of the Creator.
The Torah reminds us that if a prophet foretells of an event that comes to pass but tries to convinces you to follow after other gods [including practice of their ways, customs or traditions], you are not to heed that prophet but Israel was to put him to death (Deuteronomy 13).
This tells us that even idolators can even possess the prophetic gift and that the foretelling and fulfillment of a prophecy does not make you a spokesman for GOD. Many people today believe that some one who heals or predicts the future must be sent from HaShem, but as you can see that idea has no basis in the Word of HaShem and those who follow such false prophets are fools.
The Muhajadeen of the End of Days
The Apocalypse foretells of battles and wars of immense proportions. In the 14th chapter we find that a future siege on Jerusalem would case a bloodbath 200 miles long with blood and bodies piled up as high as a horses bridle. Years ago this seemed far-fetched and boggled the mind. The 9th chapter informs us of an army of astronomical proportions which originates from the Euphrates River.
There was a time when Christian scholars did not believe that the immense size of this army was a literal number of 200 million. This was due in fact to the reality that at the time the prophecy was made there were not even 200 million people living on earth let alone an army of this size.
“…one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million…”
That is no longer a problem. The earth’s population is reaching 7 billion and it is estimated that of that number 1.5 billion are Muslims. It is currently estimated of these, 10 – 15% are radicalized. add to this the number of forced conversions throughout the world during the End of Days and 200 million is quite achievable.
I believe this army is the dreaded Army of Black Flags spoken of in the Islamic literature. This army will come forth from Khorusan and march on Jerusalem under the flag of Jihad. Khorusan as we shall see is the place of ancient Magog.
Muhammad said: “If you see the black flags coming from Khurasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl over ice, for that is the army of the Imam al-Mahdi and no one can stop that army until it reaches Jerusalem.”
There is view-point that the armed Islamic resistance that is resisting occupation in Afghanistan (aka the Taliban) constitute the emerging army from Khorasan that will eventually ‘liberate’ the Holy Land. They are called the Abdal who will give the Bai’ah or pledge of allegiance to Imam al-Mahdi in Makkah (Mecca).
Magog is mentioned in a prophecy about Gog and Magog War that is in the book of Ezekiel. Although most of the biblical prophets gave prophecies about this war, only the book of Ezekiel uses these names Gog and Magog:
And the word of HaShem came to me to say: Son of Adam, face yourself in the direction of Gog, Land of the Magog, main president of Meshech and Tuval, and prophesy on him. And you shall say: So said HaShem G-d, I am coming to you, Gog, main president of Meshech and Tuval.
And I shall send fire in Magog… and they shall know that I am HaShem.
There is much confusion in identifying where Magog is. We believe Christianity is blind-sided by their own theology and because of their misplaced distrust in Judaism. Our Sages who penned the Mishna, the Midrash and the Talmud tell us who is Magog, and have given us names as clues.
The name Magog is mentioned two other times in the Hebrew Bible, besides the two we just looked at in Ezekiel.
The sons of Yefet: Gomer and Magog and Maday and Yavan and Tuval and Meshech and Tiras.
Magog was the name of the son of Jephet the grandson of Noah, and the people of Magog were his descendants, and were named Magog after him. According to our Sages, most of the people’s in the list in Ezekiel stem from the line of Yefet.
Our Sages interpreted in a few places the names of these peoples. The Babylonian Talmud in tractate Yoma identifies the names of the settlements mentioned in the Tanakh this way:
“Magog is Kandia” -Babylonian Talmud, tractate Yoma 10A
“…Magog (is) Gitya…” Jerusalemite Talmud
According to Midrash Bereshit Rabba. Magog is Girmanya.
Rabbi Yonathan Ben Uziel who translated the Tanakh to Aramic also interprets the name of Magog as Germania.
