Assyria: The Nation of the Antichrist

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rodrigo-silva

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”From you, O Nineveh , has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD  and counsels wickedness.” (Nahum 1:11) NIV

If prophecy has a dual fulfillment as generally agreed, this passage from Nahum will also have a future fulfillment.

The Bible has many references to Assyria playing a major role in the end times. The Antichrist is also called the Assyrian by Isaiah many times and by Micah as coming from the land of Assyria which will be the land to be devastated during the return of Jesus Christ to save Israel from the invasion of the Assyrian (Micah 5:5-6).

The fall of the Assyrian empire took place in 612 BC when Nabuchednezzar king of Babylon conquered the Middle East. Almost one hundred years after Assyria disappeared without a trace, the prophet Zechariah wrote:

” 10 I will bring them (the Jews) again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.

11And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.

12And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.” (Zechariah 10:10-12)

Zechariah uttered this prophecy around 520 BC – almost one hundred years after Assyria and its capital Nineveh had been destroyed as predicted by the prophet Nahum, yet God says that he will bring down the pride of Assyria when He restores Israel. This passage can only be referring to the future since Assyria had ceased to exist during the time it was written. Many good prophecy teachers say that Assyria is possibly a reference to modern day Syria. I personally do not believe that is the case – although I could be wrong –  for the following reasons:

1- Even though Assyria came to be used interchangeably by the Greeks with Syria in ancient times, the Hebrew word for Syria or Syrian is Aram (Strong’s 0758) whereas the Hebrew word of Assyria or Assyrian is Asshur (Strong’s 0804)

2- Syria is connected with Damascus (Isaiah 17:3, Amos 1:5) whereas Assyria is connected with Nineveh ( Genesis 10:11 2 Kings 19:36, Isaiah 37:37 and Zephaniah 2:13). This same distinction still exists today. Damascus is the capital of Syria and Nineveh is located in Northern Iraq near the city of Mosul which is the home of the indigenous Assyrian people of Iraq.

3- In 2 Kings 16 we read that Ahaz king of Judah asks Tiglathpileser king of Assyria to help him get out of the hand Rezin king of Syria, therefore the distinction between Syria and Assyria are clearly seen in the Bible.

4- The Syrians today are Arabs whereas the Assyrians are not, but a distinct ethnic group

In Zephaniah 2 we find an amazing prophecy about God’s judgement upon many peoples for trying to destroy Israel.

These peoples are the inhabitants of:

Gaza (Palestinians)

Canaan, the land of the Philistines (Palestinians)

Moab and Ammon (Jordan)

Ethiopia (Sudan)

The text in Zephaniah says that all these nations and peoples will be utterly destroyed and perpetual desolations are mentioned in the passage. Today these places are still inhabited by the same peoples and are not desolate perpetually as we see in the text. This prophecy must be fulfilled in the future. In verse 13 we read the following:

”And he (God) stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness”. (Zephaniah 2:13)

It interesting that the text refers to the land of the North here. The Antichrist in Daniel 11 is said to come from the Seleucid dynasty of the Grecian empire which is North of Israel. The region of Nineveh and Assyria was part of the Seleucid dynasty.

The prophecy of Zephaniah must be fulfilled in the future because right after God destroys Assyria, we read:

14Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

15The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy (Assyria): the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.

17The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

When has God been in the midst of Israel as her king? Never! This is talking about the time when Jesus returns to restore Israel and be the king of kings in Jerusalem after destroying the enemies of Israel.

In Isaiah 30 we read something very interesting:

”And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of [his] anger, and [with] the flame of a devouring fire, [with] scattering, and tempes, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, [which] smote with a rod.”(Isaiah 30:30-31)

This verse says that the Assyrian will be destroyed by the voice of the Lord. Could it be that this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote?:

”Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God . . .And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,8)

Here Paul says that the Antichrist will be destroyed by the spirit of the mouth of the Lord just as Isaiah wrote that by the voice of the Lord will the Assyrian be destroyed. Although Paul and Isaiah use different terms, the idea is the same. Some might say that Isaiah 30:30-31 refers to the destruction of the Assyrians by the Babylonians, but some verses of Isaiah 30 have eschatological implications, not just historical. See Isaiah 30:18-33.

