Those That Dwell Safely In The Coast Lands

Q. Thank you for addressing difficult problems concerning Bible prophecy. In Ezekiel 39:6 God says He will send fire on Magog and those that dwell safely in the coast lands. I tried to look up coast lands to see what it meant in the original text. It seemed to refer to people that lived across the ocean from Israel and were unknown to them at the time of the writing. Some have decided this is Europe. Is it possible this prophecy refers to the US as well?

A. The Hebrew word for coast lands appears 36 times in the Old testament and is most often translated isles or islands, but can also mean coast lands or even countries. Looking at these references you can see that they include everything from the islands of the Mediterranean to those more distant. Isaiah 66:19 speaks of far off isles that have not heard of the Lord and Jeremiah 25:22 makes reference to isles beyond the (Mediterranean) sea.

Certainly we can be justified for including Western Europe and even the British Isles in our interpretation of Ezekiel 39:6, and some scholars are convinced that America could be in view here as well. Time will tell.

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