"With the push of a button at the new Ataturk Dam last week, Turkey's President Turgut Ozal cut the flow of the Euphrates River to Syria and Iraq, his country's arid downstream neighbors, by 75%." (Time, Jan, 1990)
"It was the Persians who destroyed Nebuchadnezzar's magnificent city (Babylon) in 539 BC. According to Salam Yacoub, the guide from the Iraqi Ministry of Information, they managed to capture Babylon because of the treachery of the Jewish Community. Tipped off by the Jews, the Persians built earth dams to block the nearby Euphrates, thus depriving the city of its natural defenses."
(Michael Dobbs in the San Jose Mercury News)
"The ancient historian Herodotus provides additional information. Cyrus diverted the water of the Euphrates River into a canal upriver from Babylon so that the water level dropped 'to the height of the middle of a man's thigh.'"
(The Rise of Babylon, Charles Dyer)
Israel's Beginning at the Euphrates
In the beginning with Abraham, Israel actually originates from the other side of the River Euphrates. In Joshua 24:2-3, we read the following, "...Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood [Euphrates] in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac." It's evident from this Scripture that Abraham, the beginning of Israel, dwelt on the other side. The Euphrates is often mentioned as being "the flood," because during the rainy season this important river would flood much of the land.
Later on in history, we hear the first martyr, Stephen, when he was accused of inciting the people, testify about Abraham, "...Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran" (Acts 7:2).
Mesopotamia is the northern part of today's Syria and Iraq. Geographically, the Euphrates is also the border of the land of Israel, the Promised Land. The Euphrates is mentioned for the first time in Genesis 2:14, "And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates." Paradise, therefore, was originally on the Euphrates River!
In the geographic vicinity of the Euphrates, the first murder took place. It is documented for us in Genesis 4:8, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Since then, men have been murdering each other. Based on Scripture, this will not cease until the Prince of Peace comes.
Today, almost 6,000 years after the murder of Abel, bloodshed is continuing in that very place, right there at the Euphrates River.
Even in recent history, a war started between Iran and Iraq in 1980, lasting until 1988 at a great cost of human lives, many of them children.
Why, we may ask, is the Euphrates River so important? Because this river is the eastern border of the Promised Land. Abraham is the beginning of Israel, and God promised that He would bring about a people, out of which would come forth the Savior. To Abraham, God said, "...in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). To Abraham's son Isaac, God promised, "...in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 26:4). The same promise was passed on to Isaac's son Jacob, "...in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 28:14).
Abraham Receives the Promised Land
In verse 18 of Genesis 15, we read, "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." It's clear therefore that God had already given this land, from the Euphrates River to the river of Egypt, long before the nation of Israel even existed. This land was promised once and for all, and that promise has never been retracted.
Euphrates River, the Biblical Border
Today, archeologists debate if Israel ever took possession or occupied that part up to the Euphrates River. Let theologians and archeologists debate as long as they want. The Bible tells us very plainly that the northern border of Israel is the Euphrates River. In 2nd Samuel 8:3 we read, "David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates." Not only do we read here that David conquered the land up to the Euphrates, but he recovered it. You can't recover something that does not belong to you in the first place!
Therefore, the Euphrates has great significance. It separates His land from "their" land. It also separates Jerusalem from Babylon. These two cities are diametrically opposed to each other.
Judgment at the Euphrates
In the book of Jeremiah, we read the prophecy of the coming final battle when God's wrath will be poured upon the gentile nations, who will again collectively oppose the Jews with the aim of destroying them. "For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates" (Jeremiah 46:10). Thus, we see again that the Euphrates plays a major role geographically at this great battle.
These judgments are sure to come because the nations of the world will then have turned against Israel for the very last time.
Final Judgment of the Euphrates
For the last time, we read the name "Euphrates" in Revelation 16:12. That will take place after five terrible vials of wrath have come upon humanity which results not in faith or repentance, but we read they "...blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds" (Revelation 16:11).
Then in verse 12, we see the Far East nations marching towards little Israel for the Battle of Armageddon, "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."
To summarize, the Euphrates river which flows through the land of Babylon (Iraq) will continue to be in the headlines until the last battle. Not only recently have we seen the land of the Euphrates involved in military conflict, but this has taken place now for the last two decades. By this we understand that we are approaching the conclusion of world events, and therefore, the Rapture cannot be too far off! We must emphasize at this point that the event which transpired in history in the geographic area of the River Euphrates were never truly international. That has changed. It was vividly demonstrated to the entire world during the Gulf Conflict in 1991. Virtually the entire world gathered against the aggressor, Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Babylon (Iraq). I cannot emphasize this enough! We are living in the last stages of the endtimes.
Midnight Call Magazine
Green light to finance Syrian - Jordanian dam
Weekend News Today
Tue Apr 6 , 1999 -- Well-informed sources in Damascus said that Arab and international establishments had given the "green light" to take part in financing the Syrian-Jordanian al-Wahda dam which will be installed on al-Yarmouk river. In this respect the chairman of the water department in the Syrian Ministry of Irrigation, Abdul Aziz al-Masri, noted "positive indications" that Turkey will join to the water meetings between Syria and Iraq to negotiate over a just and reasonable division "for the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers" between the three countries.
He said that waters may constitute bridges of peace and cooperation between Ankara and Damascus, al-Masri indicated that certain international agreements "avails resorting to arbitration by any side whose water problem cannot be settled" with a neighboring state. He considered the arbitration an important issue in the hands of Syria and Iraq in the future if the water crisis cannot be solved with Turkey. Al-Masri was talking in the symposium under the title "Monitoring water resources: its importance and applications," which was concluded on Monday in Damascus in which Iraq and other Arab states took part.
Farrakhan urges Muslims to unite in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan urged Islamic states gathered in Iran Wednesday to unite and reverse sanctions imposed on Arab nations.
The Nation of Islam leader, visiting Baghdad on what he said was a mission from God, urged the 54 Muslim nations meeting in neighboring Iran to use their combined power -- and the threat of an oil embargo -- to get sanctions on Iraq, Libya and Sudan lifted.
He [Farrakhan] said Muslim nations should consider using their oil supplies as a weapon if the world did not heed them.
"There is a river that the West depends upon which the kings of the East can dry up," he said.