Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?
Moses says Israel must choose a king from their own brethren as opposed to a non-Jew. Surely, the Antichrist will be a Jew by blood. Deuteronomy 17:14-15:
“When thou [to Moses concerning Israel] art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.”
There is a strict prohibition as appointing a “stranger,” meaning a Gentile.
Furthermore, it is quite unfathomable to think the Jews would look for a deliverer in the form of a Gentile. Throughout the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, raises up and sends Jews as deliverers of Israel—Moses, Samson, King David, Gideon, Mordecai and Esther, Deborah, Jephthah, King Saul, and so on. All were formidable leaders of Israel when the nation needed to be rescued from Gentile oppression. The lying deceit of the Antichrist will promise Israel peace and prosperity (see Daniel 11:21-32). Surely, in keeping with the aforementioned Old Testament typology, the Antichrist will be a Jew.
Also, notice Deuteronomy chapter 18:
“ The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;  According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.  And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Moses speaks of “a Prophet like unto me.” This man is an individual “of the [Jewish] brethren” and “from among the [Jewish] brethren.” On the basis of Acts 3:19-26, we Christians conclude this was a Messianic promise. Israel is looking for a special someone like Moses (a Jew) and someone from among their own nationality (a Jew). As Christians, we know this to be the Lord Jesus Christ (“Messiah” is Hebrew for “Anointed one;” “Christ” is the Greek equivalent; cf. Psalm 2:2, John 1:41, and Acts 4:26).
However, today’s Jews, overall, reject the New Testament as divine and authoritative. They believe their Messiah has never come before: hence, they await him, but IT WILL REALLY BE THE COUNTERFEIT MESSIAH, ANTICHRIST.
Satan, the chief enemy of the God of the Bible, always endeavors to counterfeit his Creator’s work so he can be worshipped instead. “I will be like the most High,” Isaiah 14:14 quotes him as declaring. Since Jesus Christ is a Jew, Satan’s “messiah” (Antichrist) will mimic Him as closely as possible. The Antichrist would need to resemble Jesus Christ as many ways as necessary to pass him off as genuine. It will surely be a time of great deception, unparalleled imitation, including with “power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12). This explains why it is dangerous for us today as well as for the Jews in the Tribulation period to be “looking’ for signs. We stand upon His written word.
Daniel 11:36-37 adds this about the Antichrist to come:
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he [Antichrist] regard the GOD OF HIS FATHERS, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
“The God of his fathers”—notice the capital “G”—refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This title could refer only to a Jew.
Lastly, the Bible refers to the Antichrist as “the Assyrian.” Assyria was located in present Syria, eastern Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and western Iran.
- Isaiah 10:24: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.”
- Isaiah 14:25: “That I [the Lord GOD of hosts] will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.”
- Isaiah 30:31: “For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” (The cross-reference is 2 Thessalonians 2:8.)
- “And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” (2 Thessalonians 2:8 (KJV)
- Isaiah 31:8: “Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.”
- Micah 5:5-6: “ And this man [the Messiah, Jesus Christ—verses 2 and 4] shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.  And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us [Israel] from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.”
According to Scripture, the Antichrist will be a Jew by blood. Moreover, he will have some connection to ancient Assyria (modern Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Iran).
Will Assyria be his birthplace? Or where he will have his citizenship? Maybe it will be the origin of his political career? We cannot say anything other than he is an “Assyrian Jew.”
Such prophecies that are obscure to us during today’s “Dispensation of the Grace of God” will undoubtedly be revealed to those to whom the Antichrist’s reign pertains. That should suffice us.
- Slightly Adapted from Shawn Brasseaux, for emphasis -