Some time back I wrote a blog about Ezekiel 37 and how I believe it is referring to the restoration of the nation of Israel. My intention was to write another blog shortly after that one about Ezekiel 38 and try to go into as much detail as possible. I decided against it because I started running into blog after blog about the same subject and I felt that I wasn’t really going to add anything meaningful that people couldn’t find elsewhere. Well, for one reason or another, I began talking to a co-worker about the subject the other day and I felt that maybe there are some things that I could add that pertains particularly to our current political situation as a country. Now…I am not going to make this a platform for me to push whatever political views I may have (wait…I have political views?) but I feel that in this particular case, it would add to the content of the blog post.Let us start with the scriptures… The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army–your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Ezekiel 38:1-4 (NIV)
First, let us look at where this prophecy occurs in the actual text of Ezekiel. In chapter 37, we see a prophecy that relates to the restoration of the nation of Israel and their subsequent salvation (see blog post entitled Ezekiel 37 for details). Starting in chapter 40 to the end of the book, you will find details regarding the millenium and the Millennial temple. So, just from its placement in the book of Ezekiel, we could infer that the “war” shown in Ezekiel 38 and 39 would happen after the restoration of the nation of Israel and before the Millennial Kingdom. We at least have a starting point…we know that on May 14, 1948, Israel became a sovereign nation. We do not, however, know when the Millennial Kingdom will happen. We know that it starts after the Second Coming of Christ and the Battle of Armageddon. Other than that, it is a pretty broad time frame and there are definitely differences of opinions on when it will happen in the community of prophecy scholars. We will get to that later. Now let’s get to breaking down the scripture.
Who is Gog? Gog is apparently from Magog, and the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. You say…yeah, I just read that. Well there are differences of opinions of who or what Gog may be. Hal Lindsey wrote in his book Planet Earth: The Final Chapter…
It is easy to establish who this power is. The first clue Ezekiel repeats three times. He will come from the extreme or uttermost north of Israel. There is only one nation to the extreme north of Israel–Russia. Second, he will be a descendant of the ancient tribes of Magog, Meshech, Tubal and a later people named after the combination of these people–Rosh or Rus. Rosh is a Hebrew term, which is translated as an adjective in the King James Version, but is in fact a proper noun. These peoples became known as the Scythians, who are the modern ethnic Russians. (p. 174) Lindsey, Hal. Planet Earth: The Final Chapter. Beverly Hills, CA: Western Front, 1998.
Hal Lindsey continues in saying that he believes that Gog is a man who is coming to power perhaps in this very day and time.
There is every probability that the next president of Russia will be a military strongman who will be bent upon reestablishing Russia’s former super-power status. He will appeal to the people’s patriotism and love for Mother Russia in order to get their votes. He will promise to rid Russia of the Russian Mafia. He will raise up the demoralized military and rebuilt it into a proud, combat-ready armed force. This will fit into the predicted role for the Russians. The cryptic name of the coming Russian strongman is Gog. He will probably a general whose name you have heard on CNN. I believe that this military strongman must come before the events of Ezekiel take place. (p. 180) Lindsey, Hal. Planet Earth: The Final Chapter. Beverly Hills, CA: Western Front, 1998.
When Lindsey published the book in 1998, Boris Yeltsin was still the President of the Russian Federation. Since then, a man named Vladimir Putin came into power and has arguably made Russia into a fascist state. I could chase this rabbit forever so let’s move on.
I have an opinion on who Gog might be. I haven’t heard of anyone writing about it and I may be dead wrong on it but I felt I would share it with you. I am not dogmatic about this, it is just a theory. Let me quote an interesting passage in Daniel 10 where an angel comes to Daniel in a vision on the Tigris river banks.
He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. Daniel 10:11-15 (NIV)
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come… Romans 8:38 (KJV)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
In the above 3 scriptures, the word “prince” and “principalities” are being used to describe spiritual beings such as angels, fallen angels, or demons. To be more specific, I believe that “principalities” are demonic forces that rule a particular geographical area or government. I believe that the “prince of the Persian kingdom” was/is a powerful demon that influenced the Persian kingdom during those times. Remember, the angel was dispatched to Daniel to give him a message in response to his prayer. Daniel was living in the Persian empire at that time as it was after the fall of the Babylonian kingdom (refer to Daniel 10:1). It makes no sense to believe that a human prince detained an angel of God. The prince here is clearly a spiritual being. I did a search online for “principalities” and I found something interesting at battleinchrist.com.
