(Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)
Finland indeed is "a strong donkey, lying down between two burdens" (Genesis 49:14). This characterization is best demonstrated by the confusion over Finland's European alignment. Is Finland a Baltic state, along with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, or a Nordic state, with Norway and Sweden? That is, is Finland part of Western Europe or a part of Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, etc.)? Before 1939, Finland was recognized as a Baltic state, clearly connected to those Eastern European client states of the Soviet Union. However, to keep peace in Europe as a whole, Finland also became a Nordic state. She lies between the two, not only geographically, but politically as well. One secular historian says about Finland:
Finland worked out a grand bargain with the Soviet Union (and also with NATO), in which it retained political, economic, and cultural independence while giving up military and strategic independence. Indeed, while being in the strategic sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and having no military connections at all with the West, Finland was in the political, economic, and cultural sphere of influence of the West. It retained its democratic political system throughout the Cold War, and it became first a member of the European Free Trade Association and later a member of the European Community. This was the famous—and, for some, notorious—"Finlandization." (Kurth, James, "To Sing a Different Song: The Choices for the Baltic States," The National Interest, Summer 1999, p. 81.)
Indeed, Finland learned how to cast a middle course between two world powers.
Searching for Israel (Part Ten): Clues and Answers