O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Who is this interesting and most dangerous prophetic person? What is his role in these very last days? How will he appear and what will he do? These are some of the questions that this section of the PESR will attempt to, if not answer these questions, then at least shed some light on them. The above verse is a good starting point. It tells is that God himself has given the Assyrian a 'charge' to go and take spoil, prey and to tread down the streets. None of the things that the past (ancient) Assyrian or the future one does is a surprise to God. In each instance his presence is divinely appointed as a rod of chastisement on God's people.
One of the biggest difficulties in dealing with this subject is the fact that some of the prophecies hearken back to the days of Sennacherib others refer to a coming man of who represents to a greater or lesser degree, the spirit of antichrist. This is not always an easy task as there does not appear to be much agreement about certain passages, namely those in Isiah Chapter 10. Some believe the entire passage refers to the days of Sennacherib, others divide up the passage into two parts, the first part is from Verse 5 to verse 20 and the second part is from Verse 20 onwards and should include portions of Chapter 11, which has unmistakable messianic references1. This seems to be the most supportable interpretation as we notice that during Sennacarib's time and God's miracle in dealing with the invading army2. This portion clearly belongs to the past. Yet when looks at verse 20 onwards we notice some things that stand out;
The Lord uses the term 'in that day'. This is often used to denote the final redemption of Israel when used by the Major Prophets3.
The word 'Indignation' (vs. 25) is used4. Here are just a couple of examples and quite often refers to a final indignation at the end of the age.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (Isa 26:20-21)
And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (Dan 8:19-21)
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. (Dan 11:36-38)
3) The following section (chapter 11 has unmistakable Messianic references
The evidence here is not incontrovertible, but it is quite compelling. This makes the verses from 28 through 32 most interesting as it gives us a look at the route the Assyrian will take when he goes after Jerusalem.
He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron5; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. (Isa 10:28-32)
Interestingly, we notice that as a result of this invasion, Lebanon is punished.
From these passages we can see the Assyrian's presence in the very last days even in this somewhat difficult passage can be surmised.
Isiah makes reference once again to the Assyrian in Chapter 14 however this time there is a strong prophetic connection between Babylon and the Assyrian.
For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (Isa 14:22-26)
This is an interesting passage insofar as the versus before it are in reference to both the King of Babylon and Lucifer. It also foretells that this king will destroy his own land and kill his own people (vs 20). These verses are almost certainly referring to a future war and destruction. Notice (as I have pointed out before) this verse shows that after the king of Babylon is destroyed the whole earth his at rest (Vs 7) and (redeemed) Israel shall rule over their oppressors (Vs 2). Clearly these versus have not been fulfilled and refer to the final days of this age. Thus it does appear to this student that we are talking about events that culminate in the end of this present age, not the ancient past. Here the personage of the Assyrian is very present and enters Israel and is ultimately destroyed by the Lord, but not before it is invaded by this prophetic villain. It is also noteworthy that the Assyrian's power extends over the whole earth, in those days. He is indeed a very powerful figure.
I think here it is important to make an observation here. Often In these passages, I think the LORD spoke through his prophets to give encouragement (or rebuke) to his people and that they expected the prophecies all to be fulfilled in their them present situations. But when the Spirit of God spoke through these men of God, often they were passing on prophecies that had two meanings or two fulfillment or were constructed in such a way as to let the people know what God had planned for them in their present situations and in the longer term plan. The people, even the prophets themselves just never fully understood (or were meant to) that many of these utterances were meant for a time that was only very obliquely mentioned in Old Testament times. That is why one must often break up long passages in terms of what was fulfilled back in Old Testament times and what was meant to be fulfilled in our times. Thus this particular study in this area is not an exercise in spiritual/scriptural gymnastics but rather a careful examination of the passages and a reflection of the history. This I think is needed up fully understand what God is relaying to us about this important prophetic character.
If one makes improper deductions, he will either miss a key prophecy or he will impute prophetic events into the future when they actually came to pass in the past. This is the real challenge when looking at many issues of Biblical prophecy in the Old Testament. It is not an easy task and is best accomplished with a history book, A few good commentaries, book or two on the subject in question and a lot of prayer and meditation.
