In chapter 6 of our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy,” we speak at length about modern Turkey and what the Bible has to say about its future. Based on this knowledge, we should be able to see the significance of current events in Turkey.
First, we explain from the Bible and history that the Turks are the modern descendants of ancient Esau or Edom, the twin brother of Jacob or Israel. We give numerous proofs for this conclusion. In this Q&A, let us just review a few brief excerpts.
We quote as follows from an article by The Plain Truth, dated 1966, titled, “Turkey in Prophecy”:
“‘Turkey can be identified by research in encyclopedias, or history books dealing with the subject, as the descendants of Esau… One of the grandsons of Esau was Teman (Genesis 36:11). Teman became a great leader among the peoples… As the Edomites began to expand…, portions of the land began to bear the name of Teman… much of the area… including … Turkestan… became known as the “Land of Temani” (compare Genesis 36:34 [according to the Authorized Version; the New King James Bible says: “the land of the Temanites”]… Is it any wonder then that the indelible stamp of Teman, one of the leading dukes of ancient Edom, was carried down into modern history in the form of the “Ottoman” Empire?'”
We continue to say this:
“The fact that the name of the Turkish Ottoman Empire is derived from or related to Teman is confirmed by other authors as well. For instance, the encyclopedia Wordnik states regarding Edom: ‘Edom is O’theman of the Bible, and O’theman of the Bible is Turkey.’ Also, many claim that the name ‘Turk’ is associated with ‘Turkestan,’ where, as we recall, many of the Edomites and more precisely, the Temanites, had settled. We are also told by some that the Khazars called the Byzantium Emperor the ‘King of Edom.’ (Note that the name Byzantium is ancient for Constantinople, which is today Turkey’s capitol Istanbul.)”
In light of this understanding, let us review some pertinent biblical passages pertaining to the future of Turkey. We are continuing to quote from our booklet:
“In Isaiah 34:5-6, we read that God’s bloody sword will come down on Edom, the people of God’s curse, for judgment, and that God has a sacrifice of a great slaughter in Bozrah and the land of Edom. The time setting is very clearly identified as being in the future, when Christ returns (compare Isaiah 34:8, speaking of the ‘day of the LORD’s vengeance’ and the ‘year of recompense for the cause of Zion’)… the term ‘day of the LORD’ always applies to a future time, beginning about one year prior to Christ’s return…”
“… Psalm 83:6 tells us about a future confederacy of nations against ‘Israel.’ This confederacy will consist of Edom (including Amalek, today’s PLO and other violent groups, one of Edom’s grandsons) and other Middle Eastern nations, as well as modern Assyria (Germany) and the revived Babylonian system (‘Tyre’). The goal of that confederacy is to cut off Israel, so that ‘the name of Israel may be remembered no more’ (verse 4). A reference to that conspiracy is alluded to in Amos 1:6, 9 where we read that ‘Gaza’ and ‘Tyre’ will be punished because they ‘took captive the whole captivity to deliver them up to Edom’ and because ‘they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom.’
“The reference to the ‘captivity’ is to the enslavement of the modern descendants of the house of Judah [the Jews and the state of Israel in particular] and perhaps some from the modern house of Israel [mainly the USA and the UK]. In addition to bringing about slavery, we are specifically told in Amos 1:11 (among many other places) that Esau will pursue his brother (Israel) with the sword and cast off all pity, keeping his wrath against Jacob…”
Ezekiel 36:5 reveals that Esau will plunder God’s country and occupy it temporarily as a possession.
From this we learn that modern Edom will be part of a confederacy with the modern Babylonian system of Europe under modern Assyria or Germany, together with Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Western Iraq and modern Palestinians (compare our free booklet, “Germany in Prophecy,” page 16). This confederacy (literally, “cutting a covenant”) will be directed against “Israel”—the state of Israel, the Jews in general, and modern descendants of the House of Israel—mainly the USA and the United Kingdom.
Even though this confederacy will be short-lived, the Bible does not say that Edom will become part of the EU, let alone the final configuration of ten European core nations or groups of nations, which will unite and give their power at that time to a charismatic political and military personage, the “beast.” It is highly doubtful that Turkey, as a Muslim country, will ever become part of the “Christian” EU or the “Christian” Eurozone. While Europe will be collaborating for a while with Turkey and other Arab nations, this does not mean that there will be full partnership and unification between them. In World War II, many Arab nations fought for Nazi Germany against the Jews, but this did not make them equal partners with Germany.
Also, since antagonism between Turkey and the USA and the UK will increase, it does not appear that Turkey—currently a member of NATO—will stay in NATO. In any event, NATO’s role will become less and less significant and relevant, as new alliances will form, which will make NATO more and more superfluous. In addition, antagonism will increase between continental Europe and the USA and the UK, so that the role of NATO (under the leadership of the USA) will become irrelevant for this additional reason. It is interesting to note that the Republican candidate for the US Presidency, Donald Trump, who might very well become the next President, already spoke about the fading role of NATO.
Still, even though Europe and Turkey will not become full “partners,” they will collaborate for a while. The current migrant crisis in Europe indicates how these kinds of developments might continue to occur. At this point, Europe feels that it needs Turkey to help against refugees entering Europe from Syria and other places; and the Turkish government’s desire for money, power and prestige and their hatred against the Jews will continue to motivate them to work with Europe. Current attempts to better the relationship between Turkey and the state of Israel will fail; especially in light of Mr. Erdogan’s desire to become an autocratic leader over an Islamic Turkey. Europe and especially Germany, feeling at this point dependent on Turkey, have chosen to ignore the terrible atrocities occurring in Turkey, even though they may give some inconsequential lip services of “caution.”
