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I've dug up at least one reference that may be a candidate.

Jeremiah 6:21-23

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.

I've heard some say this verse is talking about the nation of Russia rising against Israel, and that the 'great nation' that is 'raised from the sides of the earth' is a allusion to the United States.

  • Are there any other verses that people have cited as evidence the USA is mentioned in the Bible?
  • Is there anyone (denominations/prominent individuals) who believes that the USA is mentioned in the Bible?
  • What are the arguments for or against this reference (or any other)?
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  • 1
    The US has been pointed to as the spiritual successor to Israel, although I haven't see much written on this of late (most of what I've seen was written quite a long time ago).
    – wax eagle
    Jan 8, 2013 at 18:50
  • @waxeagle What did you mean by "Spiritual Successor"? Jan 9, 2013 at 23:05
  • 1
    @aceinthehole: as far as the Bible as a historical document, no. As far as prophesy it is impossible to know when the Bible mentions general lands from some coordination. Jan 10, 2013 at 1:51
  • 1
    hermeneutics.stackexchange.com Mar 19, 2015 at 14:45
  • The seventh day Adventists believe that the lamb linker beast of revelation 13 refers to America.
    – One Face
    Mar 19, 2015 at 14:52

7 Answers 7

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The passage is most likely referring to the nation of Babylon.

Per ESV Study Bible Note:

Jer. 6:22–23 great nation. Babylon. the farthest parts of the earth. Babylon’s army had outposts all over the ancient world. This army has no mercy; its horses are so numerous that their thundering hoofs sound like the roaring sea (4:13, 29).

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Burton L. Mack, Professor of early Christianity at the School of Theology at Claremont, says one can ask any question of the Bible and get some kind of answer. If the first answer does not appear to be helpful, one can look for another answer to the same question, until the right answer appears. In Who Wrote the New Testament, page 299, he says this is a trick that seems to come naturally when studying the Bible and which he sees happen all the time in the classrooms of the School of Theology at Claremont. At first the study of a text may not seem to support the answer one hopes to find in the Bible but with a little ingenuity, one can set up the comparison again with other emphases and make the answer come out right.

If someone wants to find references to the United States (or, for example, Russia) in the Bible, one can easily do so, using the trick that Mack describes. The argument against this kind of interpretation is that it is reading meaning into the Bible texts, not out of them.

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Prophetically speaking, there are a few possibilities.

The Great Eagle

In Revelation 12, the Scriptures speak of a "woman" who gives birth to a "male child" who is to "rule all the nations". It is understood that the woman here is speaking of Israel, as Jesus was born of Israel and will one day rule the nations.

It also speaks of a Satan who sought to devour the "male child". Satan is thrown down to the earth where he persecutes the woman (Israel).

Then, **the two wings of "the great eagle" were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place" where she stays for 3 1/2 years.

It is conjectured that "the great eagle" could be a reference to the United States, who has long held a close relationship with Israel and who is symbolized the an eagle.

The Eleventh Horn

Daniel 7 speaks of a beast with ten horns which represent ten kings. As Daniel watches the beast, another horn comes up and uproots three other horns.

It is thought that the United States could be this Eleventh Horn. Our existence is quite young compared to other countries that could be represented by the other horns, and we certainly have the military power to uproot other nations.

Conclusion

Nothing, however, is in any way certain. There are some other speculations, but nothing really compelling.

Yet, we should not despair. It's not important that the U.S. be mentioned in prophecy. What is important is that our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

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There are verses in Revelation that can be attributed to the USA. This belief features prominently among the Seventh Day Adventists.

In Revelation 12:13, we see God's church (the woman) persecuted. But she is given the opportunity to flee into the wilderness, and then later helped by the earth.

It can be interpreted that the earth refers to a land relatively uninhabited, the migration of Christians to North America post the discovery of the continent in 1492. Since water/ flood represents people (Rev 17:15), then earth represent the opposite. The serpent is described as pursuing the women with a flood (people) (Rev 12:15), but the earth helps her and swallowed the flood (Rev 12:16). This mirrors the fact that believers were able to practice their faith relatively free from persecution in the new land.

Further association with the US can be found in Revelation 13:11, the beast from the earth.

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.

