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The Swelling of Jordan
Jeremiah 12:5

Did the 1999 Death of Jordan's King Hussein fulfill
a Biblical warning? Did the loss of this pro-Western
Muslim lead to a prophetic "swelling of Jordan"?

By Ken Raggio

Shortly before his death in February of 1999, Jordan's King Hussein spent grueling days in Washington DC working with President Bill Clinton in an attempt to hammer out any kind of meaningful progress in the stalemate between Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority's Yasser Arafat. [Photo: Arafat, Netanyahu, Hussein, Clinton]

Wye River Accords

King Hussein had been recognized for decades as the most sympathetic of all Arab leaders to the Israeli cause. Not surprisingly, most of the well-intended efforts of the so-called Wye River Accord quickly evaporated into thin air as Arab-Israeli hostilities almost immediately resurfaced.

Nevertheless, most international observers would insist that Hussein’s presence in the Middle East was often a decisive factor in stabilizing otherwise explosive political situations between Israel and the Arab world. Even when significant portions of Jordanian territory were captured by Israel in the 1967 war, Hussein pursued a moderate plan of action, and in 1993 reached an agreement with Israel in the Oslo Accords.

Hussein persistently stated his ecumenical wishes for the Middle East. Although a devout Muslim, he attempted to provide for the peaceful coexistence of all of the sons of Abraham – Muslims, Jews and Christians. He was a benevolent and empathic leader who was well-loved by his people and by Arabs and Jews alike.

Until shortly before his death, Hussein's successor was expected to be his brother, Prince Hassan. Hassan was selected when he was young, and carefully groomed for years under Hussein's tutelage. Toward the end, however, a consensus had surfaced among many Jordanians that Hassan was too modern, too liberal and too "Western" to be trusted to maintain the ultra-conservative and religious leanings of the Jordanian culture.

Jordan & Saudi Kings
(Photo: Jordan's King Abdullah [left] with Saudi King Abdullah in 2005).

Just before dying, Hussein tapped Prince Abdullah to replace Hassan. Abdullah is the son of the King's second wife, Englishwoman Toni Gardiner known as Princess Muna. Those closest to the King expressed the belief that the arduous stresses of determining his successors greatly contributed to his relapse of sickness and ultimate death.

The London "Telegraph" on January 24, 1999 said, "In Jerusalem, there is alarm at the downfall of Prince Hassan, a Hebrew-speaker known as a friend of Israel and the West. Israeli security concerns are fanned by the territorial aspirations Syria and Iraq have shown toward Jordan in the past."

Ze'ev Schiff, an Israeli defense analyst, expressed a commonly held belief that all of Hussein's sons "lack experience in the thorny art of Middle East government. They would probably look like children against rivals such as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein." Other commentators fear that neighboring Arab leaders would "make mincemeat" of them.

This carried ominous overtones for Israel. No one can say for sure how things may have progressed had Hussein lived, but the Jordanian component of Middle Eastern politics has certainly taken on many new characteristics since his passing.

From a Biblical perspective it is interesting to consider the prophecies of Jeremiah 12:5. "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"

What might happen to Israel if Jordan swells? Allegorically, "the swelling of Jordan" could be a warning to Israel of an adversarial force coming from Jordan. Strong's Concordance defines "swelling" as "arrogancy, excellency (-lent), majesty, pomp, pride, proud, swelling." Hussein's tenure was clearly marked with modesty and humility. Although King Abdullah has been mostly helpful, his Arab/Muslim allegiances are being tested severely, and the risks of his being assassinated or forced into a different political posture are great.

Jordan Swelling

King Abdullah has several forceful motives for pressuring Israel to DIVIDE THE HOLY LAND and declare a Palestinian State, Refugees67 not the least of which is about two million Palestinian refugees (see 1952 photo at right) that his relatively small state has been forced to support over the past fifty years. Jordan has absorbed more Palestinian refugees than any other locale except Gaza. He also faces enormous pressure from his Arabic and Islamic brothers to plead the Palestinian cause to the West, due in large part to the high favor he enjoys in the Western world.

At this writing, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are being coerced into accepting the "Two-State Solution." When US President Bill Clinton hosted Israeli PM Ehud Barak and PLO President Yasar Arafat at Camp David for the "Camp David Accords," Clinton suggested that Israel and the Palestinians DIVIDE Jerusalem.

Camp David Accords Since the Camp David Accords, international pressure has mushroomed, demanding that the ENTIRE STATE OF ISRAEL BE DIVIDED. That pressure exploded into full force at the Beirut Summit of 2000, when several Arab Nations put forth a 3-Point "Beirut Declaration" stipulating that 1. Israel must withdraw to the 1967 border in Gaza, Golan Heights and the West Bank; 2. Resolve the Palestinian refugee problem according to UN Resolution 194; and 3. Accept a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Beirut Summit of 2000 and the "Beirut Declaration" was essentially dormant until April 22, 2002 when King Abdullah of Jordan proposed it to Tony Blair of Britain, and King Abdullah of Saudia Arabia proposed it to President George Bush of the United States.

Jordan Swelling

If THAT was not Jordan Swelling, what was it?

Following that geo-political coup by the two kings Abdullah, the United States presented (exactly six months later) the Middle East "Roadmap For Peace." It was almost a MIRROR-COPY of the Beirut Declaration!

Since that time, the United Nations has taken up the torch for the "Roadmap," organizing what is known as the "Quartet" - four major powers: the UN, the US, the EU, and Russia. These four major powers' representatives are in charge of brokering, or more specifically, FORCING the two-state solution on Israel.

In a nutshell, the Roadmap is a strategy to define the borders of Israel, resolve the right of return for Palestinians, settle the Jerusalem issue, and determine who will control the Temple Mount. If the Roadmap is fully implemented, Israel will have given away more territory than nearly anyone in the West ever expected.

