Who Could Imagine Such an Alliance
What would you think if someone told you that one of the nations listed below would one day (soon) become a faithful friend of Israel? Based on historical and/or contemporary animosity and out-right hatred these nations have constantly demonstrated toward Israel, I would argue strongly against any such alliance ever taking place. In fact, I would zoom right past improbable, to impossible.
They are: Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia, and Iraq.
There are other nations that could be candidates for such an implausible one hundred eighty degree turnaround from a bitter foe of Israel to its best friend. But to give you better odds of identifying the right one, the list will be limited to these eight nations. They are among the most conspicuous with regard to their almost uninterrupted Antisemitism. None more so than modern-day Iran whose leaders have boasted frequently that they will, “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”
Later in today’s article, we’ll examine one of the most overlooked, but nevertheless remarkable passages in Scripture. Defying all odds, a passage predicting that one of these nations will eliminate all hostility against Israel and establish a loyal brotherhood with the Jews, no one would think possible. Often a bitter enemy of Israel, this nation will flourish under God’s forgiveness and favor. The Lord will make himself known to them like never before. He will rescue this nation, heal it, and its people will turn to him. They will worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
If you think this sounds a lot like what God has done and will do for what the Bible calls his “special possession” Israel, you would be right! Which makes God’s kindness to this Gentile nation all the more incredible, particularly in light of Scripture’s clear premise that God deals harshly with peoples and nations that have cursed the Jews and sought their destruction.
Can you guess which nation it is? If you’ve studied Scripture on anything approaching a regular basis, then you might already know. However, it’s unlikely that even some ardent students of the Bible are all that familiar with his passage; or they have minimized its importance in the last days in which we live … a time when Bible prophecies are coming together with stunning regularity.
Will it be Russia?
For sure that would be a surprising choice on God’s part to suddenly bless (show his favor) this agnostic giant to Israel’s north, what with the virulent anti-Semitism still prevalent in Russia. Persecution, nonetheless, that has been a catalyst to the Aliyah (ingathering immigration to the Promised Land) of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Russia to Israel in just the past few decades. An exodus that Scripture predicted would be greater even than the first exodus from Egypt.
“In that day, says the Lord, when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land” (Jeremiah 23:7-8).
Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article, The Second Exodus, posted 5-10-14.
No, it will not be Russia. Why not?
During the seven-year Tribulation, Russia will be utterly decimated by God. There are some nations throughout history and in today’s world that have crossed or will cross the divine line of God’s tolerance. They have charted a course that is diametrically opposed to Israel and to God himself. They have passed the point of no return. They have sealed their own fate.
Russia’s destruction is clearly predicted by one of the most famous passages in the Bible, the Gog/Magog assault on Israel.
Several Eye of Prophecy articles have been dedicated entirely or partially to this spectacular end times prophecy as found in Chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel. Such as: Beginning of the End (posted 3-5-16); The Russians Are Coming! (11-14-15); Gog, Magog & Leviathan (1-3-15); Russia & Iran versus Israel (10-4-14); and Beware of the Bear (3-22-14).
Some 2,500 years ago when Ezekiel received many prophecies, including the Gog/Magog attack on Israel, the Lord said to Gog, the ruler of Magog (Russia and her allies), “…Gog, I am your enemy! I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army…” (Ezekiel 38:3-4).
In the next chapter, God repeats for emphasis that Gog is his enemy. Because this epic clash between God and the Gog/Magog alliance would take place in the distant future (which is today’s very near future), it’s clear that Russia will remain God’s enemy until she is vanquished.
“Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am your enemy, O Gog, ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drive you toward the mountains of Israel, bringing you from the distant north. I will knock the bow from your left hand and the arrows from your right hand, and I will leave you helpless. You and your army and your allies will all die on the mountains … You will fall in the open fields, for I have spoken, says the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 39:1-5).
Although the Gog/Magog assault against Israel will entail a vast military alliance rolling down on Israel like a perfect storm, it’s evident now that Russia is preparing for this massive invasion through its recent unopposed military infiltration of Syria, right next door to Israel.
The destruction of the Gog/Magog forces will be so great that, “It will take seven months for the people of Israel to bury the bodies and cleanse the land” (Ezekiel 39:12).
Could Iran Be the Nation That God Unexpectedly Blesses?
No, not Iran; nor will it be Turkey, Libya or Ethiopia. For all four of these nations are part of the Russian-led coalition against Israel. They, too, will be crushed by God’s direct intervention to rescue Israel from this early Tribulation onslaught. With the second campaign against Israel led by Antichrist and his ten-nation confederation late in the Tribulation.
