Can you name the country that is the most eastern of all countries mentioned
in the Old Testament?
being the geographical anchor of the Bible, we are of course here referring
to Asian countries … namely, Far East Asian nations. Is that country Babylon … or perhaps Elam
Just what other nations mentioned in the Bible could possibly be named that
are even further east?
Actually, in the book of Esther, we find the mention of a country called
Hodu (so-named in the original Greek). “This
is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127
provinces stretching from India
(Esther 1:1). Hodu is a word derived from the Persian word for Hindu and
refers to Hindustan, the nation of
today. However, we will not stop there, as there is yet possibly one more
nation mentioned that is even further east. Indeed,
as we will show, the Bible does provide some specific information about the
roles of several Asian countries in the last days. And, at least one of
these indications has been mostly overlooked by Bible readers. In this
3-part series, we hope to lay out fascinating information about
that appears to align with the rapid last-days trends portrayed in the
Without a doubt, the emergence of certain Asian countries to greater world
prominence plays an integral and necessary part in the events and trends
that lead to the conditions of the upcoming Tribulation period. Though very
few specific events may be pinpointed from Bible prophecy, Asia’s influence and likely endtime roles can also be
discerned through deduction.
As in astronomy, “black holes” are not directly visible, but they can be
discerned through their impact on other celestial bodies. In the same way,
we can observe trends in the Middle East
and the Roman-heritage world, informed by both facilitating and parallel
developments in other parts of the world.
The Modern Asian Phenomenon
A significant impulse that has rocked the world in recent decades is the
rapid emergence of a group of Asian economic dynamos. Large countries with
huge populations such as India
seem to have awoken rather suddenly. After years of slumbering, this
cocooned region began its butterfly transformation only some 60 years ago.
Today, as some of these nations have muscled onto the world stage as
economic titans, they are projecting a wide wake—one that is washing up on
the shores of all the high-income countries around the world, particularly
North America. They are also becoming more influential
Without a doubt, the rise of these nations is significant and should be seen
as a major development of the last days. Why? There are a number of reasons,
as we will discover. For now, let us state that any sudden development with
potential global impact taking place after May 14, 1948 is likely to have
material portent with respect to a last-day world. The significance of that
date is well known. On that day, Israel was
officially reborn as a nation after nearly two millennia of non-existence,
thus signaling the start of the last generation of the last days. Some
analysts argue that the signal date marking the onset of the “last
generation” is the Six-Day War, which gave
control over Old Jerusalem as of June 10, 1967. Whichever date it may be
(1948 or 1967), the rise of Asia—specifically, the main thrust of the
reawakening of China, India and others— occurred after that time.
But to what end and purpose? More intriguingly, could China and other
Asian nations be specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy? If so, what roles
will these countries play? The Bible does mention that certain “kings from
the east” will play a part in last day events (Revelation 16:12). Just who
are these kings, and what is their expected consequence? Will it be
malevolent or beneficial for the world? And, can we connect such references
to developments in Asia today?
Before making any further references to Scripture, it will be instructive to
get a sense of the epic nature of the recent Asian phenomenon. It is yet
another rapid 20th century trend that has direct linkages to
economic, financial and geopolitical developments. Even more significant,
the rise of Asia has all the hallmarks of
an endtime financial phenomenon in addition to Scriptural alignments. All of
these five tell-tale characteristics of a “last-day season phenomena” can be
observed: 1. An acceleration observed after 1948; 2. A seeming improbability
and inexplicability of its occurrence … at least at first; 3. Godlessness
(apostasy) … i.e. spiritual elements; 4. A scope for worldwide impact; and,
above all, 5. Suddenness and rapidity.
For some reason, Asia began stirring not
much more than 50 to 60 years ago. Why then, and why not a century sooner …
or five decades later? Taking a prophetic perspective, the specific set of
forces that this awakening imparts to the rest of the world couldn’t be more
opportune or timely.
In recent decades, many Asian tigers began to roar. Their economic influence
swept the world; several Asia-based companies are now dominating global
industries. Their rapid eruption into world trade flows and overall fast
economic growth has challenged the world’s high-income countries. The
world’s resources—whether energy fuels, water, iron ore or copper plate—and
financial systems are no longer the preserve of the rich world. The West can
no longer unilaterally commandeer the world economy for its own exclusive
benefit uncontested. With this newfound economic influence—a primary factor
in determining geopolitical influence in this present Age of Global
Capital—there are now additional contenders for future global supremacy.
