The president of the United States has shocked the world with his decision to leave Afghanistan, and potentially leave tens of thousands of citizens of the United States and Afghanistan supporters in the country. The outcry from people in the United States and from our allies is strongly negative. In the process the Taliban have acquired first-class military bases and billions of dollars of advanced military equipment. As a result, Russia and China may gain valuable insight into some of our military secrets. The Taliban fighters are now stronger than they have ever been. Now they have control of a strategic country that plays an important role in the battle of Armageddon.
Newsweek magazine on August 17, 2021, reported that “Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan Extend Hands to Taliban Now in Control of Afghanistan.” The magazine stated that this occurred after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. The message is simple. Russia and China are seeking an alliance with countries east of Israel. Their common enemy is Israel.
The highly respected Hoover Institution reported on March 27, 2021 that,
China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement reaffirming China’s effort to build an Asian axis of alliances and penetrate the Middle East. Russia cooperates with both of them as well as with Turkey, but also pursues its own strategy in the Middle East and with the Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The article goes on to state that China is seeking to lure Turkey to join an alliance with Tehran and Bejing (Iran and China). The events that have occurred in the summer of 2021 appear to have greatly strengthened China’s efforts to consolidate control of the Middle East. In addition, on August 18, 2021, the Moscow Times reported that Iran’s President is,
. . . ready to cooperate with the two countries to establish “stability and peace” in Afghanistan.
Concurrently, news sources are reporting that India and Pakistan now must make strategic decisions since they had been supporting the civilian Afghanistan government that is now defunct. The pressure will be on them to join in agreement with Russia and China. The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is a major event with great future implications.
Origin of Israel’s Enemies
Now we arrive at our question, “Is Afghanistan important to the end-time events described in Bible prophecy?” The answer is the Bible never mentions Afghanistan by name, but the Bible does refer to peoples who live there. Therefore, I want to provide some biblical background about the people who occupy Afghanistan and the nations surrounding Israel. Next, we will discover which nations will be involved in the battle of Armageddon. At that point we will be able to understand how Afghanistan fits into Bible prophecy.
Let us begin by reading a portion of Genesis 16 about the birth of Ishmael. If you recall, God had given Abram a promise with three parts to it. One part of the promise was that Abram would become a great nation. That promise is recorded in Genesis 12:1-3. If we keep reading into verse 4, we learn that Abram was seventy-five years old when the promise was made. When we come to Genesis 16, ten years have elapsed, and Abram and Sari still do not have a child. So, according to the custom of the time and to assist Abram in producing an heir, Sari suggested that Abram have sex with her maid Hagar. Abram agreed. In time Hagar gave birth to a male child according to Genesis 16:4. But verse 4 also says Hagar then despised Sari. This seems to suggest that Hagar may have been young, and this child may have been her first child. So, she learned that she could have a child, but Sari could not. It was an embarrassment for a wife to be barren. That may be the reason why Hagar despised Sari. Here is verse 4,
He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. Genesis 16:4 (NASB)
Then verses 5 and 6 reveal that Sari blamed Abram for this unhappy situation. I feel sorry for him. He cooperated and then was faulted for having cooperated! Verse 6 says that Sari then treated Hagar harshly. Consequently, Hagar fled. Verse 7 reveals that an angel of the Lord visited this runaway maid at a spring in the wilderness. Here is what the angel told Hagar to do,
Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”
The angel of the LORD said to her further,
“Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
“He will be a wild donkey of a man,
His hand will be against everyone,
And everyone’s hand will be against him;
And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” Genesis 16:9-12 (NASB)
Notice that verse 12 says that Ishmael would be against everyone, and everyone would be against him.
So, who are the descendants of Ishmael? The answer begins to be revealed in Genesis 25:12-15 which names the twelve sons of Ishmael. The first son was Nebaioth and the second son was Kedar. Kedar is important because Islamic records claim that one of his descendants was Muhammad, the founder of Islam. According to Islam, Ishmael and his sons moved to Paran and lived in Babylon and all the surrounding lands. They refer to the Book of Jubliees 20:12-13 as proof. It is important to know that Islam refers to Ishmael and his descendants as Arabs. If we look at a map, it becomes obvious that the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires would have had Arab peoples as well as other ethnic populations. These empires were north and east of Israel. So, which nations now occupy the ancient territory once controlled by the Persian Empire? The answer includes: Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, and other nations. We must not forget that Arabs today also are found in the northern part of North Africa. So, Ishmael was the father of many of the peoples known today as Arabs. The prophecy says that his descendants would be at war with everyone, and everyone would be at war with them. The picture is not one of year-to-year conflict, but repeated conflicts.
Today Israel is surrounded by enemy nations. Many of their peoples are descendants of Isaac’s brother Ishmael. The wars in the Middle East are a series of conflicts between family members — brother against brother. We must not forget the people of Afghanistan are also descendants of Ishmael. This has helped us to identify the Arab descendants.
Nations at the Battle of Armageddon
Now let us look at some future prophecies. First, Scripture teaches us that we are moving toward the next major end time events: the rapture, the tribulation, and the Battle of Armageddon to be specific. There are several passages that describe this battle. So, I want to talk about which nations will be involved in the Battle of Armageddon. I will start with Revelation 16:12-16. It says,
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. Revelation 16:12-16 (NASB)
The sixth bowl judgment is about the Battle of Armageddon. This is obvious in verse 16 which refers to Har-Magedon, or Armageddon. The Battle of Armageddon is also described in Revelation 19:11-21. There Christ comes with both the saints of the church age and angels at the battle of Armageddon. Revelation 16:12 says that when the sixth bowl judgment occurs, the water of the great river Euphrates will be dried up so that the kings of the east can cross the river. Now here is an important question, “In what nation is the Euphrates River located?” The answer is the river is located in the nation of Iraq. The next question is, “Who are the kings from the east?” If we look at a map, we learn that the kings of the east could be the leaders of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and even India. Revelation 9:13-20 also refers to 200 million demons being released at the Euphrates River. The implication is that the demons influence the leaders of these nations from the east to bring their armies against Israel. The picture is of a massive army from the east crossing the Euphrates in order to invade Israel. This is part of God’s end-time plan. According to Joel 3:2 and Zechariah 14:2-4, God will gather these nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat. This is also a part of God’s end-time plan.
