The Time When The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will Exalt Against Israel’s Borders
In the article Within Three Years The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is to be Despised we studied that the Moabites and the Ammonites were descendants from the incestuous relations between Lot and his oldest daughter and his second daughter, respectively, inherited the territories of what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. And we also studied the prophecy concerning Moab that Within three years the glory of Mo’av is to be despised for all its great multitude, and the remnant shall be few, small and weak, (Isa 16:6-14).
In this article we will continue to study the fate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan concerning the other two nations that once lived in the territory occupied today by the Hashemites: Ammon and Edom. We will read the prophecies concerning the Ammonites as found in Jer 49:1-6, and concerning Edom: in Jer 49:7-22.
The prophecy concerning the Ammonites
Therefore see, the days are coming, declares Yehovah, when I shall sound a battle cry in Rabbah of the Ammonites. And it shall be a heap, a wasteland, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, declares Yehovah… Why do you boast in the valleys, your flowing valley, O backsliding daughter who is trusting in her treasures, saying, ‘Who would come against me?’ See, I am bringing fear upon you, from all those around you, declares the Master Yehovah of hosts. And you shall be driven out, each one straight ahead, with no one to bring home the wanderer. And after this I turn back the captivity of the children of Ammon, declares Yehovah. (Jer 49:2-6)
A few things we should notice here. Like in the prophecy concerning Moab, his brother Ammon is to be utterly destroyed and his land turned into waste and ravaged. This destruction will come from the nations that are around Ammon and those who will survive will flee or be taken in exile, but at the end a remnant will return and will be small and weak.
The direct address, “O backsliding daughter” is made with reference to the fact that the Ammonites have denied their descent from Lot the nephew of Avraham, behaved like enemies towards Israel, who is also a descendant from Avraham. We derive this from Jer 31:22 where the exact phrase “O backsliding daughter” is used concerning Israel. By denying any relation to Avraham through his direct descendant Israel, the son of Lot, Ammon, will boast in his territory saying “Who would come against me?” In trusting his riches and in his exaltation against Israel, like his brother Moav (Jer 48:7), Ammon will bring fear and calamity upon himself and his end will come swiftly.
The phrase Then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him cannot possibly denote (is the opinion of the present author) that Israel will participate in any coalition of nations against Ammon, but rather that after Ammon is dispossessed from the land, the descendants of Gad will retake what was theirs. And this is how the prophecy concerning Ammon begins in Jer 49:1: with a question full of reproach: “Has Israel no sons who could take possession of his land as their inheritance, that the king of the Ammonites has taken possession of Gad?” Thus, the prophecy is referring to the hereditary portion of the tribe of Gad. This reproach presupposes that the land the Ammonites occupy today still belongs to the Gadites, the sons of Israel.
Yet, after the punishment on Ammon is fulfilled, the fortune of Ammon will also be changed, as it will be with his brother Moab (Jer 48:47): And after this I turn back the captivity of the children of Ammon, declares Yehovah.
Regarding whether this prophecy has been already fulfilled, just like in the case of Moab, we see that Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews Book 10, Chapter 9:7 states that the king Babylon Nebuchadnezzar, in the fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem, made war on the Moabites and Ammonites and subdued them, which can only mean that they existed at that time. Moreover, after the return of the Israelites from the exile in Babylon, the two nations are mentioned again in Ezr 9:1, Neh 13:1, and Neh 13:23 meaning they were still in existence after the exile.
There is no mention, however, made of this people during the Maccabean period, where the wars of Maccabees with the Edomites (1 Macc. 5:3 and 6) are recorded. Again, what happened to Moab and Ammon we do not know. They might have mingled with the Arabs in their conquest of West Asia and cease to exist as independent nations, or their direct descendants may still continue to exist today.
At any rate, what is certain is that Moab and Ammon will share a common fate: that of destruction of their land ceasing being nations. And all this is due to the pride they had against YHVH and His people, but no concrete reason we are given as to the subject of their pride and boasting.
However, we find this subject of pride and boasting, as we further read in the prophecy concerning Moab and Ammon from the Books of Zephaniah:
I have heard the reproach of Mo’av, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, with which they have reproached My people, and exalted themselves against their borders. Therefore, as I live, declares Yehovah of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, Mo’av shall be like Sodom, and the children of Ammon like Gomorrah – a possession for weeds and a pit of salt, and a waste forever, the remnant of My people plunder them, and the rest of My nation possess them. This is what they get for their pride, because they have reproached and exalted themselves against the people of Yehovah of hosts. (Zep 2:8-10)
We see right there what Moab and Ammon exalted against: the borders of Israel, and what they will get: the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, all because the Moabites and Ammonites have reproached and exalted against the people of YHVH. From this we deduce that to exalt against the borders of the land YHVH promised and gave to the descendants of Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov, is to exalt against YHVH Himself.