Therefore, over the past several years, we have seen nations such as
sitting at the global policymaking tables of the G-20 and other
Small Beginnings with Big Consequences
It wasn’t that long ago—not much more than 25 years past—that the Western
world still looked upon the Far East
with a certain aloofness. It was and remains a poorly understood part of the
world, large and diverse, comprising roughly 40% of the world’s land mass
and approximately 60% of the earth’s population. To illustrate, the
countries of China and India
evoked belittling visions of rice paddies and countryside peasants, or
respectively, teeming Hindus living in the stifling suburbs of Calcutta between their wandering, sacred cows.
Westerners would donate their nickels and dimes to alleviate the hungry and
homeless in this region … perhaps, the lepers in India. The Mao uniforms that were
worn in the Middle Kingdom—unisex brown khakis for everyone— were also a
familiar picture. These Asian
peoples, different as they were, seemed a world away—certainly far out of
harm’s way and of no fathomable threat to
or any other high-income country. We considered them less fortunate,
backward and undeveloped—so far beneath the enlightened ways of our
Hellenistic and progressive cultures. Their customs and religions were
strange. Or so thought the cuckolded Western mind.
It did begin with a whimper. Earlier in the century, the world witnessed the
first beginnings of Asia’s economic
miracles in a selected number of smaller countries. Japan was the
first Asian nation in the post-war period to enter take-off into rapid
economic development. Beginning in the late 1950s, Japan began a hyperactive period of
economic growth and development, rapidly rising from its relatively poor
status to eventually become the world’s second largest economic powerhouse.
While it had been a force to be reckoned with during World War II, Japan
economically was seen as diminutive and non-threatening in the post-war
period. Its economy in 1960 represented only 3% of world economic output.
Its population accounted for a similar proportion.
Then, suddenly, Japan’s
economy was sparked to grow more than two to three times as fast as those of America and Europe
during this early growth phase.
South Korea was next. It seemed even less
significant, its economy in 1960 amounting to less than 1/3 of 1% of world
output and possessing less than 1% of the world’s population. Beginning in
the early 1960s, this Asian competitor to Japan began its journey to
eventually become one of the high-income nations of the world. Only 25 years
later, in 1996,
it would become one of the 30 members of the Organization of Economic
Development (OECE)—the rich country club of the world.
Ridicule Leads to Eventual Supremacy
Despite the durable and dynamic transformations in these two Asian
countries, it was still considered a put-down to consider that a product
might have been made anywhere in Asia even
as late as in the early 1970s. Westerners still had no inkling that a new
industrial revolution had been underway in certain corners of this region
for more than a decade at that time. Datsun, today renamed Nissan, and Toyota automobiles were still considered
economy-priced cars with dubious quality standards. For example, Datsun
automobiles in the late 1960s rusted out in a matter of a few years due to
the shortage of quality steel in
Japan. Products from
Asia were often the object of mirth. To say that something was
“Made in Hong Kong” was to imply that
something was shoddy and cheap. No American or European manufacturer yet
felt threatened. After all, these were small countries with modest
But only a decade later, Japanese electronic products—the Sony Walkman, a
famous example—and many other products became household names. Toyota, Honda and Nissan
cars became considered quality vehicles. By the mid-1980s, Japan’s image
was very different again. Now, more and more people began to worry that Japan was going
to take over entire world industries. American companies began to earnestly
study Japanese ways and manufacturing methods. How was it that Japan was so
productive and successful? Other world manufacturers adopted the “worker
circle” concept and “just-in-time inventorying” (JIT) that Japan had
perfected. Japan became
the world’s third largest economy in 1967, leap-frogging both France and Britain
that year for the first time, and then overtook Germany for the second-place
position in 1972.
While we have provided only a very superficial account of the thundering
emergence of such countries as Japan
upon the world economic stage, it nonetheless illustrates the rapidity of
this transformation. In less than 30 years, these two nations rose from the
status of disregarded underlings to world-feared competitors. Today, such
American industrial icons as General Motors, Polaroid and others have either
disappeared, are near bankruptcy or have required government bailouts …
vanquished by Asian-based manufacturers, so to speak, on their home turf.
Waves of Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, and Hyundai’s descended upon showroom
floors to waiting buyers. They meet the satiating criteria of the American
consumer—a good product at a good price. The same consumer preference
applies to other Asian imports, most notably from China.
