*Pastor’s Note: We will continue, in no particular order questions posed from the excellent book by Mark Hitchcock entitled, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy. My hope and prayer is that it will give some insight into much of the end-times prophecy the Bible speaks of and hopefully alleviates some of the fears and confusion people have about studying prophecy. The following is the next in a line of questions I present to you from his book:
Is America Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
This may be the one question about Bible prophecy that I have been asked more than any other. People here in America want to know if the Bible has anything to say about the future of our nation.
Anyone who has read the Bible would agree that the Bible does not mention America specifically by name. However, this is true of most other modern nations as well. Many students of Bible prophecy believe that America, while not named specifically, is nevertheless referred to in the pages of Scripture. Three main passages of Scripture are used to support the notion that America is mentioned in Bible prophecy.
The first passage is Isaiah 18:1–7. This passage refers two times to a land “divided by rivers.” Many often interpret this statement as a reference to the United States, which is divided by the Mississippi River. The nation in Isaiah 18:1–7 is also called those “who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction.” This, too, is taken as a reference to the mighty military machine of the U.S. armed forces. The problem with this view is that Isaiah 18:1–2 identifies the nation the rest of the passage describes: “Destruction is certain for the land of Ethiopia, which lies at the headwaters of the Nile. Its winged sailboats glide along the river, and ambassadors are sent in fast boats down the Nile.” The nation referred to in this passage is the ancient kingdom of Cush (modern Sudan), not the United States.
The second passage is Ezekiel 38:13: “Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Who are you to rob them of silver and gold? Who are you to drive away their cattle and seize their goods and make them poor?'” Tarshish in ancient times was the farthest region west in the known world; it is the modern nation of Spain. Tarshish could be used in this context to represent all of the Western nations of the last days. Some other translations of Ezekiel 38:13 refer to the “young lions” of Tarshish. Scripture often uses the image of young lions to refer to energetic rulers. Therefore, some view these young lions of Tarshish (the Western powers) as a veiled reference to the United States. While this view is certainly possible, the evidence is too tenuous to make any certain statement about a reference to America.
A third passage cited as referring to the U.S. is Revelation 17–18, where Babylon the great is discussed. Babylon is called “the great city” in Revelation 17:18, which has been identified as New York City. Once again, while some of the description in Revelation 17–18 could be stretched to equate New York City as the Babylon of the end times, it is much better to interpret Babylon as the literal Babylon on the Euphrates or the city of Rome.
Having carefully examined these passages, I have concluded that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy. However, this raises another interesting question. Why isn’t America mentioned in Bible prophecy? What does the prophetic silence about America imply?
First, I believe it is important to recognize that the Bible does not mention most modern nations. Scotland isn’t mentioned. India isn’t mentioned. Japan isn’t mentioned. It shouldn’t surprise us that America isn’t mentioned either.
Second, some people assume that since America isn’t mentioned, she must have undergone a dramatic decline and met her demise. This is the most popular view about America’s future. I believe it is very possible that this is true. Consider this fact: If the Rapture were to happen today, the United States would probably lose more people per capita than any other nation in the world. The Islamic nations in the Middle East, for example, would feel almost no affect at all. But the U.S. could become a third-world nation overnight. Millions of home mortgages would go unpaid, the stock market would crash, millions of productive workers would be suddenly removed from the workforce. America may not be mentioned because she will only be a part of the Antichrist’s Western confederacy of nations, not a key player on her own.
Mr. Hitchcock’s teachings are informative and enlightening as well as inspirational and any book you can get for yourself from his writings will most definitely be well-worth it. I hope you are blessed AND informed and some of these questions and answers will give you a greater strength to walk in confidence and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bible prophecy ALWAYS points to God and His plans for this world that He created through Christ Jesus. Therefore, for true Christians, it is meant to be a comfort that God continues as always to have everything under control despite what it might appear to the average person.