So let us look now at Isiah Chapter 23. Here the Assyrian is mentioned in a rather interesting way. First, the passage is really a dirge against Tyre and the ships of Tarshish6. The dirge however mentions the Assyrian in this manner.
Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin. (Isa 23:13)
This prophecy seems to have been fulfilled in the past as Sennacharib was known for his building projects.
During Sennacherib's reign, Nineveh evolved into the leading Metropolis of the empire. His building projects started almost as soon as he became king. Already in 703 BC he had built a palace complete with park and artificial irrigation he called his new home ‘The palace without rival’. For this ambitious project an old palace was torn down to make more room. In addition to his own large gardens, several small gardens were made for the citizens of Nineveh. He also constructed the first ever aqueduct, at Jerwan in 690 BCE, which supplied the large demand of water in Nineveh. The narrow alleys and squares of Nineveh were cleaned up and enlarged, and a royal road and avenue were constructed, which crossed a bridge on its approach to the park gate and which was lined on both sides with stelae. - Wikipedia
Yet because this verse appears to have been fulfilled in the past, this also does not rule out a dual fulfillment for the future. Some have gone so far as to say that these verses could mean that a new more modern Tower of Babel will be built, I respectfully have some problems for the reasons given by history. Yet when one looks at the kind of monumental construction undertakings going on in much of the Middle East, it is hard not to see some kind of inference.
Isiah Chapter 30 is a passage that almost certainly portends future events as the language is clearly apocalyptic. Here are the key passages.
And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel. And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. (Isa 30:25-33)
Here we see the kind of apocalyptic imagery that is found in passages dealing with the very end times. So we see here that the Assyrian is very much a major prophetic player and one against whom the Lord has a major controversy. Here the prophet uses the metaphor of Tophet to describe his end.
tō´feth (התּפת, ha-tōpheth, etymology uncertain; the most probable is its connection with a root meaning “burning” - the “place of burning”; the King James Version, Tophet, except in 2Ki_23:10): The references are to such a place: “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire” (Jer_7:31). On account of this abomination Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom should be called “The valley of Slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, till there be no place to bury,” the Revised Version margin “because there shall be no place else” (Jer_7:32); see also Jer_19:6, Jer_19:12, Jer_19:13, Jer_19:14. Josiah is said to have “defiled Topheth” as part of his great religious reforms (2Ki_23:10). The site of this shameful place would seem to have been either at the lower end of the VALLEY OF HINNOM (which see), near where Akeldama is now pointed out, or in the open ground where this valley joins the Kidron. - (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
This is the same place that Christ used the word Gehenna which is translated as Hell Fire.
G1067 γέεννα geenna gheh'-en-nah - Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell. - (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
It is used 12 different times in the New Testament.
Total KJV Occurrences: 12 hell, 12 - Mat_5:22, Mat_5:29-30 (2), Mat_10:28, Mat_18:9, Mat_23:15, Mat_23:33, Mar_9:43, Mar_9:45, Mar_9:47, Jam_3:5-6 (2)
So in short, The Assyrian is going into hades right after the great battle where the Lord slays the Assyrian with the breath of his mouth. The imagery is clearly apocalyptic and this we can see both the fate of the Assyrian is hell fire, just like the New Testament says it will be.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Rev 19:20)
This verse, I think is rather important because if follows right after the great battle of the LORD against the evil ruler (beast, vs 18) and very closely resembles the passage cited above in Isiah.
We also notice another interesting phrase that there will be a bridle of the nations that is put there specifically to cause them to err. All this is happening while Israel is being comforted by the Lord. Indeed this sounds very much like the culmination of the great deception that is coming and that the Apostles and our Lord spoke about throughout the New Testament. A deception so strong, that if possible it would deceive the very elect.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. (Mat 24:24-25)
Notice most carefully the words I highlighted and underlined.
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Rev 13:11-14)
The beast here may very well be the false prophet (both the best and False Prophet are linked prophetically, See Rev 13) and this entity is key, I believe, to understand the power of the Assyrian. But we will come back to this passage and subject in a little bit. Right now let us go on looking at the other references in the Old Testament to the Assyrian.
