The Prophecy of The Ten-Nation Confederacy -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 124:494 (Apr 1967)
Article: The Prophecy of The Ten-Nation Confederacy
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Prophecy of The Ten-Nation Confederacy

John F. Walvoord

The interpretation of the prophecy of a future ten-nation confederacy as found in four major passages of Scripture is a determinative issue in any system of prophetic interpretation. This is because the principles of interpretation applied to this prophecy are the key to the total prophetic outlook. Accordingly, the Scriptures related to this problem present one of the decisive interpretive questions facing any expositor.

At least four major Scripture passages make a contribution to this subject (Dan 2:31–35, 40–45; 7:7–8, 19–24; Rev 13:1–2; 17:3, 7, 12–16). These passages either directly or by implication prophesy a ten-kingdom confederation which will be an important aspect of the end-time political situation. The question of whether this has already been fufilled in the past or is subject to future fulfillment is an important issue in determining the Biblical prophetic program.

Principles of Interpretation

At the outset the expositor who attempts to interpret these portions of Scripture is confronted with the major hermeneutical problem of how to interpret prophecy. Two major points of view are reflected in the conclusions reached by various expositors. One view adopted by amillennial and postmillennial interpreters is the dual hermeneutics of Augustine, namely, that while Scripture as a whole should be interpreted normally or literally, prophecy is a special case which should be interpreted allegorically, symbolically, or in a nonliteral sense. Opposed to this is the normal interpretive principle adopted by the single hermeneuties of premillennialism, which is that prophecy should be interpreted much the same as other types of Scripture, namely, that the normal literal sense should be

followed unless the context or the thought requiries a nonliteral or symbolic interpretation. The expositor must therefore weigh the respective merits of these two schools of thought in attempting to interpret the major Scriptures related to the ten-nation confederacy.

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