ANSWER: The virus, discovered in 1976, is named after the Congo's Ebola river where the disease was first studied. It is currently believed that primates spread the virus to humans. Deuteronomy 28:27 does not directly refer to the Ebola virus but does discuss skin diseases. Notice what this verse says in one modern Bible translation.
The Lord will strike you with the same boils that plagued the Egyptians. He will strike you with hemorrhoids (or boils), sores (or scurvy), and itching (eruptive disease) THAT WON'T GO AWAY (Deuteronomy 28:27, GWN Translation)
The passage that more specifically refers to a biological microbe like Ebola would be the twenty-first verse of the chapter. Notice this verse in a modern translation.
The Eternal will strike you with plague - consumption and fever and inflammation - in the land where you’re going to live, and it will never leave until NONE OF YOU ARE LEFT ALIVE THERE (Deuteronomy 28:21, The Voice)
Plague or pestilences include all types of serious biological microbes, such as the most deadly types of bacteria and viruses that have the capacity to kill millions of people. One example of this is the flu epidemic that ran from January 1918 to December 1920, which killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people. Ebola has the potential to kill many more than that figure.
The prophetic fourth horseman of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:7 - 8), which includes war, famine, plagues, pestilence and wild animals, may kill close to 1.8 billion people based on the current world population of 7.2 billion people. Notice these verses in the Book of Revelation.
7 And when the Lamb broke the fourth seal, the fourth living creature called out. 8 I looked; and behold, there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades accompanied him. Together they were granted authority over one-fourth of the earth (25% of the world's population) to kill with weapons, with famine, with disease, and with wild animals that roamed the earth (Revelation 6:7 - 8, The Voice)
Many previously unknown or rare viruses and bacteria, especially in the last two generations, have erupted all over the world. They have included AIDS, MRSA, flesh-eating bacteria, and now the Ebola virus, just to name a few. There is also the bird flu, swine flu, and seasonal flu strains that affect millions of people.
Both Deuteronomy 28 and the companion chapter in Leviticus 26 are referred to as the blessings and curses chapters. Both chapters outline the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience to God and His laws that He gave to ancient Israel for their good and future happiness. These two chapters are still in force today and apply primarily to the modern descendants of ancient Israel, who are the English-speaking Anglo-Saxons in the world today. They live in North America, Western Europe, South Africa and other places around the globe.
Viruses such as Ebola were unknown not that many years ago. Now, however, they are becoming much more commonplace. In many cases, they are the result of man's sins, the way people live their lives and humanity's general rejection of God and the Bible. Sadly, the spread of such life-threatening infections as Ebola will occur with increasing frequency as we approach the prophetic "end time" before Jesus returns.
Written by Rick Beltz
A BibleStudy.org Email Evangelist