The US, founded on the basis of two important tenants, freedom of religion and civil liberty, will eventually see this right striped. There are already evidences of these two principles being eroded with the introduction of bills to counter terrorism and the increased co-dependence between the church and the state due to economical and popularity benefits. Should in the future the church and state unite, faith will no longer be offered out of choice but forced. At that time, Rev 13:12 would be fulfilled.

12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The battle is spiritual and global, and it will includes us. It is not only for those in some distant land in the middle east. For a further study I recommend the lecture series by Prof. Walter Veith in his Total Onslaught series, specifically the video "Two beasts become friends".

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  • Actually, the "two horns" can represent two governmental powers--matched in the United States by the two assemblies of lawmakers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The rest of this seems quite accurate. +1
    – Biblasia
    Jun 2, 2023 at 7:39
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Is the USA mentioned in the Bible?

The closest one can come is the phrase "islands of the sea".

Isaiah 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

In context this phrase would seem to describe, "places even further away". It is difficult to see anything specific about America.

If one looks to prophecy a better case can be made from Revelation,

Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

The description of "Babylon" in chapter eighteen sounds very much like a description of a America. The exceptional wealth and consumption of items from around the world. The lamentation of ships captains as they see her destruction. The only reservation I had was concerning the last passage,

Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

This seemed to exclude consideration of America as a candidate for this "Babylon". However, when consideration is given to the preceding verse a possible explanation emerges.

Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

The word "sorceries" in the Greek is pharmakeia (drugs). If one considers that with oral contraceptives that up to 33% of ovulations are not prevented that a considerable number of embryos are aborted. If unborn babies go to heaven, it may be that the invention and distribution of oral birth control pills is resulting in heaven being filled with those "saints". Their blood would be on our hands.

One can only conjecture as there is no specific description of the United States. However, the description given in Revelation has many painfully clear references to shameful acts that can be used to support a view that this portion of Revelation is talking about the United States.

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The Seventh Day Adventists believe that America is mentioned in the prophecy. This is concerning the prophecy of Revelation 13.

At this point another symbol is introduced. Says the prophet: “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.” Verse 11. Both the appearance of this beast and the manner of its rise indicate that the nation which it represents is unlike those presented under the preceding symbols. The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Daniel 7:2. In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power. GC 439.3

But the beast with lamblike horns was seen “coming up out of the earth.” Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory previously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully. It could not, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World—that turbulent sea of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” It must be sought in the Western Continent. GC 440.1

What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power, giving promise of strength and greatness, and attracting the attention of the world? The application of the symbol admits of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America. Again and again the thought, almost the exact words, of the sacred writer has been unconsciously employed by the orator and the historian in describing the rise and growth of this nation. The beast was seen “coming up out of the earth;” and, according to the translators, the word here rendered “coming up” literally signifies “to grow or spring up as a plant.” And, as we have seen, the nation must arise in territory previously unoccupied. A prominent writer, describing the rise of the United States, speaks of “the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy,“ and says: “Like a silent seed we grew into empire.”—G. A. Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, page 462. A European journal in 1850 spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire, which was “emerging,” and “amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.”—The Dublin Nation. Edward Everett, in an oration on the Pilgrim founders of this nation, said: “Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest, ... they have borne the banners of the cross!”—Speech delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, Dec. 22, 1824, page 11. GC 440.2

“And he had two horns like a lamb.” The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as “coming up” in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that “all men are created equal” and endowed with the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth. GC 441.1

But the beast with lamblike horns “spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed; ... saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:11-14. GC 441.2

The lamblike horns and dragon voice of the symbol point to a striking contradiction between the professions and the practice of the nation thus represented. The “speaking” of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities. By such action it will give the lie to those liberal and peaceful principles which it has put forth as the foundation of its policy. The prediction that it will speak “as a dragon” and exercise “all the power of the first beast” plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopardlike beast. And the statement that the beast with two horns “causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast” indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy. GC 442.1

Such action would be directly contrary to the principles of this government, to the genius of its free institutions, to the direct and solemn avowals of the Declaration of Independence, and to the Constitution. The founders of the nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of secular power on the part of the church, with its inevitable result—intolerance and persecution. The Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Only in flagrant violation of these safeguards to the nation’s liberty, can any religious observance be enforced by civil authority. But the inconsistency of such action is no greater than is represented in the symbol. It is the beast with lamblike horns—in profession pure, gentle, and harmless—that speaks as a dragon. GC 442.2

“Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.” Here is clearly presented a form of government in which the legislative power rests with the people, a most striking evidence that the United States is the nation denoted in the prophecy. GC 442.3

Taken from Great Controversy. The pages and paragraph numbers are given at the end of every paragraph.

