The title of this post might surprise many readers. When could Rome have been in such a dire situation that God Himself had to intervene to save it from an invading Israelite army? Indeed, why did God favor the Roman cause and not the Israelite army? Biblical and secular historical sources give us the answers to these questions.
Many readers are familiar with the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. While Rome eventually won that series of wars and destroyed Carthage, there was one point in time where Carthage was in a position to occupy Rome and end any chance Rome had to become an empire. Hannibal was the famous Carthaginian general and tactician who amazed the Romans with his military skills. Hannibal was so successful that he campaigned on Italian soil for 12 years, destroying one Roman army after another. After the famous battle of Cannae, in which it is estimated the Carthaginian army killed 70,000 Roman soldiers (approximately 1/6th of all the Roman armies everywhere in its empire), Rome’s condition was hopeless. All Hannibal had to do was march his army into Rome, capture the entire Roman Senate and its treasury and declare Rome to be a city of the Carthaginian empire. Carthage would have been the “slam-dunk” winner of the Punic Wars. Inexplicably, Hannibal dithered and couldn’t give the simple order to his army to occupy Rome and win/end the war. His dithering lasted so long another Roman army had time to march into position to defend Rome. Hannibal’s golden opportunity was lost. How could such a brilliant tactician as Hannibal not take advantage of such an easy opportunity to win total victory over Rome? The answer lies in the Bible. Before answering that question, we must digress into a short history lesson to give, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.”
Carthage was a very large Israelite colony which become independent after the collapse of the Israelite home kingdom in the Holy Land when Assyria captured Samaria circa 721 BC. Secular historians have long seen the Israelite/Hebrew nature of the Carthaginian Empire and those accounts are documented in my book, Israel’s Lost Empires. The Bible’s narratives confirm the Phoenician Empire from circa 1100 to 721 BC was the Israelite Empire in which the “Phoenician” cities of Tyre and Sidon were very junior partners as their population base was vastly smaller than the Israelite Kingdom of the 12 tribes under Kings David and Solomon and ten tribes after the devastating Israelite civil war that had 1.2 million combatants and left over a half-million Israelite soldiers dead (II Chronicles 13), leaving the tribes permanently divided into two, often-warring kingdoms. Few realize that the Greek writers included the land of Israel’s kingdom in their definition of the “Phoenician” Empire, but this is documented in my books. What we have in the biblical books of I and II Samuel, I and II Kings and I & II Chronicles are the records of the powerful, ancient Phoenician kingdom which reverted to a third-rate power after the kingdom of Israel fell and its population base went into exile in many different directions. Carthage is known to us by that name only because our history comes to us from Roman sources. Carthage never called itself by that name. Its true name was Kirjath Hadeshath, its Israelite/Hebrew name for “New City.” Secular writers have noted the Israelite customs of the Carthaginians and the fact that its language was Hebrew, albeit in a new script. The Carthaginians are often called the “Western Phoenicians” as they carried on the heritage and practices of the Israelite Empire. Their fleets reached North America very often and exploited the New World for minerals and resources. Carthaginian coins and inscriptions have been found in North America, and a recent post even showed an ancient Carthaginian coin that accurately represented the main river watersheds of North America.
Carthage was a large Israelite colony that received many Israelite refugees when Israel’s kingdom fell. Carthage inherited Israel’s maritime colonies and possessions in the Western Mediterranean region, coastal Europe and North America. However, Carthage was not the only resurgent Israelite Empire to emerge from the fall of Israel’s kingdom. The Scythian/Sacae Empire was founded by a massive number of Israelite refugees who migrated voluntarily to the Black Sea region from which they spread out all over Southern Asia and into East Europe. The Greeks called them Sacae Scythians (fulfilling the prophecy in Genesis 21:12 that Abraham’s birthright seed would be known by the name of Isaac), but the Romans later called them the Goths. The history of the Scythian Empire is also related in my aforementioned book, and it examines in detail the victories of the Scythians who twice crushed the Persian Empire in warfare. The Bible records that about 1/3rd of Israel’s tribes went into a Mesopotamian captivity to Assyria, but their descendants centuries later became dominant and ruled over their old captors when they formed the Parthian Empire (fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 14:2 that the Israelite captives would eventually rule over their former captors–the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Empires). God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would be so numerous that they would be uncountable (Genesis 17:1-7, 22:15-18). God especially promised to vastly increase the populations of the fleeing Israelites after they all went into exile from the Promised Land (Hosea 1:10). History shows he kept that promise!
Some historical background was necessary to help readers understand that the Israelites were not a small band of clans in the old Promised Land (the flawed “minimalist” view of history). The Israelites became a mighty empire and gave birth to new empires when they were scattered into new locations. My books offer full documentation of these facts from secular sources. The reality of major Israelite empires in all historical periods from the time of King David onward is an easily-proven fact which has not been told to readers of modern history books. The history of the powerful Israelite empires has been either censored out of or glossed over in historical texts.
One of the empires which formed after the fall of Israel’s Kingdom was the Carthaginian Empire. Its famous general, Hannibal, had just killed off the Roman army defending Rome and he could have won the Punic Wars and the later Roman Empire would have been stillborn if he had simply given the order for his victorious army to enter Rome. Why did he dither and not give the order to make this happen? The reason is God saved Rome by sending a dithering spirit into the mind of Hannibal. God has specifically stated in Isaiah 41:21-26 that his ability to fulfill biblical prophecies in later centuries and millennia is a proof that he is real and sovereign over all human empires, nations, people, etc. In Daniel 2, God had given a prophecy to Daniel about a succession of gentile empires that would inherit the mantle of the Babylonian Empire throughout human history. The Roman Empire was the “iron” kingdom in that prophecy and the fact that it would split into a Western and Eastern Roman Empire was accurately foretold by the iron kingdom being depicted as one which would compose the two separated legs of the great image that Nebuchanezzar saw in his dream. If Hannibal’s Israelite army had occupied Rome, the Roman empire would never have come into existence and the prophecy in Daniel 2 would have failed to happen. Because God is determined to fulfill his biblical prophecies to show to mankind he is real and sovereign, albeit invisible, God had to save Rome from the Israelite Carthaginian army in order to have his prophecies about the future Roman Empire be fulfilled. That is why God spared Rome from a conquering Israelite army, and now you know “the rest of the story” of why God saved Rome and made the eventual mighty (and divided) Roman Empires come into being.
If you wish to learn the full history of the biblical connections between the Bible and the Carthaginian Empire, Carthage’s presence in ancient North America, its interactions with the Mayans, etc. and the history of the Scythian/Sacae Israelites in South Central Asia, you can read it in my book, Israel’s Lost Empires. The history of the Parthian Israelite Empire, its many wars with the Roman Empire, the visit of the Parthian Magi/Wise Men to the young Christ-child, etc., is found in my book, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower. Both histories can be obtained in my E-book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!. If you read my books, history will come alive and you will gain a far better understanding of what is actually occurring in the modern world as God’s prophecies for our time are being fulfilled right before our eyes.