Keranen Yaakov, an Orthodox Jewish Geula (redemption) blogger, published a post claiming that the recent visit by Pope Francis to Iraq, the first-ever by a pontiff, was anticipated by a prophecy as preceding the end of days.
Yeranen cites a verse from Balaam’s prophecy:
Ships come from the quarter of Kittim; They subject Assyria, subject Eber. They, too, shall perish forever. Numbers 24:24
Yeranen suggests that in the Biblical context, ships, the most modern form of transport used for transcontinental travel, could have been used by Balaam to refer to a vision of airplanes.
“Just because it says ‘ships’ doesn’t preclude airplanes,” Yeranen wrote.
He goes on to explain that most commentators identify Kittim as Rome. This is especially true of the reference in the Book of Daniel.
Ships from Kittim will come against him. He will be checked, and will turn back, raging against the holy covenant. Having done his pleasure, he will then attend to those who forsake the holy covenant. Daniel 11:30
“The Pope is the head of Rome,” Yeranen wrote. “And wherever he goes, he afflicts everyone he comes in contact with.”
The blogger describes the Pope as “Avi Avot Hatum’a”, the archetypal source of ritual impurity. He goes on to explain that ancient Assyria centered on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia, was located in the area known in modern terms as northern Iraq.
The Biblical city of Nineveh was located on the outskirts of modern Mosul, in Iraq, precisely where the Pope visited while in Iraq. Eber, mentioned by Balaam, is on the Western side of the Euphrates. While in Iraq, the Pope met with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani, a Shia cleric of Iranian origins, in the city of Najaf, the third holiest city of Shia Islam and the center of Shi’ite political power in Iraq. Coincidentally, Najaf is on the west of the Euphrates.
The highlight of Pope Francis’s four-day visit was a prayer service for “the sons and daughters of Abraham” held at Ur, known in the Bible as Ur Kasdim, the alleged birthplace of Abraham located west of the Euphrates. Abraham was known as an “Ivri”, which can also be understood as a person from Eber.
“The Pope and all of Malchut Edom (the kingdom of Edom) will come to destruction,” Yeranen writes, paraphrasing the prophecy of Balaam. In this case, Edom refers to Catholicism.
Yeranen notes that in his commentary on that verse, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, the 18th century preeminent Torah scholar known as the Vilna Gaon, interpreted the word וגם (v’gam; and them also) as referring to Amalek. This reference to Amalek includes his incarnation at the end of days as Amalek since, like the prophecy concerning Edom, Amalek and Gog will be “lost’ in the end of days.
Yeranen then notes that Pope Francis’s name before becoming the pontiff was Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Yeranen notes that his last name actually contains the word “Gog.”
“May this be a sign for good things to come,” Yeranen concludes.