Where is America in end times prophesy?
The Bible never directly speaks to the existence of the USA anywhere in its pages. Since the fall of the Soviet Union the USA has been the undisputed last remaining superpower whose cultural economic and military might led the world. We were the first nation to land on the Moon and our scientific and technical prowess has driven our economic engine as our products reached every corner of the globe. The United States Dollar functioned as the reserve currency for the world and our ability to assimilate immigrants from every nation into that unique persona known as an “American” is unmatched in modern history. America has weapons of mass destruction, a nuclear arsenal that could by itself end life on earth in a fiery blaze and a cloud of nuclear fallout. We have some 130 military bases spanning the globe and if the world has a policeman than we’re it. American entertainment sets the cultural trends, the American economy sets the world’s economic trends, the American Military sets the worlds military trends: and yet the United States of America is not mentioned in Biblical Prophecy? It seems Unthinkable.
Lots of theories abound to explain our absence from our being taken out by war or a natural disaster to coming apart via internal strife like the Roman Empire. Speaking of the Roman Empire, the bible has clear predictions concerning it including the idea that the Roman Empire will rise again, in mystery form, and once again rule the earth during the times of the end. It also talks about other powers like China and Russia as being key in those days but the permeate power on the globe is Rome. Rome and ancient Grease are the foundations of Western Culture and Western Civilization and have a distinct philosophical outlook. Europe and the “New World” (the Americas) are the children of this Western Cultural Heritage that Rome began and personified for hundreds of years, dare I say Roman heritage? Some would contend that two world wars have been fought in Europe to raise again the glory of the Roman Empire. Recall that Hitler in particular wanted a Third Reich, a third incarnation of an empire like Rome. Rome was never concurred but fell from within as its excesses and corruption destroyed it from within. Rome was gone but never forgotten and key elements have lived on ever since. Europe has been fascinated by the tremendous accomplishments such world unity could bring while the USA has adopted key institutions like the “Senate” and the “Republic” upon which to base our nation. Rome was gone but lived on in institutions and architecture to our times in the twenty first century.
Perhaps one of the best interpretations is that America becomes part of the Revived Roman Empire but the true leadership of Western (Roman) civilization has shifted from Washington DC and New York back to Rome as the hub of a new and improved European Union or a United States of Europe if you like. A new Roman Empire might be another valid way of looking at it. A couple of years ago this seemed a fanciful notion until recent economic events in the United States have exposed, for the world to see, the rot of corruption and greed that’s taken its toll on the vaunted American Economy and to the moral and spiritual foundations of the American catechism of freedom and liberty.
In considering the news since the spring of 2007 it’s become abundantly clear that America is failing and its way of life is unsustainable without massive borrowing and a willingness to curse our future generation’s horrific levels of debt. Equality of Opportunity has been construed as equality of outcome and to that end the baby boomers of the 1960’s have agitated for massive social engineering and entitlement spending and set in motion an inexorable slide into socialism that’s proved to be the undoing of the United States. Rome had the same problem and it came to be codified as “bread and circuses” meaning that democracy cant work once the people figure out they can demand free services from the corrupt politicians who want to stay in office. We do the same thing but the slogan “food stamps and universal health care” isn’t as catchy as Bread and Circus’s.
Rome in the last days is depicted as a coalition made up of many nations with great strengths and weaknesses and I suspect that the United States may be a part of that monolithic power known collectively as the West. The Book of Daniel describes this new Roman Empire as part strong and part weak part Iron and part clay. It’s to be composed of many nations and cultures and does not represent just one nationality or ethnicity but a mindset and perhaps a cultural heritage. Modern Western Culture, The West, is the cultural heritage that Rome began and is destine to finish in the end of days. There are other possibilities and I’ve prepared a survey of some of them below.
Tall and Fair? In my Dreams Maybe!
The first example of some biblical passage that might refer to us is in Isaiah 18 and it refers to a people tall and fair that are feared far and wide. Now it’s possible but very unlikely that’s the United States because although we’re feared far and wide for having the premier military on earth, just as Rome did in her day, and some of us may indeed be tall and fair it’s by no means a definitive description of the modern USA. It’s true that the United States is divided by the Mississippi River that’s where the similarities end. Indeed the first verse tells you exactly who is being referenced; the first verse speaks of “Cush”. Now the picture begins to make sense as Cush refers to North Africa and it has a river, the Nile, that divides the nation of Egypt that seems a slam dunk for being the nation referred too in this chapter of Isaiah 18.
