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Bible Articles and Lessons: N

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Nations "round about"

Who are the "nations/enemies round about"?

In most of the above, the immediate context answers the question: "Who are the 'nations round about'?" In a few instances, the answer comes from the wider context (ie, the section of a few chapters in which the passage is found).

When looking for a Last Days application, it makes sense to interpret the "nations round about" with reference to their proximity to Israel, which obviously is the point of reference of the prophets. Also, it makes sense to take those people who occupy those same geographical areas today as the logical successors of the peoples mentioned in the Bible. Such an interpretation harmonizes with a major Bible theme begun in Genesis: that God's chosen seed (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes of Israel) would be in almost perpetual conflict with those neighbors (and relatives!) nearest to them (Lot, Ishmael, Esau, etc) over the ownership of the special Land which God promised to them.

The practical implications for us? When studying Bible prophecy, look first to the Middle East, not to Europe. This may require, for some, a rethinking of their personal views on Last Days events. It would be wrong to reason: 'The Arabs can't be the intended peoples, because they don't fit into my prophetic scenario.' It may be the scenario itself that needs changing!

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