The events of the last few weeks in the Middle East involving ISIS, Syria, Russia, Turkey, Iran, China, etc. have generated renewed interest in the prophecies of Daniel 11 and 12. There we find, in detailed prophetic vision, the history of those powers that were to persist beyond the death of Alexander the Great, down to their final destruction and the ultimate deliverance of the people of God from their enemies. Of particular interest is the details concerning the “king of the north”.
Historically, the “king of the north” has been identified as the political power that is in possession of Asia Minor—the northern geographical division of Alexander’s empire. Daniel 11:40 refers to the “time of the end”, a period commencing in 1798. At that time the “king of the north” was the Ottoman Empire. Today the power in possession of that territory is Turkey. North of Turkey is Russia. East of Turkey is Iran, India, and China. To date, Daniel 11:44-45 has largely remained unfulfilled (or at least seen partial fulfilment).
However, prophecy indicates that, in the context of the “time of the end”, the “king of the north” would be “troubled” by “tidings” from “the north” and from “the east”. So troubled would he be, that he would “go forth with great fury to destroy” and take away many, eventually planting his headquarters in Jerusalem. That last stand would see him come to his end.
In view of this, the events that are happening right now in that region of the world must certainly give us pause for thought. Iran’s alliance with Russia in the current Syrian civil war crisis, and Turkey’s objection to their actions, reflects a genuine troubling from those powers to the north and east of Turkey. Are we seeing prophecy fulfilling before our eyes? If we understand the application of Daniel 11:44-45 correctly, Turkey will be that power that will lead the Muslim world into the militant political turmoil that regains control of Jerusalem before eventually coming to its end.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Daniel 11:44-45.
When that happens, prophecy indicates that Michael shall stand up to deliver His people, an allusion to the completion of the ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the final time of trouble that precedes His second coming in glory.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:1-2.
Included here are a few of the news stories of late that will be of interest in this question. While we must be careful not to speculate beyond what is written, these events do lend weight to the view that Turkey will yet play a significant role in the fulfilment of the final events of Bible Prophecy.
“tidings out of …. the north shall trouble him” Dan 11:44
[Turkish President] Erdogan urges Putin to reconsider air campaign in Syria – 03 Oct, 2015
Turkish President accuses Russian military of turning a blind eye to killing of dozens of civilians.
NATO says Russian combat jets entered Turkey twice – “McClatchy DC” October 5, 2015
NATO decries action as ‘irresponsible’ and warns of ‘extreme danger’
“tidings out of the east …. shall trouble him” Dan 11:44
Iranian troops join Syria war as Russia hits rebels – “Business Day Live” October 02 2015
“BEIRUT/MOSCOW — hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a further step in the rapid internationalisation of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.”
Iran lobbied for Russian campaign in Syria , officials say – “The Sun Herald” October 8, 2015
“BAGHDAD — Iran played an integral role leading up to Russia’s move to launch its air campaign in Syria and play a stronger role in Iraq, with one of Tehran’s most powerful generals meeting for three hours with President Vladimir Putin to push for intervention, Iraqi government officials tell The Associated Press.”
Iran’s leader bans further talks with US – “Business Day Live” October 08 2015
“IRAN’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned on Wednesday any further negotiations between Iran and the US, putting the brakes on moderates hoping to end Iran’s isolation after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers in July”
“he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain” Dan 11:45
Sultan Erdogan: Turkey’s Rebranding Into the New, Old Ottoman Empire – “The Atlantic” April 5, 2013
In the eyes of secularists, the Europe-facing, Western-dressing, cocktail-toasting modern nation-state is being replaced by a religiously conservative one, headscarf by headscarf.
Turkish President Calls On Muslims To Invade Jerusalem – “Jews News” May 19, 2015
“Unfortunately we the Muslims lost our aim to head towards Jerusalem. The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that was destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.”…
The Turkish president called on citizens to “raise their hands in supplication for this blessed night towards Allah to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque [Jerusalem] to be re-owned by Muslims, and to remove the mist from their eyes, to see Jerusalem in their hands at every moment and at every opportunity”.
Turkish Prime Minister: “We will march to liberate Jerusalem” – “Jerusalem Online” May 28, 2015, 04:07PM
During the inauguration of the 55th airport in Hakkari Province, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire….both Turkish leaders spoke of their desire to conquer Jerusalem and to re-establish the Ottoman Empire.
“By Allah’s will, Jerusalem belongs to the Kurds, the Turks, the Arabs, and to all Muslims,” Davutoglu declared. “And as our forefathers fought side by side at Gallipoli and just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march on the same path to liberate Jerusalem. The Turkish government does not differentiate from East to West. We intend to put together all of the regions of our nations and we will bring these regions back together.”
Erdogan’s speech was even more grandiose. He proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Saladin, who will kick whom he perceives to be the modern day crusaders out of Jerusalem by uniting the Muslim world behind him by hinting at the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire…
“Jerusalem is for the Muslims and not for Israel,” Erdogan added. “Why should we continue to be friends with those that stomped their boots on the Temple Mount? They insist that we have to be friends? I say, we will not.” Erdogan promised to follow in Saladin’s footsteps: “They all promise you O Saladin, if you united the brothers in the Middle East, so will we. Saladin said ‘Jerusalem is not for the Crusaders.’ Saladin witnessed this. Allah witnesses this. One people, one flag, one nation and one state!”
In view of these things, dear reader, let us be awake to the reality of the Lord’s soon coming. Let us seek Him today, while he may be found, and call upon Him while He is still near. Let us make our calling and election sure, and, with all our heart seek for the great outpouring of God’s Spirit that will enable us to finish the work of preaching the everlasting gospel to all the world for a final witness.