Q. Over the years I’ve heard a few people say that the false prophet would be Jewish. The only reasoning for this was that the Jews would not accept him unless he was Jewish. Several days ago while watching a Christian video the speaker said in passing that the false prophet would come from the tribe of Dan. Is there any scriptural basis to think that this could be so? Many thanks for sharing your gift to help us all.
A. I believe it’s the anti-Christ that some people think has to be Jewish, saying that otherwise he couldn’t be accepted as their messiah. And there is a Jewish tradition that he will come from the tribe of Dan. Dan is the tribe through which idolatry came into the Land at the time of the divided Kingdom (1 Kings 12:28-30), and Dan is the only tribe not represented among the 144,000 of Rev. 7: 4-8.
This doesn’t make identifying the anti-Christ any simpler. What makes a man Jewish? Is it religion? There are many gentiles who converted to Judaism down through the centuries. The descendants of European converts are perhaps the biggest ethnic group in Israel today. Or is it biology? We recently learned that President Ahmadinejad of Iran is biologically Jewish. His father had the entire family converted to Islam when he was 8 years old. I guess one thing that tells us is the anti-Christ could be both a biological Jew and a religious Moslem.
Then there’s Ezekiel 44:7-9 where, upon returning to dwell among them, the first thing God will do is accuse the Jews of letting uncircumcised foreigners officiate in His Temple during the Great Tribulation. So, while all this makes for interesting speculation, it’s not really helpful in identifying the anti-Christ.