World history was never my strong suit when I was a teenager. In fact, I squirmed a lot in that one semester — mostly because I was looking for any way possible to not pay attention while, at the same time, absorbing just enough Middle East mumbo jumbo to squeak out a passing grade.
By the time I had put the class in my rear view mirror, my memory banks completely purged anything I had actually retained about world history in order to make room for more important things — like the baseball statistics of the 1974 New York Yankees, which were abysmal.
My attention span to world history and goings-on has remained relatively short through the years, saving far more interest for homeland history and current events.
But the other day, I was handed three pieces of paper that sparked my interest right off the bat, even though the topic of those pages was “Iraq: Points of interest.”
Let me preface this a bit by saying that Iraq HAS piqued my interest since the day my Texas buddy George W. Bush (OK, I shook his hand twice when he was running for governor there, but a handshake is a bond in Texas) decided to use the full force of the U.S. military to go after the devil of the Middle East, Saddam Hussein.
But it went off my regular radar when President Obama began pulling troops out and leaving the Iraqians to basically fend for themselves.
Then these three pieces of paper were handed to me.
Right from the start, it was evident that Iraq and the Bible have a connection that I would never have imagined, starting with the first item on the first page: The Garden of Eden was in Iraq.
Apparently so, and it went on …
— Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization.
— Noah built the ark in Iraq.
— The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.
— Abraham was from Ur, which is located in southern Iraq.
— Isaac’s wife Rebekah was from Nahor, which is in Iraq.
— Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.
— Jonah preached in Ninevah, which is in Iraq.
— Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the Ten Tribes of Israel.
— Amos cried out in Iraq.
— Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem.
— Daniel was in the lion’s den in Iraq.
— The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also, as the fourth person in the fiery furnace).
— Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, saw the “writing on the wall” in Iraq.
— Nebuchadnezzar, another king of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.
— Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
— The wise men were from Iraq.
— Peter preached in Iraq.
— The “Empire of man” described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq.
Now, here is a quick one-question quiz for you: Which country is mentioned in the Bible most, after Israel?
OK, I assume that by now you have zeroed in on Iraq as the answer. Gee, what gave it away? However, Iraq is not used in the Bible as the country’s name. Instead, there are references to Babylon, Land of Shinar and Mesopotamia (which translates to “between two rivers,” referring to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.) The name Iraq translates to “country with deep roots.”
Obviously, Iraq is a country that has had deep roots in biblical times. For instance, no other country other than Israel has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.
One final tidbit of interest that simply ties all of this together with a bow: Keep in mind that America’s iconic symbol is the eagle while reading the following verse from the Islamic Bible, the Koran.
“Koran 9:11 — For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair, still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace.”
I hope you noticed the verse number.
— W. Curt Vincent is the general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. He can be reached by calleding 910-862-4163 or by email at email@example.com.