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Question of the Week

Is the United States of America in Bible prophecy?

question of the week

The United States of America is never explicitly mentioned in the Bible, and there are no biblical prophecies that point with certainty to the United States. As far as we can tell, the United States of America is not mentioned in biblical prophecy.

The Bible tells the story of God’s plan to save the world, and so the Bible’s natural focus is on the people of God, from the patriarchs to the Hebrew people to the Jewish nation. “Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah” (Romans 9:4–5). Other nations mentioned in the Bible are usually considered in terms of their relation to Israel, God’s chosen people. The biblical focus on Israel holds true in end-times prophecy, too. The book of Revelation does not mention any countries or nations other than Israel (Revelation 7:4; 21:12) and Babylon (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2,10,21), but the “Babylon” in Revelation is most likely a symbolic reference to the Antichrist’s evil kingdom.

Various groups try to find the United States in prophecy, and some of their interpretations show great creativity. Some see the United States as the second beast that rises from the earth in Revelation 13. Others see the “people tall and smooth-skinned, . . . feared far and wide” in Isaiah 18:2 as a reference to Americans, although the context is an oracle against Cush (verse 1). Still others point to Ezekiel 38:13, which, in describing the Battle of Gog and Magog, refers to “the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages”: according to this theory, “Tarshish” is Britain, and the “villages” are the English-speaking colonies such as the United States of America. And then there’s the reference to the “great eagle” that protects the woman/Israel in Revelation 12:14—another reference to the United States’ role in the end times, according to some.

The problem is that the above interpretations require a good amount of speculation and seem to come from an Anglo-centric (or at least an America-centric) perspective. The fact remains that the United States of America is not clearly specified in any end-times prophecy in the Bible. We assume that general prophecies that pertain to all the nations of the world will include the United States: if the U.S. is still in existence in the end times, it will be one of the “all nations” judged by God (Isaiah 34:2–3; Haggai 2:7; Joel 3:2) and one of the “all nations” that flow to Zion to worship the True King (Isaiah 2:2).

Why is the United States of America not clearly mentioned in Bible prophecy? There could be several reasons:

1) Perhaps in the end times the United States will be weakened to the extent that its influence in the world suffers, and America does not play an important role in end-times events.

2) Perhaps in the end times the United States has ceased to exist altogether.

3) Perhaps the United States is simply one of the other nations of the world that reject God in the end times (Revelation 10:11; 11:18; 12:5; 14:8; 15:4; 16:19; 17:15; 18:3,23; 19:15).

We consider option (3) as the most likely answer. The United States of America has historically been one of Israel’s most faithful allies, and God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you” (Genesis 12:3a), has surely contributed to America’s success. But if America turns its back on Israel, it will lose God’s favor: “Whoever curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3b).

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This page last updated: July 19, 2024