Iraq in Prophecy
by Dr. Edgar Feghaly

Jeremiah 50:1 "The Word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet."

As Jeremiah and Isaiah prophecy against the wicked kingdom of Babylon, the Holy Spirit looks forward to the future and prophesies about future events that will befall on Babylon and her king.

Modern Day Chaldea and the Bible

Jeremiah chapters 49-50 and Isaiah 13 speak about nations that will move from all over the world against Nebuchadnezzar and the land of the Chaldeans. These nations will destory the whole land and put an end to the kingdom of Chaldea. This is not how the kingdom of Chaldea ended. According to Daniel chapter 5, Persians and Medes who were besieging Babylon diverted the water of the Euphrates by means of a canal linked to a lake, which enabled the soldiers to enter under the gates and take the city. In Daniel 5 the Bible tells us that the king who was taken was Belshazzar and he made a great feast. He brought the gold vessels taken from the Temple of God and filled them with wine and glorified the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a man's hand wrote on a wall, "Mene, mene, tekel, upfarsin." Daniel came and explained the writings to the terrorized king.

Daniel 5:26-28 "MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances and are found wanting. PERES; thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."

Why did God judge Belshazzar?

Daniel 5:23 "But has lifted thyself against the Lord of heaven...the God in whose hand thy breath is."

The Persians took Babylon without much damage to the city, and this happened in the rule of Belshazzar, not Nebuchadnezzar.

  1. The Persians came from the East, not from all over the world, as Jeremiah chapters 49 and 50 tell us.

  2. Belshazzar did not attack a particular country and as a result, armies marched against him. What happened then is that the Medes and the Persians besieged Babylon for 20 years; while the Babylonians were drunk and their king and all the officials were drunk, the Persians went into the city, killed Belshazzar and his men, and took over the city.

  3. Therefore, I conclude that when Jeremiah 49-50 and Isaiah 13 talk about "many nations from many coasts" moving against Nebuchadnezzar and the land of the Chaldeans to destroy the whole land, the prophet was talking about a different era or age, not about the Nebuchadnezzar who lived in the days of Daniel, but about another Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was described by Daniel as the head of gold. He, in fact, expanded the Babylonian kingdom and took over many kingdoms. He was never attacked or defeated by any nation. However, the Nebuchadnezzar of Jeremiah 49 and 50 will be destroyed.

  4. It is interested that Saddam Hussein was the only Arab leader ever to claim to be Nebuchadnezzar. He claims that true Nebuchadnezzar is his grandfather, that he is from the bloodline of Nebuchadnezzar. It is against the law in Iraq for anyone to criticize Nebuchadnezzar.

  5. There are Chaldeans still living in Iraq today and these Chaldeans claim that Iraq is the land of their anscestors.

  6. The prophecy was fulfilled in 1991. This is when the entire world moved against Saddam Hussein and the land of Iraq, which is Chaldea, because Saddam Hussein occupied the country of Kuwait. Canada, Australia, and many other countries, under the leadership of the United States liberated Kuwait and destroyed the whole land of Chaldea, or Iraq.

  • Since 1991 Iraq could not sell as much oil as they like.

  • After the Gulf War, Iraqis became very poor. Before the Gulf War, Iraqis were known to be very wealthy.

  • Many Iraqis left Iraq seeking a better life.

  • The regime was significantly weakened. If the prophecy against Saddam Hussein and the land of Chaldea was fulfilled in 1991, where do we put the present day War on Iraq? The present war against Iraq is the completion of the prophecy that took place in 1991. God judged Chaldea but the time has come for God to judge the King of Chaldea and remove him from office, as He moved Belshazzar on Oct. 12, 539 B.C. The common denominator between Belshazzar and Saddam Hussein is PRIDE . Both lifted themselves against the Lord of Heaven. Saddam Hussein had no respect for human life. He committed a lot of atrocities against his own people, even to the extent of using meat grinders on live humans.

The Bible talks about the Gulf War

In 1990-1991 when the Gulf War started, I went to the Bible to see if the Bible prophesies about this war and whether Kuwait is mentioned in the Bible. I found out that there are three names mentioned in Jeremiah 49 and 50. These are the old names that geographically describe present day Kuwait.