Iran’s seething hatred of Israel as disgustingly displayed by the repulsive rhetoric streaming from the mouths of Iranian generals, presidents, and ayatollahs, will physically manifest itself in its participation in the Gog/Magog campaign. But Persia didn’t actually come into existence as Iran until the 20th century; nor did its leaders and people exhibit such malice toward Israel until Iran became a Muslim dominated nation in the 1970s.
History tells us that Persians have not always despised Israel, not on a national level. That is a relatively recent phenomenon. Have you read the book of Esther recently, or at all?! Most Jews read it or portions of it every year during the Feast of Purim, celebrating the supernatural chain of events that delivered the Jewish race from extinction.
Recall that when Haman—“the most powerful official in the empire” (Esther 3:1)—second in command to King Xerxes, plotted to kill all the Jews; neither the King himself nor most of the Persian people harbored any ill-will against the Jews. There were two reasons why King Xerxes gave permission for Haman to carry out this pernicious plan to exterminate the Jews. (1) Because Xerxes had recently promoted him to this high-ranking position; Xerxes granted Haman’s request in order to personally affirm Haman’s second-in-command authority. (2) Haman’s revolting rationale (fabrication, but the King didn’t know that or bother to find out at the time) which included the lie about the Jews; “…they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live” (Esther 3:8).
It’s readily apparent at the time of the edict, Xerxes didn’t even know that the people to whom Haman’s genocidal plan was directed were the Jews. Haman never identified this group of captive subjects as the Jews. He only referred to them as, “a certain race of people.” Then used the plural personal pronouns, “they” and “them.” The book of Esther strongly suggests that Xerxes didn’t know Haman was referring to the Jews until Esther (at the risk of her life even though she was the Queen) exposed Haman and his diabolical plot to Xerxes … right in front of Haman.
Time/space does not permit in this article, but I would encourage you to read the absolutely amazing sequence of events that fell into place one after the other, as recorded in the book of Esther. A chain of events that could only be attributed to God’s providential plan and execution of that plan. Speaking of execution, you may recall that Haman was executed exactly as he had planned for Mordecai, a totally innocent Jew … as were all the Jews in Persia.
Now that’s justice!
Thus, it’s an altogether ironic shame that modern-day Iranians, who and whose leaders are so very proud of their Persian heritage, harbor such evil toward Jews in general and Israel in particular. As indicated, this malevolence will lead them to direct conflict with the true and living Almighty God who warns them, “When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over!” (Ezekiel 38:18).
The List Is Getting Shorter!
Other Scriptural and historical evidence could be presented to also show why Syria and Iraq (formerly Babylon), as well as other nations absent from today’s list, will not be the nation for which God will make an exception to divine justice when he judges the nations who would dare destroy his special possession Israel and his chosen people, the Jews.
Just one example: Both Iraq and Syria already have been decimated by civil war; with powerful countries such as the United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia fighting on one side or another of the Muslim sects. With everyone seeking to eliminate the worst of the lot, ISIS.
For all practical purposes Iraq and Syria have reached the point of no return, in terms of God showing his favor to them as a nation. There are geopolitical experts who say that neither Iraq nor Syria will ever be the same again. That one or both of these nations will be divided into smaller nations or territories; for example, between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims or the Kurds.
If you have a pretty good memory, then by the process of elimination you know by now which nation will inexplicably, but eagerly, turn from their incessant bashing of Israel and become Israel’s closest ally.
Egypt It Is!
For approximately 3,400 years, Egypt has been an active or at least a passive adversary of Israel. It was the first and has been, by far, the longest lasting rival of the Jews than any other nation on earth.
To be sure there were periods of time when Israel felt relatively safe alongside Egypt. For example, when a couple of Israel’s kings sought military assistance from Egypt against Assyria. Or when Jeremiah had the opportunity to go to Egypt with other Jewish exiles from the Babylonia conquest of Israel. He chose not to. Or, when Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape King Herod’s murderous rampage to kill the new-born Messiah by slaughtering Jewish boys in Bethlehem two years or younger in age.
Most of us know where it all began. The amazing Biblical account of the Exodus is known even by non-Jews and non-Christians the world over. Books have been published, articles printed, movies made, and sermons preached about God’s miracles that led to the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. Because of Pharaoh’s arrogance and stubbornness, God inflicted disastrous damage and death on the Egyptians, their crops, and their livestock.
How soon we forget. Just like the Egyptians and their Pharaoh forgot that it was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who spared Egypt (and surrounding nations) from a catastrophic famine … through Jacob’s son, Joseph. Over a thousand years before the Persian King Xerxes promoted Mordecai to the second highest position in Persia, Egypt’s Pharaoh elevated Joseph to the most powerful position in Egypt, next only to Pharaoh, himself.