This reproach and exaltation of Moab and Ammon (today’s The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) is from ancient times until today. The Moabites and Ammonites, who let us not forget are blood-related to the Israelites through Avraham, manifested hostility to Israel on every possible occasion in their common history. Even in the time of the Book of Numbers, the Moabitish king Balak sought to destroy Israel by Bil’am ‘s curses (Numbers 22), but in return, the Moabites were those who were threatened with extermination by the blessings Bil’am uttered in Num 24:17:
I see Him, but not now; I observe Him, but not near. A Star shall come out of Ya‛akov, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Mo’av, and shall destroy all the sons of Sheth. (Num 24:17)
All because they did not allow Israel to pass through their land to take possession of the Promised Land: they exalted themselves against their borders.
In the time of Judges, we find, Ammonites oppressed Israel and made him serve them: because they exalted themselves against their borders.
Thus said Yehovah, For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I do not turn it back, because they ripped open the pregnant women in Gil‛ad, to enlarge their border. (Amo 1:13)
The Ammonites did those atrocities against Israel in order to enlarge their borders. Pride and haughtiness, high-minded self-exaltation above Israel as the nation of YHVH, is the charge against the Moabites and Ammonites: because they exalted themselves against their borders.
Thus said the Master Yehovah, Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My set-apart place when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was ruined, and against the house of Yehudah when they went into exile, therefore, see, I am giving you as a possession to the men of the East, … For this is what the Master Yehovah said, Because you clapped your hands, and you stamped your feet, and rejoiced with all the scorn of your soul against the land of Israel, therefore see, I Myself shall stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations. And I shall cut you off from the peoples, and make you perish from the lands. I shall destroy you, and you shall know that I am Yehovah. (Eze 25:3-7)
In the time of of destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple when Israel went to exile, they exalted themselves against their borders.
The curse on the Moabites and Ammonites that their lands will be devastated and taken by the people of YHVH is not to be taken as referring to any particular historical occurrences. Neither had Moabites nor Ammonites ever been taken permanent possession of by Israel. The reason being is that Israel is not to enter into such possession until YHVH turns the captivity of Yehudah (Judah). We read again from Zephaniah 2:
And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Yehudah. They shall feed their flocks on it, at evening they lie down in the houses of Ashqelon. Because Yehovah their Elohim shall visit them and turn back their captivity. (Zep 2:7)
This statement read in the context of Zep 2:8-10 quoted above leads to the conclusion that the fulfillment is still in the future, since only the southern kingdom of Yehudah (aka Jews) has returned and still returning from the longest exile, that of Rome.
For more insight into the Bible prophecy concerning the return of Israel, the reader may refer to the articles Will All Israel Return? and When Will Israel Return?
The prophecy concerning Edom
But as for Me, I shall make Eisav bare. I shall uncover his hiding places, so that he is unable to conceal himself. His seed is ravaged, his brothers and his neighbors, and he is no more. Leave your fatherless children, let Me keep them alive. And let your widows trust in Me. For thus said Yehovah, See, those whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have certainly drunk. And are you the one to go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but certainly drink of it. For I have sworn by Myself, declares Yehovah, that Botsrah is to become a ruin, a reproach, a waste, and a curse, and all its cities become everlasting wastes. I have heard a report from Yehovah, and an envoy has been sent to the nations, Gather together, come against her, and rise up to battle! For look, I shall make you small among nations, despised among men. The dread for you, the pride of your heart, has deceived you, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, holding the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, from there I bring you down, declares the Master. (Jer 49:10-16)
When the nation of Israel approached the land, Elohim told them not to strive with the Edomites, because He had not given Israel any of their land, not so much as one footstep. And when they would pass, what food and water they needed to buy from them they would buy it with silver (Deu 2:4-6). And also He told them not to distress Moab, nor stir themselves up against them in battle, for He had not given them any of their land as a possession, because He had given that land to the descendants of Lot (Deu 2:9).
The same instructions were given concerning the land of Ammon (Deu 2:19). That was fair. The Edomites (descendants of Eisav twin-brother of Ya’akov), the Moabites and Ammonites (descendants from Lot), whom Israel were to leave undisturbed in their possession, were to keep their lands because they were kindred nations to Israel.
But this is not how those kindred nations treated Israel from that time on. Edom did not allow the Israelites to pass in a peaceful manner through their land (Numbers 20), despite the laws the Israelites were given to preserve a brotherly attitude towards Edom.
Edom, like Moab and Ammon, was prideful and also turn against his brother Ya’akov. The fact that the Israelites were their brethren, should have been sufficient to the Edomites to give support to Israel. Instead, they not only refused to join the brother nation, but they joined their enemies to afflict even more suffering upon their brethren.