Kedar, according to Unger's Bible Dictionary, "in the stricter sense was a nomadic tribe of Ishamelites which wandered as far as the Elantic Gulf," but Kedar is "usually used in Scripture as the collective name of the Arabic tribe Bedouins." It is a piece of land north of Saudi Arabia to the Far East. In the ancient map, in the days of Jeremiah and Isaiah, Elam must have given its name to the gulf, which is today known as the Persian Gulf. So Kedar points toward the area known today as Kuwait. The Bible says Nebuchadnezzar will go into Kedar and loot the country.

The Bible uses ancient terms to describe Kuwait. In Jeremiah 49:28-29, the Bible mentions that the King of Chaldea will move against Kedar.

"Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the Lord; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east. Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side."

According to these verses, Saddam Hussein (who is Nebuchadnezzar) will move against the peaceful country of Kuwait, will loot the country, kill, and torture many Kuwaitis. Kuwait is one of the richest nations on earth. The Kuwaitis live without care. They have no enemy, no large army and Kuwait is at peace with everyone. When Saddam Hussein went against Kuwait almost half the Kuwaitis were on vacation and the other half were preparing themselves to go on vacation.

During the Iranian-Iraqi war, which as started by Saddam Hussein and killed and injured 3 million people, Iraq accumulated a great amount of debt. Saddam Hussein expected the Gulf countries to pay the bills for his war. Kuwait gave a lot of money to help Iraq pay some of the bills. However, when the war ended and Iraq was left with a lot of debts, Kuwait refused to pay more to Saddam Hussein. Believing that by defeating Iran he did the US a favor, and believing that in return the US would be willing to reward him Kuwait, Saddam Hussein moved his troops and took Kuwait.

Kuwait and the Bible

In Jeremiah 50:21, 24, the Bible pinpoints two other areas. These point to the land of Kuwait.

"Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the Lord, and do according to all that I have commanded thee."

Merathaim means the land of the lagoons. Kuwait was born as a result of Al-Sabah, a head of a tribe who went to the land of the lagoons. He and his tribe lived in poverty until 1956 when oil was discovered. Overnight Kuwait was changed from a poor to a very rich kingdom. The tribe of Al-Sabah has the highest income per capita and its population is about 400,000.

Pekod is an area located near the southern tip of the Tigris River, south of Basra. If you look at a map you will see that Pekod and Merathaim point to the country of Kuwait today. Kedar, Merathaim, and Pekod are the ancient names of the area of Kuwait.

Why will Saddam Hussein go against Kuwait? Jeremiah 50:24 gives us the answer; "I have laid a snare for thee and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou was not aware: thou art found and also caught, because thou has striven against the Lord."

A Trap for Saddam

When Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait he didn't know that Kuwait would be a trap for him. He didn't know that the occupation of Kuwait will lead to the destruction of his regime or his kingdom and that God is about to judge Iraq.

Jeremiah 50:9 states that nations will assemble against Iraq. The nations who will move against Iraq will use technologically advanced weapons—rockets that hit their targets. "For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain."

Jeremiah 50:41 speaks about three groups of people who will move against Iraq. "Behold, a people shall come from the north [this refers to Turkey and Europe], and a great nation [which refers to the United States who was the only great nation in 1991 and is still the only great and mighty nation in the world today], and many kings [refers to the rest of the countries who joined the coalition forces against Iraq] shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth."

USA is mentioned in the Bible

Isaiah 13:3 refers to the United States. "I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness."

God describes the US soldiers as mighty ones, sanctified ones. They come from a land that still worships the Lord. The US people still worship the Lord and see God as Supreme.

How do we know that this verse refers to the United States? Isaiah 13:5, "They come from a far country" —how far is the location of the country from where this great army will come?— "from the end of Heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land." If you look at a map you will find out that the United States is the farthest country from Iraq. It is on the other side of the planet.

