The Berean Expositor
Volume 36 - Page 149 of 243
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The Prophetic Earth.
The meaning and bearing of the word "oikoumene".
pp. 178 - 180
World events, coupled with the recent acknowledgment of Israel as a nation, have
turned the thoughts of many believers to Prophecy, the Second Coming and the many
strange and startling statements of Holy Writ concerning "the end".
In other issues we have given expositions of the books of Daniel, Isaiah and the
Revelation, in this series we are limiting our enquiry to the question "what is the extent of
the Prophetic earth?" When we read of men's hearts failing them for fear in looking after
those things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21: 26) are we to understand the
trouble in the Far East, China and other distant lands, or is this passage concerned with a
much more limited area? When we read of wars and rumours of wars, when nation shall
rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24: 7) are we to look at the
threat of "world", or as the word is "global" war, or are we to remember that the
quotation from Isa. 19: 2 rather focuses our attention upon Egypt? Does the king of the
North spoken of in Daniel refer to Russia? If so does this mean that the Soviet Union
will be dissolved and Russia once again be ruled by a "king"? This seems well nigh
impossible. Shall we therefore set aside the term "king" as negligible? and if we do what
value can we place on any term used by the prophets?  Is there any warrant for
associating the name Meshech with Moscow? Does Rosh mean Russia? Is Tubal,
Tobolsk (Ezek. 37: 2)? Scripture speaks of ten kings that are to rule under the
antichristian beast at the time of the end. Will these kings sit on thrones as far removed
as China and Brazil? Or will their dominion be limited to the lands ruled over by the
Gentile powers envisaged in the image of Dan. 2:?  This however, in itself, raises
another question or series of questions. Does Rome come in the image at all? If it does,
will the Roman Empire be renewed? If it will not be renewed, is it not reasonable to
expect that where the prophecy was broken off, there it will be resumed? Can the final
phase, the feet and the toes of the image, cover a greater area in rule and dominion, than
that governed by the Gold, Silver, and Copper phases of the great image in Dan. 2:, at
the time of the rejection of Christ? It will be agreed, we trust, by all who value the light
of prophecy, that our enquiry is a serious one, the answers to which must materially
influence our interpretation of prophecy in general. We must neither seek an answer, nor
expect one, from the opinions of men, of whatever rank and qualification they may be--
our only answer can come from the Scriptures themselves. Let us make a test of the
passage already quoted from Luke 21: 26:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are
coming on the earth."
What is the word used in the original here for the "earth"? The contextual reference to
sun, moon and stars, would suggest nothing less than the whole world is in view. Yet,
when we examine the passage we discover that the word translated "earth" here is the