Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE in ProphecyBy Bill Salus “Saudi Arabia Opens Airspace to Israel” (NYT – 9/2/20)
“After UAE, Bahrain deals signed, Trump says 7-9 countries seek peace with Israel”
“Soon after historic Abraham Accords ceremony at the White House, US president includes Saudi Arabia among those nations also now ready to normalize ties with Jewish state.” (Times of Israel – 9/15/20)
Saudi Arabia is back in the news again and that has some Bible prophecy pundits warning that a 2600-year old biblical prediction could be about to happen! In one of his most detailed apocalyptic writings, the prophet Ezekiel identifies the nation of Saudi Arabia in his 38th chapter.
This ancient prophecy informs of a forthcoming massive invasion of Israel in the last days. It identifies an invading coalition that appears to be led by Russia and includes Turkey, Iran and nine populations in total.
In addition to this intimidating list of invaders, Ezekiel identifies a group of nations that appear to be contesting the evil intentions of this coalition. The verse below explains the sinister motives of the invaders and identifies the concerned protesters.
“Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you, (Russia), gathered your (coalition) army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’” (Ezekiel 38:13, NKJV; emphasis added)
This passage identifies Saudi Arabia under the banner of Dedan. The Saudis are assembled alongside Sheba, (Yemen), Tarshish, (UK), and their Young Lions, (USA, and maybe Canada and Australia). This grouping of countries appear to be actively protesting, rather than militarily preventing this invasion of Israel.
The concerns of these sideline spectators are lodged in several questions, which help us to recognize that the primary goal of these invaders is to conquer Israel for their own capital gains. These belligerents intend to seize control over all aspects of Israel’s economy.
Due to the budding relationships between Russia, Turkey and Iran, several Bible prophecy teachers believe that Ezekiel 38 could be the next event to find fulfillment on the end times prophetic calendar. But is it?
Saudi Arabia is actually identified in at least four unfulfilled prophecies and when they are laid out sequentially, it turns out that Ezekiel 38:13 is seemingly the last of the four to find fulfillment. In addition to Ezekiel 38, Saudi Arabia, as Dedan, is the subject of biblical predictions in Jeremiah 49 and Ezekiel 25. Moreover, the Saudis appear to be represented as the Ishmaelites in the 3000-year old prophecy foretold in Psalm 83. These prophecies will be presented in their apparent chronological order, but beforehand it is important to connect the ancient territory of Dedan and the Ishmaelite peoples of the past with modern-day Saudi Arabia.
Where is Dedan?
Historic Mideast maps locate Dedan in Northwestern Saudi Arabia. Some Bible scholars, such as Gary Stearman of Prophecy Watchers,[i] suggest that in the Old Testament, Dedan might even extend beyond Saudi Arabia to also include the modern-day Gulf Cooperation Council, (GCC), countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the UAE. If Dedan represents the entirety of the GCC Arab states, this could be prophetically relevant in light of recent events.
“Israel signs accords with United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at White House ceremony” (USA Today – 9/15/20)
Presently, the UAE and Bahrain are in the process of normalizing national relations with Israel as part of the “Peace to Prosperity” aspect of Donald Trump’s, “Deal of the Century” Mideast peace plan. This economic part of Trump’s plan was introduced by White House adviser Jared Kushner in Bahrain on June 25, 2019.
“In Bahrain, U.S. Tries to Promote Mideast Peace Through Prosperity” (NY Times – 6/25/19)
In the process of achieving peace with the UAE and Bahrain, which are two Arab nations that never posed a real threat to the Jewish state, Israel has agreed to temporarily postpone its plans to annex territory in the West Bank. The annexation of this land was part of the political aspect of Trump’s Mideast peace plan.
“UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan: “I thank Netanyahu for choosing to stop annexation of Palestinian land.”” (Times of Israel – 9/15/20)
It’s interesting to note that UAE’s Foreign Minister considers the territory in question “Palestinian land.” In the cosmic CHESS MATCH between good and evil, it appears that evil moved two PAWNS, the UAE and Bahrain, forward and successfully put Israel into CHECK when it comes to the “Chosen People” expanding further into the “Promised Land.” How this newly formed alignment between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain may have prophetic implications will be explored near the end of this article.
