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This remarkable book examines the future through the lens of biblical prophecy with an emphasis on Ezekiel 38 and 39. The book is valuable but incomplete in a sense, as it ignores important information on events that might trigger the War of Gog and Magog and almost completely silent on what might follow it as far as Europe is concerned.

In the introduction the author explains how he got to write his best-selling novels and attempts to answer questions like: How serious is the Iran nuclear crisis? Why is Russia selling nuclear technology and arms to Iran? What is the future of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of Iraq? What are the dangers of expansionist Islam?

Chapter 2 deals with the process of the writing and publication of his prescient novels The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option and The Copper Scroll, whilst the next looks at the genesis of Jihad. Chapter 4 explains that the lenses of politics and economics should be complemented by a third, the lens of scriptural prophecy. That is the way to understand global evens in three dimensions.

Chapter 5 examines those prophecies that have already been fulfilled, like the restoration of Israel and its spectacular economic growth. Rosenberg predicts that massive oil and gas reserves will be discovered in the Holy Land. The gross domestic product of Israel is already much higher than that of a country like Egypt with more than ten times the population.

Chapter 7: A Czar in Russia, explores the identity of the peoples mentioned in the prophecies of Ezekiel: Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal based on historical and linguistic clues. Russia has become totalitarian and has invaded Georgia as was expected judging by the quotes from Putin. Belarus is a natural ally that never tasted freedom after the collapse of the USSR. The next chapter shows how Russia is assembling a new Axis of Evil and looks at the Iranian leader's threats against Israel and the West.

The identity of the other nations that will join Russia in the assault on Israel is explored in chapter 9. Russia is extending its military alliance with Iran to include other countries of the Islamic world & Venezuela. One cannot ignore the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) that already includes the People's Republic of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan.

Cush is thought to mean sub-Saharan African countries of which Sudan will form part but even South Africa might be involved, whilst Put refers to North African states like Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. Gomer might be Turkey and Azerbaijan and Beth Togarmah is most likely the aforementioned Central Asia Stans.

There will be other allies from the Islamic world. Rosenberg notes that Egypt and Iraq are not part of this alliance, but fails to point out that neither Syria nor Jordan is mentioned. He does talk about the regional powers that will realize that the invasion is about stealing the wealth of Israel (Sheba & Dedan) and Western Countries raising a protest but doing nothing to help Israel (Tarshish).

Russian ambitions for expanding into the Middle East are investigated in chapter 10. Recent revelations about Russian intentions during the 1967 and 1973 wars show how close the Soviet Union came to getting directly involved. The next chapter describes what will actually happen to the Anti-Israel alliance: supernatural destruction through earthquakes, pandemics, comets/meteorites and hailstones; in the confusion they will turn on one another.

The next three chapters deal with Iraq as increasingly prosperous, the building of the Third Temple, the increase in the numbers of Messianic Jews and a big story ignored by the mass media: how Muslims are turning to Christ in increasing numbers in Central Asia, Iran, North Africa and the Middle East. The author is of the opinion that Babylon in Iraq will be the future seat of the Anti-Christ. I am not so sure about that. It might rather be another city in Europe that becomes the capital of a resurgent Europe, the final revival of the Roman Empire.

The last chapter offers advice on what to do in light of these terrifying events, on a personal, local and international level. This includes making people aware of the prophecies and supporting Israel spiritually and materially.

Appendix 1 answers frequently asked questions, Appendix 2 provides the results of a national survey of American attitudes towards Bible prophecy and Appendix 3 provides the full text of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The book is illustrated with maps throughout and concludes with endnotes by chapter.

My problem with Epicenter is that it completely ignores the possibility of a localized war (Psalm 83 and Obadiah) in the Middle East that might be one of the triggers of the Gog-Magog War. This could be a war against Hezbollah, Hamas and their supplier Syria. Even Jordan might be involved. This will explain why these countries are not mentioned in the Ezekiel prophecy - because they will be thoroughly defeated and Damascus might be no more. This humiliating defeat could be the pretext for Russia & Iran to attack Israel. It might also explain why no country will come to the defense of Israel and why the United Nations will sanction such an attack.

In addition, the author totally ignores the role of the European Union. The spectacular destruction of Russia might trigger such panic in the EU that it causes a religious revival that enables ten of these countries to unite under an Emperor to revive the so-called Holy Roman Empire. In such a scenario, Rome will be the religious centre of this superpower, definitely not Babylon in Iraq.

I highly recommend Shackled Warrior by Caroline Glick, The Return of History by Robert Kagan and Menace in Europe by Claire Berlinski for insights into various aspects of global politics & tendencies predicted by these authors that have been confirmed by subsequent events.
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on 29 December 2006
In his first non-fiction book, New York Time's best-selling novelist Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian from an Orthodox Jewish background, takes the reader on a journey that includes interviews with Israeli, Palestinian, and Russian leaders, previously classified CIA and White House documents, complemented with a powerful narrative that will fix your attention on how events are connected, from biblical prophecy to recent headlines.

Absolutely an excellent book on a very delicate topic that is affecting and will affect our world. Rosenberg shows us the power of the Scripture in understanding the past and the present, and even more important: in predicting the future. A Thought-provoking reading that is well worth for Christian Readers and any reader as well.

With everything that is going on in the middle east and around the world, in such places like Iran, Iraq, Russia, and China: the invasion of Iraq and the violence of the post Sadam's Iraq, Iran's president vows to wipe Israel, and more it is nice to have the analysis and the point of view of a well respected Christian writer.
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2008
If you're interested in Christian prophecy and seeing how the current signs of the times fit in with it, then this book will certainly provide some food for thought. Joel has to be one of the most unique authors of this age, given how uncannily close to real life his fictional storylines have been, so I tend to pay some attention to what he feels factually is happening in the world, but like many true Americans, I do feel he tends to concentrate perhaps too much on the US's role in much of what is up ahead. And personally I feel it's got next to no role at all, other than to perhaps precipitate much of what is going to happen in the likes of the Middle East. Ezekiel outlined very clearly the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Israel, so we know it will happen at some point, but we also know that unlike the US and many other countries of the Middle East that Israel will survive, because the whole of human history is geared around it - it's very existence is proof of the validity of scripture, as God ordained and stated throughout His Word that it would do so despite everything the world would bring against it. But Joel does outline a lot of very solid facts in the book that I appreciated, and some amazing ones too like the huge numbers of Muslims becoming Christians despite the very real threats of death that are then brought against them by family and friends, and thus I found the book overly encouraging while being very informative.
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on 26 February 2008
The two previous reviews give a fairly comprehensive insight into the contents of Epicenter and it only leaves me to affirm that this is an excellent book that gives Christians an insight to the unfolding of prophetic events up to our present time and the likely scenario in the future. Joel Rosenberg is very well informed and has contacts in high places which give him access to facts and details denied to most of us. He does not claim to be able to spell out the details of future events, but he does indicate some of the main events that we can expect to see and at the same time he does raise awareness and stimulates Christians to be on the alert to current events and the relevance of biblical prophecy in our day.

Highly recommended.
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on 31 January 2011
This book informs and educates on the political, religious and prophetic happenings in the Middle East. Joel Rosenberg has an easy way of writing and is easy to follow through the myriad channels of intelligence that he puts in the book. It really opens ones eyes to all that is going on as well as making you aware of what could easily go wrong in such a volatile situation.
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on 26 August 2016
This is one of the best books I have read for a long time, its an interesting take on things
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on 8 September 2014
All Joe's books are definitely worth reading.
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on 5 June 2016
Can't put it down!
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