John Nelson Darby’s Prophetic Map

In 1828 or 1829 Darby drew his ‘Prophetic Map’ (see JND Notes & Comments Vol 2 – page 192).

This article looks aback over what Darby wrote in the light of various things that have happened in the world since then.

‘After These Things’ Chapter 5.7 – The John Nelson Darby Prophetic Map


‘After These Things’

5.7 John Nelson Darby’s Prophetic Map

Europe, the ‘Western World’ and the Antichrist

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the King of the South

The Prophetic Map: What does all this mean?

Did you follow all this, dear Reader?

From our book ‘After These Things – Summaries of John Nelson Darby’s Papers on Prophecy – and more…’ Compiled by Daniel Roberts. For more about this book click on the picture or CLICK HERE

The John Nelson Darby Prophetic Map

In 1828 or 1829 J N Darby drew his ‘Prophetic Map’ (see JND Notes & Comments Vol 2 – page 192).

This chapter looks back over what Darby wrote in the light of various things that have happened in the world since then, as well as their social consequences.  For example:

  • The break-up of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of many independent states in the Middle East.
  • The first and second World Wars.
  • The Treaty of Rome and the European Union.
  • NATO and allies.
  • The United Nations and other treaty organisations.
  • The rise and fall of the Russian (Soviet) Empire and its resurgent ambitions.
  • Former Warsaw Pact nations aligning themselves with the West, joining NATO and the European Union.
  • Colonial independence from Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands etc.
  • Post-WW2 political and later economic migration.
  • Formation of the State of Israel and territorial disputes.
  • The growing significance of Islam, and the hostility between the Sunni and Shi’ite divisions.
  • Islamic Jihad terrorist organisations such as ‘Islamic State’, al Qaeda and  Boko Haram.
  • The wealth of Arab families and states due to oil.
  • Increased material wealth and generally reduced poverty.
  • The dominance of the United States as a world power (now challenged by China).
  • Improvements in health care.
  • Legalisation and even promotion of unorthodox/immoral lifestyles.
  • Modern communications, radio, TV and the internet.
  • Faster and easier transportation.
  • Space exploration.
  • Sub-atomic science.
  • The green movement
  • The large migration of Eastern people to Europe, America and elsewhere, bringing the influence of religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Writing this in 2020, I must include the Covid-19 pandemic.

It hardly needs to be said that this does not involve the church.  However, we Christians should be intelligent as to events in the world, and also know what will happen on Earth after the Rapture of the church.  Of course, we will not be here!

Europe, the ‘Western World’ and the Antichrist

Europeans are primarily descendants of Japheth,  Gomer (hence Germany) also known as Cimmerians – from which Cimbri – Celts), and Magog (Scythians/Russians), and Madai (Medes), and Javan (Greece) , Tubal (Tiblisi? i.e. the Caucuses), and Meshech/Moschi (often interpreted as Moscow – the north quarters), and Tiras (probably Goths/Scandinavians) see Genesis 10:2-3 (and Elicott’s Ethnological Table[1].  However, with so much migration over the millennia, clear demarcations are impossible.

Darby believed that France, not the USA, would become the dominant Western power.  At the time France was in turmoil:  Napoleon, whose objective had been European integration, had been defeated, and there was continued unrest up to the establishment of the Second Republic in 1848.  France would not have been considered a potential leader of Europe at any time during JND’s adult life, it being in trouble again in the 1870s after the Franco-Prussian war.  (Admittedly Darby was a ‘Francophile’).

European Unity

In drawing up his Prophetic Map, Darby foresaw European unity – at least as nation states working together, and that is what we have.  At the time of writing (2020), Britain had just withdrawn from the European Union.  Nevertheless, it will remain in the larger political/military grouping of NATO.  However, it will not be in a position to lead Europe.  Indeed, in Darby’s paper England is described as a minor irritant – this must have been perceptive considering the world dominant position of the British Empire in the 1800’s.

Germany, whilst the largest economy, has never led, still being held back by the WW2 legacy.  Hitler, another prefigurement of the Antichrist, had thankfully been defeated.   Darby referred to Austria.  Of course, this country’s influence has become minor since the fall of the Hapsburgs, and even more so since Hitler (an Austrian) annexed the country to Germany.  It would remain part of the West European nations.  Darby was also critical of Poland, and to date, the role of this populous nation has been limited to its part in the downfall of the Soviet system, and to providing the Pope in office at the time.

Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism will be the dominant religion, especially as so-called Protestant churches veer towards Rome.  Elsewhere Darby made it clear that this would be increasingly so despite the strength of atheistic secularism.  The large influx of Muslims and those of Eastern religions will in time make way for the unified false Babylon religion.  Already, in the UK, Muslims represent about 10% of the religiously active population, with Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists making 5%.  There is even a trend to pre-Christian paganism.

Biblically the sphere of operations is the area covered by the Roman Empire and some extensions in Europe, Asia and Africa.  Outgoings of Europe in the rest of the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Latin America etc., are not part of the sphere or provide leadership, but can be regarded as part of the expanded Roman Empire in Revelation.

Did Darby foresee the modern advances in technology and its impact?  He saw the improvement in communications and was not ignorant of scientific thought.  What is clear from his writings is that he relates a lot to the influence of the East, embraced by the West.