Whether or not Dedan includes all of the GCC countries, most biblical scholars would agree that at least it identifies Saudi Arabia.
Who are the Ishmaelites?
Some suggest that Ishmael, the patriarch of the Ishmaelites, was the father of the Arabs and that he settled in Arabia. Ancient Arabia is now often alluded to as the Arabian Peninsula, and it is mostly encompassed by Saudi Arabia. The map and quote below it, reinforces these understandings.
“The Book of Genesis and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael to be the ancestor of the Ishmaelites/Arabians and patriarch of Qaydār. According to Muslim tradition, Ishmael the Patriarch and his mother Hagar are buried next to the Kaaba in Mecca… Ishmael is recognized as an important prophet and patriarch of Islam. Muslims believe that Ishmael was the firstborn of Abraham, born to him from his wife Sarah’s slave, Hagar. Ishmael is recognized by Muslims as the ancestor of several prominent Arab tribes and the forefather of Muhammad.”[ii]
The Four Unfulfilled Saudi Arabia Bible Prophecies
SAUDI PROPHECY #1
“Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, The time that I will punish him.” (Jeremiah 49:8)
This often-overlooked Jeremiah foretelling concerning Dedan was penned approximately two decades prior to Ezekiel’s issuance of his 38th chapter. Jeremiah issues a stern admonition to the inhabitants dwelling in Dedan to, “Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths.” This forewarning is given because “the calamity of Esau” is coming.
Apparently, when this future prediction happens, the Saudis will have joined forces with Esau’s descendants, and in so doing, will become positioned in the line of fire. The Lord is going to punish Esau severely, and for Saudi Arabia’s own protection, Jeremiah warns them to flee and turn back to the depths of their homeland. This infers that at the time of Esau’s calamity, that Saudi armed forces are involved in a military operation that is taking place on foreign soil.
The fifty-million-dollar question is, “what is Esau’s Calamity?” This topic will be addressed further down in this article, but beforehand it’s important to note what Jeremiah says happens to Esau’s neighbors as a result of the calamity.
And he, (Esau), shall not be able to hide himself. His descendants, (the Edomites), are plundered, His brethren and his neighbors, And he is no more. (Jer. 49:9–10, NKJV; emphasis added)
Esau’s neighbors are plundered. This would include Saudi Arabia, if they don’t heed the warning to, “flee, turn back, dwell in the depths.” In other words, back off and go back home or else be plundered alongside of Esau’s descendants.
SAUDI PROPHECY #2
“‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because of what (the) Edom(ites) did against the house of Judah (Israelis) by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword. I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 25:12-14, NKJV; emphasis added)
About two decades after Jeremiah pens his warning for the Saudis to disengage from their alignment with Esau, Ezekiel prophesies that the Saudis will fail to do so. As such, “Dedan shall fall by the sword.” In the Bible, “the sword” is often used as a typology for a war. Thus, this identifies the Saudis as one of the neighbors that get plundered in the related war when Esau’s Calamity comes.
This Ezekiel passage also explains why Esau’s Calamity comes and how this calamitous campaign is carried out. The Edomite descendants of Esau will be guilty of attempting to bring harm against the Jews, and in retaliation, the Lord will empower the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to execute His anger, fury and vengeance.
This curse for curse in kind response comes directly out of the Genesis 12:3 playbook. This verse represents God’s foreign policy to the Gentile nations. Those countries that do good to Israel will be blessed, but those that do harm will be cursed. The Edomites seek to harm the Jews, so in turn, God lifts up the IDF to eliminate all of Esau’s descendants! Yes, I said ELIMINATE ESAU’S DESCENDANTS. The prophet Obadiah foretells it this way:
““The house of Jacob, (the IDF), shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph, (the IDF), a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor, (descendant), shall remain of the house of Esau,” For the Lord has spoken.” (Obadiah 1:18, NKJV; emphasis added)
Understanding the size and scope of Esau’s calamity, it’s understandable why Jeremiah previously warns the Saudis to back off and go back home before this war happens.
