The Bible talks about how the Antichrist makes a 7-year contract with Israel and many others:
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
As we have seen in a previous article, NIV may provide a slightly more accurate translation for how the Antichrist initiates the covenant:
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
In another article, we discussed several features of this covenant:
Features of the Covenant
Made or confirmed by a future Roman ruler from an end-times Roman Empire
- We know this because the one who confirms or makes the covenant comes from the same group of people who destroyed the temple in verse 26. Since these were the Romans, the Antichrist will be a Roman ruler as well. Furthermore, we know that he comes from an end-times Roman Empire that is initially located in Western Europe.
It is made for 7 years.
- Based on context, one week is a week of years. Therefore, this contract is for 7 years.
It is made with Israel and many others.
- The 7-year covenant is made with “many.” Therefore, many countries may be party to the Antichrist’s contract. However, the entire 70 weeks prophecy is decreed for the Jews and Jerusalem (Dan. 9:24). Therefore, we can safely infer that Israel is one of the participants in the covenant.
It is a covenant of protection for Israel.
- Although not mentioned in Daniel 9, several passages indicate that this covenant will involve a promise of protection for Israel. The most lengthy passage on this can be found in Isaiah 28:15-18. Other passages that imply this include Zechariah 11:17 and Ezekiel 38:8.
It peacefully expands the Antichrist’s empire.
- This is represented by the rider on the white horse of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He rides out with victorious conquest. Yet he apparently does this without any bloodshed, as war is not mentioned until the next horseman rides out. This view is also supported by the word “gabar” in the book of Daniel, where the Antichrist strengthens, confirms, or causes to prevail a 7 year covenant with many. (1)
In yet another article, I discuss what the Antichrist does halfway through the covenant:
The Antichrist breaks the covenant 3.5 years through.
- He breaks his covenant of protection with Israel (Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 28:15-18). He invades her (Daniel 11:41; Revelation 12, Matthew 24:15-16), and also sets himself up as God in the rebuilt Jewish temple.
The Antichrist causes sacrifice and offering to stop for 3.5 years.
- When the temple is rebuilt, regular temple sacrifices and offerings will have resumed. When the Antichrist sets himself up as God in the temple, the Jews will cease to offer sacrifices. This will either be due to their flight and disgust at his presence, or by some legal or military means, or both.
Many books and movies about the end times portray a European Antichrist making a 7-year peace treaty with Israel. (2, 3) This has also been widely anticipated by theologians and Bible scholars. Herbert Lockyer said in 1964,
And he, (the Roman prince, head of the revived Roman empire) shall confirm the covenant with many (of the people of Israel) for one week (seven years)… (4)
Halfway through, the Antichrist breaks his covenant. As pastor and theologian John MacArthur says
... Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel… (5)
European Neighborhood Policy
In 2002, Javier Solana and a colleague wrote a letter proposing a European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). (6) As a result, the EU’s executive branch launched the ENP in 2004. (7, 8) The program has several partner countries, a map of which looks curiously similar to a map of the old Roman Empire. Under the ENP, the European Union would pay member countries in exchange for their good behavior, such as having free and fair elections, reducing corruption, and meeting specific goals. Israel is an ENP member country. (7)
For Seven Years
In 2007, the European Union passed the ENPI, which finances the European Neighborhood Policy for a period of seven years. (10, 11) This was meant to coincide with the EU’s 7-year budget, from 2007-2013. As it says in the official documentation:
It shall apply from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. (10)
After the first 7-year period was done, the European Union renewed the funding for the European Neighborhood Policy, under the upgraded ENI. This finances the European Neighborhood Policy for another seven years, from 2014, to the end of 2020. (12, 13) As it says in the official regulation:
It shall apply from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2020. (12)
In Spring of 2018, the EU’s executive branch proposed the budget for the 2021 - 2027 time frame. They proposed merging most EU foreign aid into one big mega-fund. The NDICI will finance the European Neighborhood Policy, and most other foreign aid, from 2021 to the end of 2027. (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
(Important note: The law itself says it starts on January 1, 2021, with no end point. However, all of its predecessor programs started off with no end date. However, an end date was added later, making each regulation take effect for 7 years. Furthermore, the European Parliament has already proposed an amendment to this, making it take effect from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2027.) (21)
Fostering Security and Stability
One of the important purposes is fostering stability and security in the neighborhood area. As the Commission’s proposal states:
The European Neighbourhood Policy, as reviewed in 2015, aims at the stabilisation of neighbouring countries and strengthening resilience, particularly by boosting economic development, as the Union's main political priorities. (15)
Furthermore, the EU would like to promote security, among other things, in the neighborhood area.
