Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy

By COGwriter

Libya has been in the news for decades.

From issues involving Muammar al-Gaddafi to his overthrow to Benghazi in 2011 to events present, there have been troubles in the nation of Libya. Alergia, Morocco, and Tunisia have been in the news as well, but less often and normally for less dramatic reasons.

The word 'Libya' is also in various translations of the Bible, though the words Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are not. The main peoples in these lands are Arabic and practice the Sunni verion of Islam.

What does the Bible teach about those of 'Libya' and their future? What about their origin?

The Biblical Origins

The Bible seems to show that the people who are now generally considered to be Arabic, descended, at least partially, from Abraham or one of his relatively close relatives.

The Bible teaches that Abraham had a son named Ishmael through Hagar (Genesis 16:8-15), his wife's maid servant. Most people of Arab ancestry consider that they are related to Abraham.

God told Abraham:

20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation (Genesis 17:20, NKJV throughout unless where otherwise indicated).

As far as greatness is concerned, throughout most of the "dark ages" in the West, the Arabic peoples were the leaders in science and culture--perhaps the greatest of all peoples at that time. The Arabs are still a major people, and have partially fulfilled this prophecy (additional fulfillment will be discussed later in this article).

The Bible mentions the following concerning Ishmael and his first descendants:

12 Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maidservant, bore to Abraham. 13 And these were the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These were the sons of Ishmael and these were their names, by their towns and their settlements, twelve princes according to their nations. 17 These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. 18 (They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria.) He died in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 25:12-18)

Ishmael also had at least one daughter, Mahalath. And she married Esau, grandson of Abraham and son of Isaac:

9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had. (Genesis 28:9)

There were, of course, other marriages between various families in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Some Arabs are apparently descended from Abraham through his second wife, Keturah:

1 Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. (Genesis 25:1-4)

Some believe that those who eventually inter-married were descended from branches of Shem's family other than Abraham (who came through Peleg), specifically through Joktan.

Some believe that the Yemenites were primarily descended through Jerah (Yarab to the Arabs) through Joktan. Here is the genealogy in the Bible that shows Joktan and Jerah:

25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 30 And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. 31 These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. (Genesis 10:25-31)

In addition, Abraham's nephew Lot is shown to have been the father of certain ancient nations. The descendants of Lot are now considered to be Arabs primarily in the area of Jordan (Amman is the name of the current capital of Jordan). Here is some of that genealogy:

36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day. (Genesis 19:36-38)

It is possible that some of these ended up in North Africa, though most probably ended up in the Middle East.

Libya in the Bible?

All the wars and fighting in the Arabic regions of the world will ultimately result in a leader rising up that the Bible refers to as the final King of the South. It likely will take even more war for that leader to rise up. Although at least one peace treaty (cf. Daniel 9:27) will bring a temporary cessation of war, it will only be temporary. There is war and destruction prophesied for those associated with 'Libya' in the Bible.

Since the Libyans Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians are Arabic descendants of Ishmael through Hagar, many of them would seem to be prophecied to become part of a plan to destroy the descendants of Israel:

2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more."

5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. (Psalms 83:2-8)

The above conspiracy will likely involve terrorism against some descendants of Israel (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel) and will lead to the end of nations such as the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39). But that does not mean this will end well for the Libyans Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians.

How can this be known for sure?

Well, there are various references to the word Libya in the Bible.  However, many of the translations are questionable as sometimes a word for an old area of Persia (Phut) is translated as Libya.

Basically Strong’s (from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) words 3864, 3865, & 3866 means people from the interior of Africa and seems to include the areas west of Egypt. 

Here are three prophetic passages that refer to it with Strong’s words 3864, 3865 & 3866, respectively:

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.  (Daniel 11:40-43)

2 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:
“Wail, ‘Woe to the day!’ 3 For the day is near, Even the day of the Lord is near;It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. 4 The sword shall come upon Egypt, And great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, When the slain fall in Egypt, And they take away her wealth, And her foundations are broken down.
5 “Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword.”
6 ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Those who uphold Egypt shall fall,And the pride of her power shall come down. From Migdol to Syene Those within her shall fall by the sword,” Says the Lord God.
7 “They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries, And her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste. 8 Then they will know that I am the Lord, When I have set a fire in Egypt And all her helpers are destroyed. 9 On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships To make the careless Ethiopians afraid, And great anguish shall come upon them, As on the day of Egypt; For indeed it is coming!”  (Ezekiel 30:2-9)

1 The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations…
8 Egypt rises up like a flood,
And its waters move like the rivers;
And he says, 'I will go up and cover the earth,
I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.'
9 Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots!
And let the mighty men come forth:
The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield,
And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow.
10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts,
A day of vengeance,
That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries.
The sword shall devour;
It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood;
For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice
In the north country by the River Euphrates. (Jeremiah 46:1,8-10)

In Ezekiel 30:5 and Jeremiah 46:9 it is the words translated as Lydia and Lydians, not those translated as Libya and Libyans, that appear to be referring to the people in the area of modern Libya.

