Will Israel become wealthiest nation in the Middle East?

Oil Fields

Joel Richardson WND

For years, it was assumed that the nation of Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil reserves, would long reign as the wealthiest oil-producing nation in the Middle East. According to present estimates, Saudi Arabia sits atop approximately 266 billion barrels of oil. The Muslim dominated OPEC countries together claim roughly 1,112 billion barrels.

But due to a new technology called “fracking,” this is all about to change. Fracking, hydrofracking, or hydraulic fracking, what some are calling a “miraculous new technology,” has made it possible to access what were previously inaccessible – and absolutely massive – deposits of shale oil and natural gas. This new technology, it is claimed, will allow formerly inferior energy-producing nations to emerge overnight as the new titans of global energy. And the Muslim world is not at all likely to be pleased about which nations fracking will allow to emerge as the world’s most powerful energy producers.

You guessed it. Because of fracking, the nation of Israel, along with the United States, could soon emerge as the world’s largest oil-producing nations. Some say this will happen as soon as 2020. According to estimates, Israel’s oil-shale reserves could amount to as much as 250 billion barrels, placing it neck and neck with Saudi Arabia. When one combines this with the massive amounts of natural gas ( approximately 100 trillion cubic feet) found in recent years just off Israel’s shore, the Jewish state could quickly move beyond mere energy independence and become a major global exporter.

In the ongoing geopolitical chess game for wealth creation, power and even survival, the dawn of fracking technology literally changes everything. And it has the minds of analysts churning out a thick froth of speculation. This is true concerning political analysts as well as analysts of Bible prophecy.

Let’s indulge in a bit of geopolitical speculation first. How will a potentially emerging energy-dominant nation of Israel change the Middle East? Will Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan tone down his rhetoric demanding an apology for the Mavi Marmara flotilla fiasco? Perhaps the Iranian regime will consider toning down its predictions that Israel is a rotting corpse soon to disappear. How would the Muslim-dominated OPEC change if Israel emerged as a top-dog energy producer? Is it possible that oil-poor Muslim nations such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan could be forced to come crawling to the Jewish nation for assistance in meeting their own energy needs? The Russians are already ahead of the game, actually. Putin has already entered into a partnership with Israel through Russia’s state-run energy company, Gazprom, all for the purpose of prying open Israel’s vast offshore natural-gas reserves. Even now, in the early stages of the transition, the potentials for total game changing possibilities are endless.

But what does fracking mean to analysts of Bible prophecy? For years, many students of Bible prophecy have long seen a coming energy wealth in Israel’s future. This prediction derives from the fact that when one examines several of the biblical passages that speak of the coming antichristic, multi-national, eschatological invasion of Israel, it appears as though the pursuit of wealth, plunder and spoil are among the invaders’ greatest motivators. Let’s consider a few of the prophecies that repeatedly highlight this issue.

In the eightth century B.C., the Judean prophet Isaiah frequently made reference to the various Assyrian kings as prophetic prototypes of the coming last-days antagonist of God’s people. Thus the theme of the coming Messiah figure found throughout Isaiah’s prophecy is frequently portrayed as being in conflict with “the Assyrian.” In one example, in chapter 10 of Isaiah’s prophecy, it is the Assyrian, as a type of the Antichrist, who is portrayed as being dispatched by God into the land of Israel with the goal of seizing Israel’s great wealth:

“Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath. … I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.” — Isaiah 10:5-7

A little over a hundred years later, the prophet Ezekiel also prophesied of a massive invasion of the land of Israel in the last days. And once again, it was the issue of taking plunder and booty that were among the invaders’ primary driving motivations:

“On that day … you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages … to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.’” — Ezekiel 38:10-13

The prophet Daniel would also speak of the Antichrist’s stealth attack against Israel at a time of peace, as he seeks to acquire their great wealth:

“When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses – but only for a time.” — Daniel 11:24

And finally, even after the Jewish people had returned from the Babylonian exile, the prophet Zechariah would speak of the day when, as a result of a massive end-time invasion of the land, Israel’s great wealth would be divided among the invaders:

