The scriptures give a reference to a nuclear war several times. I take the quotes in this blog from the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible. Some bible passages can tax your brain trying to understand them. But they become clearer after years of reading and studying them.
What is not so clear is that is this God using his power and bringing the elements of nature into play? We know he often does so. Or is God letting man use his own destructive power?
The first reference I’ll talk about is in the book of Zechariah. This describes the “end times” when the Jews are back in their homeland.
Zechariah 14: 12-15
12, And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13, And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14, Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15, And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.
Here is an interesting passage from Zechariah. “Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.”
What power known to humankind do we know that would cause such a horrific effect? This will happen while the armies in question (The enemies of Israel) remain standing. This means before their skeleton hits the ground. A nuclear explosion would cause this effect. Zechariah states that all the animals in and around the area will perish likewise. Nothing escapes a nuclear explosion.
Taking Hiroshima as an example. The city destroyed with one bomb and thousands of people killed in an instant. Today’s nuclear warheads are many times more powerful.
Israel has had the atom bomb since the 1950s. Although under secrecy and not publicised to the world. Certain friendly and allied countries know this, but avoid the issue. At present they are the only country in the middle East with nuclear capabilities.
When did Zechariah write these predictions of the future?
In the book of Zechariah, chapter 7, verse 1, king Darius is in his fourth year. This places the date at 519/518 BC. Chapters 9-14 has no specific reference to date. But since it was in Zachariah’s lifetime, it is around 40 years later in 480 BC. Thus, he wrote this prophecy around 2500 years ago. The usual weapons a soldier had to fight with then were swords. Zechariah must have found this vision from God strange and frightening. He must have found it hard to contemplate. Hence the unusual description. Try to imagine someone from that era in ancient times describing a view of a future nuclear war.
let’s now have a look at what Isaiah said.
(Isaiah lived around 700 years before Christ).
Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 9, For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. 11, I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
This verse speaks of the earth not receiving any light. Science understands the implications of a world plunged into a global nuclear war. The devastation would be so vast that the world would be in darkness or semidarkness. Science even states that the world could suffer a lack of sunlight for up to two years. This would cause a type of temporary ice age, (nuclear winter). This condition is because of the effect of the masses of dust clouds in the atmosphere. Clouds created by the “mushroom” effect. All from many nuclear explosions blocking out the sunlight.
What about Damascus?
17: 1-3 An oracle concerning Damascus.
Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. 2, The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. 3, The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts.
Damascus goes back to a time before recording history. Many scholars believe it is the oldest city in existence. A city inhabited from ancient times to the modern day. Aroer is a town to the East of the Dead Sea, on the bank of the River Arnon, in present day Jordan. In biblical times occupied by the Moabites.
The city of Damascus has seen much destruction through history, right up to today. Indeed, the modern Syrian civil war has seen vast swathes of the city destroyed by bombing. Making the city uninhabitable, but they have not yet destroyed it. Damascus has not yet ceased to be a city. This being the case, the prophecy relates to a future event.
At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who loot us, and the lot of those who plunder us.
This verse shows an incident that will be swift, in less than a full day. Destruction before the next day arrives. Israel’s enemies destroyed in such a short time.
66:15-16 Final Judgement and Glory of the Lord
For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgement, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many.
That element “fire” keeps repeating itself in the scriptures. A destructive force used in the end times.
Now let’s look at What Jeremiah says:
(Jeremiah began prophesying in 627 BC).
31, The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against the nations; he is entering into judgement with all flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword, declares the Lord. 32, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! 33, And those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
In this prophecy Jeremiah mentions many nations, from one end of the earth to the other. The whole earth at war, not just a particular area or continent. Another point to make is the number of dead. It will be so great, and in such a short time, that mourning and burying will be impossible. Bodies left to rot in the open.
49: 23-27Judgment on Damascus
Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet. 24, Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, as of a woman in labor. 25, How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy? 26, Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts. 27, And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”
We have the “fire” element again on Damascus. To destroy a city by fire almost in an instant would take a mighty force. Nuclear warheads are that fiery force.
Ben-Hadad was the title of hadada, the Armenian king in ancient times. Later claimed as a title for further kings. The Aram kings had attacked Israel during biblical times. A judgement brought on to the Israelites. But a reversal of judgement came from God and He punished Israel’s enemies by “fire.”
Ben-Hadad became a title for a leader of a deity, just as Pharaoh was for the Egyptian rulers. Ben-Hadad: ruler of Damascus.
Now for the prophesies of the NT
Matthew 24: 21-22
21, For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22, And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Mark 13: 19-20
19, For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20, And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.
These two passages taken for Matthew and Mark. They are of Jesus talking to his disciples of the end times, referred to as the tribulation in the bible.
Jesus is speaking of a disaster that has not been before, even greater than the two world wars. A disaster so great that the world won’t see again. A disaster as another world war, but this time using nuclear weapons. This time the world is heading towards total annihilation.
Jesus says that if not stopped, then all human life will end, humanity will wipe itself out. But there is hope for humankind. Jesus says that “I will shorten those days” before the end comes. The only one who can stop this destruction is Jesus himself. He is speaking of his second coming. He will come back to earth at the height of a nuclear world war and stop it before it’s too late.
The book of Revelation is an entire book of twenty-two chapters about the end times. The world’s destruction in the stages leading up to the return of Christ. Satan’s, the Antichrist’s and the false prophet’s imprisonment and destruction. It then goes beyond into another world set up by God, judgement day and a new beginning. It is a book written symbolically and can be difficult to understand. Much study and careful judgement needs implying. The more time spent studying the book, the clearer it becomes. We should read it with the book of Daniel. In Daniel lies the key to understanding the prophesies in Revelation. The book of Revelation is a separate subject for coverage at a later date.
D. Marsden © 2020