There is perhaps no other place on earth that has such a rich history and profound future as the Middle East which includes the Garden of Eden and Babylon. That area marked the beginning of the nations and will be the area where the present age will culminate.
Israel presently occupies just a small portion of that rich land, however, the Bible reveals numerous times that Israel’s borders will be expanded in the future.
“On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates…’” Genesis 15:18
There was a time in history when King Solomon did in fact have jurisdiction over the Promised Land, although at that time Israel didn’t actually possess the land.
“So he (Solomon) reigned over all the kings from the River (Euphrates) to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.” 2 Chronicles 9:26
The area south and east of Canaan (Israel) was/is occupied by sons of Abraham including Ishmael through Hagar, sons by his subsequent wife Keturah, or other sons through concubines. The Bible reveals that Ishmael dwelt in Paran, i.e., the Sinai Peninsula, while Abraham’s sons by Keturah and concubines settled east of Canaan.
“But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.” Genesis 25:6
There was, is, and will be conflict between the descendants of Isaac and the sons of Abraham through Hagar, Keturah, and concubines, however, the Bible tells of a future time when there will be peace between them. God described that future time to the prophet Isaiah by speaking as if addressing Zion.
“The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising…The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you…” Isaiah 60:2, 6-7
Isaiah mentions Midian, Ephah, and Sheba.
“Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him…Jokshan…Midian…Jokshan begot Sheba…and the sons of Midian were Ephah…All these were the children of Keturah.” Genesis 25:1-4
Midian, Ephah, and Sheba are located in the Arab peninsula. Sheba is presently known as Yemen. Recall the words of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon over 3,000 years ago.
“Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” I Kings 10:9
Isaiah also mentions Kedar and Nebaioth (Nebajoth).
“Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham…The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; then Kedar…” Genesis 25:12-13
The Isaiah passage describes a time of peace which will follow the great tribulation. The great tribulation, also known as ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’ is described by Jesus:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved…” Matthew 24:21-22a
After that time, the sons of Abraham will enjoy peace.
The Bible is not only a wonderful source of historical facts, but also the leading source of future history. It has proven to be eerily accurate; therefore, it is surprising that it is not the handbook for current foreign policy.
Time will tell whether wisdom or political correctness will prevail. Those who choose political correctness will envision Israel’s land area to decrease and applaud a two state solution to resolve the Palestinian challenge prior to the tribulation.
On the other hand those who choose wisdom will see Israel’s land area greatly increase and enjoy peace after the tribulation.