Both Daniel 11 and Ezekiel 30 tell of a confederation of Arabic and other peoples (see also The Prophesied 'Islamic' Confederation). Both seem to specifically refer to the peoples in or near Libya, probably including neighboring lands such as Algeria and Tunisia.

In Tunisia, for a time it claimed it was the start of the 'sixth caliphate':

Tunisia’s Islamists hail arrival of the ‘sixth caliphate’
The Islamist politician likely to become Tunisia’s first democratically elected prime minister has alarmed liberals and secularists by claimig the arrival of the “sixth caliphate”, a controversial term for a Muslim empire.

Leader’s Islamist view sparks secular outcry

Hamadi Jebeli, the secretary-general of Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party that romped to victory in last month’s elections, told a rally in the city of Sousse: ”My brothers, you are at a historic moment in a new cycle of civilisation, God willing. We are in sixth caliphate, God willing.”

November 17, 2011

Tunisian Pledges a New Caliphate

Secular Tunisians are expressing concerns after a leader of the country’s Islamist Al-Nahda movement said Tunisia’s emerging government marks “the Sixth Righteous Caliphate.”

The fifth caliphate, an Islamic imperial governing system, was abolished by Turkish secular Kemal Ataturk in 1924.

The implementation of the sixth caliphate has long been the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Ennahda party, which no longer rules in Tunisia, is related to the Muslim Brotherhood. Although that 'caliphate' did not last, it remains the goal of many Sunni Arabs.

In Libya, an 'Islamic emirate' has been claimed in part of that land (see Benghazi declared an ‘Islamic emirate,’ while fighting continues in Libya).

The idea that those of Northern Africa may support an Islamic confederation is consistent with the views of many, though not all, in those lands (see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and The Prophesied 'Islamic' Confederation).

The Bible shows that will not end well for those who truly support his end time confederation per Daniel 11:40-43 and Ezekiel 30:2-8. If the confederation in Jeremiah 46 is related and still for the future, it also also not end well.

When is Salvation Available to the North African Peoples?

The mainstream "Christian" view correctly teaches that there is salvation in no other than Jesus (Acts 4:10-12), as "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (vs.12).

But what happens to the multitudes in the Arab, Turkish, and Persian world who have not heard the truth of Christ? What happens to those who do not respond to Deuteronomy 4:29-31 or the two witnesses? And what happens to those born before Christ's earthly ministry? Recall that the Bible teaches that after Adam sinned, humankind was blocked from the tree of life as God had it guarded so that humans would not be able to access it on their own (Genesis 3:22-24).

Even the basic Protestant view is that unless one professes belief in Jesus prior to the first death, then salvation will be unavailable. It is perhaps because of the difference between this view and that of the Church of God, that Protestants tend to label Church of God groups as cults.

The Church of God teaches that God is only calling a relatively few during this age with the Day of Pentecost (also called the Day of Firstfruits, Numbers 28:26) partially explaining this. "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1:18).

Jesus and the Church of God teach,

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him (John 6:44).

14 For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).

14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14).

Protestants and Catholics tend to feel, correctly, that God uses ministers to preach (Romans 10:14). Yet, the message is not always clear. In Isaiah 6:9-11 God teaches,

9"Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' 10 Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed." 11 Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered: "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, The houses are without a man, The land is utterly desolate".

In other words, the bulk of the people are not to understand until after a time of great desolation.

Thus, is God going to condemn those for what He has not let them understand?

Protestant and Roman Catholic theology tends to say yes.

Those in the Continuing Church of God say no.

Unless the someone has committed the unpardonable sin (which is unlikely) they will be judged in the future.

Hence, those in the Muslim world are not condemned to suffer forever for what they really do not understand.

Final Prophecies Which Will Affect the Arabs of North Africa

Those who were uncalled in this age (including the vast majority of humans of all ethnic groups, including those that have long been dead) will be offered an opportunity for salvation.

So what will happen to the the Libyans Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians when they are offered salvation?

Nearly all of them will accept it. The Continuing Church of God teaches that God will ultimately give every individual an opportunity for salvation--and that nearly every individual will accept that opportunity.

This means that ultimately that nearly all Arabs and Persians who have ever lived will be in the permanent kingdom of God. Notice that the Bible clearly shows that this includes the Arabic peoples (and because of the to and from lands, this also includes the Persians (Elam may be a reference to Iran, see also Iran in Prophecy); and Egypt probably represents all of the Arabic peoples in Isaiah 19:23-25):

47 "Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab
In the latter days," says the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab. (Jeremiah 48:47)

6 But afterward I will bring back
The captives of the people of Ammon," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 49:6)

39 'But it shall come to pass in the latter days:
I will bring back the captives of Elam,' says the Lord." (Jeremiah 49:39)

11 It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea (Isaiah 11:11).

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria-- a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25).

2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:2-4).

God has a plan for those in the Islamic-dominated lands and it is better than what most in them seem to believe (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9).

See also Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis.

Thiel B. Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy. COGwriter (c) 2014 0906

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