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Elam: Iran’s Forgotten Prophecy

by Bill Salus


Jeremiah’s foretelling of Iran’s Future presents us with a treasure trove of clues that may enlighten us about the fate of Iran’s current nuclear aspirations.

It was March 29, 2014, in Orlando, Florida when prophecy experts Chuck Missler and Gordon McDonald of Koinonia House Ministries were reminded of a long-forgotten Bible prophecy concerning Iran. They, along with yours truly, were seated alone together at the head table of the Prophecy in the News conference banquet. While patiently awaiting the auditorium doors to fling open and the masses to flood in for the feast, I humbly inquired,

“Have you gentlemen taken a serious look at the vastly overlooked prophecies identified in Jeremiah 49:34–39 concerning Elam?”

With heightened interest, they turned their undivided attention toward me and replied, “No, we haven’t.” Pleased to have piqued their curiosities, I took the liberty of unpacking the prophet’s predictions. Apparently, they liked what they heard because they invited me to author this article, and their ministry is offering you my new book entitled, Nuclear Showdown in Iran, Revealing the Ancient Prophecy of Elam, which takes an in-depth look at Jeremiah’s prophecies concerning Elam.

Is Iran’s New Nuclear Program Ancient Prophetic News?

Before sharing with you the information that stimulated their scholarly interests, it is prophetically expedient to preface the geopolitical importance of the Biblical interpretations that this article imparts. The destruction of Iran’s nuclear program might be the subject of Jeremiah’s ancient prophecy. Moreover, this prophecy can currently be classified as an imminent event.

The war-weary world is watching with worrisome eyes as Iran assembles a uranium enrichment arsenal that now numbers about 19,000 centrifuges. This many centrifuges spinning 24/7 can produce a nuclear weapon within about six weeks.[1] Perhaps even more startling is the June 9, 2014 headline below from The Washington Free Beacon:

“Israeli Official: Iran to Have 50–100 Nuclear Warheads by 2024”

For a plethora of justifiable reasons, Israel, many Arabs, and much of the international community are deeply troubled by the prospects of the current rogue Islamic Iranian regime possessing such a robust atomic arsenal. Jeremiah’s foretelling of Iran’s future presents us with a treasure trove of clues that may enlighten us about the fate of Iran’s current nuclear aspirations.

The following is an attempt to infuse Biblical commentary alongside actual—and possible future—news headlines, in order to provide a real-time interpretation of Jeremiah 49:34–39. At first glance, this unique approach of writing may appear to be a bad case of newspaper exegesis, an author’s attempt to make Biblical Scriptures marry up with current events. However, after reading the extensive research provided in my book, I believe you will forgive the author’s liberties taken below.

Jeremiah 49:34–39 in the News

Jeremiah 49:34: The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,[2]

“Ancient 2600-Year Old Prophecy Predicts Iran’s Future”

“Iran Has Double Trouble Ahead, Ezekiel 38 and Jeremiah 49”

Jeremiah issued his prophecies concerning Elam about 596 B.C. Jeremiah wrote about Elam about a decade before his contemporary Ezekiel prophesied about Persia in Ezekiel 38:5. Ezekiel’s ministry spanned between 595–573 b.c.[3] Modern-day Iran is comprised of ancient Elam and Persia.

Ezekiel was familiar with Elam, according to Ezekiel 32:24–25, but he did not include Elam in the lineup of invaders in Ezekiel 38. Elam was probably intentionally omitted, because it is the subject of its own distinctly different prophecy, outlined by Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 49:35: Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, The foremost of their might.”

“Iran Continuing Ballistic Missile Program (ICBMs), Says UN Report”

Israel National News, 5/16/14

“Israeli PM threatens to strike Iran: Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel may have to act against Tehran unilaterally to curb it from achieving its nuclear goal.”

Al Jazeera, 7/17/13

The Elamites were warlike people and expert archers, according to Genesis 14:1–9 and Isaiah 22:6. Jeremiah predicts that Iran will suffer the fate of a broken bow, which might imply that the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) will be unable to launch scores of its missiles at its enemies. Additionally, he declares that Iran will be struck at the foremost place of its might, which today could infer an attack upon its nuclear program. One of Iran’s most strategic and vulnerable nuclear targets is the Bushehr nuclear reactor, located in the heart of ancient Elam.

