Who is Elam?

I recently received an email in which someone was wondering why I believed so strongly that a strike against Iran is inevitable? I thought I would take the time to answer this Biblically.

There is a unique passage of Scripture in Jeremiah that I believe really points to the current events of our day in relation to Israel and Iran.

Jeremiah 49:34-39  The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.  And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.   For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them: And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

The first question you must ask here is — “Who is Elam?”  This is a brief description of Elam from Wikipedia.

Elam is the name of an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Archaeological evidence associated with Elam has been dated to before 5000 BCE.  According to available written records, it is known to have existed beginning from around 3200 BC — making it among the world’s oldest historical civilizations — and to have endured up until 539 BC. Elam was centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province (which takes its name from Elam), as far as Jiroft in Kerman province and Burned City in Zabol, as well as a small part of southern Iraq. — Source – Wikipedia

So Elam is the modern state of Iran!  

Another question one might ask is — what is the timing of this prophecy?  If you look at verse 39, you’ll see the phrase “shall come to pass in the latter days”.  The phrase “latter days” in Hebrew is “acha-reet-ha-ya-meem” which can be literally translated, “in the end of days”.

As we read this passage, the first act of God is to break the bow of Iran.  What’s interesting to me about this phrase, is that no arrows are mentioned, just the bow. Could this be the breaking of the “threat” of weapons?  Of course this interpretation is totally up for debate.

Then we read about the scattering of the people of Elam.  Most people don’t realize that in 1979 when the Shah was overthrown and an Islamic constitution was instituted, that nearly 4 million Iranians fled Iran and settled around the globe.

Later we read that the sword of the Lord will be sent, and then the establishment of the throne of God in Iran. Right now, we’re seeing an explosion of the gospel in Iran! There’s nearly a million believers in Iran meeting in underground churches — and when these events take place there will be more than enough believers in Iran to bring a full blown revival.

Right now, there’s an Islamic barrier to the gospel, but God says He will remove these barriers by “destroying from thence the king and the princes”.  It appears to me that the fall of the Iranian government, the mullahs and the Ayatollah Khomeini are predicted!

While this prophecy may be connected to the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38, I’m leaning toward it’s connection with Psalm 83. The purpose of war in both passages is to bring forth revival.  For example, Psalm 83:16 says, “Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.”

I believe we are closer to the fulfillment of these prophecies than most people realize, and by no means am I dogmatic about the timing — but I would have to completely ignore the news and the current events of our day not to see the possible connection!

by George Whitten, Watchman in the Wilderness