In Micah we read:

”2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

3Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

4And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

5And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

6And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.” (Micah 5:2-6)

Verse 2 is a prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Verse 4 is a prophecy concerning His greatness in the Lord as the King to the ends of the earth. Verse 5 is a prophecy concerning His delivering the Jews from the Assyrian when the Assyrian comes against Israel. This passage also seems to indicate that the Antichrist will be an Assyrian.

In Daniel we read:

” And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows.” (Daniel 7:20)

And in Isaiah we read:

” Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done [it], and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant [man]: (Isaiah 10:12-13)

This king of Assyria speaks great things, has great high looks (eyes)  and is as stout (feels great about himself) as the figure mentioned in Daniel. Those who think that Isaiah 10 was referring back to the king of Assyria of Isaiah’ s time, I suggest reading Isaiah 10 and 11 without looking at chapter division. One will notice that both chapters are connected ending with the Millennial kingdom of Christ and the salvation of Israel by the Lord ‘s hand. Also note that the beginning of the passage says that this will take place when God performs His whole work on mount Zion and Jerusalem. This will be accomplished when God finally restores Israel and Messiah returns to be her king.

Is Isaiah 14 the Antichrist is called both the Assyrian and the king of Babylon:

”The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.”(Isaiah 14:24-25).

The fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is about the future destruction of Babylon. In 14:4 the Antichrist is called the king of Babylon who will be empowered by Lucifer in verses 12 through 15. In verse 25 he is called the Assyrian. This suggests that the Antichrist besides being an Assyrian, he will also be the king (president) of Babylon which is modern day Iraq.

Daniel says:

” I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (Daniel 7:8)

Revelation says:

”And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies . . .  (Revelation 13:5)

The Antichrist has a mouth that blasphemes the name of God. It is interesting to note that just three verses prior to verse 5, the mouth of the beast that blasphemes God is seen on the lion:

”And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion . . . (Revelation 13:2)

Could it be that this mouth symbolism is pointing to the Antichrist as coming from Babylon which is typified by the Lion? Babylon is modern day Iraq and if the Antichrist is called the ”king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14:4 who speaks the five blasphemous ”I wills” in verses 13-15 as he is possessed by Lucifer and called the ”Assyrian” in Isaiah 14:25, this makes perfect sense because the Assyrians who live in Iraq are Iraqi citizens besides being Assyrians ethnically. If that is the case, the Antichrist will be  ethnically an Assyrian who becomes a prominent political figure in Iraq thus making him both the ”Assyrian” and the ”king of Babylon”.

Ibeastn our article titled The 10 Kings of the Beast: They Come From The East, We saw that the 7 heads of the beast represent:

1 – Egyptian Empire

2 – Assyria Empire

3 – Babylonian Empire

4 – Medo – Persian Empire

5 – Grecian Empire

6 – Roman Empire

7 – Ottoman Empire

We also saw that the 10 horns scattered upon the 7 heads of the beast which represent 10 kings could be:

1-Syria

2-Turkey

3-Egypt

4-Jordan

5-Lebanon

6-Sudan or Libya

7-Iraq

8-Iran

9-Pakistan

10-Afghanistan

In Revelation 17 we read that the Antichrist is an eighth head and in Daniel 7 we read that he will be the eleventh horn.