This interpretation is rarely used anymore and there’s something of a consensus that it is indeed referring to Egypt and is in no way a reference to the United States. It’s nice because it has us giving gifts to God in Israel in the last days but it’s very much a stretch to think it’s a reference to America. I haven’t heard this one used in many years but if someone lays it out for you just refer to the first verse and give them a heads up on who “Cush” is and where it’s to be found.
1 Woe to the land of whirring wings
along the rivers of Cush,
7 At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty
from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers — the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.
Where in the World is Tarshish?
One of the most fascinating chapters in all of prophesy is found in Isaiah 38 in which the war of Armageddon is outlined in addition to containing an obscure reference to the “merchants of Tarshish and all the young lions thereof. The idea, as advanced by some, is that Tarshish is a reference to Great Britton, whose symbol is a lion, and all the young lions become all the colonies that the British founded like the USA. It seems that when the Russian led coalition of Islamic states attacks a peaceful Israel the Merchants of Tarshish protest the move and make a show of inquiring about Russia’s intentions. They want to know if this is just about looting Israel or what exactly the Russian led coalition plans to do with Israel.
The Problem is that no one is sure where Tarshish is as its ruins have never been found. Several sources indicate that the best probable location is in Spain and there is near universal belief that Tarshish can not be in the British Isles. If you apply the same logic then it would refer to Spain and her former colonies of the new world which included parts of the USA at one time. Either way you look at it; it seems a bit of a stretch and you can’t make a conclusive argument that the United States is being referenced by Scripture.
Here is a translation from the New King James Version and then the New Living Translation of the Bible:
13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?'”‘
13 But 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?’
So is the only reference to the United States to be a stiff diplomatic note saying to Russia that it has no right to rob and plunder Israel? It doesn’t seem a satisfying explanation does it? I doubt that we’re Tarshish so we have to keep looking.
What About Babylon?
There are some chapters in the Book of Revelation that seem like they describe the USA and our financial empire in great detail but the problem is that once again it fails to ascribe the chapters to the USA but rather speaks of Babylon. Ancient Babylon does exist in Iraq and Saddam Husain made some attempts to rebuild the city and was said to fancy himself a sort of modern day Nebachanezer. The place is a heap of ruins at the moment but if we consider that the literal Babylon is technically under Iraqi sovereignty and then consider that the United States essentially concurred Iraq, including Babylon, under President George W. Bush, than perhaps some possible connections can be made.
Who controls Babylon today? The real control is the United States Military and no matter how many troops come out of Iraq the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated between the US and Iraq ensures continued American Presence for some time to come. Given the presence and belligerence of the Iranian government and the absolute dependence of America on foreign oil it seems likely that America will not surrender its position in Iraq until the region cools down. That seems unlikely at the moment.
Is it possible that Babylon is a sort of metaphor indicating the type or characteristics of Babylon as the determining factor? What country looks and sounds like Babylon as described in chapters 17 and 18 of the Book of Revelations? Is it possible that our name is the United States of America but our nature is one similar to ancient Babylon? Consider the following verses and see if you can detect a possibility that America is the nation being discussed. My comments are in Parenthesis in light blue.