“A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured. …” — Zechariah 14:1-2

Of course, as somber as Zechariah’s words may be, it is in the verses that immediately follow that we take comfort in knowing that it is at this time, when Israel finds herself in the moment of her greatest need, Jesus the Messiah will arrive from heaven and decisively deliver His people:

“Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.” — Zechariah 14:3-4

  • Muhammad
    Posted at 11:55h, 07 February

    It’s too early to get excited, while fracking offers great potential its long term sustainability remains to be seen. Even if Israel does have large extractable reserves (a big if), it will be unable to match the few dollars it costs Arab oil producers to extract a barrel of oil. Never mind the decades it will need to ramp up production. It’s still surprising that God chose one of the few areas of land in Middle East without oil for the Jews.

  • Wading Across
    Posted at 16:48h, 07 February

    There has been at least one company in Israel for a while looking for oil in more traditional methods, Zion oil. I don’t recall the details, but the owner has based his determination on Biblical passages concerning Asher.

    On a related tangential note, something else to consider is that while some of these Muslim nations are great oil producers and sellers, it’s not all rosy. Iran doesn’t have enough production facilities to turn their own oil into gasoline, so they have to rely on outside sources for that. Saudi Arabia has plenty of oil and production facilities, but little to no other energy sources for power production. Their nation has been growing at such an exponential rate in energy consumption that they’re literally burning their own oil to produce enough power for their own needs…

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 00:40h, 08 February

    A more recent example: Argentina wanted to get Argentine’s minds off a lousy economy, so they invaded some islands.

    They called those Islands, the Malvinas. The British refer to them as the Falklands Islands.

    This took place roughly 30 years ago.

    FYI, Joel, I recall Lawrence Solomon writing similar words in the Financial Post about the energy bonanza that awaits Israel. Thanks for the update, and inclusion of other material.


  • Thomas Chu
    Posted at 01:36h, 08 February


    Thanks for the blog post, Joel. I just have one question: Why is it that Israel and the U.S. have access to this fracking technology, but not the Muslim nations?


  • Joel
    Posted at 01:42h, 08 February


    Its not simply the technology, its the actual shale-oil deposits. As far as I know, Israel, the US and perhaps Egypt have such shale-oil deposits. Egypt however doesn’t have the technology to access their shale-oil.

  • RLitzen
    Posted at 05:14h, 08 February

    @Muhammed: It is amazing who God favors. God’s love for all his creations goes beyond anything we can ever imagine. God’s love does not require hatred of races or subjugation of women. God’s judgment shall be known when He so deems it necessary. Muhammed, I pray that one day you and all muslims return to God. I pray you let the truth of Jesus be discovered. I pray that you will learn God and only God judges man and that no human is capable of judging another to hell or paradise- only God does this. May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you. I will pray for you.

  • David Roberts
    Posted at 12:01h, 08 February

    If it’s true, I hope there’s a Christian Zionist oil franchisee that opens up, so Christians can go buy oil from Israel, instead of funding terrorism and the spread of Islam around the world.

  • Roy Senum
    Posted at 17:37h, 08 February

    I think this is a very interesting article Joel!

  • giles
    Posted at 08:48h, 09 February

    Israel’s energy assets might explain why the “ships of Chittim” (the west?) will attempt to engage the AntiChrist’s forces (Daniel 11:30). The NATO defence budget cuts might also explain why the Chittim ppl seem only to harass the AC, but not to be able to do anything decisive

  • Komakech Michael
    Posted at 10:20h, 09 February

    i have been following your articles for long time, they have inspired me alot, however i dont know if you will allow me ask you many questions to help build my prophecy knowledge i am a youth pastor in uganda
    may God bless for this revelation

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:46h, 09 February

    Komakech Michael,

    Sometimes I have time to answers questions. Sometimes I do not. Even if I do not answer, someone else may have some good answers as well.


