Egyptians upset about latest deal with Saudi Arabia, but 'King of the South' preludes taking place

  The Islands of Sanifir and Tiran

The Islands of Sanifir and Tiran


Egypt just gave two islands to Saudi Arabia:

April 15, 2016

CAIRO—Tensions flared in Egypt on Friday as protests over the handover of two islands to Saudi Arabia were dispersed or prevented by security forces with tear gas and military blockades.

Outside the Journalist Syndicate, one of the few places where protesting is still legal in Cairo, police held their ground for most of the day while hundreds of people chanted anti-government slogans.

Protesting the handover of the islands Tiran and Sanafir, activists shouted, “The people demand the end of the regime” and “Awad sold his land!”

The latter chant is an Egyptian proverb expressing shamefulness in giving up land. For many locals, it is considered an undignified denial of identity.

The Egyptian government says Saudi Arabia has legal and historical sovereignty over the islands, and it is simply returning the kingdom’s own land.

“We didn’t relinquish even a grain of sand,” said Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Wednesday.

Protesters said that neither the public nor the newly-elected parliament was consulted about the arrangement in advance. Tiran and Sanafir are not only strategically located, they are also part of an Egyptian national park in the Red Sea, famous for world-class scuba diving and snorkeling.

While many in Egypt are upset with this, this is one of several major developments bringing the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia together.  Notice one of those developments related to these islands:

April 15, 2016

Saudi-Egypt bridge

The transfer of the islands clears the way for Saudi Arabia to build a bridge linking Egypt and the kingdom by land, according to analysts.

On a recent state visit to Cairo intended to boost relations between the two Arab nations as Iran grows in geopolitical strength, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud pledged $24 billion in loans and investments to Egypt.

Saudi bids to build the bridge, which would be nearly 15 kilometers long, were part of the deal.

“This is going to be a huge economic boost in the region,” wrote Hussein Shobokshi, a commentator for the Saudi Gazette. “It will not only benefit the two countries, but will also help in improving economic ties between the African and Asian continents.”

Some officials insist that the transfer of power over the islands is not a prize given to the Saudis in exchange for aid, but a legal obligation.

Saudi Arabia passed its authority over the islands to Cairo in 1950, saying Egypt was better equipped militarily to secure the Straits of Tiran. In 1967, Israel grabbed them after war broke out when Egypt announced plans to ban Israeli ships from passing through the straits.

After the 1979 peace deal between Egypt and Israel, the islands were returned to Egyptian control, along with other lands.

The recent announcement that they will be returned to Saudi Arabia immediately provoked criticism from Egyptian commentators.

Officials said the critique was unfair and could damage relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“I think that all of these poisonous media outlets should stay silent until all the documents related to this deal come to parliament for discussion,” said Alaa Abed, a member of parliament, according to local media.

Building a bridge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia would tend to help cement ties between those nations and could be beneficial to the final King of the South of biblical prophecy (cf. Daniel 11:40). Notice also the following:

April 12, 2016

With a flourish at the end of a whirlwind visit to Cairo, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi signed close to thirty agreements worth billions of dollars.

But one stands out—a treaty through which Saudi Arabia will pay Egypt $2 billion for the reclaimed use of two tiny islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Why do they matter? Because the uninhabited specks known as Tiran and Sanafir rise over the waters that give access to the Gulf of Aqaba, a crucial waterway and the only point of entry to the Jordanian city of Aqaba and the Israeli city of Eilat.

The Red Sea is bounded by Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which are all declared or undeclared allies against the common enemy, Iran.

April 11, 2016

The two countries are engaging in a far-reaching alliance, in which the Saudis assign a very distinct role for Egypt; to be a protector of their regime and Kingdom. Egypt is weak economically, but much stronger militarily, and the Saudis may already now, very probably in the foreseeable future want and need Egyptian boots on the ground . . .

About four months ago, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a predominantly Islamic 34 nation military coalition (see ‘Saudi Arabia Announces 34-Nation Islamic Alliance Against Terrorism’ to Protect the ‘Islamic Nation’: Is the King of the South starting to form?). And this included Egypt.

And then about two months ago, what was billed as the world’s largest military exercise was conducted in Saudi Arabia, and it included Egyptian and other troops (see World’s largest military exercise taking place in Saudi Arabia–a prelude to the King of the South?).

Here is a Protestant and a Catholic translation of some of the passages in Daniel related to the King of the South:

40 “In the end times the southern king will attack him. The northern king will rush at him like a storm with chariots, horses, and many ships. He will invade countries, overwhelm them, and pass through their land. 41 He will invade the beautiful land, and tens of thousands will be defeated. But Edom, Moab, and the leaders of the Ammonites will escape from his power. 42 He will use his power against many countries. Even Egypt will not escape. 43 He will control gold and silver treasures and all Egypt’s treasuries. Libya and Sudan will surrender to him. (GOD’S WORD Translation)

40 ‘When the time comes for the End, the king of the south will try conclusions with him; but the king of the north will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on. 41 He will invade the Land of Splendour, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remains of the sons of Ammon will escape him. 42 ‘He will reach out to attack countries: Egypt will not escape him. 43 The gold and silver treasures and all the valuables of Egypt will lie in his power. Libyans and Cushites will be at his feet: (Daniel 11:40-43, New Jerusalem Bible)

Notice that the time will come when the King of the South will lead a major military force against the final King of the North. While the final King of the South has not yet formed, and will one day fail, steps to form the biblically-prophesied confederation are taking place.

Also notice that the Bible shows, in another place, that a time is coming when the confederation of Arabs and Egypt will be destroyed and it is in the FUTURE as it is near the day of the LORD:

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

“‘Wail and say, “Alas for that day!” 3 For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near- a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. 4 A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down.

5 Cush and Put, Lydia and all Arabia, Libya and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

6 “‘This is what the LORD says:

“‘The allies of Egypt will fall and her proud strength will fail. From Migdol to Aswan they will fall by the sword within her, declares the Sovereign LORD. 7 “‘They will be desolate among desolate lands, and their cities will lie among ruined cities. 8 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I set fire to Egypt and all her helpers are crushed.

9 “‘On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come (Ezekiel 30:1-9, NIV).

And this seems to be the destruction of the King of the South by theKing of the North in Daniel 11:40-43 as Ezekiel 30:4-5 sound very much like Daniel 11:42-43.

Prophesied events are moving ahead.  Deals between Egypt and Saudi Arabia may well be setting the stage for the rise of the King of the South.

News presenter:  John Hickey