On March 26, 1979, millions watched their TVs in fascination as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.
Considering the history of the two nations, this first official attempt at Jewish-Arab peace was a shocking but welcome development, the hope being that Israel’s immediate neighbors would follow. With the exception of Jordan in 1994, they have not. And though both peace agreements have held, they are tenuous as the Bible is clear that, at the end of the age, Israel will be abandoned (Jeremiah 12:7-9; Micah 5:3; Zechariah 14:2; Luke 13:34-35).
In the minds of peace-seekers, such political goodwill between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan conjures visions of permanent reconciliation in the Middle East. But is true peace in the Middle East possible? The answer is, “Yes,” but it will never occur in this era of human history.
In determining when peace will permeate the Middle East, we must look at two particular books of the Bible. The first is Exodus. It is stunning that modern-day Egypt was the first to make peace with modern-day Israel considering the ancient history between them. As you recall from Exodus, Israel dwelt and was enslaved in Egypt for 400 years before God freed the Hebrews. When Israel was “reborn” in 1948, Egypt was her fiercest enemy, making the eventual peace treaty that much more astonishing.
Perhaps this is the reason Egypt is promised such a shining future in the Millennial Kingdom – the 1,000-year reign of Christ which will be established on earth following this era of human history and preceding the establishment of the eternal state. Regarding Egypt’s place in the Kingdom, we must look at the second book, Isaiah:
In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD … And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it (Isaiah 19:19, 21).
The term “In that day” is the key to the time frame in question. “In that day” generally refers to one of two things: God’s judgment at the end of this age, or the period of time just following that judgment, the Millennial Kingdom. In other words, though the majority of blissful promises made in the Old Testament concern Israel, there are many others intended for other nations, and Egypt is one of them.