Modern World History Told by the Bible

Wilfred Hahn

Readers will no doubt feel harangued, and perhaps confused by the heated conditions of global politics of late. Yes, of course geopolitics has always existed, to a greater or lesser extent. However, it would be correct to say that internationalism has exploded over the past century and a half.

To be sure, globalism has been a “growth industry.” What we mean by that is, the focus and activities involving geopolitics and international affairs have expanded enormously. Today, there exist NGOs (non-governmental organizations) beyond count that specialize in international affairs of some type or another. Of course, such pro-globalist organizations as the United Nations and others have deep roots …some having been on the front lines of global affairs for a century or more.

Today, there are many university faculties specializing in international affairs and offering “international studies” degrees. Also reflective of these pro-global trends is the burgeoning number of publications (journals and books, etc.) on this and related topics. Mankind has arrived with a self- assured sense of humanity. 

“All the world’s a stage,” to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. All the nations are known to each other, meeting in various forums, discussing global policies. Global policy forums have surely arrived, just as the Bible prophesied.

When Balaam prophesied over Israel (when they were still traveling through the desert), he said: “From the rocky peaks I see them [Israel], from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations” (Numbers 23:9). The prophet foreknew that a consortium of nations (the entire world) will be apart from and opposed to Israel.

Global Geopolitics Foreknown
Did you know that the Bible lays down a chronology of global geopolitics that extends right to the modern history of our day? What is most remarkable is that this human history is laid out in advance (displaying a foreknowing of mankind’s choices and independence). This will not be obvious to the casual Bible reader. Rather, it is one of those topics where careful study yields great treasures and gems. 

We have always found Bible-based geopolitics to be a fascinating topic. Also, it always generates the most feedback. Anticipating these many questions, we therefore plan a four-part series.  

No doubt of interest to readers is that this timeline holds implications for America, even though this country is not identified directly by name in the Bible. We will return to this fascinating question at the conclusion of this study of Biblical geopolitics. If we correctly interpret the Scriptures and its visions on these matters, some conclusions will be revealed about America’s future.

To carry out our study, however, we must do so only on the Bible’s terms. We will only be emphasizing the main Biblical timelines. Of course, it would not be harmful to corroborate the secular history books against what the Bible says. But not the other way around. As such, we will not draw upon the many secular history works … not even such illustrious tomes as Will and Ariel Durant’s 11-volume The Story of Civilization. It will stay on the bookshelf, as it does not recognize the main Hebrew-centric timeline of world geopolitics, spanning some three-and-a-half millennia.

The Starting Point of God’s Story About Mankind
We must first ask: just why is there such a thing as history to begin with? If history does exist, then there must also exist a narrative. Therefore, before we venture too deep into our study, it is best to first establish a foundational narrative. Where does it all start?

Naturally, it started with Adam!

There have been a number of dispensations that God allowed through time. We will only briefly mention some of these stages (as there is also much debate on these points). 

Adam was born sinless and originally had a direct relationship with God. Then the “Great Fall” occurred. Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden. Eventually, in short order (approximately 1600 years after Adam was created), humanity became so wicked that God allowed a flood in order to “reset” His relationship with mankind.

After the great, Flood-induced “reset,” it becomes more interesting. Human lifespans began to shorten significantly for those born after the Flood. Up to the time of the Flood, the average lifespan was 930 years, according to the Bible. Then, thereafter, a “longevity” collapse ensued. This had a major consequence in the post-Flood era. All the patriarchs that would have known Noah and heard verbal history from him directly, or from others who knew him, died off over a very short period of about 200 years in length. Eleven generations died within this two-century time period.

Consider the impact upon Abraham. Over his lifespan, eight generations of his ancestors died. Imagine that over your lifespan, eight generations—great, great, great grandfathers and uncles, etc. passed away. Abraham himself only lived to an age of 175 years, that being 20% of the pre-Flood longevity average.

There were disastrous repercussions, as the godly influence of earlier generations was left behind. Mankind quickly fell back to godlessness and sin. Only little more than a century after Noah died, at the age of 950 years (which occurred 350 years after the Great Flood), Nimrod was already busy pursuing humanist endeavors: building the Tower of Babel and promoting urbanization.

God needed to disperse the citizens of Babel, who were intent to make a “name for [themselves]” (Genesis 11:4). As such, the plans of Nimrod were thwarted for a time. God mixed up their languages.

As mentioned, with Noah gone as well as those who might have directly known him, there soon again was a great falling away to humanism and godlessness. Less than 500 or so years after the Great Flood, mankind was quickly returning to wickedness. What to do? God had promised never to flood the world again (a sign of this promise being the rainbow). So, what could be done?

Jehovah decided to call out a people for Himself, one that would be a light to the world and help keep the name of the Lord glorified upon earth. He called out of the world His servant Israel (Isaiah 44). He first selected Abram, a man of faith, thereby calling out a people named the Hebrews to be a light unto the world. They were to be separate.

