Contents of the IRAQHIST.DOC file
What follows is a short history lesson about the peoples and
countries of the mid-east. The present conflict did not start in
August of 1990 but rather began about 4000 years ago. In addition to
territory claims by the different people in the area this conflict also
is spiritual. Three major religious systems are clashing, they are
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
The mid-east is the center of Islam, or Moslem people, the western
people come from a Christian heritage, and of course Israel is a
predominately Jewish nation. These differences have lead to mistrust
and actual hatred between people in the past that continues to some
During the last 4000 years many different people and nations have
called the same lands home. Many of the present boundaries were not
drawn up until after World War I, and in some cases after World War
Some of the problems that now exist are because outside powers
imposed borders and created countries without fully understanding the
area. This is not just limited to this immediate area, but also
includes for instance West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan
(now Bangladesh). We tend to think that we can group people together
just because they are the same color or religion. The people of the
mid-east are just as diverse as we are. We have problems getting along
with each other as well.
I do not claim to be an expert in this area, but thought that I
could share some information from a different perspective than seen on
the evening news. The goal of this article is to help us understand
the situation in an historical context and help us to pray
effectively. I am a Christian. I believe that we need God's wisdom
and patience to bring lasting peace to the area. I am not making a
judgment on our need to be there, or the actions we need to take.
A Middle Eastern Time Line
Note: Early dates are approximate
The flood occurs, Noah's
Ark runs aground in what is now
Gen 9:22-27 Ham cursed for
shaming his father Noah. Ham's
descendants are the Canaanites
who later intermarry w
descendants to become the Arab
Genesis 10:10 Nimrod, Noah's
son, founds Babylon.
>2700 BC The tower of Babel built in
what is now Iraq. Ruin is
between the present cities of
Baghdad and Bazra.
2150 BC Abraham born
Abraham leaves Ur which is
south east of Babylon by
about 150 mi. to go to Caanan
2080 BC Abraham enters Canaan Abraham is promised the land
of Canaan by God as his
inheritance in Gen 12:7.
Famine forces Abraham to flee
to Egypt. Has run in with
Pharaoh over wife. Diseases
sent by the Lord. Gen 12:10-20
Area City states in constant
state of war. Alliances change
every few years. Abraham
rescues his relative, Lot, from
Abraham in a bid to take
matters into his own hands has
son Ishmael by Egyptian
maidservant Hagar. Sarai
Abraham's wife mistreates both.
Ishmael receives blessing from
God that his descendants will
be to numerous to count.
Descendants are the Arabs.
1880 BC Jacobs family enters Egypt
because of famine. In the beginning Jacob's family
enjoys the best of the land
because of God's blessing of
Egypt through Jacob. In time
later rulers forget this.
1450 BC The Exodus of Israel from Israel moves out of Egypt to
Egypt. posses their promised land.
This of course was not good
news to the people living there
at the time. Israel almost
immediately attacked by the
Amalekites who are defeated
with God's help.
1400 BC The conquest of Canaan by
980 BC Solomon begins his reign, Under Solomon the nation grows
After several years he in size, power, and wealth.
starts the temple building Territory extended to tip of
gulf of Agaba, north to beyond
Damascus. The area governed is
now Israel and Jordan, and part
of Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon.
900 BC Damascus rises to power
825 BC Hazael of Syria oppresses
730 BC The fall of Damascus
625 BC The rise of Babylon
600 BC Assyria collapses
580 BC Kingdom of Judah falls
540 BC Babylon falls to Cyrus
Egypt falls under control of
Persians. Independent nation
of Israel ceases to exist.
485 BC The Persians are defeated
by the Greeks.
Nehemmiah allowed to rebuild
325 BC Alexander the Great de-
feats Darius III.
50 BC The Romans take Palestine
Roman rule of area during this
time enabled new ideas, and
0 Christ is born trade to flourish. Had much to
do with enabling rapid spread
33 AD Christ crucified
500s Roman empire in decline
570 Mohammed is born in Mecca Islam which means "submission
to Allah" is based on the
revelations of Mohammed. He
did not read or write, his
ideas were recorded by his
followers who had committed
them to memory.
600s Arabs overrun area
Baghdad is made the capital
1258 Mongols devastate country
1401 Mongols again conquer area
1534 Ottoman Turks capture Ottoman Turks capture Egypt
Baghdad, stayed under Turkish
control till WW I. Kuwait founded by Arab nomads
1798 Napoleon invades Egypt
British protect Kuwait from a
holy war from another Muslim
1869 Suez canal completed by French
Later purchased by British
Egypt revolts, Britain sends
1897 Kuwait becomes a British forces to protect interests and
protectorate remains in control till 1922
1918 Britain and the sharif of Country of Trans-Jordan formed
Mecca gain control and Iraq by Britain from Biblical lands
is formed as a country of Ammon, Bashan, Edom, and
1919 Saudi Arabia invades Kuwait
British repel Saudis, who
blockade country for 20 yrs.
1920 League of Nations made Iraq Islam first brought to US.
a territory under British
1932 League of Nations mandate
ends, Iraq gains independence
Jordan receives independence.
1947 UN creates two nations from First Arab Israeli war.
Palestine, one Jewish, and
one Arabic. On the same day
that British withdraw Arab
1952 Iraq renews ancient claim to
Kuwait. Rejected by British.
1955 Pro western Iraqi president
Nuri es-Said joins Turkey,
Iran, Pakistan, and Britain Second Arab-Israeli war
in opposition of Egypt in
1958 Gen. Kassem overthrows govt.
Later withdraws Iraq from pact.
1961 Kuwait becomes independent
1963 Military coup overthrows
Kassem. Arab Baath Party
gains control. Abdul Salem
Arif as president.
1966 Abdul Salem Arif dies in
Helicopter crash, succeeded Third Arab-Israeli war
by his brother.
1968 Bloodless coup installes
former premier Ahmed Hassan
al-Bakr as president.
1969 Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agree
on a boundary in the disputed
area from 1919.
1973 Iraq joins war against Forth Arab-Israeli war
1973 Iraq invades Kuwait, withdraws
after Saudi Arabia sends 15000
Troops to aid Kuwait.
1975 Iran agrees to stop providing
arms to rebelling Kurdish
minority in Iraq.
1976 Iraq and Syria at odds over
Syria's intervention in
1977 UN states that Iraq is sys-
1978 Iraq plans to spend $36 mil
to restore ancient city of
Babylon, about 55 mi south
1979 Gen Saddam Hussein becomes
president, Bakr resigns due
1980 Iraq and Iran begin open war Israel moves capitol to
after skermishing for 10 Jerusalem which is supposed to
months. Iraq has early be a shared city.
Israel bombs Iraqi reactor
1982 Iraq has been pushed back to
1984 War expands into gulf area
1987 USS Stark hit by missile from
Iraqi plane. 37 sailors die,
Iraq apologises for mistaken.
launch of missile.
1988 Iran and Iraq begin cease
1990 Iraq invades Kuwait in dis- An oil field extends across
pute over oil field and the Kuwait-Iraq border with
shipping access to gulf. both countries pumping from
it. Iraq has been demanding
that Kuwait decrease production
to help increase oil price.
1991 UN forces attack Iraq
17 hours after UN deadline
for Iraqi withdrawal from
Compiled by Herb Guenther from NIV Holy Bible, 1980 Reader's Digest
Almanac, The World Almanac and Book of Facts - 1988, and other