As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. (Isa 31:5-9)
With little comment, these verses appear to refer to Isiah's time as the manner of the Assyrians demise as the references in verse 8 show the non-battle destruction his army suffered and his subsequent flight. The remaining verse in Isiah (52:8) are not relevant to this study. The single verse in Ezekiel is not referring to the end times.
Hosea makes reference to him but only in generalized spiritual terms of Israel (Ephraim) forsaking the Lord (5:13, 11:5)7.
Micah is much more revealing and gives us some real insight into this figure. The key verses are five and six of chapter five, but in it we see that it is the Messiah who will be the deliverer of Israel from the Assyrian.
Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. (Mic 5:1-15)
There can be little doubt that this is part of a yet future and apocalyptic battle that is yet to come to pass. We see that the Assyrian will indeed invade Israel and enter her borders, we see that Israel raises up seven wise men and with eight principled men to deal with this invader and that the Messiah ultimately will be the 'peace' of Israel and will lay waste to the land of the Assyrian. Is there any other evidence for this?
Yes, but here we must be very, very careful for it is not clear as to if this event is the same as mentioned above or is perhaps the catalyst for the Assyrians rage against Israel in the very last days.
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. (Isa 17:1-4)
In this verse Damascus is totally destroyed, It is a heap of runs and is no longer a city. This has never happened before as Damascus is often referred to even to this day, as the oldest city in the world, and it still stands as the Capital of Syria. How Is this related to the Assyrian? First it is geographically related to him. Second according the prophecies above it is related to him in the sense of his presence at the end of the age.
The ancient Assyrian empire is as we can see went all the way from the Persian Gulf (Modern Iran) all the way through modern Iraq, Turkey, Syria all the way through Egypt. It was a large Empire and encompassed much of what we call the middle east.
The Assyrian people trace their origins to the population of the pre-Islamic Mesopotamia, since the time of the Akkadian Empire. It was not until the Neo-Assyrian Empire that the Assyrians began to speak Aramaic, the language of the Aramaean tribes who had been assimilated into the Assyrian empire in the 8th century BC. due in part to the mass relocations enforced by Assyrian kings of the Neo-Assyrian period.
They were Christianized in the 1st to 3rd centuries, in Roman Syria and Persian Assyria. They were divided by the Nestorian Schism in the 5th century, and from the 8th century, they became a religious minority following the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia.
Culturally and linguistically distinct from, although quite influenced by, their neighbours in the Middle East - the Arabs, Persians, Kurds, Turks, and Armenians - the Assyrians have endured much hardship throughout their recent history as a result of religious and ethnic persecution.
The most significant recent persecution against the Assyrian population was the Assyrian genocide, which occurred at the onset of the First World War. This led to a large-scale resettlement of the Assyrian people in countries such as Syria, Iran and Iraq, as well as other neighbouring countries in and around the Middle East. - Wikipedia
The system will arise from the region of Media-Babylon which encompasses Modern Iran, Iraq, large parts of Turkey and Syria, but the verse mentioned above give the strong impression (I did not say proof) that the leader of this system or perhaps the false prophet of it may be of Assyrian origin. Whoever he is he will attack Israel, invade it and be destroyed there, not unlike the armies of of the Last days at the battle of Armageddon. I suspect that the Assyrian will be a key leader in that battle.
Here in this verse one can find many of the same events, an invasion of Israel, divine intervention and Israel coming to the Messiah, even looking up on him (12:10).
What I find rather interesting and may nor may not be related to the Assyrian is that just two verses before the above passage we read about the 'foolish' shepard'. Here is what Zechariah has to say about him.
For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (Zec 11:16-17)
Here a man who is handicapped in one (it does not say which) arm and his right eye. Who is this man? It is not known to me, and the passage seems to indicate this is a religious figure, as the the whole chapter is dealing with good and evil shepherds (religious leaders) and seems to indicate that this person is an Israelite or a Jew1. While it is hard to discern whether or not this figure is apocalyptic or not, the prophecy that starts with the following verse (12:1) clearly is. Second, there has been no historical figure with such characteristics that has come onto the scene. Thus, it is likely that this is a future prophetic figure. Where exactly he fits in is not clear to this author, he could be a false Rabbi or religious leader in Israel, he could be a Jew who forsakes his faith or he could be a Jewish person who lives in another country who rises to prominence in religious affairs. From the passages I cannot be certain.
