• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

    Previously at:
    blogs.salon.com/0003494
    barthsnotes.wordpress.com

    Email me
    (Non-commercial only)

  • Archives

  • Twitter

  • Supporting

  • Recent comments

Egypt Unrest Provokes Apocalyptic Hysteria

Hmm, let me think now….

WorldNetDaily reports:

A mysterious, pale green figure seen in televised news coverage of the Egyptian riots has prompted some viewers to ask, “Could this be the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse?”

…Between the crowds of protesters and barricades, the video shows a flowing, pale green image that resembles an erect rider atop a horse in Medieval-like barding. The ethereal figure remains for a few moments before floating over protesters’ heads and off the screen.

Yes, the Book of Revelation should be taken literally, although by “pale” we should understand “transparent and green”. However:

…Some claim the video’s “pale rider” is a sign and the greenish tint is somehow symbolic of Islam, while others insist the image has been added to the footage by editing technolgy. Still others point to three, trailing points of light in the footage that move away from the crowds at the same time and speed as the “horseman,” indicating that both the “rider” and the lights are merely smudges or reflections cast on the lens of a moving camera.

Which of those might turn out to be the truth, I wonder? Perhaps it’s worth pointing out (probably not) that the “pale rider” in Revelation is a symbol of plague; there’s no actual rider, no actual horse, and certainly no application to anti-Mubarak protests in Egypt in 2011. However, the above is just a symptom of the religious hysteria which regularly feeds off uncertainty in the Middle East; back in 2006 I noted similar millennial enthusiasm over Israeli action in Lebanon, which included excitement over a medieval psalter found in an Irish bog.

Apparently it seems obvious to some that the fall of a pro-US hardman could not occur without God giving it special mention, and so Biblical texts that reference Egypt are being pressed into service. As I noted a few days ago, Joel Richardson has attempted to relate current events to the rise of a Muslim anti-Christ;  Shaddy Soliman, pastor of Every Nation Church in Lake Mary, Florida (I’ve blogged on the Every Nation grouping previously) is also on the bandwagaon:

This is not the time for our world leader to be blinded by the ideology of democracy and not see the bigger picture.

…If you read Isaiah 19, it will explain a lot of what is taking place right now. You see the process looks very ugly in Isaiah 19 but the end result is amazing.

Isaiah 19 warns the Kingdom of Judah against entering into an alliance with Egypt against the domination of Assyria in the eighth century BCE, and it contains a  prediction that Egypt will suffer disaster. This was astute advice, since Assyria went on to conquer Egypt, although the chapter ends with with a late interpolation (in a different style) in which Egypt and Assyria convert to the Yahweh religion, offer “sacrifices” and “cereal offerings”, and Israel is recognised as “the centre of the world”. That proved rather too optimistic, although it doubtless did wonders for the self-image of a small country squeezed between two regional superpowers.

Isaiah 19 was written for people living at the time; it does not explain  anything about “what is taking place” nearly three thousand years later. Of course, one may choose to discern a “timeless” spiritual message, too, but that would be that God’s people should trust in God and not compromise their values through dubious political alliances. It is difficult to see how that could be used to justify backing Mubarak.

4 Responses

  1. This is verging on spoof, people really will see whatever they want to see won’t they?

  2. […] Comments Daniel Hoffmann-Gill on Egypt Unrest Provokes Apocalyptic HysteriaEgypt Unrest Provokes Apocalyptic Hysteria « Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion on Shurely […]

  3. […] Clunkily literalistic readings of the text are in fashion right now: recently there was speculation that the book’s “pale rider” had been caught on camera in […]

  4. […] » Syria Crisis Raises Profile of Apocalpytic Novelist Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion on Egypt Unrest Provokes Apocalyptic Hysteria […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.