Armageddon According to Daniel 11:40-45
Daniel 11:40-45 gives us even more information about the battle of Armageddon. Now we will not study this passage in detail. The purpose is to see which nations are involved in the battle. Here is the passage,
At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through. He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. Daniel 11:40-45 (NASB)
Notice how many nations are named. The first two nations that are mentioned are the king of the South and the king of the North. The king of the South refers to the king who will control Egypt. The king of the North refers to the king who will control everything from Syria to the far east of Alexander’s empire. His empire extended all the way to India. It included Afghanistan.
Now you may ask, “How do we know that the king of the North controlled all that territory?” The answer is that Daniel 11:1-39 is a description of over one hundred prophecies involving wars between the descendants of two kings who controlled part of Alexander the Great’s empire after his death. History records that the kings of the south were descendants of the general who was titled King Ptolemy I. The kings of the south were descendants of the general who was titled King Seleucus I. So, the king of the South controlled Egypt and the king of the North controlled everything from Syria all the way to India, including Afghanistan.
Our second question is who are the other nations? The answer is the ancient nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon which are now occupied by Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Our third question is, “What is the ‘Beautiful Land’ the ‘beautiful Holy Mountain’?” The answer is the “Beautiful Land” is Israel and the “beautiful Holy Mountain” is Jerusalem. This helps us understand that Daniel 11:44-45 is a description of the battle of Armageddon.
Now for the question we have been waiting for, “Who is invading Israel, according to this passage?” The answer is the nations occupying the lands held by Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. India may be included since Alexander the Great’s empire extended into the west part of India.
Armageddon According to Ezekiel 38-39
Ezekiel 38-39 is another important passage about the battle of Armageddon. In the first six verses of Ezekiel 38, we are told that at the Battle of Armageddon, Gog from the land of Magog, and the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal will invade Israel. Flavius Josephus states that in ancient times the Greeks called the people of Magog the Scythians. The Scythians were people who lived in the north. Ezekiel 38:15 refers to Magog as being from “the remote parts of the north.” Consequently, it is generally believed these nations are now modern-day Russia. What is most interesting is that there is a historical reference that strongly suggests Gog includes China. So, when we combine the testimony of Scripture and this piece of information, it is possible that this invasion from the north will include Russia, China from the east, and all of the Arab countries.
But the message of Ezekiel 38:17-23 and Ezekiel 39:11-12 reveals that God will defeat them. They will not succeed in defeating Israel. Daniel 11:45 says that the antichrist will “come to his end, and no one will help him.” That is, no one can help him. Revelation 19:19 says he will be killed by Jesus Christ at His second coming. Here is Revelation 19:19-21.
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:19-21 (NASB)
In this passage, the antichrist is symbolically referred to as the beast. We are told that Christ will kill him and defeat all of the armies of the nations of the world. This includes Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Scripture has not given any more details about what will happen. It appears that the major nations that are involved are the ones we have discussed in this study. Christ will bring an end to the feud between these brothers. Israel will be victorious only because their King will be victorious.
This helps us understand that Afghanistan could not long remain an ally of America or of the west in the end times. If we look at a map, it reveals that Afghanistan is the pathway for China to invade Israel. It is a strategically located country that can play an important role for China in the battle of Armageddon.
As a result, we may now have witnessed another important piece of the prophetic puzzle that had to be laid in place before the tribulation and battle of Armageddon can occur. These events may occur again if the rapture is hundreds of years into the future. But it is clear from Scripture that eventually the people who occupy the territory of Afghanistan would turn against Israel at the battle Armageddon. Afghanistan lies in the pathway that China needs to invade Israel. All the nations of the world will be at the battle of Armageddon.
God is fulfilling His divine plan and is allowing us to witness these important events. Again, this may be a precursor to a repeat event or it may not repeat again. If so, we are only closer to the rapture. Our God is faithful!
1. Zafiris Rossidis. “China, Iran, and Russia in the Middle East and the S.E. Mediterranean.” Hoover Institution. August 2, 2021.
2. Iran Says Ready to Work With Russia, China on Afghanistan ‘Peace.’ The Moscow Times. August 18, 2021.
3. “Isaiah is often quoted by Muslims to reference Arabia and the coming of Muhammad.” Muslim Prophets. 14 Jan 2019
5. Flavius Josephus. Book I, 6.1.
6. Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz. DESCENDANTS OF GOG & MAGOG JOIN RUSSIA, IRAN IN JOINT MILITARY DRILL. Israel365. December 3, 2019.
Recording — MP3:
God’s Timeline For The Future
How to Identify the Antichrist
What Will the Antichrist Do?
Twelve Signs of the End Times, part 1
Twelve Signs of the End Times, part 2
The Rapture of the Church
Does the battle of Gog and Magog occur after the Second Coming of Christ? — Ezekiel 38-39
Will the battle of Gog and Magog occur before Armageddon? — Ezekiel 38-39
What is the Battle of Armageddon? Which nations will be there?