Some believe this verse could refer to the final ruler of Israel who will lead the people astray just before Christ returns using versus like Ezekiel 21::25-25 to support this position2. This may be bolstered considerably as we look at Nahum 1:11-14.
There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor. Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile. (Nah 1:11-14)
There appears to be some controversy over this verse insofar as some think this refers to the ancient Assyirans themselves and not to Israel. Yet the excellent commentary of Keil And Delizsch thinks it refers to Israel. This particular commentary takes great pains to ferret out linguistic and grammatical problems and gives well researched solutions to those of us who do not have a command of the Original Hebrew of Greek.
Nah_1:11. From thee has one come out, who meditated evil against Jehovah, who advised worthlessness.” The question in Nah_1:9 is not addressed to the enemy, viz., the Assyrians, as very many commentators suppose: “What do ye meditate against Jehovah?” For although châshabh 'el is used in Hos_7:15 for a hostile device with regard to Jehovah, the supposition that 'el is used here for ‛al, according to a later usage of the language, is precluded by the fact that חשׁב על is actually used in this sense in Nah_1:11. Moreover, the last clause does not suit this view of the question. The word, “the affliction will not stand up, or not rise up a second time,” cannot refer to the Assyrians, or mean that the infliction of a second judgment upon Nineveh will be unnecessary, because the city will utterly fall to the ground in the first judgment, and completely vanish from the earth (Hitzig). For צרה points back to בּיום צרה, and therefore must be the calamity which has fallen upon Judah, or upon those who trust in the Lord, on the part of Nineveh or Asshur (Marck, Maurer, and Strauss). This is confirmed by Nah_1:11 and Nah_1:15, where this thought is definitely expressed. Consequently the question, “What think ye with regard to Jehovah?” can only be addressed to the Judaeans, and must mean, “Do ye think that Jehovah cannot or will not fulfil His threat upon Nineveh?” (Cyr., Marck, Strauss). The prophet addresses these words to the anxious minds, which were afraid of fresh invasions on the part of the Assyrians. To strengthen their confidence, he answers the question proposed, by repeating the thought expressed in Nah_1:8. He (Jehovah) is making an end, sc. of the enemy of His people; and he gives a further reason for this in Nah_1:10. - Keil And Delitzsch
Yet and still while the imagery is compelling, I see Nahum's prophecy dealing almost exclusively with Assyria of the past. Others have pointed to other places in the scriptures that they believe point to the Assyrian Origin of the anticrhist, however I have been careful here not to call this character by that name for many reasons, though the attention given him seems to indicate great importance in the end time drama and God's final judgment on that wicked one.
Here it is important to understand that the world Asshur is translated as the Assyrian. However the same word is used in different ways throughout the New Testament. In fact it is used 153 times in the Old Testament3. Here is how it is used and where according to Strong's concordance.
