The traditional viewpoint has been that the Antichrist will be a European of Roman descent. This view is based on a statement in Daniel 9:26 which says that the Antichrist, referred to as “the prince who is to come,” will be from “the people who destroy the Temple.” Those people proved to be the Romans who destroyed the Temple in 70 AD.
Gentile or Jew?
Scholars have been divided as to whether or not this person of Roman heritage will be a Gentile or a Jew. Many have pointed to John 5:43 to argue that the Antichrist will be a Jew. That verse quotes Jesus as saying, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.” The argument drawn from this statement is that the Antichrist must be a Jew in order for the Jews to accept him as their Messiah.
But other prophecies in the Bible make it clear that the Jews will never accept the Antichrist as their Messiah. In fact we are told point blank that when the Antichrist declares himself to be God at the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Jews will be outraged and will reject him, causing him to turn on them in fury with the purpose of annihilating them (Revelation 12:13-17).
The Gentile Argument
So what did Jesus mean when He said that “if another shall come in his own name you will receive him?” Those who argue the Antichrist will be a Gentile respond by saying that the Antichrist will be accepted by the Jewish people as their political savior when he implements a treaty that will guarantee their security and enable them to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). But the Jews will never receive the Antichrist as their spiritual savior. Thus, when he declares himself to be God, they will reject him.
There is other scriptural evidence that the Antichrist will be a Gentile. For example, Revelation 13:1 pictures him as a beast arising “out of the sea.” The sea is used in Scripture to symbolize the Gentile nations (Daniel 7:3 and Luke 21:25).
In contrast, the Antichrist’s right-hand man and spiritual leader is pictured in Revelation 13:11 as rising up out of the land (or the earth, in some translations). This reference to the land is an indication that the False Prophet will be a Jew who will rise out of the Promised Land of Israel.
Possibly a Muslim?
Could the Antichrist possibly be a Muslim? This is a new idea that seems to be catching fire today due to the awakening of Islam and the revival of its territorial goal of conquering the world for Allah.
I recently read four books that relate to this topic. One lays the biblical foundation without asserting that the Antichrist will actually be a Muslim. The other three use that foundation to make the assertion. Each of these books will be reviewed over the next couple of entries.
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the roman empire was divided with east and west as is indicacted by the 2 legs in daniel ch2. The east ruled most of the middle east including isreal. The phrase “he will disregard the GOD OF HIS FATHERS” may indicate muslem or even jewish background. That does not mean he himself is a muslem. Additionally dan ch8 implies hes partly greek and other scriptures refer to him as the assyrian and king of babylon
also since the eastern roman empire covered most of the middle east incuding the greek empire he could well be from syria and not be in contradiction of the other prophecys. He could even be partly jewish. My guess however is he comes from europe but im not dogmatic about it. Just one more thought about no regard for woman fits the muslem religion. I still think hes from europe
I thank you for this entry. I have been doing a little bit of research too these past week on this subject. I was checking the mother of the muslim mahdi. She is named as Narjis Khatoom (Roman princess), a daughter and granddaughter of a Roman emperor or king and on her mother side, she is related to Simon Peter (granddaughter I think).
So in my opinion, the Antichrist has roman, jew and gentile blood.
Wish I could write more elaborate stuff however, I am no writer nor researcher.
I find that many believers are granted revelation in bits and pieces until YHVH decides to reveal His plans fully. This article and discussion about the four books mentioned has been excellent and I am very comfortable with the conclusions, yet do believe that there is more room for eastern mindsets’ interpretations than is allowed for…much like Hebrew idioms unlock vast interpretations of scripture. Remember the original context.
I understand the human logic of shying away from “lone ranger” interpretations, but must remind the author of the propensity of YHVH to use the minority to confound the majority and recommend the narrow rocky way over the smooth wide road of the majority. We do well to leave all of these things on the shelves of our immediate understanding of the possibilities rather than hold fast to certain things that we know are not yet fully revealed.
I would LOVE to hear some discourse regarding Ez 37 and the identity of Ephraim in these days. Ephraim does not even know his own identity according to my understanding…wouldn’t it make sense that the (Christians in) Christian nations would be those who were dispersed, lose their own identity (Lo ami) and then accept the gospel–only to be reunited with Judah at the appointed time? NOW THAT’S EXCITING STUFF that will energize the Church of Jesus Christ in these days!
all good comments. i don’t think the evidence that the antichrist is NOT muslim is overwhelming. to end up a syrian or with syrian roots would not suprise me as the bible states in ecclesiates that history does repeat itself. and that there is nothing new under the sun. it would still not suprise me if he were europian either. that islam has little respect for women is true and a keen observation, i hadn’t heard that before, but the antichrist is said to have little regard for them. islam is constantly claiming to be a religion of “peace” due to its largely peaceful yet deceived population. and a promise of peace is prophesied. also the term “people” of the prince who is to come must be used with caution. i know the government is roman but syrian soldiers and others were people who helped destroy the temple.
A very plausible explanation for “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.” is that the Jewish people believe the Messiah(anointed one) will be a man, national leader, king, etc., not God. I doubt they would look to any non-Jew as their ‘Messiah’.
And where do we get the idea the Antichrist will make a treaty with Israel for peace from Dan 9:27? What it says is “Then he(probably the man of sin) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;” It doesn’t say peace treaty or what the nature of the covenant is. We have our ideas of how things will work out, then filter scripture through those ideas. It may mean that, or may be some form of covenant with Arabs, etc.