”10And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”  (Revelation 17:10-11)

How can the the Antichrist be the eighth and be of the seven. Remember that the seven heads of the beast represent the 7 empires of history mentioned above. Notice that the text says that the beast was and is not during the time of John. This must refer to a kingdom that had already ceased to exist during the time John was writing and Assyria was the kingdom that had totally disappeared from history whereas Egypt, Babylon, Persia and Greece still existed in some form or another and Rome being the current kingdom. In Revelation 13 we read:

” And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Revelation 13:3)

One of the head-kingdom of the beast suffers a wound but is healed close to the Tribulation period. The only head-kingdom that still does not exist today is Assyrian. All other 6 kingdoms shrank back but lived on as nations and are in existence today as:

Egyptian empire as Egypt

Babylonian empire as Iraq

Medo-Persian empire as Iran and Kurdistan

Grecian empire as Greece, Syria and other  Middle Eastern sectors of the Seleucid dynasty

Roman empire as Europe for the most part

Ottoman Empire as Turkey

Assyria on the other hand does not exist as a nation. The Assyrian people were preserved after going through many genocides and today live in the Nineveh Plains of North Iraq near the city of Mosul. If the Bible refers to the Antichrist as an Assyrian and tell us that Assyria will play a major role in the end times, it is plausible to conclude that Assyria must become an independent state in Northern Iraq. I strongly believe it will be the eleventh horn to rise after the 10 horns which we have already mentioned above. The resurrection of Assyria will make it the eighth head of the beast which was one of the seven and the eleventh horn of Daniel 7 after the first ten are already in place of authority in the Middle East. One thing that is also very intriguing is the fact that Assyria joins a confederacy of Arab nations in Psalm 83 where we read:

1 O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.

2 See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.

3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.

4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”

5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you-

6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,

7 Gebal, ] Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

8 Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.(Psalm 83:1-8) NIV

This is a famous Psalm which predicts the rise of many Arab nations that will form an alliance to destroy Israel so that her name ”be remembered nor more” (vs 4). Note that in verse 8 Assyria joins them to lend strength to the descendents of Lot. These are Moab and Ammon of whom the modern Jordanians came from who also brought forth the Palestinian Arabs who became refuges. This passage sounds like Assyria will also support the Palestinian cause against Israel. How can that be since Assyria does not even exist as a nation? As we have seen in this article, The Bible clearly says that Assyria will play a major role in the end times and I believe it will be the nation where the Antichrist will come from after it becomes an independent state in Iraq. The current situation in Iraq could be setting the stage for that to happen in the not too distant future. There have been talks about dividing Iraq in three main regional sectors between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. The Assyrians are begging the Western powers to allow them to have their own autonomous state in Iraq and this is not far from becoming a reality.

On June 17,2008 the Assyria Times reported:

Netherlands Requests Assyrian Autonomous State in Iraq

”According to one of the main Iraqi newspapers, Al-Iraq, the government of Netherlands has requested the European Union, as well as the Iraqi government to help the indigenous Assyrian Christians of Iraq to establish their own autonomous state of Assyria in northern Iraq.

The Parliament of Netherlands submitted this request via two of its ministers. Additionally, Netherlands is requesting the government of Iraq to conduct a referendum from the Assyrians in Iraq regarding their desire for an autonomous state. The request also included the suggestion of creating an Assyrian Christian militia to protect their independent state.

Also, in addition to 10,000 Iraqis refugees, mostly Assyrians who currently reside in Netherlands, the country has announced its willingness to accept more Assyrian refugees who are stranded in the neighboring countries.

This is the first time a foreign government has taken it upon itself to sponsor the Holy Assyrian Cause for an autonomous state for Assyrians in their ancestral land.

Iraqi government has not responded to this request from Amsterdam yet, but in the past, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and other officials in Iraqi parliament have acknowledged Assyrians’ constitutional rights to have their own autonomous state in northern Iraq.

Attiya Gamri Beth Arsan is the Assyrian MP in Parliament of Netherlands.” [1]

On June 19, 2008 the Assyria Times reported:

Good News For Iraq’s Assyrian!

Washington D.C. — The driving force behind “The Biden Plan”, Senator Joseph Biden Jr. of Delaware in a recent conversation confirmed that “The Biden Plan” involves more than three divisions of Iraq.

Generally seen as a proposal to allow Iraq to grant autonomy to “Shiastan” in the south, “Sunnistan” in the middle of the country and “Kurdistan” in the North, Biden confirmed that his plan also included the Assyrian Province.

