The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: T

Previous Index Next

Ten nations

In dealing with the Gentile nations, TEN may be a significant number:

Isaiah has a section of ten "burdens" upon (presumably) Gentile nations:

Jeremiah has a similar grouping of approximately ten Gentile nations, against which he issues oracles of warning and doom: Egypt (Jer 46); the Philistines (Jer 47:1-7); Moab (Jer 48); the Ammonites (Jer 49:1-6); Edom (Jer 49:7-22); Damascus, or Syria (Jer 49:23-27); Kedar and Hazor (Jer 49:28-33); Elam (Jer 49:34-39); and Babylon (Jer 50; 51).

In one single prophecy (Jer 25), Jeremiah enumerates approximately ten nations (perhaps as many as 13 or 14, depending on how they are grouped), nations that are destined to drink the cup of the LORD's wrath -- namely, Egypt, Uz, the Philistines, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Arabia, Zimri, Elam, Media, and Sheshach (a cryptogram for Babylon).

Ezekiel also has a similar grouping of judgments against Gentile nations -- not quite as many in number: Ammon (Eze 25:1-7), Moab (Eze 25:8-11), Edom (Eze 25:12-14), Philistia (Eze 25:15-17), Tyre (Eze 26-28:19), Sidon (Eze 28:20-24), and Egypt (Eze 29-32)

There is quite a bit of overlapping among the different lists, but there are still somewhat more than ten nations in total which are identified in these lists. Quite possibly, however, ten should be seen as a figurative number, of ALL the enemies of Israel in the last days -- which will surely be defeated and destroyed by divine Power if they attack God's People and Land.

Notice, for example, how "all languages and nations" seem to equate to TEN men in Zec 8:23.

Sometimes, however, TEN seems to signify "more than a few" or "quite a large number", without being specific: Gen 31:7,41; Num 14:22; Job 19:3; 1Sa 1:8; Ecc 7:19.


Also see Lesson, Beasts, heads, and horns.

Previous Index Next