For the fist time Turkish troops are fighting directly against the Syrian Army!
We are about to find out who is correct regarding Daniel chapter 8
By Craig C. White
Some significant things have happened in Syria this week. On Monday Turkish President Erdogan answered a question that nobody was asking. He said that Turkey has no plan to attack Syria while the Turkish Army is attacking the Kurds in Afrin. Of course Afrin is in Syria so that is a weird statement. I think that Erdogan’s remark tells us two things. First, he believes that northern Syria belongs to Turkey. Second, Turkey plans to attack other regions of Syria even as they are busy attacking northern Syria.
On Monday another large Turkish military convoy entered Syria from the Turkish border. This time the convoy headed for Idlib and not Afrin. My suspicions were confirmed on Tuesday when they began fighting directly against Syrian forces south of Aleppo. It turns out that Turkey had very definite plans to attack Syria elsewhere. This is the first time that the Turkish Army has directly fought against the Syrian Army. Iran is allied with Syrian President Assad and is already urging Turkey to stop their offensives in Syria. All this in one week!
Meanwhile in Damascus rebel groups began shelling the Old Damascus neighborhood which houses the Syrian capital. Fighting in Damascus has increased lately. A couple of weeks ago most rebel groups in Syria united under Turkish control. They call themselves the “National Army”. So it is probable that Turkey is directly supporting the rebel groups that are now shelling Damascus. Please note that most of these rebel groups are not Syrian but are for the most part foreign Sunni Muslim Al-Qaeda jihadists.
Jeremiah 49:23-27 describes the Turkish Army as they attack Hamah and Tell Rifaat in northwestern Syria and then destroy Damascus.
Jeremiah 49:23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
The next verse identifies the Old Damascus neighborhood. The capital of Syria will be destroyed.
Jeremiah 49:25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!
Turkish President Erdogan admitted that the sole reason why the Turkish Army has entered Syria is to remove Syria President Assad from power in Damascus.
Remember that I told you that Iran is objecting to the Turkish offensives in Syria? Well here is something worth considering. Some Bible teachers think that Turkey will attack Iran before the Antichrist rises. Some Bible teachers think that all of Daniel chapter 8 will happen during the end time. I don’t think so but we are all about to find out.
Daniel chapter 8 outlines the rise of the Media-Persian Empire as well as the Grecian Empire. So all of Daniel chapter 8 has already been fulfilled. However like many Bible prophesies, history often repeats itself. I don’t think that all of Daniel chapter 8 will be repeated but it is obvious that the references to the Grecian governor Antiochus Epiphanies in Daniel chapter 8 are also references to end time Antichrist. The New Testament tells us that the Antichrist will do many of the same things that Antiochus Epiphanies did long ago. The Antichrist will defile the newly built temple in Jerusalem (Dan 8:12-13, Mat 24:15). The Antichrist will exalt himself above the God of Israel (Dan 8:11, 2Th 2:4). The Antichrist will be empowered by Satan (Dan 8:23-25, 2Th 2:9-10). So we are very certain that the at least some of the references to Antiochus Epiphanies in Daniel chapter 8 do also apply to the end time Antichrist.
But what about the rest of Daniel chapter 8? Will the Grecian Empire again attack the Persian Empire? Bible prophecy teacher Joel Richardson says yes, sort of. Joel equates the Grecian Empire of long ago to Turkey today. Richardson says that the name Yavan or Javan that is translated as Grecia in Dan 8:21 can refer to Greece and also to Turkey. I want to say that it is pretty clear that Grecia or Yavan refers to Greece in Daniel chapter 8 and in world history. Nevertheless Yavan is typically located just to the west of Turkey in the Greek Isles so Yavan isn’t too far away from far western Turkey.
Joel Richardson points to the following verse in order to conclude that all of Daniel chapter 8 has end time application. Daniel’s vision is being interpreted by the angel Gabriel beginning at Daniel 8:19.
Dan 8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
Gabriel then quickly identifies the Media-Persian Empire as well as the Grecian Empire but doesn’t describe any of their actions. The angel Gabriel does detail the actions of the end time Antichrist through the same actions of Antiochus Epiphanies. So I would expect that only the details that are explained by Gabriel and that are also reiterated in the New Testament will be repeated during the end time. That means that I don’t think that Turkey will attack Iran at this time. But they might.
Let me say that I like Joel Richardson a lot. He is one of our very best Bible prophecy teachers. His view on Daniel chapter 8 is respectable.
Joel Richardson says that Turkey will attack Iran and overthrow the Iranian government. That is feasible since Turkey and Iran are now at odds over Syria. However, that scenario is not reiterated elsewhere in the Bible, especially not in the New Testament. So I don’t expect Turkey to attack Iran at this time.
Here is a side note: Joel Richardson concludes that since Greece first had a great king in Alexander the great; but that his empire was broken up and another king rose up (namely Antiochus Epiphanies), that another king will rise out of Turkey to become the Antichrist. I disagree. All of Daniel chapter 8 does not apply to the end time. There is nothing to prevent us from Identifying Turkish President Erdogan as the Antichrist.
If all of Daniel chapter 8 applies to end time events then we should expect Turkey to attack Iran now. If Turkey does not attack Iran now then that would open Joel Richardson’s understanding that Turkish President Erdogan is the Antichrist. We don’t need to wait for another king to arise out of Turkey. We are about to find out who is correct regarding Daniel chapter 8.