Double Fulfillment: Part I
The Oracle against Egypt Phase II (Isaiah Chapters 18-20)
Double fulfillment is an understanding of biblical prophecy residing within the Dispensational view of God’s plan for administering the affairs of mankind. A prophecy with both a historic and an expected future fulfillment is viewed as a prophecy that signals double fulfillment. As we all know, history tends to repeat itself. The heart of mankind has remained stained with the same sins since its expulsion from the Garden of Eden, almost 6,000 years ago. Double fulfillment falls right in line with this truth.
If you are looking for an example of a prophecy that signals double fulfillment, then you need to look no further than the current crisis surrounding Egypt. In the Book of Isaiah, immediately following the famous judgment oracle against Damascus, several more oracles concerning Egypt, Israel, and Ethiopia are announced in chapters 18 – 20. Specifically, the prophecies concern civil war in Egypt, along with the waters of its river and sea failing, and the trust put in Ethiopia by Israel.
Just as these prophecies were initially fulfilled between 715 and 671 B.C., current events show they will likely be fulfilled again in the near future. In the past, Israel was led by its leaders to forge alliances with its enemies. Today, Israel is being led to the same fate again.
“Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, therefore you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings; in the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow” (Isaiah 17:10-11).
A portion of the prophecy of Isaiah 19:1-15 was fulfilled in the seventh century B.C., when civil war broke out in Egypt following the death of the ruler Terhakah and the subsequent defeat and takeover by Assyria. This initial fulfillment was finalized some 20 years later when Egypt was united again under Psammetichus, likely the cruel master of verse 4.
The second and final fulfillment of this prophecy is beginning to occur today. No one can deny that the streets of Cairo are filled with “Egyptians against Egyptians” and “bothers fighting brothers” and “neighbors against neighbors”. To explore more of the final fulfillment of verses 5 – 15, let’s turn our attention to Ethiopia, as named by the oracle of chapter 20.
A major threat to the future stability of Egypt is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, or the GERD, planned to be the largest hydroelectric power dam on the African continent. The waters of the Blue Nile that flow to Egypt have already been diverted ahead of building the GERD, and are soon to be sealed up after the schedule completion of it in July 2017.
Here is a quote from an article published on usnews.com in August of 2013:
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam, the largest in Africa when it is completed, will be a major boom to the Ethiopian economy, and a major threat to Egypt’s… and within the next decade even without the Ethiopian dam project the stress on the water supply of Egypt will reach the crisis point. Sudan and
Egypt reportedly signed a secret military agreement to bomb the dam, they are so fearful of the Ethiopian project. Morsi in a speech June 10th weeks before his removal said “We will defend each drop of the Nile with our blood.”
Wow. Maybe Morsi read the following Bible verses:
“The waters will fail from the sea, and the river will be wasted and dried up. The rivers will turn foul; the brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up; the reeds and rushes will wither. The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River, and everything sown by the River, will wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishermen also will mourn; all those will lament who cast hooks into the River, and they will languish who spread nets on the waters” (Isaiah 19:5-8).
The building site for the GERD was initially identified by the United States Bureau of Reclamation during a survey of the Blue Nile between 1956 and 1964. Although the Ethiopian government claims that its goal is to fund the entire cost of building the dam, China has emerged as a primary investor. In the near future Israel may likely be tempted to forge an alliance with the primary financier of the GERD to gain some control over Egypt. As we already know, any alliance with China is sure to backfire.
Ethiopia is becoming a major power player in the region, even being relied upon by the EU as the primary broker for peace between Sudan and South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. If China holds no authority over the GERD, Israel may try to convince Ethiopia to exercise its own authority to dam up the waters of the Nile to cause a great drought in Egypt. This threat would be sure to terrify Egypt.
“And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has determined against it” (Isaiah 19:17).
If Israel does indeed trust and forge an alliance with Ethiopia, the following verse sums up the outcome of such an expectation:
“Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory” (Isaiah 20:5).
The end of the road for this present age is approaching fast, and the signs along the road are becoming clearer every day.
Look for part 2 of this article: “Double Fulfillment: It’s the water stupid.”