17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute,(USA) who sits on many waters. (Exploits many nations?) 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” (American Capitalist Economic and Cultural Systems Dominate the Earth)
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman(The Prostitute USA?) sitting(dominating) on a scarlet ( Socialist) beast that was covered with blasphemous (Anti God) names and had seven heads(Rome) and ten horns.(European Union) 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet,(Ruling Class) and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. (Great wealth) She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.(American cultural, economic and social corruption) 5 This title was written on her forehead:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.(America was always Christian until recently when we rejected Christianity and entered the post Christian era. We knew better but rejected the faith like a prostitute.) When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads (Rome) and ten horns. (European Union) 8 The beast,(Antichrist) which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss (Hell) and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. 9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills (Rome) on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. 11 The beast (Antichrist) who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.(Europe rises as a new Roman Empire from European Union) 14 They will make war against the Lamb,(Jesus Christ) but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”(With Socialism Europe has largely rejected all things Christian. The Churches in Europe are empty) 15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. (Western Civilization and her Allies)16 The beast (Antichrist) and the ten horns (European Union)you saw will hate the prostitute. (the United States? Anti-Americanism?) They will bring her to ruin (bankrupt her) and leave her naked;(pennyless) they will eat her flesh(incorporate her) and burn her with fire. (despise her)17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast (Antichrist) their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw (The Post Christian Western Civilization)is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (Rome again)
18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! (Imagrent Nation of many languages/cultures) (Think tower of Babel)
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
3 For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries. (Corrupt American Capitalism)
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (USA most wealthy nation on earth)
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes. (Once Chrisitan God rejecting nation corrupted by life style)
6 Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself. (sounds like might America)
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.’ (America cant imagine being broken)
8 Therefore in one day(astonishing speed) her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire, (decapitation nuclear strike?)
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: (Sounds like the United Nations)
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!’
11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—( Economic Disaster) 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor (economic Power) have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. (Babylon lies beyond the seas? Like a continent or New World?)18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?‘ (New York City?)19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth! (Import export world power or Super power)
In one hour she has been brought to ruin! (Corupt Power destroyed with astonishing speed)
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven!
Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
God has judged her for the way she treated you.'”
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
“With such violence
the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again.
22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No workman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world’s great men. (Wall Street, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Rockafeller, Jp Morgan, Howard Huges, etc.)
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. (Corrupt economics and culture?)
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints,
and of all who have been killed on the earth.”
So are we Babylon? Are we a Prostitute? Are we the great evil city that gets thrown down never to rise again? Most Bible Scholars would say no and that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt with the oil revenue that Iraq will amass being finally free of the dictator Saddam Husain. If you’ve read theLeft Bbehind series they speak of Babylon being rebuilt, literally, and being a source of power in the end times. I would never take issue with all those scholars who have advanced this idea but I must tell you that the possibility that the United States is being referenced above haunts me.
We were founded a Christian nation. We were maintained a Christian nation. We were indeed a source of hope and strength and freedom in a dark world until the last 30 or 40 years. In the space of a generation we’ve been taken over by social and economic corruption and have arguably chosen to be enslaved by the government we created long ago to keep us free. We’ve presided over an explosion of knowledge and invention unprecedented in world history. The world seems to gag on our culture and capitalism yet it yearns for it nevertheless. Is it possible that a nation like ours the last superpower is absent from scripture?
The idea above that we’ll be surpassed by Europe and suffer some kind of nuclear attack that wipes out our economy is bad enough but have we really become such a corrupt power to justify the hatred and contempt the rest of the world has for us? Is our management of the world’s reserve currency, the dollar, much different from Bernie Madoffs Ponzi scheme of recent days? Is not the whole world being ripped off by our economic policies because the thought of a deep depression and the loss of our luxuries has prompted us to become the slaves of our government just to keep our standard of living? Isn’t that why were trying to solve a problem created by massive debt by adding more massive debt in an attempt to cure the fruits of massive debt? Can we see what our stewardship and greed have done to the economy of the entire planet?
Once again the interpretation above is not main stream, by any means, by the theologians of today but I wonder if it strikes a chord with your heart as you read Revelation and the daily paper? I’m haunted by the above scenario but the fact remains that the role of the United States is not directly or clearly referenced in end time’s passages in the Bible. Some of the theories are suggestive but perhaps it falls to the people living in the last days to figure it out for sure. We’ve fallen far from the faith of our founding fathers and every day the courts expunge Christian expression and iconology from the public landscape and have come within inches of labeling the Bible hate speech. We have killed millions by legal abortions while we have seen the institution of marriage become virtually meaningless. We allow Christian symbols to be placed in urine and exhibited as “art”. We’re not the America we were and as we adopt socialism the church is sure to decline even further.
Where is America in Bible Prophesy? America is literally missing in action.
Is America figuratively present? You will have to decide that one on your own.