It was Edom whose auxiliary troops joined the Roman army when Jerusalem was sacked and the Second Temple burned to the ground. This should not be a surprise since that hostile behavior of Edom (Eisav) arose from the very beginning when Israel was elected to be the chosen nation, as we read in Gen 27:41. That hostility was transmitted to his descendants, and came out openly even in the modern times.
We will keep on reading from the prophecy in the vision of Ovadyah (Obadiah). We should know that Ovadyah was an Edomite but embraced the faith and became a part of Israel; this is what we find in Leviticus Rabba, p 97. We read in Obadiah 1.
The vision of Ovadyah: the vision begins with the calling of (all) nation to summon against Edom for battle because he was found greatly despised for the pride of his heart for saying ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ (Oba 1:1-3). No one will come to help him; even his allies will deceive Edom and overpower him (Oba 1:7). In that day which Elohim has chosen to punish the Edomites, He will punish first their leaders so that everyone from Edom is cut off because of the violence they committed against their brothers the Israelites and rejoiced over them in the day of their destruction (Oba 1:8-14). Because the day of YHVH is near and will come upon all the nations as it will come upon Edom. And whatever Edom has done to Israel, the same shall be done to him (Oba 1:15-16).
While the judgment is falling upon all the nations which will come against Israel, Mount Zion will be a shelter for those who will escape and they will be delivered. Israel will capture their possessions and destroy Edom, and extend its borders on every side as the Israelites in exile will return in the land to possess it and the millennial reign of YHVH is established (Oba 1:17-21).
What the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan cannot swallow
By now, we should have noticed the striking similarities of the fates of the three nations of Moab, Ammon, and Edom, that once occupied the land east of Jordan River: the land of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today. By occupying the land of Moab, Ammon, and Edom, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represents them in the light of the end-time prophecy and it cannot be called their representation without respect to likeness, as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today fulfills all essentials to be called their representative.
Those essentials include but are not limited to inherited antagonism and hostility towards the State of Israel. Pride, arrogance, and boasting, are exactly what qualifies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to represent the nemesis of Israel from ancient times: Moab, Ammon, and Edom, in addition to the exact geographical location.
But as noted above, there is one thing that characterizes best the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: the reproach and the revilings, with which they have reproached My people, and exalted themselves against their borders. (Zep 2:8) This is exactly what the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan exalts against today: the borders of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan swallowed the fact that Israel is a developed and prospering country that turned the desert into a garden.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan swallowed the fact that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan swallowed the fact that Israel is a leader in science and technology not only in the region, but also in the world. Many inventions of science and technology which we take today for granted originated in Israel.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan swallowed the fact that the Israelis are happy people despite the Arab terrorism and the wars in the Middle East. All of these The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could swallow, but what Jordan could not and cannot swallow is that the State of Israel exists in her own homeland, within her own borders.
The Jews returned in the land of the fathers after nearly 2,000 years of exile: the longest exile in the history of Israel, and established their own state in the midst of hostility and hatred. This is what the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could not swallow.
As soon as the Jews declared the State of Israel in 1948, on the very next day all Arab countries, led by The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, attacked the newly established state and the War of Independence began. Despite all odds and expectations that that would be the end, Israel emerged victoriously with enlarged borders she took from her neighbors. This is what the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could not swallow.
In 1967, again the Arabs made another attempt to destroy Israel once and for all and drive the Jews in the sea. Israel preemptively responded and within six days she not only destroyed the surrounding hostile Arab armies in a humiliating way, but enlarged her territory almost to the borders promised to Avraham. Jerusalem was again a part of Israel and the Temple Mount: in the hands of Jews. This is what the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could not swallow.
In 1973, on the most set-apart day of the year in Israel, Yom Kippur, the Arabs invaded Israel with enormous military power while the Jews were praying to YHVH in the synagogues. They almost succeeded in the first days of the war when Israel lost about 3,000 soldiers. That was the price Israel paid because she did not give praise to Elohim alone, but to IDF. But Merciful One of Israel interfered in the most crucial moment of the war as Israel faced the danger of a total annihilation. Israel again won an impossible war, extended her borders, and if it was not the threat from the Soviet Union and the pressure from the U.S., the IDF troops could have marched in Cairo and Damascus. This is what the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could not swallow.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan could not swallow the fact that Israel is back in the land to stay there forever with Jerusalem as her capital.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan silently admitted that Israel could not be defeated militarily and they took a different approach: that of diplomacy. The Arab countries have repeatedly denied the undeniable Israel’s historical, spiritual and emotional ties to the land, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount not without the Jordanian initiatives on the international forums. And indeed, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan repeatedly seek to undermine Israel’s legitimacy to the land, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount. And all of this because of His loftiness and arrogance and pride and of the haughtiness of his heart to exalt against Israel’s borders.
I have heard the reproach of Mo’av, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, with which they have reproached My people, and exalted themselves against their borders. (Zep 2:8)
When pride of the king of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan reaches the heaven, then within three years the glory of his kingdom shall be despised.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.