אשּׁר / אשּׁוּר 'ashshûr Total KJV Occurrences: 153 assyria, 118
Gen_2:14, Gen_25:18, 2Ki_15:19-20 (3), 2Ki_15:29 (2), 2Ki_16:7-10 (5), 2Ki_16:18, 2Ki_17:3-6 (7), 2Ki_17:23-24 (2), 2Ki_17:26-27 (2), 2Ki_19:4, 2Ki_19:6, 2Ki_19:8, 2Ki_19:10-11 (2), 2Ki_19:17, 2Ki_19:20, 2Ki_19:32, 2Ki_19:36, 2Ki_20:6, 2Ki_23:29, 1Ch_5:6, 1Ch_5:26 (2), 2Ch_28:16, 2Ch_28:20-21 (2), 2Ch_30:6, 2Ch_32:1, 2Ch_32:4, 2Ch_32:7, 2Ch_32:9-11 (3), 2Ch_32:21-22 (2), 2Ch_33:11, Ezr_6:22, Neh_9:32, Isa_7:17-18 (2), Isa_7:20, Isa_8:4, Isa_8:7, Isa_10:12, Isa_11:11, Isa_11:16, Isa_19:23-25 (4), Isa_20:1, Isa_20:4, Isa_20:6, Isa_27:13, Isa_36:1-2 (2), Isa_36:4, Isa_36:8, Isa_36:13, Isa_36:15-16 (2), Isa_36:18, Isa_37:4, Isa_37:6, Isa_37:8, Isa_37:10-11 (2), Isa_37:18, Isa_37:21, Isa_37:33, Isa_37:37, Isa_38:6, Jer_2:18, Jer_2:36, Jer_50:17-18 (2), Eze_23:7, Hos_7:11, Hos_8:9, Hos_9:3, Hos_10:6, Hos_11:11, Mic_5:6, Mic_7:12, Nah_3:18, Zep_2:13, Zec_10:11
Isa_10:5, Isa_14:24-25 (2), Isa_19:23, Isa_23:13, Isa_30:31, Isa_31:8, Isa_52:4, Eze_31:3, Hos_5:13, Mic_5:5-6 (3)
2Ki_19:35, Isa_19:23, Isa_37:36, Lam_5:6, Eze_16:28, Eze_23:5, Eze_23:9, Eze_23:12, Eze_23:23, Hos_12:1
Gen_10:11, Num_24:22 (2), Num_24:24, 1Ch_1:17, Eze_27:23, Eze_32:22, Hos_14:3
These are all the versus where Asshur are used in the Old Testament. Most deal with Asshur of the past and those that deal (or could) deal with him in the future have been dealt with above. Some have made slightly convoluted arguments on Assur and the Antichrist. I see Asshur clearly as being one whose very foundations were pagan. Her future, It appears also to be anti-God and at least at thus juncture to have a high probability of being Islamic and taking on a very serious rhetorical, social spiritual and military opposition to Christians and Jews. Yet the same can easily be said of most of the old (and new) nations/empires of the Middle East; Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Phoneacians., etc, they all had their pagan worship and one time or another and came against God's holy people. In this respect, this is hardly a revelation. Yet it is key to understanding the spiritual underpinnings of the system.
Archaeologists have uncovered temples to the Moon-god throughout the Middle East. From the mountains of Turkey to the banks of the Nile, the most wide-spread religion of the ancient world was the worship of the Moon-god. In the first literate civilization, the Sumerians have left us thousands of clay tablets in which they described their religious beliefs. As demonstrated by Sjoberg and Hall, the ancient Sumerians worshipped a Moon-god who was called many different names. The most popular names were Nanna, Suen and Asimbabbar. His symbol was the crescent moon. Given the amount of artifacts concerning the worship of this Moon-god, it is clear that this was the dominant religion in Sumeria. The cult of the Moon-god was the most popular religion throughout ancient Mesopotamia. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Akkadians took the word Suen and transformed it into the word Sin as their favorite name for the Moon-god. As Prof. Potts pointed out, "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites. - Bible Beleivers (allah: The Moon God)
So here we see that archaeological evidence indicates that Islam's roots may very well have come from come for the paganism1. My point here is a simple but important one. This entire region has always been deeply associated with pagan beliefs. From Babylon, Sumeria Assyria you name it. Various strange and pagan God's always held sway. These gods were always the spiritual underpinnings of these societies. The same spirit drives the new religious fervor of the region and just like in yesteryear, that fervor eventually targets the Jews for destruction via military force. This is simply the last chapter in a very old book.
It is for this reason that I see many of the ancient prophecies that seem to harken back to the ancient days and then suddenly switch to the last days. It is all the same basic story and the same spiritual players are on the stage. Though the devils agents often change their names from time to time, their underpinning are clear for anyone to see and I think one of the reasons that you find messianic references in texts that seem to refer to those days is for this very reason.
1I am aware of the deep controversy surrounding Dr. Morely who originally postulated this link and a simple google search on his name yields results for every conceivable Islamic apologist site in the net.
1I was going to write a long section on this but I won't. The Iranian Leader, it has been revealed by some to actually be a Jew! This man who has ranted and raved against Israel it turns out may be of Jewish extraction, though some think this unlikely.
2I believe this verse refers to the king Zedekiah, who seems to the one referred to.