ISIS captures Mosul, Iraq’s Second-Largest City

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has captured Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Mosul by the way is essentially the Nineveh of biblical times. I was very strongly considering going there last summer. Needless to say, the ramifications of this are huge. While it is clear that the US and Iraq are on alert, be sure that Iran is also carefully eyeing these events as well. The more that I ponder the potential truth in a radical futurist interpretation of Daniel chapter 8, the more that I suspect that it is this region (including large segments of Syria and Eastern Turkey) from which the AC may emerge. If this is the case, it also appears as though there will be at least two significant wars in the region. The first being an Iranian effort to consolidate regional power and the second a Turkish response. Of course, this is all speculation, but it is not an entirely impossible scenario.

The WSJ carries news of these most dramatic events.

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24 Comments
  • good4u
    Posted at 01:16h, 11 June

    Your last sentence of your commentary on the ISIS is fascinating, Joel. If I didn’t know better you are reading the “Signpost” theory playbook of Mark Davidson’ ground-breaking book, Daniel Revisited. In Davidson’s book, he theorizes as a result of his comprehensive study of ancient history, Daniel 8 and current developments that Iran will undertake a surprise blitz into their oil-rich Mideast neighbors and succeed militarily. Then as a response to Iran’s actions, Turkey will lead a four-nation confederacy against Iran and in turn, defeat Iran and I’ll let you read the rest of the book for additional details. It really is a well-founded theoretical position that Davidson puts forth and is very viable. But time will tell if this is indeed God’s revealed truth of prophetic scripture within Daniel.

    I got goose bumps reading your commentary knowing what Davidson’s book postulates. Truly, the prophetic plot thickens…

    Oh, how the LV churches will benefit in August hearing both you and Mark on this subject. Hopefully, you will have a round table discussion with all the speakers for a Q & A session! Would love to be there, but I’ll wait for you next year here in St. Louis with the Daniel Training Network.

    Blessings!

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:32h, 11 June

    I’m not so sure about the four nation coalition, but the general idea is the same, for sure. I’m not so sold on the full futurity of Dan. 7. But Dan 8, I think for sure is a solid possibility.

  • good4u
    Posted at 04:39h, 11 June

    Hopefully, when you see Mark he will explain to you why Dan. 7 and Dan. 8 are linked and the two visions relate to the same occurrences (i.e., Iranian blitz and Turkey confederacy response). It makes sense when you hear his explanation, but we will have to see how and if this plays out in reality. Prophecy students will be watching all of this with great interest for sure.

    Blessings!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 11:52h, 11 June

    Thanks for the update Joel. Skimmed the WSJ article and this quote stuck out

    “The whole of Mosul collapsed today. We’ve fled our homes and neighborhoods, and we’re looking for God’s mercy,” said Mahmoud Al Taie, a dentist. “We are waiting to die.”

    Praying for those who are bearing the brunt of this development, especially Christians. God be glorified. Please come quickly Lord Jesus

  • Joel
    Posted at 12:35h, 11 June

    They say that 99% of the Christian have fled. One pastor is quoted as saying that this is likely the final Christian exodus from this region.

    Behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet. (Dan. 7:7)

  • Dirk
    Posted at 14:14h, 11 June

    “The more that I ponder the potential truth in a radical futurist interpretation of Daniel chapter 8, the more that I suspect that it is this region (including large segments of Syria and Eastern Turkey) from which the AC may emerge.”

    I think the prophecies repeat entirely (not simply futurist – I reject Davidson’s model for failure to account for what has already transpired in history that clearly conforms to prior-issued prophecy) until they are ultimately and completely fulfilled.

  • Jeanne
    Posted at 14:32h, 11 June

    More details and pictures of the situation here:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2654861/Escape-Mosul-150-000-Iraqis-overnight-refugees-flee-terror-al-Qaeda-splinter-group-taken-countrys-second-biggest-city.html

    FTA: “Mosul is a much bigger, more strategic prize. The city and surrounding Ninevah province, which is on the doorstep of Iraq’s relatively prosperous Kurdish region, are a major export route for Iraqi oil and a gateway to Syria.”

  • cjk
    Posted at 16:53h, 11 June

    The AC most definitely will be Assyrian as directly stated in Micah.
    I guess Assyrian can mean ethnicity or from a given territory regardless of ethnicity.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 18:32h, 11 June

    There are also reports of beheadings, and not just a few.

    Thank God for those who are awake, instead of being asleep in the light, as Keith Green sang.