In response to the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq, the United States and the rest of the world moved against Iraq, kicked the Iraqi army from Kuwait, defeated the Iraqi army, and imposed sanctions against the Iraqi aggressors. The war created a lot of destruction in the country. The Iraqi economy was completely destoyed as the Bible prophesied.

Where will the armies who will fight against Iraq come from? According to Jeremiah they will come from three major areas in the world. Jeremiah 50:41, "behold a people shall come from the north [these are the European nations], and a great nation [the United States], and many kings [different countries such as Canada, Japan, Australia]." Where will the Coalition forces come from? The army of the United States "they come from a far country." How far? "The end of Heaven," Isaiah 13:5. In Jeremiah 15:41, "from the coasts of the earth." Isaiah 50:28 says that when these armies move against Iraq many shall flee. In 1991, 3 million people fled Iraq.

Briefly, when Saddam Hussein takes Kuwait, the Bible says that many nations will move against him. Among them will be one mighty nation which is the United States. Their arrows...none shall return in vain. The first Gulf War was fought with cruise missles. Even today the war against Iraq is fought by expert men using the most modern technology.

The outcome of the War

What will the outcome of the war be? Jeremiah 5:10, "and Chaldea shall be a spoil." The more the Iraqis will resist the Coalition forces; the more damage will be inflicted upon their cities and armies. "All that spoil her shall be satisfied." The outcome of the war will be a decisive victory against Saddam Hussein and his regime.

Isaiah 13:5, "They come from a far country...to destroy the whole land."

Jeremiah 50:30, "Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord."

In a special news report by CNN and other agencies, newsmen stated that the Iraqi army and militia are digging trenches in and around Baghdad in order to resist and fight the USA and her allies.

When I heard this, Jeremiah 50:30 came to mind. It seems to me that many of the Iraqi soldiers and militia who will resist will be killed. The battle will be vicious and many will fall and will be cut off in the day of the Battle of Baghdad.

Why will God judge Iraq?

Because of the pride of Saddam Hussein. Jeremiah 50:31-32, "Behold I am against thee, O thou most proud...for thy day is come...And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up."

France, Germany, Russia, and China ran to the rescue of Saddam Hussein and did their best to prevent the new Gulf War and stop the Americans and the Coalition from going against Iraq. But all their efforts and the efforts of the United Nations failed.

"And I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him."

Jeremiah 50:24, "...thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware."

In other words the defeat of Baghdad is predetermined.

Jeremiah 50:30, "Therefore, shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord."

The Iraqis resisted and fought hard against the US, but to no avail. The world was stunned at the power force of the United States and the battle showed the might of the US military.

As God judged Belshazzar in the days of Daniel, so will God judge Saddam Hussein because of the atrocities that he committed.

  1. The Iranian-Iraqi war killed 1 million and injured 2 million.

  2. He attacked the Kurdish villages in the North spraying them with chemical weapons and killing tens of thousands of them in the most brutal way.

  3. Saddam killed anyone he doubted. His men are afraid of him and can only tell him what he wants to hear.

  4. He terrorized his own people.

  5. The objective of the Iraqi Secret Service was designed to spy on the people. It is not unusual for a brother to be a spy and report his family members.

  6. The reports are surfacing of unbelievable atrocities committed by the Iraqi army on the Kuwaities (took people's eyes, pulled their ears, cut their tongues, pulled their teeth).

  7. One of the most repelling reports we heard about Saddam Hussein is that he put humans through meat grinders while they are alive, shredding them into pieces.

The Lord has seen all of this and has declared judgment on Saddam Hussein.

Lessons we Learn

  1. God is in control and the Kings of the Earth are in the Hand of God.

  2. We as a nation must fear God realizing that as He judges Saddam Hussein and his regime, God can bring judgment on those who are disobedient and undermine the Lord.

  3. Realizing that Jesus is coming again, the war against Iraq ought to give us a great opportunity to witness to many people who may be nervous about the war, explaining to them that as God was in control and His Will was fulfilled in the days of Belshazzar, that also God is in control today and His will for everyone is to repent and come to the knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We need to pray for the fire of revival to sweep our land. Many people in our land need the Lord.




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