Putin’s military move into Syria was implicitly prophesied in Daniel 11.
I recall listening to a Christadelphian lecture 1 month prior to Russia’s move into Syria. The lecturer said that the fulfilment of Dan 11:40 required that Russia must occupy Syria before moving into Turkey.
Sure enough, a month later, Russia moved into Syria.
This lecturer is certainly not the only one to have this view. In an exposition entitled “The Prophecy of Daniel”, HP. Mansfield wrote the following back in 1986 – almost 30 years ago:
“Daniel 11: “And the king of the North <Russia> shall come against him <Turkey>”
The fulfilment <of this> must await the final re-forming of the… Kingdom of Syria, which the northern Russian power is poised to accomplish.
She <Russia> is spreading her control over the territory of the ancient king of the north, and only requires a controlling influence in Iran, Iraq and Syria to qualify for the title; then she will be ready to “come against him <Turkey>.”
This understanding of Daniel 11 is not a result of the prophetic capabilities of these bible students, but simply a result of careful reading of Daniel 11 and other quotes.
To understand why it is that Russia will have a controlling military influence in Syria/Iraq, we need to understand how the prophets portrayed Gog in their prophecies.
To that end, Ezekiel provides us with a clue. In chapter 38:17, God tells ‘Gog’, that he is the individual who had been spoken of by other prophets:
Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
Which of the prophets might verse 17 be referring to?
At least two other prophets lived prior to Ezekiel’s time; Micah and Isaiah, and both prophets have latter-day prophecies which refer to Gog:
Gog in Micah & Isaiah – ‘The King of Assyria’
The context of Micah 5 is the coming of the Messiah (v2) and the return of Israel to the land (v3) so this is without a doubt a latter-day prophecy. In verse 5, Micah begins to talk about the latter-day enemy of Israel:
When the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces…
…and it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots
Isa 30 & 31
The time period for both of these chapters in Isaiah are also in the latter days as they talk of a time period that occurs around the time when judgement emanates from Zion, and Jerusalem is defended. Here are the references to the latter-day Assyrian in Isaiah:
Isa 30:31 For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
32 And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.
33 For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
Isa 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!
8 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.
9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
Notice it doesn’t say when “the Assyrians” come into our land, but rather it is the “Assyrian” in the singular.
This is not talking of the latter-day manifestation of the Assyrian’s manifested in a nation or empire (which is comparable to today’s ISIS), but rather this is talking about a latter-day individual, or King – Isa 30:33. This is an autocrat who will have occupational power in Assyria prior to the invasion of Israel.
This heartland of the ancient Assyrian empire happens to be around the area of the Tigris and the Euphrates (which today is part of Syria & Iraq) in mostly areas that are currently controlled by ISIS.
While ISIS currently control this region, Russia has declared war on ISIS and are moving into the region with a ferocity unmatched by the United States.
Gog in Daniel – ‘The King of the North’
After Ezekiel’s time, the prophet Daniel was also given information about Gog.
This time, in the latter part of Daniel 11, Gog is named “The King of the North”.
The empire of the “King of the North” in Daniel 11 was the Seleucid empire which extended from Turkey to Afghanistan.
It’s interesting to note that much like the Assyrian empire, the heartland of the Seleucid empire was along the region of the Euphrates and Tigris which is inclusive of today’s Syria & Iraq.
Daniel 11 calls Gog the “King of the North” because Gog will have a controlling influence in the region of the ancient king of the North.
Today, Russia is in the process of increasing its military influence and power within this Seleucid region:
- Russia already has significant influence in Iran
- Russia already has significant influence in Syria.
- Iraq has indicated that they would prefer the Russian military for protection instead of the US military and have already started mutual intelligence sharing with Russia to a greater degree than what exists with the US.
- Putin has expressed interest in occupying Afghanistan as NATO looks to leave. When he announced this, Obama immediately cancelled his troop withdrawal.
Russia’s occupation of Syria & Iraq in the prophets.
Isaiah, Micah & Daniel all refer to Gog as being a king over the former territories of the Assyrian and Seleucid empires before invading Turkey, Egypt and Israel.
As seen earlier, this is currently a region which is under the control of ISIS, however, Russia is moving in and is likely to become the occupying power.
Daniel 11 shows that it is during this time, or after, the Gogian autocrat will focus his attention on Turkey.