First, a brief look at history and prophetic fulfillment.
When the prototype of the coming Antichrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, arrived with his military forces outside the city of Alexandria he was met by Consul Laenas. Antiochus reached out with his hand in friendship, but instead of Laenas’ hand in reciprocity he received instead an ultimatum from the Roman Senate demanding his immediate withdrawal from Egypt and Cyprus. This ultimatum contained the stipulation that anything short of immediate and unconditional compliance would place the Seleucid Empire in a state of war with the Roman Republic. Antiochus attempted to play for time, saying he would consult his staff about the ultimatum, whereupon Laenas then took a staff and drew a complete circle in the sand around his feet and demanded, “Before you step out of this circle I will have your reply to the Senate.”
This monumentally historic event in the history of the ancient world, where Rome directly confronted the prototype Antichrist, was a literal precursor fulfillment of Daniel 11:30, “For the ships of Kittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant,” just as this fulfillment led directly to the precursor fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation, and all of the other barbarous acts as discussed in the useful but not divinely inspired apocryphal book, 2 Maccabees, chapters 5 and 6.
In the above passage from Daniel, Roman Consul Laenas is represented as “the ships of Kittim” according to the Vulgate (Latin) translation of the original Hebrew text.
"et venient super eum trieres et Romani et percutietur et revertetur et indignabitur contra testamentum sanctuarii et faciet reverteturque et cogitabit adversum eos qui dereliquerunt testamentum sanctuarii""And the galleys and the Romans shall come upon him, and he shall be struck, and shall return, and shall have indignation against the covenant of the sanctuary, and he shall succeed: and he shall return, and shall devise against them that have forsaken the covenant of the sanctuary."
Kittim was a son of Javan, grandson of Japheth and great-grandson of Noah.
Back to the present era.
It would seem that the pro-Western regime (majority Sunni Muslims) in Lebanon understood the intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran though its Hezbollah proxy, a military entity directly related to the IRCG, and decided to allow the United Nation determine culpability for the assassination of its former president, Rafik Hariri and couple of dozen other people. It’s interesting to note that Lebanon did not turn to the Arab League or neighboring majority Sunni Islamic states to offer their support for its sovereignty. Not only did the Sunni Arab regimes fail to act, but so has the United Nations (read: global governance) thus far. This failure of Sunni Muslim cohesion and the UN’s powerlessness did not go un-noticed by the apocalyptic-minded Shi’a regime in Iran and they exploited it fully to the point that Lebanon has now become a de facto Iranian client state through Hezbollah’s military prowess.
Then, as the wave of Sunni Arab protests swept into the heart of the Middle East from North Africa, many of which the Iranian regime has claimed credit for, a paradigm shift occurred within the Sunni-led regimes of the Arabian Peninsula that has been driven as much by fear and the need for self-preservation as it is by the ages old Sunni-Shi’a schism within Islam.
Gone are the days of proxy warfare primarily between Iran and Saudi Arabia as evidenced in Iraq between Sunni and Shiite, or direct, albeit somewhat covert, Saudi military intervention in the Iranian backed Shiite insurgency in Yemen. Now as the very real specter of Iranian expansion directly threatens Sunni rule in the Arabian Peninsula, a line has been drawn in the sand, and that line encircles the tiny nation-state of Bahrain.
Within the past day Saudi Arabian military forces, accompanied by the military forces of Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, have made great spectacle in deploying significant numbers of their armored vehicles and combat troops into Bahrain at that government’s request to forcibly put down an insurrection of Iranian-inspired Shi’a Muslims. Iran’s reaction to this deployment makes the unambiguous threat of war against the Saudi’s and GCC nations all too real.
The Iranian foreign ministry, as if they have a say in the affairs of another sovereign state, has declared the Bahrani government’s request “illegal.” The Iranian parliament also branded Saudi Arabian regime of King Abdullah as “illegitimate” and the deployment of his troops as being “interference” in Bahrain’s internal affairs which would have “dangerous consequences.” This is far more than just a case of Islamic hypocrisy with the Iranian pot calling the Saudi kettle black; “them's fightin’ words” in any culture.
My curiosity now is piqued in wondering if the escalation of this new inter-Islamic crisis might lead to the fulfillment of Jeremiah 49:34-39. Only time will tell how this plays out, yet it will be very interesting to watch closely nonetheless; the whole of the Middle East is a boiling cauldron setting the conditions under which Biblical prophecy will continue to fulfill literally before our eyes.