  • giles
    Posted at 12:16h, 09 February

    Komakech, you’re welcome to email me. Im not sure i’ll have all the answers, but i might be able to help
    [email protected]

  • good4u
    Posted at 13:45h, 09 February


    Giles is right, I find our resident Brit knows a great deal about biblical prophecy. He will give you balanced and thoughtful answers that I always enjoy reading. I have been a loooooong time reader here and he is one of my favorite posters! How’s that for a ringing endorsement, Giles! (:

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 18:44h, 09 February

    Joel, I have posted material from Michael Ledeen before, and he links to this: http://iranlaborreport.com/?p=2185

    Seeing that economics plays a role in government policy, I am thankful for the light you shine, and I encourage you to expand your sources.



  • Joel
    Posted at 20:57h, 09 February


    As for the present state in Iran of the economy, I would recommend reading How Civilizations Die by David Goldman. But I hear a lot about this from my friends involved with Iran. ONe would think that at any moment that government could crumble, but somehow they cling to power. Most say that if a possible leader were to emerge, they would rally in a heartbeat. But for now, none have emerged.

  • Daniel
    Posted at 04:39h, 15 February

    I heard a pastor recently say that Isreal was going to posses the land that God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:18 prior to the millennial reign. What are your thoughts on this?


  • Kelly
    Posted at 21:59h, 19 February

    @Muhammed “Never mind the decades it will need to ramp up production.” This is not true. It took ND less than a couple years to see a population explosion due to fracking.

  • Mark Johnston
    Posted at 01:19h, 01 March

    Hi Joel
    I dont know whether this is the appropriate forum to ask this question. But I will ask anyway. Can you offer any perspective on the Bill Salus book on Psalm 83. Are you in agreement with this prophetic picture in any way?. God Bless. Mark.

  • Joel
    Posted at 12:01h, 01 March

    Hi Mark,



    The biggest problem with the Psalm 83 theory very simply is that it takes numerous passages that refer to the return of Jesus or the time of the Messiah and places them several years before the return of Jesus, giving the victory to the modern day Israeli Defense Forces instead of Jesus. The theory is discounted by showing that every name in the Psalm 83 list is primarily judged and destroyed in the Day of the Lord, at the actual return of Jesus. Edom being the primary name of course. The notion that Israel is about to defeat and literally occupy the whole Middle East without Jesus is simply silly in my opinion.

  • Mark Johnston
    Posted at 08:58h, 02 March

    Hi Joel
    Thanks for the response. I must admit that when I heard Bill giving his perspective on the Stacklbeck show (which does a great job) it didnt really ring true to me. I think you have given a good reason to doubt his theory. I’m sure he is a godly man but the idea of Israel conquering the middle east before the second coming is a bit of a stretch. God bless. Mark.

  • Fred Heier
    Posted at 01:54h, 06 March

    Dear Joel

    I am greatly enjoying your books and find them very enlightning. I have a question as I am
    reading Mideast Beast. If the Antichrist does not take over the whole world. How can he cause it that no one on earth can buy or sell unless they have his mark in Rev 13:17
    Thanks for your help with this

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:13h, 06 March

    Hi Fred,

    And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17

    This is fully true in the regions where the AC has control. But it may not necessarily include the entire earth. No where does it ever actually say so. While the language used here could be used to refer to the whole world, it is certainly not required. Understanding it in a limited sense is consistent with so many other passages throughout Scripture where the whole earth is seemingly described, but which we know was not literally the entire planet. Most often it referred only to large section of the earth such as the Babylonian, Greek or Roman empires etc. I give a few samples in the book, but many more could be cited. I understand this answer is quite brief, but I hope that it has helped.


  • Anyomous
    Posted at 17:24h, 19 June

    Is it possible that in Daniel 11 that the U.S might come to Isarels aid ? What is it role?

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:02h, 09 July

    Just keep dreaming U Isreaies and Americans. But the truth is that there is absolutely no OIL in US or Israel under their Feet. Even Canadian or Mexican Oil are not worth for buying so expensive compare to Middle East Countries. If USA had even a little Oil then USA would not Attack Iraq and scarifies thousands of its Soldiers in Iraq just for OIL. Use your Brain not anger who wrote this Post.

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