    It isn’t a good idea only to be reacting to events. It is wise to be proactive, because enclaves for friends of Israel, outside of Israel, looks to be the most intelligent course of action.

  • Gabe
    Posted at 18:41h, 11 June

    Hi All:

    Using the U.S. taxpayer bought weapons and vehicles they captured, with the help of the 3,000 prisoners they released, and the $428 million dollars they got from a bank robbery yesterday…

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mosul-seized-jihadis-loot-429m-citys-central-bank-make-isis-worlds-richest-terror-force-1452190

    …making them the richest jihaddi group in the world, ISIS has taken Tikrit and Irbil without facing resistance and is speeding towards the oil fields and Baghdad. Praying for God to thwart this advance. There are already reports of churches burning and mass beheadings as the bloodbath begins:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10892299/Iraq-crisis-al-Qaeda-forces-seize-Mosul-and-Tikrit-live.html

    And predictably, the West just looks and talks about it. Drudge just FINALLY made it their top story. We’re about to watch everything we fought for in Iraq for 7 years turn against us, the fruit of an ill advised war, followed by an ill-advised premature troop withdrawal.

    But of course, the Turks are jumping in:

    http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-calls-emergency-nato-meeting-iraq-turkish-official-172924625.html

    In Him,
    Gabe

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 18:43h, 11 June

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2014/06/11/Expanding-Iran-s-borders-the-marching-threat-.html

    Given Persia’s history with chess, I am not surprised to see government tactics and strategy reflect that.

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:07h, 11 June

    Not Irbil yet. I don’t think so at least.

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 19:13h, 11 June

    I have long wondered what would draw Turkey out like it says in Ezechiel 38 …and put hooks into thy jaws… Turkey is reportedly talking to both NATO and Iran, it suggests a bit that some form of Turkish intervention in the region might be in the making.

  • AtHisFeet
    Posted at 19:28h, 11 June

    One wonders if Saudi Arabia works behind the scenes in this. I understand that ISIS is Wahhabist.

  • Nelson
    Posted at 22:24h, 11 June

    All,

    Let us all be in prayer for this region and its people. The human tragedy is appalling. And it will only get worse. Let us pray the Spirit leads many to light from the bondage of darkness they face in Islam during this horrible time. Nelson

    Joel and Dirk:

    Mark Davidson is an expert on Daniel 7 but I can lend a few thoughts of my own on why it refers to modern kingdoms not just ancient ones. These are my opinions, prayerfully the Spirit will lead us as to the truth.

    I see 4 reasons that Daniel 7 might refer primarily to modern nations:

    Dan. 7:11-12 describes Jesus’ judgment of the beasts after his return. The fourth “terrifying” beast is destroyed. The others are allowed to live for a while. The ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Persia and Greece are all long dead. It isn’t possible for them to be allowed to live a while. Thus the beasts must be modern nations.

    Dan. 7:17 states the beasts are four kings that will arise. The vision was given to Daniel during the reign of Belshazzar who was the last king of Babylon. If another Babylonian king was to arise, who was it? It couldn’t be an ancient king because there weren’t any more. This is another sign that the vision is for our time.

    Dan. 8:1 might be a sign it is modern as well. I am not a Hebrew scholar but the word in this verse translated “after” in my NASB is the Hebrew word “achar” which literally means “hind portions.” It can mean “after” and it can also be translated “follow-up” “again” or “hind portions.” If Daniel meant any of these later meanings, the vision of Daniel 8 is a follow-up to his vision in Daniel 7. I think this is likely because of the similarity of the visions. We know that Daniel 8 is modern because Dan. 8:17 and Dan. 8:19 tell us so.

    The final reason is more subtle and involves 3 books of the Bible. In Daniel 7:2 we see the “four winds of heaven” stir up the sea and bring forth the beasts. In Zechariah 6:5 we see the four winds of heaven identified as four colored horses. Finally in Revelation 6:1-8 we see these four horses come forth after Christ begins to break seals on the scroll (probably the scroll is only book of the Bible that is sealed: Daniel)If the beasts are brought forth by the horses of Revelation they are modern nations.

    Let us mediate and pray about these scriptures and test the spirits see what the Spirit reveals. I write about Daniel 7 and 8 in a section of my website http://www.thegospelintheendtimes.com/part-3-the-road-to-the-kingdom/ and Mark has an entire book, Daniel Revisited that discusses Daniel 7 and 8.

