A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 8 — Iran vs Turkey

“As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. And the shaggy goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.”

Daniel 8:20-21

As I said in my last post about Daniel 8, the vision Daniel received was concerning the appointed time of the end, which means that it will occur in the latter days and is yet future. If this interpretation is accurate, then we should expect a regional conflict between the modern states of Iran and Turkey in the comings days. This regional war will be critical, primarily because of the geopolitical shuffling that will take place afterward.

According to Daniel, the little horn — aka Antichrist — will emerge on the world stage following the war between Iran and Turkey [see Daniel 8:8-14].

So let’s investigate this a little further from both a Biblical and a geopolitical perspective.

Biblical Greece is JAVAN — Modern-Day Turkey

While most scholars, historians, and political pundits universally agree that the ancient empire of Medo-Persia represents the modern-day state of Iran, there is some debate and disagreement about the modern-day identity of ancient Greece — or Javan. From a contemporary western perspective, Greece is usually associated with the Greek Isles of Eastern Europe, but a closer look at the Biblical identity of Greece — Javan — provides a more accurate picture.

Javan was the fourth son born to Japheth, son of Noah (Genesis 10:2), whose descendants traditionally settled in the coastlands of Asia Minor around the Aegean Sea. Javan is identified with ancient Ionia — or Anatolia — which occupied the territory of modern-day Turkey. Ancient Greece primarily is associated with the Macedonian Empire that reached its zenith under Alexander the Great, King of Javan. Of course ancient Greece included the Greek Isles, but the heart of Javan has always been Asia Minor — aka modern-day Turkey. Under Alexander, Greece expanded south and eastward into Northern Africa and the Middle East, eventually conquering Persia.

This distinction is essential in understanding Daniel 8 because modern-day Turkey (Javan) not only is the most powerful Sunni Muslim nation in the world, but also it has been flexing its muscles and expressing ambition to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan became Turkish Prime Minister in 2003 and since has established unprecedented unilateral power of the government. His blind ambition to enforce Turkish dominance in the Middle East is no secret. Turkey has the means and motive to demonstrate their military power at any given moment.

If we are reading Daniel 8 correctly, then there is good reason to believe that the shaggy goat is representative of Turkey and the “first king” could be President Erdoğan, especially if he succeeds in reestablishing the Caliphate.

Iran is a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode

Then there is Iran — the two-horned ram represented by the ancient empire of Medo-Persia. Ancient Media [circa 680-550 B.C.] rose to power first and represents the disputed land of the modern-day Kurds — or Kurdistan. Cyrus the Great later conquered Media creating the massive Persian empire in 550 B.C. Persia came up later but conquered a much greater land mass than Media. The Persians maintained dominance in the Middle East for 200 years until Alexander the Great conquered them in 330 B.C.

Many have speculated how Iran could have “two kings,” or horns in the last days, as predicted by Daniel 8. One possibility is that a reunification of Kurdistan in the near future could create a province under the authority of the Iranian regime. The Kurds have been fighting for survival and identity for generations. Kurdistan is in no-man’s land and is landlocked on both sides by Iran in the east and Turkey on the west.

Iran already is operating in Kurdistan and Iraq through military proxies, and it only makes sense that Iran could potentially become more aggressive in the region pushing up against Turkey’s presence in the west. Any Iranian expansion to the west would automatically be considered a threat to Turkey, which could provoke Erdoğan to launch an all out assault against the Shiites. The radical, apocalyptic regime in Tehran has proven to be a time bomb just waiting to explode.

Other factors like the current social instability surrounding COVID-19, plummeting oil prices, locust plagues and potential food shortages could also have these two regional competitors on edge. The fragile geopolitical climate in the Middle East is one trigger event away from war.

If Daniel 8 is true, then we should pay close attention to every future development in the region. As the story goes, we can expect Iran to begin an aggressive military campaign in Kurdistan and Iraq, forcing Turkey to respond and stop them in their tracks.

Once Turkey cripples Iran, Daniel says that the “first king” will be suddenly broken off and replaced by four kings. I believe one possible scenario is that once Turkey defeats Iran in a regional conflict and gains control over Iraq, Kurdistan, and Iran, then the presiding president will either die or be ousted, which will create the four provinces of Turkey, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Iran.

“I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.”

Daniel 8:7-8

Then four kings — or horns — will assume power in each province, and out of one of these four kings, the little horn will emerge and grow exceedingly great.

There may not be a more definitive prophecy in all of Scripture that reveals the identity of the Antichrist. Suddenly, this difficult passage shows great prophetic value for the generation living in the last days.

Next time, I will do my best to dive deeper into the initial career of the little horn, as revealed by Daniel 8. Until then …

Maranatha!

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