Who Is India in Bible Prophecy?

A man dressed as Hindu Lord Shiva performs during a religious procession ahead of the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri
A man dressed as Hindu Lord Shiva performs during a religious procession ahead of the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri. (REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta)

India is a nation located in lower Asia. Its population is about 1.2 billion people. They have a large military, and the country is a vital world ally for those seeking to gain an advantage. Their economy and production ability commands the attention of all nations. A nation this large is going to have a huge impact on world events in the last days. And India is mentioned in the Bible.

How we find India in Bible prophecy is interesting. It is only mentioned by name twice in the Bible (Esther 1:1, 8:9) Interestingly enough, it is mentioned in the same sentence with Ethiopia. This is not by coincidence. The Hebrew word "Kush" or "Cush" is typically thought of as referring to Ethiopia. Another related country, Libya, is usually thought of as being the Hebrew word "Put" or "Phut." When used together, these two Hebrew words can refer to India.

The historian Herodotus notes that there were two types of Cushites: curly-haired and straight-haired. He notes that some of the straight-haired Cushites migrated into the area of India (Herodotus 3:94, 7:70). Their hair was the only difference in appearance between them. Josephus makes note of this (Antiquities of the Jews Book 1, Chapter VI). The same can be said of Put (Smith's Dictionary of Roman and Greek Geography, "India"). The Bible tells us that the Assyrians even took Ethiopians captive to this area of the world (see Is. 20).

This explains why the Hindu Kush Mountains are right next to India. There are also other territories carrying the "KSH" sound in them. Kashmir is an important province in India. Cushul is another city in India. As the Cushites migrated to this area, they left their mark. The word "Put" is routinely used in the Bible for war (Jer. 46:9, Ezra 27:10, 30:5, 38:5, Nah. 3:9). The best warriors in India and even the ruling class for centuries were called the Rajaputs (or Rajput: see 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica "Rajput"). Rajaput means king or ruler of put. When Cush and Put are used together, it actually refers to India. This nation has the second largest population in the world, produces a tremendous amount of fruit every year and has a major role in the political arena in the last days.


Prophetic Implications:

1. Ezekiel 38 – Cush and Put are mentioned right beside Iran (identified as Persia). This affirms Cush and Put as India. There are very few connections between Ethiopia, Libya and Persia, mainly due to distance. The connections between Persia and India are numerous. First of all, India is closer to Persia geographically. These nations have had close economic ties in recent years because Iran is the nearest nation to India that can provide oil and natural gas. Discussions have been ongoing to build a pipeline between the two nations. In 2015, India agreed to invest nearly $200 million into the port city of Chabahar in Iran (Pearson). Iran has the highest population of Shia' Muslims in the world. In 2009, India had the 3rd highest Shia population in the world. India's immediate neighbor to the northwest is Pakistan, who they have had major issues with over the years. Pakistan is also a Sunni Muslim nation. This gives Iran another reason to ally with India. Another interesting historical note is that the Persian language was spoken in the royal court of India until the 1800s (Ali Khan).

The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 occurs on the mountains of Israel, which refers to the U.S. and British peoples. On July 24, 2015, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported the desire of the people of India to request "reparations" for their colonization of India. One of the front-runner politicians is passionately arguing for this, and the present prime minister supports the idea. The anti-British sentiment is growing in the nation. 

In ancient times, Sheba and Dedan consisted of the East Coast of Africa and the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The Queen of Sheba in Solomon's time lived in this area. They also traded considerably with India. This again ties India with Ezekiel 38.

2. Daniel 11:40-45 – In this prophecy, we see a character called "the King of the North" invade the "King of the South." We reviewed in "Understanding Bible Prophecy" that the King of the North refers to a Revived Roman Empire led by Germany. The Bible tells us that the King of the North "... shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and Cush and Put shall be at his steps." The Hebrew phrase "At his steps" simply means "to keep pace with or companionship." This could very well refer to the King of the North conquering from Egypt all the way to India, like Alexander the Great and other Roman Rulers of the past.

3. Ezekiel 39 – Cush and Put are not mentioned in the attack against Jerusalem. This battle refers to Armageddon. This likely points to some catastrophic event or war that disabled India from being able to act.

Side Note:

An interesting fact in that the Hebrew names for ivory, ape and peacock come from the Tamal language on the Indian continent (Smith's Bible Dictionary, 1884, "Ape")!

Kelly McDonald Jr. is an ordained evangelist with Hungry Hearts Ministry in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written a combined total of 40 books and booklets about the Bible, Hebrew roots and Bible prophecy. You can follow him at kellymcdonaldjr.com.

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