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It's difficult to imagine that America wouldn't have a significant role to play during the prophesied "end times", which the world now seems to be entering into, or that biblical prophecy would ignore it.

The key is to identify the names by which today's nations were referred to in the Bible.

Many people believe that the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel", those taken into captivity by the Assyrians, eventually migrated to north-western Europe, by which time their original identity had been lost.

One obvious case is Denmark:

A 15th-century Latin chronicle, "Chronicon Holsatiae vetus", found in Gottfried Leibniz's Accessiones historicae (1698), states the Danes were of the Tribe of Dan. The antiquarian Henry Spelman in 1620 had made a similar claim that the Danes were the Israelite Tribe of Dan, based on the apparent similarity in name. Additionally, proponents of Nordic and British Israelism have made similar claims about descent from the tribe of Dan. British Israelite authors such as John Cox Gawler and J. H. Allen identified the Tribe of Dan with Denmark. While another prominent British Israelite author, Edward Hine, took the view that the tribe of Dan had colonized Denmark and Ulster in Ireland.
Tribe of Dan - Wikipedia

One might also note the Scottish pork taboo, where Scots don't eat pork or eels, perhaps a tradition that has survived two and a half millennia.


Looking to the Bible itself, God promised to Abraham: "a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee" (Genesis 31:11)

Before his death, Abraham passed on this birthright promise, effectively adopting Joseph's two sons as his own:

And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.

And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

Manasseh was prophesied to become a great nation, and Ephraim to become a multitude of nations.

This is part of the same prophecy where Judah was given an even greater blessing, to be the ancestor of the Messiah: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.". The royal line of Israel started with David and continued to be held within Judah.

British author and journalist Melanie Phillips commented on the recent ascension of Charles III:

… the British monarchy is patterned on ancient Israel. It’s why the monarch is anointed; it’s why words uttered by “Zadok the Priest,” taken from the first Book of Kings, have been sung at every English coronation since 973 CE. Some British monarchs in the past have even purportedly traced their line back to King David.

True, ancient Israel was a theocracy and was also eventually destroyed by internal divisions. Nevertheless, it developed a concept of governance that was to serve as a template for both Britain and America.
The momentous task for King Charles III

In particular, that "Some British monarchs" applies to Queen Victoria. Since then (and perhaps before), all male heirs to the throne were circumcised by London's chief mohel.

Charles III was crowned while sitting above the Coronation Stone (Lia Fail, Stone of Destiny, Stone of Scone) as were all his ancestors for thousands of years dating back through Scottish monarchs, and Irish before that. Legend says that this Stone is "Jacob's Pillow" (Genesis 28:11). Whether it is that actual stone is irrelevant; what's important is that the story is connected with it.

Some Scottish legends surrounding the Stone of Scone, traditionally used for coronations of Scottish kings in the High Middle Ages, have identified this stone with the Stone of Jacob. Supposedly the Stone of Jacob was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah and thence to Scotland. The 17th-century writer John Speed, describing the coronation of James I, calls the stone at Westminster Abbey by the Latin name, saxum Jacobi.
Stone of Jacob - Wikipedia

Jeremiah not only brought the Stone, he brought the royal line of David and the Ark of the Covenant with him to Ireland.

Looking at today's world, what would be the obvious choice for two brother nations, one by itself "great", and one "a multitude of nations"? The United States and the British Commonwealth fit these role perfectly. Each openly acknowledges (at least until very recently) that they have been richly blessed by the God of Abraham, and that their nations are founded upon the morality and principles presented by the Bible.

Not to be confused with the racist "British Israelism" movement, there are many that believe that Britain and its empire and commonwealth were settled by Ephraim, and that Manasseh's descendants left Britain and founded America.

All biblical end-time references to these two tribes are thus prophecies about America and Britain.

Here is a sample of full-length booklets on the subject:

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  • If I were of Denmark, I would not wish to brag about being of the tribe of Dan. That is one of the tribes notably absent from those listed in the book of Revelation as being in Heaven. (See Revelation 7:4-8.)
    – Biblasia
    Jun 2, 2023 at 15:31
  • all nations are in bible prophecy, even the USA. Jun 3, 2023 at 14:31

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