Through this proposal the EU will continue to be able to play an active role in promoting human rights, stabilisation, development, security, fighting root causes of irregular migration, trade, the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment among other issues. (15)
However, it contains no promise of military protection, especially for Israel. Nevertheless, top Antichrist candidate, Javier Solana, would like the EU to become an:
…autonomous security provider in it’s neighborhood. (22)
In another article, he said “
The EU, after all, will be defined by its actions, and peace and security are among the public goods that it must provide, both within and beyond its borders. (23)
Finally, the EU is using this program to expand its influence in other countries.
As the new regulation says:
The objective of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument is to uphold and promote the Union’s values and interests worldwide in order to pursue the objectives and principles of its external action, as laid down in Article 3(5), Articles 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). (15)
The proposal lists the main priorities of this foreign aid as well:
In order to attain its objective, the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy has been focusing on four priority areas: good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights,… (15)
The EU admits they want to use their position as a “supranational entity” to gain “political influence and leverage” on each country, especially during its mid-term report. As the proposal’s impact assessment says:
The EU's position as a supranational entity, and the relative neutrality, political influence and leverage this potentially entails; (16)
As a result, the EU has set up “Partnership Priorities” documents for various member countries, within the context of the European Neighborhood Policy. The opening to Egypt’s Partnership Priorities document sheds light on the purpose of these:
These Partnership Priorities aim to address common challenges facing the EU and Egypt, to promote joint interests and to guarantee long-term stability on both sides of the Mediterranean. (24)
Though this sounds mutual, the goal is to use the EU’s financial and political influence to push for desired reforms in Egypt. Because of this, the EU’s foreign affairs chief performs an annual performance review to see how Egypt is doing in accomplishing its goals. (25)
The Failure of the ENP
Nevertheless, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful in past years. The European Neighborhood Policy was meant to create a “ring of friends” around the Mediterranean and on the Eastern side of the continent. However, analysts have noted that a “ring of fire” has emerged instead, with chaos and political instability characterizing many neighborhood countries since the programs inception. (26) The new proposal hints at this, saying:
The challenges that need to be tackled by external action have increased in recent years. The world has become characterised by rising fragility, brought about by several crises in the EU’s neighbourhood and beyond. (15)
One very large think-tank article even talks of the “obsolescence” of the European Neighborhood Policy. (27) Solana himself even said “I think ENP is over.” (28) Yet it persists as the framework that the EU uses to interact with its neighbors. Furthermore, it has gotten stronger, as it tends to do every seven years. (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
In addition, the neighborhood funding, and the rest of foreign aid will be under a singular structure this time around. This has caused some think tanks to worry that the EU will use all the foreign aid funding, including development, as a means to influence their neighbors to do what they want. (20) This is in contrast to only using the neighborhood funding for this purpose.
