WOW! Israel and Lebanon Make Historic Agreement over Disputed Territorial Waters
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Hello and welcome to this week’s Bible in the News.
This week in the news Israel and Lebanon made a historic agreement to resolve the territorial dispute over the Qana and Karish gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. The agreement stopped short of normalizing relations between the two countries, the agreement includes Israel and Lebanon sharing the revenues from the Qana field through the energy giant Total.
Lebanon is currently suffering an economic meltdown, with inflation running at over 200% so their share of the revenue is sorely needed. Seeing an economic partnership form between these two states, despite them being formally at war since 1948, should help to stabilize relations as it will be in Lebanon’s economic interest to avoid war breaking out between the two countries.
Lebanon is a country of interest in Bible prophecy as these lands are referred to in the latter day prophecy in Joel 3
3 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
So we see this is a chapter referring to the time when all nations are gathered against Israel
4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;
5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:
6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.
The New King James version translates verse 4 a little differently – it says “will you retaliate against me”, while the ESV translates it “Are you trying to pay me back for something”
And so from Joel 3 we can expect to see a nation in this area of Tyre and Zidon (today these places are both within Lebanon), that feels they have been treated badly and want to pay back for what has happened to them. These places (Lebanon and the Gaza Strip) do not love Israel, but we know from Eze 38 there is a reliable state of de facto peace between them and Israel.
Taking of what Gog will say when he comes against Israel
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.
And so from this verse we can see that even though there are peoples in Tyre, Zidon and the coasts of Palestine that want payback, Israel is able to dwell in peace, without walls, bars or gates.
When you visit Israel today you see walls, bars and gates almost everywhere you go – particularly on the mountains of Israel. Each West Bank settlement will have a fence around it, with gates at the entrance because of the security situation, and there is the security barrier separating the West Bank off from the rest of Israel – partly as a wall, partly as a fence – with gates at each of the checkpoints as you pass through.
So although we see Israel not yet at peace, we possibly see another step towards this situation described in Joel 3 and Ezekiel 38, where Israel is at de facto peace with Tyre and Zidon, without normalizing relations as it has with some of the Sheba and Dedan nations in the Gulf as we have seen with the Abraham Accords.
The other interesting aspect of this agreement is that Israel can now utilise more of it’s gas reserves, as while the dispute between Israel and Lebanon was on going, no oil or gas company were willing to risk the investment to tap the reserves within the disputed territories. Now the dispute is resolved, although Israel has given up some of the Qana gas field, Israel now can exploit the reserves in the Karish gas field which holds somewhere between 2-3 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Within the June 2022 energy deal between the EU, Egypt and Israel, Israel already has a ready buyer for this gas, and it is expected that the gas from this reserve will be exported to the EU.
With the price of gas in Europe at the highest price on record it is expected that Israel will bring in healthy revenues by selling this gas, as a major boost to its economy. This is of interest as Israel is described as being a rich nation in Ezekiel 38, something that it currently is not, certainly in comparison to western nations.
And so as we see all these geo-political forces in play, we can be confident that the most high rules in the kingdom of men, and is guiding events according to his plan.
Join again next week for another addition of Bible in the News.