Iran isn’t mentioned in the Bible by its current name, but it is identified as Persia or Elam and plays a prominent role in the end times. Because so many prophecies about Persia in the Bible have come true, students of the Bible are paying close attention to those prophecies foretold for the end times.
Persia is mentioned by name 33 times in the Bible, sometimes related to the Jews in Jerusalem, while others are related to a prophecy.
At one time, the Persian Empire was vast, covering a large swath of the Middle East and Asia Minor, and was made up of the present-day territories of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, parts of Georgia, Turkey, Iraq, and portions of Saudi Arabia.
Persia today is Iran and possesses a military force of close to 1 million soldiers, one of the largest in the world.
Numerous Bible prophecies not only speak about Persia/Elam, but history has shown several prophecies to have come true.
The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that the nation of Elam, which sat east of Babylon, south of Media, and west of Persia would be conquered and then rise to power again. (Jeremiah 49:34-39) The prophecy came true in 596 BC when Babylon conquered Elam.
The prophet Isaiah said that Elam would rise again and conquer Babylon. (Isaiah 21:2). This came true in 539 BC, when the Medo-Persian Empire ascended to power and defeated Babylon.
The prophet Daniel correctly prophesied that four empires of the Gentile world would arise and fall: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:1-8).
The prophet Daniel foresaw Medo-Persian Empire would rise to become a conquering power (Daniel 7), but also that Persia would be eliminated as a world power (Daniel 8). This prophecy by Daniel came true at the hands of Alexander the Great in the 4th century.
A fifth world power was prophesied to arise in the end times, and many believe this world power is the United States.
The prophet Ezekiel spoke of Persia (Iran) as an ally of Magog (Russia) in the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:5). This battle will involve a coalition of nations creating a vast army that will attack Israel, who at that time will be “a peaceful and unsuspecting people” (NIV) or “the quiet people who dwell securely” (ESV) (Ezekiel 38:11).
This chapter also mentions the nations of Sudan, Turkey, Libya, and others as being part of this multinational coalition.
This battle is also spoken of in Revelation 20:7-9, which tells of the multinational assembly of armies—called Gog and Magog— that join to fight a massive battle against Israel, that echoes the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39.
The Bible tells us that this massive coalition of the world’s armies against Israel will only be stopped through the divine intervention of God.
Ezekiel 38 declares “there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.”
“With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
– Ezekiel 38:22-23