    Nelson

  • Joel
    Posted at 23:50h, 11 June

    Nelson,

    Mark and I have talked about this, so to be clear, he understands my opinion. Mark is a friend and I think both he and his book offer some great new insights, which is why I endorse and promote it, even if I do not agree with every aspect of the presentation. As I told him when we were last together, although I do not see Dan. 7 through a fully futurist lens as he does, Dan. 8 still conveys most of the picture. But concerning Dan. 7, here are my partial thoughts.

    You said:

    Dan. 7:11-12 describes Jesus’ judgment of the beasts after his return. The fourth “terrifying” beast is destroyed. The others are allowed to live for a while. The ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Persia and Greece are all long dead. It isn’t possible for them to be allowed to live a while. Thus the beasts must be modern nations.

    In my opinion, this is simply a misreading of the text. Dan. 2 has already informed us that all of the other kingdoms will be destroyed “at the same time” as the fourth when the kingdom of Christ comes (Daniel 2:34-35).

    “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

    While the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece are long gone, the regions that they represented are now all the nations that essentially correspond to the other three Beasts. Thus, Babyon=Iraq, Persia=Iran and Greece=Turkey. To suggest that the Beast Kingdom will be destroyed but these other nations will live on in the Millennium just for a short time simply doesn’t make sense and contradicts Dan. 2:34-35 in my opinion. The point of this statement in Daniel 7:12 is simply to contrast the nature of the previous empires demise with that of the final fourth beast. The fourth beast will be destroyed suddenly, completely, absolutely and forever. The others (Babylon, Persia, and Greece) were essentially defeated but were allowed to live on for a time, in terms of language, culture and even religion etc. It is also intended to be contrasted with the Kingdom of Messiah, the rock that will never be destroyed, but will last forever.

    You said:

    Dan. 7:17 states the beasts are four kings that will arise. The vision was given to Daniel during the reign of Belshazzar who was the last king of Babylon. If another Babylonian king was to arise, who was it? It couldn’t be an ancient king because there weren’t any more. This is another sign that the vision is for our time.

    The word there in the Aramaic (quwm) actually is not future tense. I had the chance to consult two Aramaic scholars and both said that it is actually quite neutral. One was Dr. Peter Flint, one of the world’s leading scholars of Aramaic and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Daniel 7:10 and 7:16 for example, use the exact same word, yet it is translated as “were standing” (past or present tense).

    We should also note that the most important Greek translation (the Septuagint) makes no mention of kingdoms arising at all (only reading, “These great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall perish from the earth”). Since the Septuagint translators were generally careful scribes and talented translators, it is likely that the Greek translator here was faithful to the Aramaic text he was copying (pointing to an ancient version of Dan 7:17 that did not mention that the four beasts “will arise” at all).

    In any case, again, I think that there is strong merit to see Dan. 8 as having a historical and futurist perspective. This would still mean that an Iranian regional war could be the next step, followed by a Turkish response, followed by the emerging of the little horn, the Antichrist.

    Is it possible that Daniel 7 has a partial futurist fulfillment? I am open, but do not see any solid Scriptural basis for it. Neither of the two primary supports for the view hold up in my opinion. However, this isn’t to say that it has no merit whatsoever. I just think we should be careful. However, I would also add that the same can be said of Daniel 2. So could it also have a partially futurist interpretation. Again, all four of the kingdoms are destroyed “at the same time.” How can that be? Unless we are simply speaking of the geography.

    You know, I have over a 100 commentaries on the Book of Daniel and have been in this book for a few good years solid. I mean pouring over and over its words. Yet there are aspects of it that still mystify me.

    In any case, I hope this helps explain why I lean the way I do.

    Blessings

  • Nelson
    Posted at 03:47h, 12 June

    Joel, thanks for this awesome and well researched response. I can see you have been pouring over Daniel. Much of this I was unaware of, especially the Aramaic translations.

    Interesting you quote the Septuagint. I use the Theodotion text for Daniel when looking at the Greek. Your quote from the Old Greek text of v.17 gives, “These great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall perish from the earth.” The text I use has the Greek word αναστησονται where your text translates “perish”. αναστησονται means “arise” and can also mean “resurrect.” This later meaning is found in numerous New Testament texts featuring this word. Although we cannot definitely say Daniel was saying the beasts “resurrect” it is an interesting concept which only points out how incredibly challenging the Book of Daniel is.

