And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,(Genesis 10-the table of Nations)
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.(Genesis 11:2-4)
Shinar is an ancient name for the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It means “To Throw Down”, or “Violence”, or “throwing out”. How sadly fitting. The Oldest civilization in the world, whose name literally alludes to a violent act. Such is fallen man.
The core idea of root שער (sh’r I) is to split open, to break through. Thus, for a meaning of the name Shinar, Jones reads Casting Out, or Scattering In All Manner Of Ways, but admits that “the derivation, however, is very uncertain.”(Abarim Publications-Shinar Etymology)
It is the considered even by secular sources to be the cradle of civilization. All false religions sprang out of the worldwide apostasy that occurred there in the days of the tower of Babel. The Patriarch Abram went from being a moon worshipping idolater to become a “Hebrew”, when the true and living God revealed himself to Him and called him to “cross over”(Hebrew) the Euphrates river , and become his worshipper and eventually the”Father of many nations”.
It was in that Land that Jonah was vomited up from a fish to make his way to Ninevah(Mosul) to warn the wicked city of an impending judgment. He mourned when the whole city repented, because Jonah knew that God would even forgive the brutal Ninevites!
Another internationally feared Empire rose up out of the “land between two rivers”(Mesopotamia), which God used to severely chastise his chosen people, when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the Temple and took most of the Jewish people into captivity for 70 years.
It is the place where Daniel grew up and ministered, and it was in one of its palaces that the Hand writing was seen on the wall during a drunken orgy, when the Pagan Babylonians profaned the Holy vessels of the Temple of God. That very night the Medo Persian Empire took possession and Babylon ceased from being a world power.
Over the centuries it became a possession of Alexander the Great, Babylonian, Assyrian, Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanian empires .Eventually it came under the power of the rampaging Muslim armies.
It was in Iraq, on the plain of Karbala, that the great schism of Islam broke out into bloody fighting, the Sunni eventually defeating the Shia, and slaughtering Mohammed’s nephew and his six month old son.Baghdad at one time was the seat of the Sunni Caliphate, in the golden days of Islam, when a Sunni could write a check in Cairo and cash it in Baghdad. Eventually the Arab capitol came under the power of the Ottomans.
Iraq would come under the rule of Mongols, then Muslims again, eventually(16 th century( it would come under the Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Rule came to an end after the first World War, the Arab Muslims siding with the Germans.
The victors , France and England, literally redrew the maps of the Middle Eastern territories they had conquered, often with straight-edged lines, and no consideration for tribe or clan. They cobbled together a nation consisting of Shia majority, Sunni ruling class, Kurds and Chaldean Christian minority.
Iraq came under the British Empire, but only briefly, for in 1921 the British allowed the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq.
There was a coup detat in 1958, Iraq became an Arab republic. Under the Baath party(Arab Nationalism), Saddam Hussein ruled from 1979-2003. between 1980-1988, Iraq and Iran(Persia) underwent a brutal war, in which World War 1 style tactics were used, including poisen gas, and half a million died and more were maimed.
Eventually The world formed a coalition against Saddam when His forces invaded Kuwait in 1990. Iraq underwent invasion, bombing and agonizing sanctions, but the invasion ended abruptly(On the very date of the Feast of Purim), in 1991. Saddam was deposed, there was a second invasion in 2003, and the nation cam under the occupation of a US and British led coalition.
The US battled Guerrilla armies and sought to “nation build” the Muslim country, bringing in a form of democracy, and pouring money into the infrastructure. But in 2011 the Obama administration against the will of his own generals and advisors, declared the war over and all but a very minute American military presence went home.
Int the vacuum poured an American equipped and trained army of savages, the Sunni ISIS, (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) swept in from the seige of Assad of Syria, and captured most of the northern half of Iraq with relatively few men. The US trained Iraqi army melted, many shedding uniforms and weapons, leaving them for the savages, who perfored mass , ritual murders in the streets and played soccer with severed heads..
It is interesting to me that the acronym ISIS is also the ancient name for the Babylonian female deity, also known as Astarte or Ishtar. Her symbol was the crescent moon and a star. All false religion is a variation of “Mystry Babylon, mother of all harlots and abominations. Islam is merely ancient Paganism force into a perverted monotheistic strait jacket.
Now this terrorist Sunni army is bristling with US tanks, humvees, and stinger air missiles among other world class wagons, and is also flush with billions of dollars plundered from banks in the oil rich Mosul region.
The Kurds are bracing themselves in the Northeast enclave they have secured for themselves, and the Shiites are pouring into recruiting stations in Baghdad. Theree divisions of the Iranian republican guard are deployed, and Vladimir Putin of Russia has assured the beleagured Shia president Maliki of full Russian support in the upcoming war.
The Land of Iraq is not slated by the Most High God for a peaceful American occupation, God has a plan for it, which dosn’t rally include the Americans. I believe that Iraq will soon go back into being “Shinar” again, and a place that will once again connect disparate factions of the world into a violent unity.
The Prophet Zechariah saw a vision of “wickedness” being taken in a basket to establish itself in the world. The destination? Shinar!
Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.
My friend Jacob Prasch has an excellent article on this vision at The Woman In The Basket
I am not saying Iraq will change its name in fact, but Shinar is coming back with a vengeance spiritually. God has a grim prophetic plan for the region.