Salvation comes from the Jews (John 4:22), and Christ’s final kingdom on earth will be the completion of King David’s throne, the royal line and Scepter of Judah. This final kingdom will rule the whole earth—not just Israel, but the entire world from Chile to China. The kingdom of God will be on earth for one thousand years. The last kingdom is an eternal one.

As it turned out, this people would indeed be a light at times, but also a lightening rod for Satan, who immediately began to persecute and pursue these “servants” of God. As soon as the Lord began to mobilize Abram—to move him from Ur into a new land—the main geopolitical battles began. These were inspired by demons, according to the Bible.

Satan knew that some kind of plan was underfoot, with the emergence and formation of His people (Exodus 6:7) … the Jews. He and his demonic angels (also often called “princes”) began to influence the Gentile kingdoms and rulers, to persecute and attempt to annihilate the Hebrews. Indeed, the Bible records the names of a number of the princes that were associated with these Gentile kingdoms … i.e., the Prince of Persia (Daniel 10:13), and also the Prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20b).

We will return to this narrative, about the human history of the Hebrews and their persecution. It comprises the history of Gentile nations interacting with the Jews and Israel. And therefore, this is the history that God preserved and left for us to consider and study. Why? Because it is an intrinsic part of God’s plan to bring salvation to mankind. Therefore, the most important geopolitical history is the one detailed in the Bible. In the next parts of this series, we will identify 18 kings/rulers (7 of them by name) that have a lineage that extends right to our day, as well as the future.

Little do the world’s leaders know that the time is short, though surely Satan knows this (Revelation 12:12b). With respect to foundational geopolitical history, there are only two more world rulers to emerge before the Lord sets up His eternal kingdom. The very last chapters of the Gentile age are being set up right before our eyes.

Why the Middle East?
We return to our narrative that we started with Adam. We now know why Bible history circumnavigates the Jews. Salvation comes from the Jews, as do the Scriptures.

But why do history and civilization find their roots in the Middle East? Why not North America, which is an incredibly blessed region? 

Today, the earth’s populations are spread around the world, most of them living outside the Middle East. None of the prosperous nations of the world (with the exception of Israel and a few oil-rich nations) are found in the Middle East. 

Then, just why should world history have started in the Middle East? 

It is one thing to say that world history navigates around the timeline of the Jew, because God has pre-planned it that way. But why does the history of civilized mankind find its roots in this arid region, as we see it today, in the first place? It did not occur by happenstance. 

Was it accidental? No. Our geopolitical history could not have occurred anywhere else.

Consider these fascinating aspects of human history and the significance of the Middle East. As is well known, the history of humanity began in this region. The Garden of Eden is thought to be located there. The ancient societies were in Sumer, Mesopotamia, Shinar, Ur, Chaldea, etc.—all in the Middle East.

Of course, God created the world and therefore ordered the conditions that would allow mankind to possess the entire earth, radiating from this region. It is interesting to reflect on the means that God used to predetermine this outcome; namely, of civilization first occurring in the Middle East. 

Jared Diamond, an anthropologist and Pulitzer prize-winning author, in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, provides some insightful perspectives on the question of how God shaped such a destiny.

Mr. Diamond shows how natural geography served to concentrate human development in the Middle East in early times and then spread outward from there. He documents that the availability of the types of plants and animals that could be easily domesticated were clustered in the Middle Eastern region. For example, of all the large mammals living upon earth that were candidates for domestication—either for food or burden—almost half are found in this Eurasian region.1

Furthermore, 13 of the 14 domesticated animals in the entire world, weighing at least 100 pounds, were first successfully domesticated in this area. The only large animal productively tamed outside of the Eurasian region was the llama (and the related alpaca) of South America.

Why was domestication not possible in other parts of the world? Why could horses from Asia be tamed and not zebras in Africa? Simply, God created it so. It is for these reasons and favorable circumstances that farming and commerce first thrived in the Middle East. Therefore, its founding societies stood to have the most influence upon successive human cultures around the world.

It is from this area of the world that God selected Abraham, a man of faith, to become the patriarch of a people that were to bring His light to the world. As of this point forward, human history depicted by the Bible—inspired by the very God of creation and the universe—revolves around the descendants of the Hebrews. 

Thoughts to Ponder
Only seven major world kingdoms are mentioned in the Bible (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome … both old and revived). All of them intersect with the Hebrews. All of them will find at least part of their kingdoms geographically extending into the Middle East.

The Aztec Empire, the Mongols, the Chinese dynasties, the Great British Empire and America: all did not earn any direct or literal mention in the Bible’s geopolitical history—the timeline of the oppression of the Jew. These countries were not selected by Satan to oppress the Jews.

The last kingdom prophesied to emerge is the Roman Empire. It has already existed for some time. Two more offshoots are prophesied. They will unfold very quickly. We continue the Bible’s narrative of world geopolitics in the next part of this series.

ENDNOTE
1 Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York, 1997. P. 162, Table 9.2. The definition used to categorize large animals is 100 pounds or greater.

Midnight Call - 06/2021

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