Could the book of Job possibly be encoding end time prophecy in regards to recent Israeli gas find?
If so, could it be setting out the basis for another prophecy to be fulfilled for the end time – coalition, being perhaps led by Russia, attacking Israel as noted by Ezekiel 38-39?
Israel, in recent two years, witnessed much landmark discoveries in its history. Starting with the Tamar and Dalit gas fields in 2009, making them the largest gas fields found in that year, which were followed by Leviathan gas field, about 130 km offshore of city of Haifa, a year later – being twice the gas reserves of Tamar – again, making it the biggest find in 2010.
Leviathan, named after a sea monster or serpent dwelling underneath the sea in the Bible, alone holds estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of gas and is estimated to be worth US $95 billion. It is said, Leviathan and Tamar reserves can serve as Israeli energy supply for the next 100 years. Indeed, it was remarkable for a nation that relied on its energy supplies mainly from imports.
What caught my eye, then, was this discovery was indeed part of the encoded end time prophecy to possibly trigger coalitional attack against Israel as set out by Ezekiel 38-39. Let us examine, by first looking at the situation surrounding the gas finds, then why it’s practical to see Russia will be made as a leader in the coalitional attack to Israel and what the Bible encodes about the works of ‘Leviathan’.
UNDERSTAND: ISRAELI GAS FIND – RUSSIA’S REASON TO TURN GREEN WITH ALL THAT ENVY
One of the top news headlines in Europe in early 2009 was the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute which eventually led Russia to block gas pipeline throwing entire Europe into a big ‘chill’ that winter – an event that merely confirmed two things; Europe’s desperate dependence of its energy supplies on Russia and the fact Russia, knowing this very well, isn’t afraid, after all, to deliver greater ‘shivers’ on cold winter nights to her European clients anytime it chooses to.
It is said, 90% of Russia’s total export of gas supply is solely for Europe, which means Europe is the single biggest market for Russia for its gas exports. (Russia controls the current network of gas pipelines to Europe.) And the fact that a little ice-age, in the long run, is now waiting for Europe cannot be good news, for it may come to a point where one may have to kneel down at Russia’s feet just for the heat.
Europe’s current attempt to break this monopoly by constructing 3,300 kilometre-long Nabucco pipelines rooting it primarily in Azerbaijan and perhaps in Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq also, is already facing obstacles and only have incited both Russian fury and, hence, its further construction of Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea and South Stream pipeline through south-eastern Europe that will further increase Russian dominance in its gas supply to Europe (For Russia will, then, have 3 gas pipelines to Europe). Not only Azerbaijan lacks in its gas supply quantity to meet the demands, but Azerbaijan also does not possess much power to resist pressure from Kremlin (which partly explains why the project has been stagnated for some time till now).
Moreover, participation by Turkmenistan (and let alone Iraq and Iran or even Russia) to fill up the Nabucco pipeline is very unlikely.
It is against this current milieu, that one must give a careful attention to in regards to Israel’s recent remarkable discoveries of gas fields that turned a helpless energy importer into a global energy exporter overnight. Israel is now seeking to create undersea gas pipeline from Israel’s gas reserves to Greece (which will be, then, supplied to other parts of Europe and the Balkans) which means, if actualised, it will be in direct competition with Russia’s new South Stream pipeline. Yes, Russia is already keeping eyes on its developments.
It will be a better option for Europe too – Israeli gas find is more than enough to fill up the pipes consistently, is not under Russian pressure (making Israel less controllable) and, perhaps, is more efficient way, once the undersea pipeline is built, to reach the heart of south and west Europe. But, there are problems.
The following is what has been developed and/or being developed and/or what needs to be noted concerning the Israeli gas finds.
1) The fact that Israel is seeking closer cooperation with Cyprus (for Leviathan find extends to waters of Cyprus) and Greece (for the undersea gas pipeline) is further upsetting Turkey (due to Cyprus dispute)
2) Turkey’s diplomatic ties with Israel at all time low – ever since Erdogan government took off, hostility towards Israel grew rapidly. Flotilla event was a unilateral provocation in the midst – now that Israeli gas export will directly interfere with Turkish interests of intermediating either Nabucco or Russian South Stream that will eventually have to go through Turkish territory, (i.e., Nabucco via Turkey to Austria by land and South Stream via Turkish part of Black Sea to Bulgaria) Turkey, just like Russia, will have greater reasons to gnash teeth against Israel.
3) Lebanon and Hezbollah (now backed by Iran) are accusing Israel of ‘stealing’ ‘their’ gas based on the allegation that portions of the gas lie on Lebanon’s maritime border of which neither Hezbollah nor Lebanon were able to provide solid evidences for.
Hezbollah vowed to defend claimed Lebanese resources with arsenal attacks and Lebanese Parliament recently passed undersea energy exploration rights law in 2012 in which the effort will be accompanied by Iran.
The fact that UN, who initially declined Lebanon’s request to protect its rights in Israeli gas find, is now coming back to flip-flop its original decision, will not help either.