From the standpoint of Bible prophecy, we know that Jerusalem will be divided before Jesus returns.

Jordan Swelling

The angel spoke to John in Revelation 11:1-2 and told him to measure the Third Temple, but only the inner courts. "The court which is without the Temple, leave out; ...for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

It is impossible to explain all the Bible prophecies that are working dynamically on this present situation. Suffice it to say that when the Antichrist appears in the Third Temple, he will impose a reign-of-terror over Israel for 42 months that Jeremiah 30:7 calls "Jacob's Trouble." Only 144,000 Jews who are sealed by God will survive. (See Revelation 12:14.)

The likelihood of Jordan's diplomatic demeanor now becoming less temperate, especially if more aggressive voices succeed in taking advantage of the situation, could easily bring this prophecy of Jordan's "swelling" into international headlines.

There is NO DOUBT, prophetically speaking, that Israel will be divided. It seems to be following the very same pattern that led to the fall of Babylon in the days of the Prophet Daniel. When King Belshazzar defiled the holy vessels of the Jewish temple at a drunken party, God sent a mysterious handwriting on the wall that said, "Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin."

None of Belshazzar's counselors could interpret the message, but Daniel, by a revelation from God, gave the interpretation. It meant, "Measured. Wanting. Divided." The word for "Divided" was UPHARSIN, but Daniel used the word "PERES."

Will Israel face a similar judgment for their unrepented sins? Will they be divided? Look at this curious similarity.


Now, compare it with this:


For many years, Israel's most tenured negotiator has been Shimon Peres. Approaching 90 years old, Peres has been known to work feverishly behind the scenes during all the major international accords. At Oslo, it is said that Peres made numerous critical compromises toward dividing Israel. At this writing, Peres is the President of Israel, and is now considered one of Israel's most revered statesmen. But in the end, he is posturing to give away the store. His first name, Shimon, (or Simon) means "God has heard." His last name, Peres, means "division." "God has heard division."

It appears that is prophetic time for Israel to be divided.

While Iran's Ahmadinejad threatens to "Blow Israel off the map," it is up to the likes of King Abdullah of Jordan to help calm down the terrorists and antagonists of the Arab-Muslim world.

In the prophetic timetable, the Sixth Trumpet War, which will kill 1/3 of all mankind, is likely to occur during the last 3 1/2 years while the Antichrist is in power over Israel. Israel is likely to suffer devastating losses at that time. But meanwhile, the prophecies indicate that Israel will be divided and given to the Antichrist - someone from the ancient Assyrian territory [Turkey-Syria-Iran]. You can read all those details in my article entitled "Daniel Chapter 11 Prophecies."

King Abdullah of Jordan has been forced to play a principle role in the mediation between the Arab world and the State of Israel. While a Prince, Abdullah was a relative novice to politics and public leadership. His Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has long been vulnerable to the vulture-like intents of its volatile neighbors, Iran and Iraq. The Hashemites claim to be the direct descendants of Mohammed, and as such, have an enormous pressure to further the Islamic cause as well.

The ominous presence of so many adversaries in the region put enormous pressures on Abdullah and his kingdom of Jordan. An unwelcome insurgency of outside trouble-makers and a dramatic, even lethal shift in hostilities among the involved nations could prove more than any king or president can control.

Another prophetic implication to be considered - in the VERY SAME VERSE OF THE BIBLE (Jeremiah 12:5) - has to do with horses.

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?" There are four prophetic horses which come to power and prominence in the last days. They are the four spirits which patrol the earth - Capitalism - Communism - Catholicism - and Islam. Please see my article on that subject.

As these four horses come to conflict in the final "Clash of Civilizations," Israel is going to get caught in the middle of the hostilities.

Jordan's neighbors all contain radical and unstable elements that could eventually pose a threat not only to Jordan but also to the entire region.

With Yassar Arafat dead, the Palestinian Authority is extremely unstable under Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and his contenders from Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and even the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran have been linked both to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the violent terrorist organization Hezbollah, which have also been linked to anti-Western, anti-Israel insurgencies in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Mubarak of Egypt, President Al-Malaki of Iraq, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's hardline spiritual leader ALL preside over deadly explosive situations domestically and internationally. They all have major terrorist organizations operating within their jurisdictions.

The entire Middle East is a ticking time-bomb. Any one of those nations might be seen as taking advantage of Jordan’s crucial status.

Israel in particular has already expressed concerns that contingencies should be made in the event that Jordan becomes unstable. Since King Hussein died, King Abdullah of Jordan has been very cooperative with the West in attempting to work toward peace, but support for Israel appears to be diminishing daily in Jordan.

Please read my article about the "Roadmap for Peace" sponsored by the United Nations "Quartet." You will see exactly how Jordan's King Hussein played an ENORMOUS role in bringing that document into existence. Read The "Roadmap for Peace" - Fast-track to Armageddon

Most significant would be a further breakdown of Mideast diplomacy that could produce the most volatile political environment in recent memory. Certainly there are not a few hostile neighbors that would love to take advantage of Israel's diminished ally. 

Students of Bible prophecy expect to see international pressures on Israel continue to increase until Jerusalem is finally surrounded by enemies. For additional information, read Is Ezekiel's War Armageddon?, Israel in the New Millenium and UN and the Vatican to rule Jerusalem?

All the Muslim forces in the region, whether legitimate governments or terrorist organization are morbidly determined to squash Israel and formally declare a Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. No one should doubt that such an action would produce a horrific international conflict, if not another holocaust.

It will be of the highest interest to see what takes place in the weeks and months that lie ahead.

Now would be a good time for us to be reminded to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

Ken Raggio

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