Interestingly, when Yonathan Ben Uziel translated the prophecy of Gog and Magog , he refrained from translating the names using only the Hebrew names (Magog, Meshech, Tuval). However in Ezekiel 38:6 he changed his method and translated Magog as the “state of Germamia.“
The oldest Jewish interpretation to “Magog”, other than our Sages’, is by Josephus Flavius, AKA Yosef Ben Matityahyu and Yosef Ben Guryon. In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus also writes how the peoples emerged from Noah and his descendants, and so he writes:
Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians.
Scholars generally regard the Scythians as Iranian nomadic peoples, speaking an Iranian language. Sistan, the name for the Persian language, comes from the Old Persian Sakastana, meaning “Land of the Sakas”. The Sakas are considered to be a branch of Scythians by most scholars. Saka is the usual Persian term, while Scythian is a Greek term.
The Scythians first appear in Assyrian annals as Ishkuzai, reported as pouring in from the north some time around 700 BCE and settling in Ascania and modern Azerbaijan as far as to the southeast of Lake Urmia. The Scythian tribes mentioned in the Greek sources resided in the steppe between the Dnieper and Don rivers.
Now even if Josephus said that the Magogites tribes are the Scythian tribes, it not much help in establishing their land of origin the land of Magog.
Our Sages, differing from Josephus, interpreted the names of the original lands of each descendant that were settled after the biblical Flood and the land that was initially occupied by the Magogites – land of Magog – should probably be the origin state of the Scythian tribes.
Rabbi Yehi’el Tzvi Hirshenzon’s book Seven Wisdoms (1883) devoted part of his book to the locations of Noah’s descendants’ lands when they began their settlement, according to the words of our Sages:
Their intention was the land of Kermania, south east of Babylon, and you can find it in the map of the Greek Rulers, in the south of Kermania Desert (which is called now in the new map Die Zaltz Wiste Fon Kermaan, and the main city until today is called Kerman), to the east of the tongue of the Persian Sea….”
And in Midrash Rabba and Yehonathan Ben Uziel and Translation of Rav Yosef it’s called actually “Germania” (and Herodotus, the Greek writer also calls the lands as Germania of Persia: “Persicus Germanus”, and don’t mix this Germania with the European Germania (Deutschland), because that one was called in the Talmud Edom’s Germania to separate it from this Germania).
And as it’s seen, this land in the old times was extended until the Indus River, and included within it the land that is called today Baludshistan… and it will also border in the northeast with the Himalaya mountains and Indikush mountains, and Tzongling mountains are extension to Indikush mountains, but they got their eastern name from the inhabitants of China there.
…and in the Babylonian Talmud Magog is Kandia, is a copier mistake, as already mentioned by the author of Tevu’ot HaAretz, because Kandia is a newer name that was given after the Talmud to the island Creta or Telechine. But the mistake should be corrected to Kidya, and this is Gytia as mentioned above.
The land that our Sages called Germania is a Persian land in the area of the Persian Gulf, that swallows an area called Baludshistan, and that land is bordering in the east with the Indus River, and in the north with the Himalayas. The region named Baluchistan is actually divided today between three countries: Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In western Pakistan there’s also a province names Baluchistan, next to the Iranian Baluchistan.
In today’s Iran there is a big province called Kerman, with population of over two million people. The capital of the province is also called by this name, and today more than 400,000 people live there. This province, Kerman, that was probably the original land of Magog, includes many archaeological cities, that their timings matches more or less the period of the end of The Biblical Flood.
As written above, our Sages used two different names alternatively to describe Magog’s land. The first one was versions of the name Germania, and we understood now where it is, while the second name is versions of then name Gytia. In the time of ancient Persia, the area known as Baluchistan was in the 6th century BCE as SattaGydia or SattaKydia.
Based on the above information the actual location of the Land of Magog is the areas of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. These area’s are a hotbed of radicalized jihadists who have been a problem for the two largest superpowers – Russia and the United States.