4) Dispute against Israeli gas find creates an ideal pretext for Hezbollah to continue its ““liberation war” against Israel”
5) Russia, Syria, and Iran are inextricably linked by military alliance.
6) Iran and Iraq have just found huge gas fields.
7) Egypt, one of the key allies for Israel in the Arab world, also not happy as not only Israel no longer needs to import gas from Egypt, but as Israel sets out to export gas, this will, in turn, lower the gas price as well. It is now seeking to claim part of Israeli gas find.
8) Israel & US – trade dispute seems inevitable as Israel recently approved near doubling of the profit tax on gas and oil extracted from Israel. Houston based energy company Noble energy owns 39.66% of the Leviathan prospect and has been lobbying against the move to raise the tax. It has even enlisted Bill Clinton to help and threatened to sue Israel if tax rates are retroactively changed.
Trade dispute may create political retaliation (For instance, U.S. recognition for independent Palestinian state.)
9) The fact Tunisian revolt is creating a stir in the Arab world in hopes to achieve the same, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt – countries that have been mild to Israel – will no longer be able to speak out and take sides for US/Israel in this climate. These, instead, will allow growing favour for Turkey and Iran (notice they are non-Arab states) amongst Arabs – what are the common themes that these two nations tend to stress much these days? Isn’t it, “Jews are evil” or “Kill all the Jews”?
O RUSSIA, ARE YOU THE ONE?
Now let’s get back to Russia – Putin’s reaction to Nabucco, which obviously is a no match for Russia’s newly proposed South stream gas pipes, was an aggressive and cynical one.Well Nabucco did, in a sense, trigger Kremlin to invest extra money in building the South stream gas pipes – an investment that Russia, perhaps, didn’t need to make, if Nabucco were never considered in first place. But, once it is built, the South stream now needs to face another big, and it is indeed big, challenge of Leviathan + Tamar gas supplies heading to Europe, perhaps, via Greece. Moreover, Israeli energy independence will further reaffirm that Israel no longer needs Russian coal supplies, which contributes around 71% of Israel’s total electricity supply.
Well, vodka certainly won’t help cooling down Kremlin this time.
Also, take years back and recall that;
10) In 2008, it was agreed between Russia and Syria that Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartous to be converted into a permanent Russian Navy base. The port is currently being modernised in order to accommodate Russian heavy warships and we shall see the tangible Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean after 2012.
This is significant as it is a) the “only such Russian facility abroad”, b) allows continual military cooperation with Syria who politically supports Hezbollah and c) allows Israel to be within the target range.
11) Russia decided to strengthen its military ties with Syria after the breakout of Georgia war in 2008 and upon finding Israeli arms sales to the Georgian army. Such only gave a lame yet an inconceivable justification for Russia to continue its arms sales to Syria and Iran.
All these escalating geopolitic catastrophes, at a point, have to be exploded and the Bible rightly points these out.
Before the war of Gog and Magog as stated in Ezekiel 38-39 takes place, that is Russia (Ezekiel 38:2) (Here, I shall follow Gesenius’ interpretation. See my end notes <1>) being the head of coalition of Iran (38:5), Turkey (38:6) and states that are part of Arab influence (38:5-6) attacking Israel (38:8-18), I see the war(s) of Psalm 83, which, I think, describes current movement of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and ex Trans-Jordanians (that is, Palestinians or it could, possibly, be Jordanians) and possibly Iraq forming coalitional attack to Israel, and then the destruction of Damascus as prophesised in Isaiah 17, must take place first.
[i.e., War(s) of Psalm 83 ⇒ Isaiah 17 ⇒ War of Ezekiel 38-39]
This is based on the fact that modern day (possibly Iraq), Syria, and Palestinians (or Jordanians) are not mentioned in the list of nations that will attack Israel in Ezekiel 38.
Ezekiel 38, of course, gives vivid blueprint on how it all shall progress.
God says that He will “put hooks into” (v 4) Russia to draw her out with all her army,
along with her coalition and let she be the “guard” (v 7) over them in this attack.
The fact that the Russia is to become the leader in the coalition, which implies that the Iran, Turkey and other states mentioned in the Scriptures will first have to give that authority to Russia, resonates well with the current trend of Arabs demanding Russia to pressure Israel to change its policies and Russia, at the same time, seeking to strengthen “its own global position through” (this is an acute and brilliant article that gives clearer picture and fits into the prophecy) Middle East.
True. Russia maintains closer ties with Israel than ever, but it remains as “a symbolic gesture” and it is far from to change “Russia’s attitudes to events in the Middle East”
Continuing on with the prophecy, we shall see at that point many people would have been fully returned to Israel (v 8), and Russia will be tempted “to take plunder and to take booty” (vv 12-13) in Israel. Well, we know that Israeli gas finds will bring much prosperity to Israel. But, God will judge the coalition (vv 17-23 & Ezekiel 39) to an extent that their bodies will be devoured by ravenous birds and beasts of the field (39:4), and Israel will thus see that God is, after all, with them (39:22).
RE-LIGHTING THE BOOK OF JOB: END TIME PROPHECY ENCODED IN THE WHIRLWIND’S ANSWER
So, who is directly causing all this? Leviathan, of course!