    You probably know I believe the Book of Daniel was sealed by God (Dan. 12:4) and I believe much of the book is still sealed. So to me it is absolutely not surprising that we struggle with understanding it. My personal rule for myself is hold all end time views loosely and follow Jesus’ command to “watch.” As we continue to watch, God will reveal his truth in his time. So your suggestion to be careful is a prudent one.

    Nelson

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:23h, 12 June

    Nelson,

    Yes, my understanding of the sealing is that as we go over it and over it together as His body, it is increasingly opened up. I think Mark’s work has contributed to this greatly. My approach is the same as yours. Know the possibilities and prayerfully watch.

  • good4u
    Posted at 12:28h, 12 June

    Oh, the time spent in LV with the churches at the August prophecy conference will be a good one! As all speakers wrestle together to seek God’s face and hear what he has to say to the LV churches will be such a blessing to them! 🙂

    For those who cannot attend, a dvd of the sessions will be invaluable to the rest of us.

    Blessings!

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 13:33h, 12 June

    For a long as Joel’s trumpet is on line I will be grateful for the posts and comments. Though we may see some things a bit differently, I think it is wise as stated to put other opinions on our thought shelves as we watch.

    I agree that this is the beginning of change in the middle east(very bad news for Israel). to be honest I don’t really see the need for a full futuristic Daniel 8, else I think that Daniel 11 would have to be so also(daughters making alliances.. marriage kingdom sake etc.) OR
    I could be wrong. I do respect others sincere thoughts.

    To see how swift and evil isis are is numbing, no wonder Jesus said ‘pray that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things and to stand before the son of man’. (I think he just meant, pray we die before ac comes). Thanks for the posts and comments, I don’t get much input where I am, so it is all much valued.

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 16:54h, 12 June

    It seems that ISIS has set it’s next goal at Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4354/isis-jordan
    And why stop there? The goal of course is Jerusalem. Personally I think we still have a long way to go to fulfilling the various prophecies. Even though it looks like the fulfilling of prophecies is speeding up, there still is no falling away that has to come first, there is no temple for the antichrist to sit in, I don’t think there are even ten horns that can be identified yet. But the intention and possibility for future fulfilling is there. The stage for the rise of antichrist is being set I think.

  • Dirk
    Posted at 15:56h, 13 June

    “‘I see 4 reasons that Daniel 7 might refer primarily to modern nations:
    Dan. 7:11-12 describes Jesus’ judgment of the beasts after his return. The fourth “terrifying” beast is destroyed. The others are allowed to live for a while. The ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Persia and Greece are all long dead. It isn’t possible for them to be allowed to live a while. Thus the beasts must be modern nations.”

    All three have clear modern manifestations: Babylon = Iraq, Persia = Iran, Greece = Turkey.

    “It isn’t possible for them to be allowed to live a while.”

    Recall that the SeaBeast in Revelation 13 is composed of the Lion (Babylon/Iraq) the Bear (Perisa/Iran) and the Leopard (Turkey/Grecia). These kings “die” when the Sea Beast dies, and yet will be allowed to continue as individual authorities for a period of time. As we see from this plain example, a “Beast” can survive a change in political autonomy (or otherwise is not specifically defined by such).

    “Dan. 7:17 states the beasts are four kings that will arise. The vision was given to Daniel during the reign of Belshazzar who was the last king of Babylon. If another Babylonian king was to arise, who was it? It couldn’t be an ancient king because there weren’t any more. This is another sign that the vision is for our time.”

    I think the tense is indefinite/imperfect, leaving us with the following questions: Will the king arise in the future, or has this process already begun? As such, I think the logistical problem you identify loses its value.

    “We know that Daniel 8 is modern because Dan. 8:17 and Dan. 8:19 tell us so.”

    That’s not the same thing as saying “this will only happen at the end of time.” What we see in the past are clear indications of what will come. I believe the pattern continues to repeat until it is ultimately fulfilled.

    “If the beasts are brought forth by the horses of Revelation they are modern nations.”

    That line of thinking assumes that the only time the winds are stirred is at the end. Yes, the Seals are indeed broken at the end of time. Is this the only set of winds that have ever been unsealed, or has this happened before? Personally, I think the question is flawed.

    I look at the entire issue from a different perspective, which is that this Ultimate Event (the fulfillment of the prophecy) is projecting itself through time, which is why we see the event repeating itself.

    God knows best.

  • Steve
    Posted at 23:14h, 18 June

    It seems to me it is about geography and the “seed” of these nations. Dan 2:43 seems to imply this IMO. So maybe this is how the old and new could be destroyed at once? Just my 2 cents worth.

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