So, it is possible that France will be the dominant Western force, supporting Darby’s prediction that the Antichrist would come from that country, despite all that has happened in


J N Darby Prophetic Map


the last 200 years.  Who knows? On the European side, we have Russia, referred to in prophecy as Rosh and Meshech and Tubal (see above).  He thought that Russia would come to dominate Turkey-in-Asia, but I believe that if it does, it will control the whole country.  Istanbul is as much Turkey as Ankara.  This is not impossible.  Whilst Turkey has been a member of NATO for decades and would like to join the European Union, there are areas of tension with NATO and strong resistance to its joining the EU.   Like Russia, it does not have true democratic government.  Having lost the Eastern European countries to the EU after the fall of communism, there is little doubt that Russia would like to extend its sphere of influence and control.


The other area that Darby thought that Russia would dominate (though not control) is that of Persia (Iran) and Media the Japhetic children of Medai[2].   Darby’s map shows this area extending eastwards as far as the Indus River, and therefore embracing a lot of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and southwards to include Syria and Lebanon.  Although those countries are mostly Sunni, Iran would like to control all the Muslim regions in that part of the world.


Significantly Darby hardly mentions Islam – just four passing references to Mohammed or the religion.   Any review must take account of the increased profile of this religion, its divisions and the violent actions in its name.  He never referred to the two opposing Sunni and Shi’ite divisions of that religion.  The Shi’ite religion, with its observance of shrines and icons, is probably more compatible with Orthodox Christendom, so there is a natural fit here.  The Assyrians are referred to a lot – basically the same people.

Finally, in this group are the descendants of Nimrod, the hunter.  These Hamites led to the Huns and the Magyars, now occupying Hungary and much of the Balkans.  Russia would have to wrest these countries from the EU and stop Serbia and Ukraine from joining.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the King of the South

The area ‘between the two rivers’ (i.e. the Euphrates and the Nile) is occupied by descendants of Shem and Ham.  Ishmael (Arabs) and Hamites – from Cush, Phut and Mizraim (Egypt and North Africa) are generally stricter, puritanical Sunni Muslims rivalling the Shi’ites to the north.  Doubtless, due to financial relationships with the West, Darby’s words could be fulfilled, ‘Eastern descendants of Ham, just as the western or southern descendants of Ham will be at the steps of Antichrist or the mature apostate body, for they will be judged as Antichrist, Gog and Magog, for coming against the Jews.’ [3]

The Prophetic Map: What does all this mean?

All this is very interesting but has no direct bearing on the Church.  But as Darby says, ‘There is not a more important chapter in Scripture as to the providence of God than Genesis 10.  The Noahic and Abrahamic earth under Providence leaves the will of man to act.  All the powers of the world will be brought together as they have acted within the limits of God’s known providence and formed the subject of Scriptural statements as to kingdoms, i.e., powers in the world previous to the interposition and restoration of the four great kingdoms with the power of Ezekiel (especially ch. 38), acting as described in Joel (chs. 2 and 3); and of other types. The Gog and Magog of Revelation include all and runs over the whole extent of the inhabited earth, not the powers of the earth as in the formative system, for then the system is formed and it is re-action, in God’s wisdom and permission, of judgment on those not truly of it, as I am led to believe.63’ 

Did you follow all this, dear Reader?

If you, like me, did not follow all this reasoning, you may not qualify academically to be among the theological intelligentsia. However, this will not affect the enjoyment of your relationship with the blessed Man who is at the centre of prophecy and of God’s economy of love!

[1] See Charles Ellicott: Ethnology of the Ancient Church

[2] Darby said that that Persia (Iran) was a subservient Hamitic people, but their language would not appear support this.  Probably he was referring to what we now know as the Iraqis who speak Arabic, but would have been, like the Canaanites, descended from Ham

[3] See original paper –  J. N. Darby. – Notes and Comments Vol. 2. pages 192 and 195.


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One thought on “John Nelson Darby’s Prophetic Map”

  1. My good friend Agabus in Canada (not his real name, of course) sent me the following notes. I have updated this posting with some of his thoughts:

    Your article on JND’s prophetic map and your comments were noted with great interest. One could get into pages of comments as well but will try to keep to a few basic remarks in reply to your comments about what has happened since then.

    The break up of the Ottoman empire and the reforming of boundaries of the Islamic nations emerging sets a tone of the “Assyrian” which many of the so called prophetic teacher sadly miss. JND on “the Assyrian” so important

    The first and second wars set the stage for the for the present nation of Israel, but one still in unbelief and in the “times of the gentiles.( There are interesting readings with Gerald Cowell)

    The European union and the United nations as a background perhaps for the new world order preparing for the beast and the false prophet. As JND indicates perhaps the gentile Antichrist will arise out of France or (one’s thought) out of Germany. Interesting that both Napoleon and Hitler had messianic visions of a united Europe, sort of a forerunner of the Antichrist.

    JND’s comments on Isaiah 18 interesting in relation to The U.S. and Britain’s support of Israel in 1947,8. As you say modern technology making preparation for the Antichrist ( Daniel 12:4,) so current today.

    The green movement as the political move pointing to “ those that dwell on the earth” in Rev. JND said these would be the supporters of the Beast, interesting.

    The mixing of religions in the movement of peoples. making way for the unified false Babylon religion.

    Amazing also how accurate JND was in his comments that in many cases are “up to date”. especially Gog and Magog. JND, Dennet and other old worthies seem to have the timing right there.

    Like your thought of how we should be interested in God’s people. Our main interest in the Mystery/Assembly, but as ’New Covenant Ministers” we should keep God’s beloved people in our thoughts. We often say in Calgary the we are custodians/ caretakers of the Hopes of Israel.


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