The Asian Behemoths Begin to Stir
While such countries as Japan
and South Korea prospered
by trading successfully with a fast-globalizing world,
continued to sleep for the most part. And, for that matter, so did
Westerners. Similar transformations were thought impossible in these two
countries. India was a
calcified and bureaucracy-bound country that was mostly inward looking. Its
predominantly Hindu culture seemed inert to a consumer-oriented “market
economy” revolution. In the case of China, even as late as the
mid-1970s, it was still in the grip of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution,
deeply communistic and antagonistic to Western values and ways.
These were big countries with huge populations. In 1980, India’s
population of 687 million people accounted for almost one-sixth (15.5%) of
the world’s population.
China’s population of 981 million people at
that time accounted for an even greater share of 22%. Together, these two
slumbering giants harbored almost two-fifths of the human souls on the
planet. Yet, both Chinese and Indian economies each only accounted for
approximately 1.7% of world output. That both these nations appeared trapped
and content in their non-progressive cultures and ideologies was comforting.
But, things soon changed. Next to awake was China.
Napoleon’s prediction would finally prove prophetic. Returning from a trip
to that nation 200 years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte uttered these now famous
words, “When China awakes, it will shake the
world.” Today, hardly 35-40 years after China began stirring, the world is
The China Agenda:
What Is It?
As a world-traveling investment executive, this writer had only come to
fully grasp the significance of China’s economic awakening somewhat
late. I remember the very day that my awareness was alerted. On a research
trip to Asia in 1992, I visited with the Chief Investment Officer of a major
family fortune (with Mainland connections) in
Hong Kong. This man, who was Chinese and educated in
Australia, was more than forthcoming about what was
happening in China. Basically, his message was
this: Western corporate executives were so greedy they were willing to
supply all their technology free to China—and significant investment capital
to boot—if they could have an opportunity to access China’s domestic
consumer market. He was chuckling as he said it. What’s more, he didn’t
think foreigners were ever going to make much money in China. He was amused with the
transparent gullibility and greed of the “wai lo” —literally
meaning, “foreign devils.” It was the Chinese version of a capitalist
“monkey trap.” That conversation took place already a full decade
after the “economic opening” to the rest of the world was begun by Premier
Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s.
In retrospect, the views of my Chinese contact were largely correct. Few
foreign investors have made much money although a sizable proportion of the
foreign industrial entities (FIEs) and companies owned by foreign
multinational companies are now profitable.
As mentioned, 1992 was rather late to recognize the “big picture” that was
unfolding. It had been 1979 when Premier Deng Xiaoping first launched China’s economic
development program. The objective was to quadruple the size of China’s economy
over the next 20 years.
China’s leaders realized that
they more accurately recognized as Anglobalization—was
here to stay and that projecting worldwide influence and power was primarily
a function of economic might. As
had been so disengaged from “free market” capitalism, its economic footprint
in the world was small even with a population of one billion people.
met the goal it had set in 1979, quadrupling the size of its economy in the
next 20 years. Today, it is already well advanced in its goal to again
quadruple the size of its economy by 2020.
And yet, it is only in very recent years that the world has come to
recognize the stupendous impact of a stirring China. Rising oil prices and a
job-deficient economic recovery in the US
have awakened a sleeping West to finally notice the industriousness of Asia and to consider the impact it may have upon the
cherished and accustomed lifestyles enjoyed by these countries.
Now, the future implications of a booming China look all
too obvious. But the past does not always extrapolate neatly into the
future. While the future is never as sure as a popular consensus may think,
it is true that China
has indeed awoken and the world is shaking. But there is more to this epic
development than meets the eye.
We continue with this series in the next issue:
Far East Asia Trends Today — Part II: Topic of Bible Prophecy. In it we
reveal the mysterious Asian nation mentioned in the Bible that is furthest
east and prove from Scripture that Far East Asia indeed has a prophetic
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About the Author:
Wilfred J. Hahn
is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst,
research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of
country’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the
endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted
around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications
and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free
accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial
Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied:
Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further
into the future.
Korea signed the Convention founding
the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development on 12
December 1996, thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s
fundamental aims.” Accessed November 26, 2005.
Empire: The Rise and Fall of the British World Order and the Lessons
for Global Power
Basic Books, 2003).
“Anglobalization” is coined in this work.