Review: The Ezekiel Option

Joel Rosenberg’s first fiction book, The Last Jihad, was about how Muslim terrorists hijacked a plane in America, crashed it into a building, and sparked a global war against terror which eventually led to an American-driven war in Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein.

It was written before the events of September 11, 2001 occurred.

In his second book, he details an attack on a US diplomatic convoy in Gaza as well as the death of Yasser Arafat opening the door to more moderate Palestinian leadership.

Six days before that book was published, a US diplomatic convoy was attacked in Gaza. Thirteen months later, Yasser Arafat died.

Because of these major “predictions” turning out to be surprisingly accurate, some in the mainstream media have labeled Rosenberg a “modern-day Nostradamus”. How does he do it?

Rosenberg says he’s not a prophet. He is a Christian and he is interested in politics (he’s worked with Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu), and he combines the two in a very unique way. He takes his understanding of biblical prophecy (mostly focused on the “end times”), compares it with the current political situation, and tries to determine what needs to change politically in order to make the prophecy possible. Then he writes a fictional account of how that change could occur.

And so far, he’s been right on the money.

So I was interested to read The Ezekiel Option, his third book in the series, to see what predictions he had to make this time around. And he’s made some doozies!

The story begins where book two left off – with peace in the Middle East – and details how a resurgent Russia becomes a global superpower again, forges an alliance with Iran and other Middle Eastern nations, and leads an attack against Israel. These predictions are largely based on Rosenberg’s understanding of the writings of the ancient Hebrew prophet Ezekiel.

As a fiction novel, this book left something to be desired. The style of the book was kind of a melting pot with the ingredients of Left Behind, Vince Flynn/Tom Clancy, and The Da Vinci Code — but it doesn’t really pull off any of those extremely well. The action felt pretty forced and a lot of the time happened too quickly and abruptly. The characters were cardboard and were never really developed. I never really felt connected to them. The dialog was very stilted in places, especially the portions where interpretation of prophecy was being discussed.

However, knowing that Rosenberg is primarily a prediction-maker and prophecy-interpreter (and not a novelist) gives us permission to overlook some of those shortcomings. If you’re looking for a great fiction book, this probably isn’t going to satisfy your taste. But from a prophetic perspective, it’s very intriguing and worth a read.

I don’t agree with a lot of Rosenberg’s interpretations of end times prophecy, but I’ve got to say – some of the passages in The Ezekiel Option contain probably the strongest arguments for his positions I’ve heard anywhere. To the extent that I care about end times prophecy (which is a lot less than I did, say, several years ago), it made me rethink some things.

The fact of the matter is this: someday, Jesus will be returning to fully restore God’s creation and life to the way it was intended to be. How and when that is going to happen is up for debate (and the tricky part is finding balance in how much emphasis/time/effort you put into trying to understand all the prophecies). Regardless of what you believe about biblical prophecy and its interpretations, I’d like to invite you to experience a life of wholeness, peace, and rest in that Kingdom with me. Jesus died on a Roman torture device, was buried in someone else’s tomb, and was raised from the dead to give you the chance to be reconciled to God. To enjoy abundant life with him. The invitation is yours for the taking if you believe it.

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