Saturday, February 19, 2011

Libya in Genesis, Jeremiah, Ezekiel

See latest post on Libya prophecies in light of the Western military intervention in Libya here

According to some reports, 200 people have been killed in Libya, after Qaddafi's forces opened fire freely on protestors, including at a funeral for fallen protestors from last week, making the Libyan protests the most deadly since the fall of Mubarak last week. Unlike the case of Egypt, Israel has few qualms about the fall of Qaddafi, whose foreign policy has essentially revolved around obsessive hatred of Israel. Nonetheless some have expressed fears of Arab unrest at large as fertile ground for Al-Qaeda to base themselves, posing a threat to the U.S., which might explain Obama's relative inaction after recent unrest in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya.

Libya is one of the countries featured in Ezekiel 38, which describes the war of Gog and Magog, the global struggle which Ezekiel foresees preceding the final redemption of the Jewish people and the world. Among the nations who rise up are:

פָּרַס כּוּשׁ וּפוּט, אִתָּם; כֻּלָּם, מָגֵן וְכוֹבָע

Persia, Kush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet

Persia, which also features in the Purim story which Jews read and commemorate this month, is modern-day Iran, which has made no secret of its stride against Israel at any cost. Kush is Ethiopia, which is also experiencing unrest. In the book of Genesis, Put is the name of the third son of Ham, son of Noah, brother of Kush, Egypt and Canaan. Put is identified in biblical history as the father of the Libyan nation.

In the book of Jeremiah, Put's ancestors are described as men of war:

עֲלוּ הַסּוּסִים וְהִתְהֹלְלוּ הָרֶכֶב, וְיֵצְאוּ הַגִּבּוֹרִים--כּוּשׁ וּפוּט, תֹּפְשֵׂי מָגֵן, וְלוּדִים, תֹּפְשֵׂי דֹּרְכֵי קָשֶׁת

Prance, horses, and rush madly, chariots; and let the mighty men go forth: Kush and Put, that handle the shield, and the Ludim, that handle and bend the bow. 

In 1969, Qaddafi led a coup against King Idris while the latter was in Turkey for medical treatment, and established the new Libyan Arab Republic. Qaddafi turned Libya into a source of funding and military aid for any who pledged to struggle against the West, such as the Black September movement, which perpetrated the Munich massacre at the 1972 Olympics. Under Reagan, who dubbed Qaddafi the 'mad dog of the Middle East', the US attempted to overthrow Qaddafi. In 2003, two Libyans were accused of planting a bomb on PanAm Flight 103. Libya's refusal of extradition led to a US policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, which has lasted until today.

In 2009, Qaddafi made his first appearance at the UN General Assembly, and the world had a chance to finally see how crazy this man actually is:

Okay, fine, so that was SNL. But still, it wasn't much weirder than the actual speech. In any case, Qaddafi is nuts, and no one is eager to have him stay around. The question, as always, is: What's next?

In the books of Ezekiel, Daniel and Nahum, Libya joins forces with Egypt, Gog and Tyre against Israel in the end of days, and falls.

כִּי-קָרוֹב יוֹם, וְקָרוֹב יוֹם לַיהוָה:  יוֹם עָנָן, עֵת גּוֹיִם יִהְיֶה.
וּבָאָה חֶרֶב, בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְהָיְתָה חַלְחָלָה בְּכוּשׁ, בִּנְפֹל חָלָל בְּמִצְרָיִם; וְלָקְחוּ הֲמוֹנָהּ, וְנֶהֶרְסוּ יְסֹדוֹתֶיהָ.
כּוּשׁ וּפוּט וְלוּד וְכָל-הָעֶרֶב וְכוּב, וּבְנֵי אֶרֶץ הַבְּרִית--אִתָּם, בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ 

For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a day of clouds, it shall be the time of the nations. 
And a sword shall come upon Egypt, and convulsion shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt; 
And they shall take away her abundance, and her foundation shall be broken down. 
Ethiopia, and Put, and Lud, and all the mingled people, and Cub, and the children of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.

In other words, Libya plays a major role in a final showdown between Israel and her enemies. So far, Qaddafi's rule has included harsh rhetoric and endorsement of terror, but what lies ahead? One thing is certain: the Arab world is reshuffling, and democracy is only one scenario among many better suited to address centuries of Arab longing to regain influence on the world stage.

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