Eventually and inevitably, the Egyptians and their Pharaoh forgot all about Joseph. From that point on Egypt has despised the Jews and Israel. However, the more Egypt persecuted the Jews, the greater was God’s punishment of Egypt down through the centuries. God used the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and other empires such as the Ottoman Turks to punish Egypt.
For example: “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says, ‘I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes, and all the other gods of Egypt. I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him. I will hand them over to those who want them killed—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” (Jeremiah 46:25-26).
That’s precisely what happened, including a resurgence of Egyptian prosperity and prominence among the nations, which was evident at the time the Roman Empire began to rise in power; and is again visible in our modern times. Remember Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, then Mark Antony.
Scripture is replete with references to Egypt, mostly in the context of God’s judgments on this life-long mortal enemy of Israel.
Modern-Day Egyptian/Israeli Conflict
For the most part Egyptian overt hostility toward the Jews subsided, but only because Egypt declined as a world power after the time of Christ. But there’s never been a shortage of people or nations to continue and practice the ugly pastime of Antisemitism. In the 7th century, Mohammed and Islam picked up where other ethnic groups and nations had left off.
Fast forwarding to the 20th century: Egypt began to rise again—economically, politically, and militarily. Though certainly not anything approaching a world superpower, Egypt is the most prominent of all of the Arabic countries surrounding Israel. Among Muslim nations today, only Iran rivals Egypt in clout; yet Iran isn’t even Arabic … it’s still Persian.
When the United Nations passed a resolution in November, 1947 granting statehood rights to the Jews and Arabs in Palestine, the Jews accepted this gracious proclamation and declared Israel as their sovereign state on May 14, 1948. As a reminder, the Arabs refused to form their own state; they couldn’t tolerate the idea of existing side-by-side with a Jewish State.
Instead, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, led by their most powerful Middle-East ally Egypt, ruthlessly attacked Israel the very next day. With one and only one objective: annihilate the reborn State of Israel. Literally against all odds, the Jews won a resounding victory over vastly superior numbers and armament.
Again, Egypt launched an offensive against Israel in the 1956 Suez War. Despite possessing military superiority, Egypt was soundly defeated.
Yet again in 1967, Israel routed an Egyptian led coalition in what the whole world knows as the Six-Day War. Although Israel struck first, everyone knew that the Egyptians and Syrians were planning an imminent attack on Israel, who beat them to the punch. No matter who hit who first, there has been no other war in history to rival Israel’s amazing victory over Egypt and its Arabic allies.
The Egyptians still had not had enough. Once again they tried to overwhelm Israel with yet another unprovoked and malicious assault during the holiest Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Although the Israelis were on the defensive for a few days, once again they prevailed.
By this time, it was becoming clear to anyone who knew anything at all about the God of the Bible and the history of the Jews, that the Lord himself had divinely orchestrated Israel’s victory over what military and political experts considered insurmountable odds. Even those who are essentially agnostic, include many Jews themselves, have no other logical explanation for many of the miraculous events that occurred during these wars, leading to Israel’s ultimate triumphs over Egypt, Syria, and other Arab countries.
After the 1973 Yom Kippur devastating defeat at the hands of the Israelis, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat finally understood the writing on the wall. Something was different. Unlike Israel’s past in which she had been thoroughly defeated as a nation by Assyria, Babylon, Rome, and then almost wiped out as a people by Hitler’s Third Reich, the Jews had become a formidable foe. Israel couldn’t lose a war, and they wouldn’t lose the sovereign state of Israel granted to them by the United Nations, in the land promised and deeded to them by God, himself.
So, what did Egypt do? In one of the most historically abrupt and amazing turn around imaginable, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat agreed to a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. This historical agreement shocked leaders of nations the world over; even US President Jimmy Carter, who had arranged the conference between Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
(Sadat, Carter, and Begin Signing the Peace Treaty)
Two years later, Anwar Sadat would pay for this treaty with his life. He was gunned down by his own people—militant Muslims who branded Sadat a traitor to Egypt and Islam. Yes, as we all know by now: Islamic terrorists maim and kill other Muslims as well as non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians.
As unlikely as it was for Egypt—of all nations—to reach a peace agreement with Israel, it was and remains a tenuous truce borne out of more selfish Egyptian desires. Why? Because one of the main conditions of this pact was that Israel return the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, that Israel had won in the Six-Day War. The fact of the matter: Most Egyptians, such as those belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, still hold a ton of hatred for Jews and a mountain of antagonism toward Israel. On the other hand, as a nation, Egypt has acknowledged the right for Israel to exist.
