Where is the United States in Bible prophecy? It is a question I am asked wherever I go. It is only natural that we should wonder. Since the United States is not mentioned specifically by name in Bible prophecy, people have resorted to their imaginations to find our nation in the Scriptures.
A "tall and smooth people"?
Some have pointed to Isaiah 18 which speaks of a people "tall and smooth" who are "feared far and wide." The passage further states that this is a "powerful nation whose land the rivers divide." The chapter ends by stating that the people of this nation will bring "a gift of homage" to the Lord when He returns to reign from Mt. Zion.
Because these verses speak of a powerful nation whose land is divided by a great river, some have jumped to the conclusion that the nation is the United States since it is divided by the Mississippi River.
But the opening verses of this chapter indicate it is speaking of "Cush," the ancient name of Ethiopia. At the time Isaiah wrote this passage, Ethiopia was a part of the Egyptian empire and the river referred to is undoubtedly the Nile.
A "village" of Tarshish?
Probably one of the most popular passages where people claim to have found the U.S. is in Ezekiel 38 where the prophet describes an invasion of Israel that will be launched in the end times by a nation "from the remote parts of the north." The descriptive verses about the northern power make it clear that this nation is Russia. What is not so clear is where the U.S. fits into this invasion.
Those who find us in the passage point to Ezekiel 38:13 which says that "the merchants of Tarshish and all its villages" (or "young lions" depending on translation) will speak out against the invasion. The argument is that Tarshish is Britain and the "villages" or "young lions" are the English speaking nations like the U.S. and Australia that were founded by British immigrants.
To say the least, this is a highly imaginative interpretation. Its validity is seriously questioned by the fact that no one knows for certain the true identity of "Tarshish." Furthermore, recent archaeological developments indicate that Tarshish was most likely Spain, not Britain.
A "great eagle"?
Another favorite passage for applied imagination is Revelation 12:13-17. These verses state that in the middle of the Tribulation God will provide a means of escape for the Jewish remnant in Israel. They will be carried into the wilderness to a hiding place on the "wings of a great eagle."
Some people have seized on this imagery to teach that the U.S., whose national symbol is the eagle, will supply the end time air lift that will save the Jewish remnant.
But the Bible is its own best interpreter. And when you look up the phrase, "wings of an eagle," you will find that it is the same one that God used in Exodus 19:4 to describe how He brought the Israelites out of Egypt. God is the eagle, not the United States (see Deuteronomy 32:11).
"Babylon the great?"
This brings us to the final and most widely used passage for identifying the U.S. in Bible prophecy. It is Revelation 18 where the destruction of "Babylon the great" is described.
There is no doubt that the United States shares many similarities with the corrupt commercial empire described in this chapter. But the U.S. is not a fulfillment of Revelation 18. That chapter is describing the last Gentile world empire that will dominate the earth at the time of the Lord's Second Coming. It is the empire of the Antichrist.
So, where is the United States in Bible prophecy? The answer is that we are not mentioned directly and specifically. We are covered by general prophecies that relate to all nations, but beyond that, our end time destiny must be a matter of speculation.
General prophecies that apply to the U.S. include those that say all nations will be judged (Isaiah 34:2-3) and all nations will cease to exist except the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 30:11 and 46:28).
I do have a speculation as to why the U.S. is not mentioned in end time prophecy, though, which I'll post in the second half of this study into the United States in Bible prophecy.