A recent flurry of media reports have given us a glimpse into how many major weapons are available on the international black market. This post will also offer a reminder about some weapons that may have been purchased decades ago on the black market which may have a role in fulfilling a biblical prophecy. The first two links offer details about a private arms dealer in Europe that was preparing to sell up to 50 German Leopard 1 tanks to a European government so the tanks could be transferred to the Ukraine.

The first link reports that the promises made by NATO nations to the Ukraine about delivering tanks to Ukraine have been long on words and short on actual deliveries. Perhaps this is why the action to obtain 50 German Leopard 1 tanks is being made at this time–to get at least some tanks to Ukraine fairly quickly. The second link reports that the arms dealer providing a mass order of older German tanks for transfer to Ukraine has many more armored vehicles available. It reports that just this one arms dealer has not only 50 German Leopard tanks for sale, but it also has 38 German Gepard tanks, 112 Austrian light tanks and 170 Italian Armored personnel carriers for sale. This is a very large inventory of armored vehicles, and this is just what is being reported. Who knows what weaponry is available that is not being reported? With the Russian-Ukraine war still going on, the demand for black market weaponry must be very large.

The German Leopard tanks to be transferred to Ukraine are obsolescent for the high-tech battlegrounds in the NATO-Russian arena, but they are still potent enough that they would be the best tanks on any battlefield in much of Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, etc. Even in the Ukraine military, these tanks would have an immediate value as self-propelled mobile artillery. They could be located miles behind the front lines and fire shells at targets many miles away via radio directions from front line spotters. To make sure they are not targeted by Russian artillery that can track the trajectory of the incoming rounds and fire at the launchers, these Leopard tanks could fire perhaps two rounds from one position and then relocate to another physical location before firing additional rounds. As long as they have shells to fire from their cannons, they can act as valuable mobile artillery units. The third link and fourth link are video links: one offers an analysis of this transfer of these Leopard tanks to Ukraine after refurbishment in Germany and the other is an impressive video of the huge warehouse in which these surplus tanks are being stored. One wonders how many other warehouses there are in Europe or around the world which are also filled with all kinds of weapons large and small.

This report begs the question: Is more dangerous weaponry than tanks being bought and sold on the black market? Could nuclear weapons be available on the black market far from prying eyes. The answer is a possible “yes.” When the Soviet Union collapsed over three decades ago, there were a flurry of media reports that commanders and generals in the Russian nuclear and military forces were being cut off from their salaries and were resorting to selling off heavy weapons, including nuclear weapons, on the black market or in direct sales to foreign governments who wanted their identities kept secret. In 1990, there would have been no shortage of buyers for these “loose nukes.” The loose nukes could have come in various sizes and configurations. The fifth link discusses this subject and mentions there may have been as many as 100 “suitcase nukes” (small, transportable tactical nukes) available on the black market. Not only would many national governments be interested in buying these small nukes, but terrorist groups would also have wanted them. Undoubtedly, some nations like the USA, NATO nations, Israel, etc. would have made every effort to make sure these weapons were secured and not sold to unknown buyers on the black market. Besides 100 suitcase nukes, there may have been more powerful nuclear warheads offered on the black market as well. Even uranium and plutonium ores that had not yet been upgraded to weapons-class levels could have been sold for inclusion in radioactive “dirty bombs.” Those of us in the general public have no idea how many “loose nukes” were recovered and how many were never traced, but this subject is likely a topic still being considered by the world’s intelligence and military forces.

How could this topic of loose nukes have a possible biblical fulfillment role? They could be used in modern wars that are raging. Indeed, Russia has threatened to use tactical nukes against Ukraine. Ukraine inherited a portion of the Soviet Union’s inventory of nuclear weapons when it collapsed. Ukraine reportedly gave their nukes to Russia for safekeeping and disposal–a decision Ukrainian leaders now must certainly regret. One does wonder though: Did Ukraine retain some nuclear weapons for its own inventory and might they be under Ukrainian control even today? Matthew 24:6 allows for all kinds of wars great and small to be fought in the latter days of our age, and the use of nuclear weapons cannot be ruled out. There is one biblical prophecy that does sound consistent with the use of nuclear weapons. Revelation 17-18 contain several perspectives on the time when the current global system, called “Babylon the Great” in this prophecy, collapses. Babylon the Great’s headquarters city is pictured as a port city which is a nexus of global commerce and trade.

When Babylon the Great’s global commercial/banking/monetary system collapses, it will not be an accident. Revelation 17 reveals that a cryptic alliance (the seven heads and ten horns) will plot to overthrow the current global order and this prophecy indicates their rebellion will succeed. Ominously, Revelation 17:16 includes very warlike language describing this overthrow process. It says of the current Babylon the Great system that the seven heads and ten horns will “burn her with fire.” Revelation 18 is about the same event and it shows that the world’s monetary system will freeze up and normal commerce will at least for a time not be possible (Revelation 18:11-14). Revelation 18:10 and 17 says the ships with cargo destined for this port city will stand “afar off” because of the “smoke of her burning.” This description indicates a major fire is destroying the city that was the headquarters of Babylon the Great’s global system. Why do the ships’ captains stay “afar off” from the burning city? Is it because the fires are radioactive and the ships at sea want to stay away from the radiation being emitted from the burning city? The Apostle John who wrote down what he saw and heard in this vision of the end times (Revelation 1:2) would have understood nothing about nuclear weaponry or radiation, but he would have noticed that the ships were all staying far away from the burning city, not coming close to rescue survivors. I’ve seen many articles and commentaries by religious writers that New York City is the best bet to fulfill this prophesied role. It is the locus of the UN and many global organizations, the headquarters of many global corporations, stock and commodity exchanges, etc. London would be another possibility as it is a port city and “The City” portion of London wields tremendous power in global financial matters.

Whatever city it proves to be, the “fire” that destroys it and motivates observers to stay far away from it could easily be caused by a nuclear bomb being detonated. Such warheads could have originated with the “loose nukes” that disappeared into various arsenals when the Soviet Union fell. It could also be the result of a nuclear attack by a hostile sovereign nation (most likely Russia, China or Iran). What we can say from the prophecy is that the Bible says it will happen in the latter days, and that it will destroy a major, commercial port city. If any readers have any doubt about the fact that we are living in the biblical latter days, please read my free article, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?  For much deeper analysis of the prophecies in Revelation 17-18 and related prophecies in other biblical books, I recommend my free research report, Is “Babylon the Great” about to Fall, Ushering in a Global “Beast” System?


  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/mystery-eu-nation-buys-49-leopard-tanks-ukraine-dealer-says-2023-8
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/08/09/deal-struck-get-leopard-tanks-ukraine-private-belgian-broker/?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mil-ebb&SToverlay=342f5a58-c37b-4142-b049-1f737335b507
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpbdVRuQLBA
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLEfwdUtlZs
  5. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russias-atomic-nightmare-100-missing-suitcase-nuclear-weapons-179577