The plan mirrors among others the United Kingdom where England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their separate identity, parliament and yet function as one nation. [2]

On April 21, 2008 the Assyrian International News Agency reported:

Assyrians Need Own Area in Iraq, Swedish Mayor Tells US Congress

Neb beastIt’s mission accomplished for Anders Lago, the mayor of the Swedish town of Södertälje. He has gone from an unknown mayor of a Stockholm suburb to a world voice on Iraqi refugees after his recent and well covered visit to the U.S, which was prompted by the flood of Assyrian refugees from Iraq who have besieged his town.

Lago says he was met with understanding for the need to offer the Assyrians local self rule. Kurt Volker, the newly appointed U.S ambassador to NATO, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy were among the influential people who told Lago they realize the need to help the Assyrians by establishing an Assyrian administered area with its own police force in the Nineveh Plains, situated in the north of Iraq. [3]

The above headlines show how close an Assyrian independent state in Iraq is about to become a reality. I often hear prophecy teachers say that the Jews were the only ethnic group to maintain their identity without a homeland for more than 300 years. This is not true. The Assyrians lost their nation 2700 years ago when the Babylonian empire conquered the Middle East and have struggled to maintain their identity as much as the Jews have ever since. They have gone through numerous persecutions throughout history but were able to be preserved as an ethnic group. That is because God has a plan for them in the Millennium to be a blessing along Israel and Egypt (Isaiah 19:23-25). But it seems that before Assyria becomes a blessing, it will be the greatest curse ever faced by the Jews since the Bible seems to indicate that the Antichrist whose purpose will be to destroy Israel will be an Assyrian. This does not mean that every Assyrian is a bad or evil person, it only means that God will allow Satan to use an Assyrian man just as he used Assyrian kings in the past to chastise Israel. History will repeat itself. Prophecy will have a dual fulfillment.

The defenders of the Roman (European Antichrist) theory do not seem to see this reality before their eyes. They insist that the Antichrist must be a Roman since it was the Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70 AD just as Daniel predicted that the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Roman army under Titus invaded Jerusalem destroying the city and the Temple. Yes, the soldiers were wearing Roman uniforms but they were not Europeans (Italians, French, Germans) as many assume. The majority of the soldiers of the legions 5,10,12 and 15 were Syrians. These legions came from the Syrian province of the Roman empire which recruited locals to be members of their garrisons.

Another issue that must be addressed here is the fact that the Syrians of the first century were not the Syrians of today. The Assyrians were referred to as Syrians by the Greeks and the Romans during the first century. That is because the term Syria came to be used interchangeably with Assyria by the Greeks. According to Greek and Roman historians such as Herodotus, Strabo, Justinus, and others state: the term Syrian means nothing more than Assyrian. In the 1st century BC Strabo wrote: “When those who have written histories about the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean by the Syrian people, none other than those whom built the royal palaces in Babylon and Ninus; and of these Syrians, Ninus was the man who founded Nineveh, in Assyria. (H.L. Jones Translation of “Geography of Strabo”, New York 1916, Vol. VIII p.195)

Read more about this subject in our article titled: The People of the Prince that Shall Come: Who Are They?

Conclusion

Many great prophecy writers believe that the Antichrist will come from Syria by pointing to him as the king of the North in Daniel 11, others believe he will be from Turkey give the fact that Gog of Magog could be a reference to the Antichrist coming from Turkey. I personally believe that the term ”Assyrian” refers to a literal Assyrian leader to rise out of a new Assyrian nation to be reborn in Northern Iraq to be the eighth head of the beast which was wounded but will be resurrected and to be the eleventh horn of the beast of Daniel 7 to rise among 10 kings which will be already in power whom I suspect could be 1-Syria 2-Turkey 3-Egypt 4-Jordan 5-Lebanon 6-Sudan or Libya 7-Iraq 8-Iran 9-Pakistan 10-Afghanistan as mentioned in our article titled: The 10 Kings of the Beast: They Come From The East.

Read also:

Assyrian, Gog of Magog, Pharaoh King of Egypt, Prince of Tyre or King of Babylon: Which One is the Antichrist?

God bless you!


By Rodrigo Silva

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