One may just as well do a funny thought-experiment here just as I was inspired to do so – take the entire book of Job and contrast that context with that of current Israel. In doing so, take Job as an allegorical representation of current Israel. What becomes obvious, then, at the end, just as Job had realised his limits and his spiritual arrogance upon facing God’s rebuttal, so will Israel be like as such when they recognise who the Messiah, they’ve been longing for, was. Yet, in the rebuttal, why did God, out of blue, mentioned much about Leviathan in chapter 41 – just before Job’s repentance? Was it really just about “Leviathan so great who can stand? If so, then how much can you stand the Creator of it?” or could it be encoding something about Israeli gas find in the end time?
Let us examine Job 41, with these in mind. [V9, VV12-18, 22-30 and V33 omitted]
1. “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which
===> Compare this with Ezekiel 38:4.
2. Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?
3. Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you?
4. Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever?
5. Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you leash him for your maidens?
===> Obviously, these are words of irony. One cannot do such as the above
6. Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion
him among the merchants?
===> Well, there are attempts to do so with the gas field as explained above. It depicts current situation so well.
7. Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?
===> Possible reference to drilling?
8. Lay your hand on him; remember the battle– never do it again!
===> If one “lays hand” on it, would it mean that this will trigger the battle?
What kind of battle?
10. No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand
11. Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.
===> In other words, only God can stir it up.
19. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out.
20. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.
===> Vivid description here. Oil/Gas platforms, as we know, too, have rigs that
“shoot out” flame.
31. He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32. He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.
===> Interesting. Natural gas is mainly composed of methane. Now there have been reports of these (often) gigantic methane bubbles from (supposedly) gas fields surfacing up spontaneously which could possibly explain ships mysteriously sinking down. Some even says that this, likewise, explains the mystery of Bermuda triangle.
34. He beholds every high thing; he is king over all the children of pride.”
===> Sounds very much like a resemblance of Satan to me.
Then, there are other references of Leviathan in a similar context.
[Note, I’m, for now, reluctant to refer Psalm 74:13-14 which also mentions Leviathan
and relate it to the above as the context in the passage is likely (or not) referring to the crossing of the red sea and Egypt – this, nonetheless, is a difficult passage and it requires further study.]
[Psalm 104:26] “There go the ships: there is leviathan, whom Thou hast made to play therein”
[Isaiah 27:1] In that day, the LORD will punish with His sword, His fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; He will slay the monster of the sea.
Preceding verses in chapter 26 in Isaiah talk about (what appears to be) the great tribulation period (that is, latter 3 and half years of tribulation of 7 years) for Jews and in that context, the above verse is really about the end. Have a think on why it will be punished.
[Amos 9:3] And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;
Again, preceding chapter and the set context is evidently referring to the end and the judgment days.
[Psalm 44:19 KJV] Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.
Here, preceding verses of the above seem to me, depict and describe, surprisingly, the current situation of Israel. Now what is translated as “dragons” in Hebrews is תנין [tannı̂yn] and this word can either mean a great fish, a dragon, a crocodile or a jackal, a fox or a wolf. As much as so, a sea monster or a serpent too, just as what Leviathan is thought to be.
PROPHECY OF ISAIAH 27:1 YET TO BE FULFILLED…
It was rather a bizarre thought, I must admit, that a gas field named after a mystical creature that is known to tempt and cause conflict, only to be punished by God in the very end, in turn, was, after all, intangible yet tangible in its presence and actual in the reality – and already doing its work – tempting nations to direct their furies at Israel. What was, perhaps, thought to be surreal was, in fact, real.
So, then, knowing this, the outlook cannot be bright. Things will progress, as they have been, just as the word of God had set out, and in the process the gloomy events that are forecasted must come to pass for they shall, which serve as the other firm indicator that our God shall indeed punish that serpent in the end.
May the will of our Lord be done. Amen.
<1> The reasons that I see Gesenius’ interpretation of Rosh (רֹ֖אשׁ) being Russia most practical are as follows:
1) Even if we reject the above view and follow widely accepted view that נְשִׂ֕יא רֹ֖אשׁ (ne’si rosh) – where the term נְשִׂ֕יא (ne’si) means the prince, so נְשִׂ֕יא רֹ֖אשׁ would mean the chief prince indicating that it would be referring to a role, not necessarily a name of a nation, as also supported by Ezekiel 38:7, can, in fact, be a supporting evidence for, not against, that Russia is likely to be the candidate in taking that role for the current geopolitical climate, as analysed above, strongly supports so.
2) Quite often, the view that Meshech and Tubal as stated in Ezekiel 38:2 refer to modern day Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk is much criticised without giving much credits to etymological roots. Yet, just as much it may not have greater basis for them being so, there, equally, aren’t any sound reasons to discard the view.
3) For Ezekiel 38-39 is not to be equated as a battle of Armageddon or even war of Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:8 which will take place after the millennia kingdom of the Christ as Ezekiel 39:22 tells the otherwise. In the like manner, identity of Gog cannot be referring to either Cambyses, king of Persia or Antiochus Epiphanes of the past.