The Berean Expositor
Volume 37 - Page 130 of 208
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The Prophetic Earth.
The "earth" as defined by the Prophets.
pp. 17 - 20
From the combined evidence of the words oikoumene and tebel, together with the
testimony of Scripture concerning the extent of the dominion of the successive kings of
the Gentile dynasty, we appear to be well within the truth, if we affirm that the prophetic
earth extends from Spain in the west, the furthermost point of the Roman Empire, to the
Indus in the East, the furthermost point of the Persian Empire, which necessarily includes
all that was ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar. It seems a sound argument to affirm that by
reason of Israel's lo-ammi condition at Acts 28:, the time element in the history of
the successive rulers from Nebuchadnezzar should cease to have a place, and it seems
reasonable to believe that when the prophetic clock again begins to tick, the parenthesis
will be closed and the powers indicated by the two feet and the ten toes (which toes are
symbols of the ten kings yet to reign with the Beast at the time of the end) will reign, in
the first place, over the same territory as was governed by their predecessors. Some
commentators look for the revival of the Roman Empire, and would place the ten kings in
Europe, but at the time of the end, the last power will apparently combine in itself all
the powers of each successive ruler (Dan. 2: 45; 7: 4-7; with Rev. 13: 1, 2), and
Rev. 17: and 18:, together with Jer. 51: makes it clear that Babylon also is to be
revived. These features convince us that we have attained with a fair approximation of
truth to the extent of the prophetic earth. The prophets contain a number of geographical
references, and it is our present intention to consider them with a view to discovering
how far they do or do not conform to the limits we feel bound, at the moment, to set to
the extent of the prophetic earth.
Commencing our reading with Isaiah, we find that every geographical reference in the
first twelve chapters falls well within the limits suggested, unless we take exception to
"the islands of the sea" and "the four corners of the earth" (Isa. 11: 11, 12). These are
undefined and for the moment must be left out of the account. With chapter thirteen, a
series of prophetic "burdens" commences, and each burden is connected with a special
land or nation. Thus Babylon, Moab, Damascus, Egypt, Tyre and such less defined
places as "the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia", "the
desert of the sea" and "the valley of vision" (Isa. 13:-23:). If we continue and read on
to the last chapter, we shall discover that the prophecy has Jerusalem for its centre, and in
the bulk of references the lands mentioned are in the immediate vicinity of the holy land.
In chapter sixty-six, we read of Tarshish, Pul and Lud, Tubal and Javan. Taken by
itself Tarshish could indicate a Phoenician port in Spain, but it is associated in Ezekiel
with Persia (Ezek. 27: 10 and 12) and is linked with Pul and Lud, it appears
therefore that the Tarshish of I Kings 10: 22 and Jer. 10: 9 is intended, and that this
would be somewhere in the vicinity of the Red Sea. Pul is connected with Assyria
(II Kings 15: 19) and Lud is associated with Persia in Ezek. 27: 10. So also, in the
same chapter of Ezekiel, is found Javan and Tubal, these are Japhetic peoples, Javan
being looked upon as the representative of the Greek race, Alexander the Great being