However, after an initial collaboration between the EU and Turkey, things will drastically change. Edom’s allies, and especially Assyria and the entire Babylonian system, will turn against Edom.
Obadiah 6-7 says:
“Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after [including those which they robbed from Israel and Judah, when they laid hands on their substance]! All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border [the meaning is, “they will expel you,” compare the Soncino commentary; or “make you captives,” compare Barnes’ Notes on the Bible and Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible], The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you, Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you [or, wound you].”
Notice carefully that “ALL THE MEN IN YOUR CONFEDERACY” will turn against Turkey—this includes modern Assyria (Germany) and modern “Tyre” (the future European system). This means that Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinians, Western Iraq and perhaps Lebanon will also turn against Turkey.
We state in our booklet regarding Obadiah 6-7:
“The words for ‘lay a trap’ or ‘wound you’ mean, ‘both a wound and a plaster; they pretended to lay a plaster to heal, but made a wound; or made the wound worse’ (compare Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible). In Obadiah 8-9, God makes clear that this will happen ‘in that day’—after the Great Tribulation and during the Day of the Lord—and that God will inspire the former allies of Edom to act in this way…
“We also read in Daniel 11:41 that the king of Assyria—[the beast and] the final king of the North—will at first NOT conquer Edom, but other Scriptures show us that he will later turn against Edom… Psalms 60:8 and 108:9 indicate as well a future defeat in war and captivity for the people of Edom… The modern Babylonian system under Assyria’s lead will conquer Edom (modern Turkey) and enslave it, after Edom had at first escaped the ‘king of the North,’ while participating in the defeat of the modern houses of Israel (mainly the USA and the United Kingdom or the British Isles) and Judah (the modern Jews)…
“… Joel 3:19 tells us: ‘Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.’ Note, in passing, that Egypt’s desolation will end, as Egypt will become a major power in the Millennium, and Esau’s desolation will also end, even though it will not become a major power in the Millennium…
“Ezekiel 35:1-15 adds more reasons for God’s anger with modern Edom…
“‘Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will… make you most desolate; I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have had an ancient [or everlasting] hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity… Because you have said, “These TWO NATIONS and these TWO COUNTRIES [referring to the houses of Israel and Judah] shall be mine, and we will possess them…” Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate…’”
“Obadiah [10-15] sheds further light on the reasons why God will punish modern Edom so severely:
“‘For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side—In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress (Menge Bible: the Great Tribulation). For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you…’
“… Israel and Judah will have to go into slavery, and Edom will actively participate in this future war against Israel and Judah which will bring about the complete downfall of those two nations… Edom will possess at least parts of Israel’s and Judah’s territories. God will punish Edom or modern Turkey severely due to Edom’s hatred and violence towards Israel and Judah. However, many of the surviving Edomites [the remnant of Edom] will convert to God in the Millennium, and their hatred towards their brother Jacob will end at that time.”
This is very good news. Turkey, as a Sunni nation, will repent and begin to worship God the Father and their only Savior, Jesus Christ. They will accept the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ for their sins and obtain forgiveness from God. But, terrible times come before this happens.
The world is truly getting mad. Increasingly violent terrorist attacks by radical Islamists and mentally sick and demon-inspired people, as well as brutal wars and unrestrained governmental actions in dictatorial countries all over this planet show that demons are having a field day. The full power and influence of Satan and his evil angels can be observed and felt everywhere in the world. Satan knows that his time is short, and he is continuing his destructive efforts.
At this time, his wrath is mainly directed against physical and spiritual Israel, and so he will use a future European system in an attempt to destroy the Jews, the Americans and the British, as well as members of the true Church of God (spiritual Israel). He will influence whatever power he can and is allowed to by God to collaborate with the beast to bring about his goals. The Bible makes it very clear that it is Satan who will give his power and authority to the beast—both the system as well as the end-time leader of that system—but, to bring about biblical prophecy, God allows it.
No attempts to thwart God’s plan, as set forth in Scripture, will prevail. Turkey will continue to become an extremely hostile nation towards the Jews and Israel, under a ruthless and dictatorial Turkish leadership. Current events suggest that the relationship between Turkey and the USA is already beginning to crumble (see the article, “Potential Rift Between USA and Turkey?” in the Current Events section of Update 745). Europe will continue with supporting the Palestinians against Israel, and once Israel has begun to build a third temple and to offer animal sacrifices, causing an extremely violent outburst of rage by Arab nations, European armies will invade the exploding Promised Land to establish “peace.”
Even though America’s and Britain’s support for the state of Israel is sometimes wavering, they will remain the only strong allies and supporters of the Jewish state, with Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation. Europe will regard them as hostile powers which “need” to be suppressed. God will allow the defeat of the USA and the UK in war, because He is extremely upset about the sins and godlessness of modern Israel and Judah.
But then, things will change, as Europe will begin to punish Turkey for their hostile attitudes against their brother Jacob. And as we point out in our literature (compare, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever”), God will allow Russia, China and other Far Eastern powers (the “kings of the East” under the lead of the modern “Medes” or Russians and Ukrainians) to defeat Europe, and He will then turn against those Far Eastern powers for their punishment. Nobody will escape God’s wrath, because NO NATION is righteous in God’s eyes.We should watch Turkey and the entire Middle East, where dramatic end-time events of unparalleled prophetic proportions will take place in the very near future. And knowing this, we must individually strive more and more to be counted worthy to escape all these things which are surely coming to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man when He returns.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link