By: Nelson Walters
Author: Are We Ready For Jesus? (May 2015)
Obviously the Bible does not name Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, by name. This post contains speculation on my part. However, the Bible does have a lot to say about the future of Turkey and one of its leaders known as the “prominent horn.” If the nation of Turkey and Erdogan stay on their current course, we should be able to surmise a bit from these prophecies. What will Erdogan’s future hold?
Let’s look at what Daniel 8 has to say. We studied this is greater depth in ARE WE ABOUT TO SEE IRAN FULFILL DANIEL 8? and WILL IRAN FULFILL DANIEL 8 NOW SAUDI LEADER IS DEAD? (check out these other posts for more information.)
I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself. While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. (Dan. 8:4-7 NASB)
We looked at these verses in the previously mentioned posts. We learned that the ram was modern-day Iran and the male goat was modern day Turkey. Let’s review why that is so. First the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that the entire vision applies to the “time of the end.” In fact, he tells him this 3 times.
He (Gabriel) said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright. He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end. (Dan. 8: 17-19 NASB)
Because some of the events in the vision are similar to events that happened historically, most commentators have chosen to ignore the obvious meaning of this passage. Gabriel could not be more plain. The entire vision applies to the “appointed time of the end and the final indignation.” This is prophecy for our time, our day.
Next let’s review why the ram is Iran and the goat is Turkey.
The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (Dan. 8: 20, 21 NASB)
Media and Persia were ancient nations, but we know the vision applies to the time of the end. By this we realize that the vision is about the modern nation that now occupies the area of ancient Media and Persia. This is Iran. In Ezekiel 38, we learn of many ancient nations that will participate in the Gog/Magog War. All commentators realize that this prophecy is also related to the end times and all attempt to find the modern equivalent nations. Calling the Ram Iran is no different.
The goat is called Greece but this is a mis-translation. The actual word translated “Greece” in our English Bibles is Yavan. Yavan was an ancient people who populated the Islands of eastern Greece and the western mainland of Turkey. This area’s prominent city is Istanbul. Yavan is modern Turkey not Greece. We are proposing that the large horn seen in the vision is Erdogan.
THE GREAT SUNNI-SHIA WAR
Now that we know the players and timing of the prophecy, let’s look at what events occur. The first thing we notice is that Iran is going to invade the Middle East. We see the ram “headbutting” west, north and south. The prophecy also indicates that no one is going to oppose the ram and he will do as he pleases and will become great. We aren’t told why no one opposes the ram, but who would have guessed a couple of years ago that the US President would be supporting Iran as a possible ally?
We are told the direction that Iran’s forces go but not told the specific countries or regions that it invades. We can only surmise. It will almost assuredly include Iraq (west), Syria (north) and portions of Saudi Arabia (south). Might Iran even invade Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest cities? Is this the reason that the goat (Turkey) counterattacks the ram in a great rage? It might be.
Iran is Shia Muslim, Turkey is Sunni Muslim. There is a natural hatred between the two branches. If the Shia of Iran were to control Mecca this would certainly be a reason for Turkey to counterattack. We know from this Bible passage in Daniel 8 that the counterattack comes by means of the air. This could be bombs, missiles or paratroopers. We aren’t sure. What we do know is the counterattack crushes Iran. In the wake of the counter invasion Turkey will control a huge segment of the Middle East.
IS ERDOGAN THE PROMINENT HORN?
The Bible calls Turkey’s leader “the prominent horn.” Is this Erdogan? We don’t know. We do know this leader will become “exceedingly great” according to Daniel. Might this mean he is named Caliph or even Mahdi (Islamic messiah)? I think it absolutely could mean that. A recent article by Walid Shoebot indicates that Erdogan’s supporters are already tweeting statements that infer Erdogan should be Mahdi or at least Caliph. Erdogan seems an ideal candidate to assume these roles after a successful defeat of the Iranians. All Christians should be aware that the “prominent horn” will appear to be the Antichrist. He is not. The Antichrist comes later. We must be sure not to be deceived.
The fate of this “prominent horn” is very interesting. Daniel 8 indicates at the height of his power he is “broken off” and the newly formed Turkish empire is divided into four nations. Broken off means he looses power. Either he dies or is removed from power. This is highly unusual. This is not a normal succession of power. Yes, this is similar to what happened with Alexander the Great (an historic foreshadow of these events), but modern nations usually have natural successors. During Alexander’s day his son was still very young and unable to assume the throne. In today’s modern world, it is almost unimaginable that an empire of this strength and wealth would break up on its own.
Let’s imagine for a moment what might cause these traumatic events. In my opinion this division of an empire is imposed, either from without or from within. A monolithic empire encompassing most of the Middle East and controlling 1/3 of the world’s oil would be an enormous threat to the rest of the world. It is not easy to imagine Russia/China/USA directly invading this empire but it’s more likely they overcome the empire from within.
The break-up of the empire is biblical; why it breaks up is speculative on my part. We know the Antichrist (the little horn) will arise after this break-up. Might the Antichrist, who is a master of intrigue, have a hand in the death/removal of the “prominent horn?” To me the breadcrumbs lead directly to his doorstep. Might he work in combination with the world powers like the USA? He might, or this may be a completely “inside job” and he works with other Islamic forces to overthrow the “prominent horn.” We notice that the empire breaks into four new nations. Are these four of the “ten kings” that are prophesied in Daniel 2, Daniel 7 and Revelation 17? I think they almost have to be. The the ten kings may fear the “prominent horn,” help the Antichrist overthrow him, and break his empire up into manageable segments. It may be at this exact moment when the alliance of these ten kings forms.
Whatever the cause of the break-up of Turkey’s empire we know it occurs, and out of one of the new sub-nations, the Antichrist will arise. This makes this prophecy enormously important. We have likely just looked at future world history over the next 5 years (or even 10 possibly.) Will Erdogan play a role? I think he will but that is speculation, but a Turkish leader will play the part the Bible has laid out for the “prominent horn.” Here is what we are sure of at this point:
- Iran will invade the Middle East and become “great”
- Turkey will counter attack Iran and its leader will become “exceedingly great.”
- Turkey’s leader will be “broken off.”
- The new Turkish Empire will be divided into four nations.
- The Antichrist will arise from one of these four.
We need to be watchful as our Lord commands.