Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.(Joel 3:19-21)
The Day of the Lord is a day of dealings with nations. God will bring the nations down to the valley of Jehoshaphat for a lawsuit, the charges based upon how they treated Israel. All nations will be called down, but in this high-definition vision of the end, a few of the nations are highlighted.
We have already discussed “Tyre and Sidon” and “the coasts of the Philistines” including the Gaza. God directly addresses these nations in a taunt prophecy. Currently they are raining rockets upon Israel with impunity.
Egypt is mentioned. The largest Arab nation, has undergone convulsions since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. Egypt’s secular president Mubarek was overthrown, and the Muslim Brotherhood took control of the nation, immediately denouncing the thirty year peace treaty with Israel, and persecuting the long time Coptic minority and other Christians in Egypt.
Eventually an Egyptian General Abdel Al-Sisi retrieved control of the nation, after bloody street battles and church burnings.
Scripture tells us that Egypt must undergo many more convulsions; a bloody Civil War, a cruel leader,terror and desolation of the land as Joel predicted. The expression Jesus used in Matthew 24, “Nation shall rise against nation and Kingdom against Kingdom…” comes directly from the book of Isaiah, speaking of the tribulations of Egypt.
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts.( Isaiah 19;1-4)
Joel echoes Ezekiel’s prediction that something so awful will happen to Egypt that the land will become desolate, uninhabitable for forty years! The Egyptians will be forced to go on an exodus, as well as other middle eastern cities and nations.(See the bold print).
L0 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: (Ezekiel 29:10-13)
Eventually Egypt’s future brightens, for she converts to Christianity and turns to the God of the Bible along with parts of Iraq and the survivors of Syria,
And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.( Isaiah 19:21-25)
Edom has a darker future. She too will be desolated at the coming of the Lord and parts of her shall be rendered uninhabitable forever. Christ himself will come to make war on Edom, and will spatter his clothes with the blood of his enemies there,
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.(Isaiah 63:1-4)
…for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea… For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever…(Isaiah 34:6-10)
Notice that Edom shall be eternally destroyed for her part in “The controversy of Zion”. The nations of the world argue that Israel has no right to the Holy land, they have voted time and again to deny her legitimacy. Just this week a dispute arose over that very piece of real estate, MT Zion. US Secretary of State John Kerry decreed that the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, is off-limits to Jewish prayers.
Judah and Jerusalem shall endure forever. In fact the last verse is a promise from God which is too often obscured by the KJV English.“I will cleanse her blood that I have not cleansed…”. God is saying of the blood of Jews shed with impunity by terrorists and partisans in the controversy of Zion, “I will now treat her blood as innocent blood, that up till now I have not treated as innocent…”.