SAUDI PROPHECY #3
“They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalm 83:4-8)
Saudi Arabia’s third unfulfilled prophecy is encapsulated in Psalm 83. I have covered Psalm 83 extensively in my book and associated DVD entitled, Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed, How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower. In those prior works, I explain the connections between the three Saudi prophecies identified thus far.
In my book I explain how Esau’s Calamity is described in Psalm 83 and the related peripheral prophecies provided below. This is not an exhaustive list; all told there are nearly 150 verses that chronicle this calamitous event. Within these passages we find out that the IDF is God’s tool to defend Israel when these prophecies happen.
- Psalm 83:1-18…………………………………. (18 verses)
- Jeremiah 49:1-29, 12:14-17…………………. (32 verses)
- Ezekiel 25:12-17, 28:24-26, 35:1-36:7, 37:10 (32 verses)
- Isaiah 17:1-14, 19:1-18, 11:14………………. (35 verses)
- Obadiah 1:1-21………………………………… (21 verses)
- Zephaniah 2:4-11……………………………… (8 verses)
- Zechariah 12:2, 5-6…………………………… (3 verses)
So who are Esau’s descendants today? They are the “Tents of Edom” in Psalm 83:6. Esau fathered the Edomites as per Genesis 36:1. In my Psalm 83 book I point out that the Edomites have an ethnical representation within the Palestinians. Not all Palestinians have an Edomite heritage, but many of them do.
The fact that they are identified as the “Tents of Edom,” infers that at the time of Esau’s Calamity, they are classified as refugees. In the Bible the “tents of” typically represents either military encampments or refugee scenarios. I believe that the Psalm describes the Palestinian refugees of today.
These Edomites are enjoined in the ten-member confederacy of Psalm 83:6-8 that wants to destroy Israel in Psalm 83:5. Below is a map that identifies the modern-day equivalents of these ancient populations. Observe that Saudi Arabia is included.
SAUDI PROPHECY #4
This fourth Saudi prophecy takes us back to the top of the article and Ezekiel 38:13. If the sequence of prophetic events presented thus far is correct, then by this future time Saudi Arabia has been plundered severely with the Palestinian refugees and their Psalm 83:6-8 confederacy.
Apparently, after being plundered, the Saudis decide to align themselves with the protesters, rather than the invaders in Ezekiel 38. Perhaps at this future point, when there is no further Palestinian plight to banner, the Saudis will abandon their Arab (Saudi) Peace Initiative in favor of normalized relations with Israel.
The Prophetic Implications of Israel’s peace with Bahrain and the UAE
If the first two prophecies about Dedan extend beyond Saudi Arabia to also include Bahrain and the UAE, then this current peace will be temporary. Those two predictions point out that Dedan gets plundered at the time of Esau’s Calamity. The IDF wouldn’t plunder Bahrain or the UAE if these peace deals were still in place.
However, there is another possible prophetic scenario to watch for that might include Bahrain and the UAE. Jeremiah 49:34-39 informs of an end times war with Iran. I write about this war in my book entitled, “Nuclear Showdown in Iran, Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam.”
In a nutshell, this prophecy declares that Iran will experience a disaster, probably nuclear, and it appears that this results from a military attack by the enemies of Iran. The key verse is below.
“For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies And before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger,’ says the Lord; ‘And I will send the sword after them Until I have consumed them.’” (Jeremiah 49:37)
Unfortunately, this verse does not specify who Iran’s enemies are, but it’s highly likely that if this prophecy were to happen soon, that Iran’s enemies would at least include Israel, the USA, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It’s common knowledge that a primary reason that Bahrain and the UAE are normalizing relations with Israel is to gain America and Israel as allies in the event of a future war with Iran.
If a war with Iran is forthcoming in the near future, these current peace deals between Israel with the UAE and Bahrain, could make it easier for an American, Israel and GCC Arab coalition to form and fight against Iran in fulfillment of this prophecy.
[i] Visit Prophecy Watchers website at: (www.prophecywatchers.com),
[ii] Ishmael quote taken from this web link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael#:~:text=Islam,-See%20also%3A%20Ishmael&text=Ishmael%20is%20recognized%20as%20an,and%20the%20forefather%20of%20Muhammad.