This area is also known in Islamic sources as Khourusan, the place where the al-Mahdi’s Army of the Black flags marches from. We believe that Christian prophetic tradition identifies this army as the Kings of the East:
“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and it’s water was dried up so that the way of the Kings of the East might be prepared….to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
According to the reference from Britannica 1997:
KHURASAN,. The historical region extended, along the north, from the Amu Darya(OxusRiver) westward to the Caspian Sea and, along the south, from the fringes of the central Iranian deserts eastward to central Afghanistan. Arab geographers even spoke of its extending to the boundaries of India.
This definition tells that the following area is included in the historical region of Ancient Khorasan.
·Northern Part of Iran ,
·North Western Part of Pakistan
·Southern parts of Central Asian Turkish states like Turkmenistan andUzbekistan.
Part of the demographic make-up of the area of Khourusan is the Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan. The Pashtun’s (also called Pathans) are a fierce nomadic people who some, including myself, believe are remnants of the so-called lost tribes of Israel. Indeed they occupy the regions of Pakistan, Iran, India and Kashmir.
The Pashtun Tribe of Afghanistan remains as a strong, warlike tribe, that has remained untamed throughout history. They are the only tribe that has not been subjugated to major imperial forces of history, including Soviet Russia and the United States today. These ancient Israelites have now become, as Bilal Khan wrote:
“The only group (Pashtun Tribes of Afghanistan) that is warlike, undefeated and untamed throughout the course of history, staunch in religious fervor, filled with honor and pride and is unforgiving of its enemy; one that will fight its enemy until one of them is dead.”
The Pathani tribesmen, the largest tribe of the Afghani people, declare that they are descended from the tribes of Israel and call themselves Bani-Israel. Rabbi Avraham HaKohen, (of the Jewish community in the Afghani city of Harath) recounts hearing the Afghani king Habib Allah Han proclaim, “I am from the Tribe of Benjamin.”
Other compelling indicators are the clan names names of the Afghani tribe are Israelite in origin: Ghaghi tribesmen claim their name is from derived from Gad the son of Jacob. Others include: Rabbani (Reuben); Levoni (Levi); Ephriti (Ephraim); Yusuf Si (Joseph). And Jewish names such as Israel are found among many Pathani.
The Pashtuns while practicing a form of Islam, when asked, say they are not Muslims and follow a religious code called Pashtanwalli, a very strict type of ‘Mosaic law’ combined with Islamic customs.
As for Jewish customs, the Pathani do not shave thier peot or sidelocks in accordance with the Torah – Don’t shave the sides of your head . They rest on the Shabbat, and even light candles on Friday evenings.
Who is the Beast that He should be Worshipped?
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ” Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”
The question is rhetorical. We must recognize that the Christian religion began as a sectarian offshoot of Judaism and it’s primary leadership were Jew’s who were brought up in 2nd Temple Judaism. In fact there was no Pauline Christianity inside of the Holy Land prior to the second century. The point I’m making is that the person who wrote the book of Revelation would have used the same images and symbols that the book of Daniel employs including Jewish interpretations.
It is clear that the beast of Revelation 13 is the fourth beast of Daniels vision, but in a composite form which includes the other three empires and subsequent Jewish exiles. Therefore the beast of Revelation is not a person but an empire, which we believe is a resurrected Islamic Khalifah. This is the interpretation based on Daniel.
The problem we are immediately faced with is the perception that the beast is worshipped and therefore it must be a person. That perception is a false one reinforced by our modern understanding of spiritual things. ‘Worship’ is a modern concept, not a Jewish one. When the modern person thinks of worship, most will conjure up a definition based on belief in a person. Worship is given to one you believe in or have faith in.
Biblically, this definition is incomplete at best. If you were to take a survey of the biblical material, you would soon discover that the words often translated as ‘worship’ in reality reflect an ancient practice known as prostration. During the biblical period, Jews prayed on their knees and on their faces. This practice reflected the idea of obeisance. The worshipper prostrated himself as an act of submission to honor God.
With this ancient understanding we are better able to grasp what the passage is really saying:
And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast [Islamic Empire]; they prostrated themselves in submission to the dragon [Allah]because he gave his authority to the beast [Islamic Khalifah]; and they submitted to the beast [Islamic khalifah], saying, ” Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?
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