Other than Jordan, Egypt is the only Muslim nation that has, at least in principle, adopted an attitude of tolerance toward and acceptance of Israel as belonging to the earth’s family of nations. Which is why Jordan (part of ancient Moab, Edom, and Ammon) will also be spared annihilation during Antichrist Nero’s final onslaught against Israel and surrounding countries near the end of the Great Tribulation (see Daniel 11:40-43).
Although Egypt will not completely escape the carnage of Armageddon, it will not be utterly destroyed. I believe the reason for this and the reason for the God- arranged last day’s reconciliation between Israel and Egypt is because the Egyptians have finally acknowledged the right of Israel’s existence in the Promised Land. That, and God’s sovereign privilege to, show mercy and compassion to anyone he chooses (Exodus 33:10). All other nations who continue with their devilish plot to destroy Israel will suffer the Biblically prophesied wrath of Almighty God.
God’s Extraordinary Promise to Reconcile Egypt and Israel
Egypt’s reaching out to Israel and to the true and living God (which means abandoning Islam) will not come easy. As indicated, today’s respite between Egypt and Israel is a weak one, at best. One that is based on expediency. Thus, Egypt will undergo one final woodshed discipline from the Lord to get their attention that he alone is God, Jesus is Messiah, and Israel is God’s special possession.
In segments, let’s examine the Biblical passage in Isaiah Chapter 19 predicting Egypt’s startling turnabout:
“In that day, the Egyptians will be as weak as women. They will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Just to speak the name of Israel will terrorize them, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has laid out his plans against them” (Isaiah 19:16-17).
Commentary: Whenever Scripture says, “In that day,” it almost always refers to the end times or last days … also expressed as, The Day of the Lord. Whereas the first fifteen verses of Isaiah Chapter 19 pertain to a prophecy that would be fulfilled only dozens of years later—when Assyria conquered Egypt along with Israel and other nations—Isaiah abruptly shifts, which he often does, from the near future to the distant future. We’ll get to that transition in a moment.
But first: Ladies, don’t take offense! Or, if you do, take it up with God! Throughout the Bible, woman are afforded great respect, especially by Jesus, himself. There are numerous passages that relay the contributions and support by women for Israel and the Church. Not that God or what he says has to be defended, but when the Lord says the Egyptians will be “as weak as women,” he is making a simple statement of physical fact. Women have many attributes and skills that we men don’t have … God bless them! But generally speaking, physical prowess (especially in close-up battle) is not one of them. After all, God created innate differences between male and female. (I know, try to tell that to a transgender … sorry, couldn’t hold back on that one).
Initially, Egypt will shrivel in fear as they watch God destroy the Gog/Magog coalition, at the mighty judgments of God on the earth during the tribulation, at the ferocious fighting ability of the Jews in valiantly defending Israel against the overwhelming might of Nero’s confederation. Not only will the Egyptians be in awe of Israel and the God of Israel, but they will also shrink in fear at what Nero will do to them during his Middle-East campaign.
The prophet Daniel speaking of the Antichrist, says, “He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants” (Daniel 11:42-43).
Returning to Isaiah and his sudden acceleration to the last days:
“In that day five of Egypt’s cities will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. They will even begin to speak Hebrew, the language of Canaan. One of these cities will be Heliopolis, the City of the Sun” (Isaiah 19:18).
Commentary: From the Hebrew language in which the Old Testament was written, most Bible versions translate, “one will be called the City of Destruction.” In the New Living Translation which I use for all Bible quotes (unless otherwise noted in the article), it reads, “Heliopolis, The City of the Sun.” Which is an accurate rendition, because the Hebrew word, “ir haheres” parodies the Egyptian city of “Harcheres,” the “City of the Sun,”—Heliopolis. It was there that the Egyptian sun-god Ra was centrally worshipped.
(Depiction of Sun-god Ra in Ancient Heliopolis)
Egypt’s enthusiastic embrace of the Lord and remarkable recognition of Israel in the last days (soon to come) is so strong that five Egyptian cities will learn and speak Hebrew! If any Egyptian alive today spoke only Hebrew while living in Egypt, they wouldn’t be around tomorrow.
Continuing in Isaiah: “In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and there will be a monument to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is worshipped in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord for help against those who oppress them, he will send them a savior who will rescue them” (Verses 19-20).