3 1/2-Year Mid-Term Review
The new NDICI merges 11 foreign aid programs into one. Currently, each 7-year program is subjected to a mid-term review after approximately 𝟑 𝟏/𝟐 years. One EU document describes the length of the review period for the previous 7-year budgetary cycle. In this document, which asses all EU foreign aid programs, the review term is from January 1 2014 until June 30 2017. This is exactly three and a half years. This review of EU foreign aid is done to help them decide what actions should undergo “renewal, amendment or suspension.” (29, 30)
In the EU’s impact assessment of the new program, it discusses how the arrangement should be “monitored and evaluated.” (16)
Furthermore, one way the EU monitors performance is through the creation of new “Partnership Priorities” documents. Egypt’s Partnership Priorities document takes effect for 3 1/2 years. These are basically a list of all the goals that the EU has for that member country. I mention Egypt’s priorities because they are a template for what Israel’s partnership priorities might be in the future, since they are both Mediterranean countries. The EU is in the process of constructing partnership priorities for Israel. (31)
Based on what we have here, we can evaluate the new NDICI and compare it to the criteria for the Antichrist’s covenant listed above:
Made or confirmed by a future Roman ruler from an end-times Roman Empire
- The NDICI is a program by the European Union, which is the end times Roman Empire. Furthermore, a map of the European Neighborhood Policy, which is financed by the NDICI, looks like a map of the ancient Roman Empire. Finally, the NDICI confirms the ENP for another 7 years.
It is made for 7 years
- The NDICI is going to be a 7-year program.
It is made with Israel and many others
- Israel and many other countries are participants.
It is a covenant of protection for Israel
- The NDICI is not yet a contract of protection for Israel. However, the clear goal of the program is to foster security and stability in neighboring countries. A covenant of protection could become part of Israel’s future Partnership Priorities, which are still being created. (31) A logical start for these would be on January 1, 2021, when the next 7-year cycle begins.
It peacefully expands the Antichrist’s Empire
- The NDICI intends to use “political influence and leverage” to cause member countries to adopt certain reforms. Furthermore, it pays member countries to do this. These goals sound somewhat imperialistic, wherein the EU has economic and political hegemony over its neighboring countries. Furthermore, this program would confirm an existing 7 year covenant for another 7 years. This would give the Antichrist the opportunity to strengthen the existing covenant, as the ENP in its current form is failing.
The Antichrist breaks it half way through
- The program has a mid-term review. Furthermore, the Partnership Priorities programming document for Egypt was made for 3 1/2 years. Since it is a Mediterranean country, it’s possible that Israel’s might be the same length. Furthermore, the Antichrist might say that Israel fails its performance review, justifying him breaking the covenant.
The Antichrist causes sacrifice and offering to stop for 3.5 years.
- The EU has strict animal welfare standards throughout its member countries. All animals must be stunned before being killed, unless someone has a religious exemption. (32) Though not the case now, the Antichrist could rule that kosher slaughter is inhumane in partner countries during the mid-term review. As a result, he could force Israel to stop the temple sacrifices, which will have resumed at a rebuilt temple.
This NDICI framework could very well be used by the Antichrist to make a covenant of protection with Israel. Indeed, the covenant itself could be the very 7-year covenant spoken of in Daniel. Nevertheless, it still has some components that need added to it in order for it to be “the one.”
If the NDICI is the covenant with many, then the midpoint would be in summer of 2024. If Javier Solana is the Antichrist, this covenant would need to be made this cycle (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2027) to be fulfilled in a reasonable time frame. Furthermore, potential new leadership in Israel might consent to a covenant of protection from outside. This would have been anathema to the Netanyahu administration of the last 10 years. Finally, the advent of the space race for global satellite internet makes it likely that the great commission could be fulfilled by the summer of 2024. (33)
These three factors increase the likelihood that this current cycle may in fact turn out to be the 7-year covenant spoken of in the book of Daniel. Yet if this is going to be the covenant (and that’s a big “if”), the Antichrist will be revealed at the abomination of desolation in summer of 2024.
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- Roman Empire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire#/media/File:Roman_Empire_Trajan_117AD.png
- EU Israel handshake: https://newsroom.consilium.europa.eu/permalink/p55308