Jewish Thought

Will ISIS fight us?

29.02.16

Question

Hello, I would like to know if ISIS is mentioned in the Bible, and if us Jews have to worry about its existence, and if they will fight us? I am concerned about the pace of its advance in our region. Thanks in advance.

Answer

A. Basically, our sages are divided about who will win the last war, the United States and Europe, or Iran and its allies in the axis of evil. Our sages say in Yuma 10a:

First View: Victory for the Arabs

R. Joshua b. Levi in the name of Rabbi said: Rome [all Christian nations are referred to by the general term Kingdom of Rome / Italy, which was the cradle of Christianity] will in the future fall into the hand of Persia [Iran], as it is said: (Jer. 49) “Therefore listen to the counsel of G-d, that He has advised to Edom [Esau is Edom, as the Torah mentioned, and the founders of Rome were the descendants of the wicked Esau as the Abarbanel explains, and the Ari also explains that the name of Esau in Hebrew has the same letters as Yeshua (Jesus) the Nazarene]; and His thoughts that He has thought against the inhabitants of Yemen: surely the youngest of the flock shall drag them away.” What is ‘the youngest of the flock’ referring to? The youngest of his brethren [the youngest brother of the sons of Japheth the son of Noah], which R. Joseph taught was “Tiras” i.e. Persia.

A second view foresees the opposite, Iran's defeat by the West (ibid.):

Rav said: Persia will fall into the hands of Rome. Thereupon R. Kahana and R. Assi asked of Rav: [Shall] the builders fall into the hands of the destroyers? He said to them: Yes, it is the decree of the King. It has also been taught in accord with the above, Persia will fall into the hands of Rome.

According to this second view, the Talmud concludes:

Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Rav: The son of David will not come until the wicked kingdom of Rome will have spread [its sway] over the whole world for nine months, as it is said (Micha 5): Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she who is confinement will give birth; then the residue of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel.”

B. However, the truth is as Maimonides writes (Laws of Kings l2):

"All of these things and the like — no man knows how they will occur until they occur, the prophets were enigmatic about these things, the sages also have no tradition of these things other than what appears in the verses. Therefore, they are in dispute about these things."

May we merit and live to see these things,

 

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