Commentary: The NLT translation of “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies,” is pretty much unique to the NLT. Although they say pretty much the same thing, I prefer the more common translation in other versions which is: “The Lord of Hosts.” Adonai Tzva’ot in Hebrew, which means the Lord of the host of heaven. In other words, all the angelic beings and believers who are and will be in heaven with the Lord God.
Notice that these verses refer to, the land of Egypt. Which clearly indicates that the previously referenced five cities of Egypt represent the entire nation. It could be that citizens of only those five cities will actually decide to speak Hebrew. However, even if the rest of Egypt doesn’t learn the Hebrew language, they will still go to the extreme of building an altar and a monument as a sign that they have given their complete loyalty to God and God alone.
The text is crystal clear: The reason they do so is because the Lord hears and answers their plea for help (deliverance from Antichrist and his massive military force) by sending them a savior. Of course, the Savior is none other than Messiah Jesus. I think one of the most fantastic features of this prophecy is the fact that Muslim Egyptians actually turn to the true God and the true Messiah. Not to Allah and not to Antichrist.
Continuing with Isaiah’s prophecy: “The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to him. They will make a vow to the Lord and will keep it” (Verse 21).
Commentary: The fact that the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians is astounding. The Lord is telling Egypt that he will be their God and Savior no more or less than he is Israel’s God and Savior. This is not only for personal salvation, which will still be available to those left behind in the Tribulation, but actual physical redemption of Egypt in like manner that the Lord delivers Israel from the same threat facing the Jews. Although the text doesn’t specify Egypt’s vow to the Lord, I’m going to (spiritually!) speculate that it is a promise to cease all hostile thoughts and actions against Israel. From then on to consider the Jews as (Semitic) brothers and sisters and to treat them with the utmost respect.
At this point, Isaiah interjects a brief summary of his prophecy by saying, “The Lord will strike Egypt, and then he will bring healing. For the Egyptians will turn to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas and heal them” (Verse 22).
Commentary: This is a reminder that the Lord must first discipline Egypt, for the express intent of getting their attention. Although the terrible threats against Israel during this last part of the Tribulation is not at all discipline from the Lord (that all ended in 1967), the outcome is the same: both Israel and Egypt call upon God and Messiah to save them from obliteration.
This “striking” of Egypt could also take place again, well into the Millennium, if Egypt disobeys the Lord (they probably will … see Zechariah 14:16-19). But if it does, it will also result in Egypt’s repentance and renewed loyalty to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
This passage closes with another remarkable disclosure: There will be a second group of Gentiles who will also become unlikely friends with Israel, alongside Egypt. Read with me:
“In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will both worship God. And Israel will be their ally. The three will be together, and Israel will be a blessing to them. For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, ‘Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!’” (Isaiah 19:23-25).
Commentary: How stunning is that?!
Obviously with God’s omniscience (knowing the end from the beginning), he would know that the ancient empire of Assyria would not actually be a nation when all this takes place. Which is one reason that the passage says, “Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made” (Italics for emphasis).
Rather than referring to “the people of Assyria,” as relating to God’s favor poured out on them, God here identifies Assyria as, “the land I have made.” Other prophets, especially Isaiah, sometimes write in the past tense even when referring to the last days. This is one of those times. God will create (dedicate) a geographical area from the ancient Assyrian Empire where people who are descendants of the Assyrians but also peoples who intermarried (of which there were many) with Assyrians and peoples conquered by and transported to this region will live and serve the Lord in like manner as Egypt and Israel.
Time/space doesn’t permit an in-depth examination of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Please refer to the map that encompasses that land space. Plus, the Assyrians were a mixture of several Sumerian tribes eventually united under kings.
Something, however, does come to mind. What about all of the migrants from several Middle East countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan pouring into Europe, creating an enormous refugee crisis? Might those among them and many others who remain in the war-torn Middle East who call upon the Lord to be saved during the Tribulation, be relocated to the new Assyria!
Things to Ponder
If God hadn’t given the prophecy about Egypt’s unbelievable spiritual turnaround and improbable bond with Israel, I and others would have been incredulous at this development when we begin to rule and reign with our Lord during the millennium. Or, if the prophecy had not specified Egypt, it still would have been last on my list of nations God might have chosen to be specifically blessed alongside Israel. If for no other reason than the perpetual, seemingly never-ending bitter rivalry between these two countries.
But then any event that affects the whole world, to one extent or another, has been predicted in the Bible. How do we know that?
“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Which is why there are hundreds of prophetic passages concerning Israel’s restoration and the two advents of the Messiah, which are the most significant events of human history. And also a handful of seemingly less essential prophecies mentioned only once or twice. But no less important to God; or, in this instance, to Egypt and whoever the Assyrians might be!