Presently, Israel has dual concerns about Iran’s military intentions. They are concerned about Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons, and the rogue regime’s obsession with developing ICBM’s.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on February 25, 2014, as saying to German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

The goal is to prevent Iran from having the capability to manufacture and deliver nuclear weapons. I believe that means zero enrichment, zero centrifuges, zero plutonium, and of course an end to ICBM development. Because none of these elements —none of them—is necessary for developing civilian nuclear energy, which is what Iran has claimed that it wants.[4]

Jeremiah 49:36: Against Elam I will bring the four winds From the four quarters of heaven, And scatter them toward all those winds; There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.

“The Next Chernobyl?”

Bushehr, however, could turn out to be the most dangerous piece of Iran’s nuclear puzzle for another reason: haphazard planning and ongoing technical problems mean it could be the next Chernobyl, igniting a humanitarian disaster and explosive economic damage across the oil-rich region.

New York Times, 1/2/13

Jeremiah informs us that the attack upon the ancient territory of Elam will produce numerous refugees, perhaps even turning into a humanitarian crisis. Exiles will be dispersed worldwide, as if being blown about by overpowering winds. Several studies conducted of the safety of the Bushehr nuclear site have concluded that an accident at the facility could result in such a disaster.

Jeremiah 49:37: For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies And before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger, says the LORD; And I will send the sword after them Until I have consumed them.

“Iran: ‘Thousands of Missiles’ to Rain on Israel”

World Net Daily, 8/28/13

“Saudi Arabia Displays Ballistic Missiles in Likely Display to Iran”

National Journal 4/30/14

“Iranian Commander; We have Targets Within America”

The Daily Caller, 2/1/14

Provoking the Lord’s Wrath

In addition to the Lord, Iran has othere enemies in this prophecy. The headlines above depict a few of them. Each enemy, for varying reasons, seeks to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear nation.

Additionally, Jeremiah says that Elam has stirred up the Lord’s anger, and that provokes the Lord to cause a severe disaster inside of Iran.

Perhaps this alludes to a nuclear disaster caused from a strike upon Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor. Nuclear Showdown in Iran explains how the present Iranian regime has fiercely angered the Lord.

Jeremiah 49:38–39: “I will set My throne in Elam, And will destroy from there the king and the princes,” says the LORD. “But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,” says the LORD.

“Open Doors: Growth of Christianity in Iran ‘Explosive’”

Christian Post, 3/23/12

“Greatest Christian Revival in the World in Iran”

World Net Daily, 7/25/12

Jeremiah’s last two verses present the exiles of Jeremiah 49:36 with great news. Iranians who accept Christ in advance of His second coming will be returned from global exile into the restored fortunes of their historic homeland in Elam. Moreover, Jerusalem (Jeremiah 3:17) and Elam (Jeremiah 49:38) are the only two earthly locations identified in Scripture for the future establishment of the Lord’s throne.

Presently, several million Iranians have already become born-again believers in Christ. In fact, Iran has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world.[5] Multitudes of Iranians are accepting Jesus as their Savior through watching Christian satellite TV and experiencing miracles, dreams, visions and healings. This Christian back story is truly the big story of Jeremiah’s prophecy.


[Ed note: Bill Salus is a featured speaker at this year’s Strategic Perspectives conference. See koinoniainstitute.org/conference for details. We hope you can join us!]


  1. This Israel National News article discusses the dangers of Iran’s 19,000 centrifuges. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173192#.U5dd_dJOXIU.  ↩

  2. Jeremiah 49:34–39 is taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.  ↩

  3. Easton’s Bible Dictionary provides the time frames of Ezekiel’s ministry on the Internet as of 6/21/14 at this link: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/ebd/ebd129.htm.  ↩

  4. Jerusalem Post article was on the Internet as of 2/26/12 at this link: http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/Netanyahu-urges-Germany-not-to-allow-Iran-to-enrich-uranium-343555  ↩

  5. Jason Mandryk, Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica Publishing, 2010), 916.  ↩


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