The concept of principalities is understood by the Greek word arche meaning chief or ruler. These principalities are ruling devil spirits possessing executive authority or governmental rule in the world. As we will see, this ruling power usually involves a particular nation, people or race. There are evil angels ruling the kingdoms of the world that oppose the truth of God, and of which Satan is the chief prince or ruler, of both the world system and its organization of demons, as noted in the gospel of Matthew.
I don’t think it would be a stretch to believe that Gog could be a demonic influence over the region of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. Chuck Missler found something interesting about Gog elsewhere in the Bible that I will attempt to explain. Amos 7 starts off with the following verse…
Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, [it was] the latter growth after the king’s mowings. Amos 7:1 (KJV)
However, when you read it in the Septuagint (an early translation of the Old Testament in Greek) you find it worded this way…
Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the king. Amos 7:1 (LXX)
Here it is in the LXX (Septuagint) untranslated…
Οὕτως ἔδειξέν μοι κύριος καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐπιγονὴ ἀκρίδων ἐρχομένη ἑωθινή, καὶ ἰδοὺ βροῦχος εἷς Γωγ ὁ βασιλεύς.
I then took the word above highlighted in red to the Google translation page. Click here to see what it says.
Now if you look at Proverbs 30:27 you will read that locusts have no king.
The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; Proverbs 30:27 (KJV)
Reading this by itself on your way through the book of Proverbs may seem a bit arbitrary. However, if you put it in the context of the verse shown in the Septuagint, it would let you know that the verse is not referring to physical locusts of the insect variety. If you have done your homework in the book of Revelations you would remember that there is a hoard of locusts that is released from the Abyss. Check out Revelation 9…
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as [the teeth] of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.
And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon. Revelation 9:1-11 (KJV)
I believe that Abaddon and Apollyon are possibly Satan himself or another powerful fallen angel or demon that leads the hoard of locusts. In researching this over the internet, I found it astonishing to find that there are those that believe that Abaddon or Apollyon are Jesus and that the locusts are heavenly angels. In discussing other Bible issues with other christians over the internet, I found that there are some who believe that the church is the army of locusts in Joel 2 and Revelation 9. It would appear, however, that it could be argued that Satan himself is Gog and that this upcoming war is just another one of his ploys to destroy Israel. I am getting ahead of myself…let’s continue with Ezekiel 38. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops–the many nations with you. Ezekiel 38:5,6 (NIV)
By now we have introduced several different geographical areas that most have never heard of. Let’s take a look at who these different locations are.
Looking at the above graphic, you can see where these areas listed in the passage are located. Chuck Missler has a pretty good way of explaining why these places are listed like they are in the scriptures. He says that at one time there was a city called Byzantium. The city had its name changed to Constantinople and then again to what we now call it…Istanbul, Turkey. There was also a city called Petrograd that changed to St. Petersburg, then to Leningrad, then back to St. Petersburg. Some of the names in the graphic and in the scripture relate to the names of the decendants of Noah that settled in that particular area. Herodotus and Flavius Josephus’s Antiquties of the Jews detail where each of these people groups settled. Let’s go through them one at a time.
Persia (Iran): Elam, the first son of Shem. (Abraham’s genealogy comes through Arphasxad, not Elam.)
Cush (Black Africa): Lying between the 2nd and 3rd cataracts of the Nile.
Phut (North Africa): The third son of Ham; Libya was originally known as “the Putites.”Connotatively, this includes the Mahgrev—Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauratania.
Gomer (the Cimmerians): In the Babylonian Tal-mud, rendered “Germania.” Established in the Rhine and Danube valleys. Ashkenaz (Germany); Riphath, from Josephus (Paplagonians). (“Europe” from a cor-ruption of Riphath.) Also believed to be modern Turkey according to Hal Lindsey.
Togarmah (Turkic Tribes): Armenia and Turkic tribes.
Meshech: The sixth son of Japheth; identified with the ancient Mushki of the Assyrians and the Muschoi of the classical Greek writers. The Assyrian inscrip-tions describe them as inhabiting Phrygia in north-ern Anatolia (modern Turkey). Herodotus identifies the Mushki with the mountains southeast of the Black Sea—the NE part of modern Turkey. Josephus also identifies the descendants of Meshech as dwell-ing in eastern Turkey. Many also link the names with Mushkovi, the old name for Russia.
Tubal: The fifth son of Japheth and a brother of Meshech. 9th century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions refer to it as Tabal, just W of Meshech in eastern Anatolia. Geographical neighbors, they became allies against the Assyrians in 713 B.C. The classical Greek writers called them the Tibareni and the Moschi. Herodotus also places them both along the SE shores of the Black Sea. Some associate it with Tobolsk of Russia.
Sheba and Dedan: Sheba and Dedan were grand-sons of Abraham, but by his third wife, Keturah (they weren’t the sons of Ishmael). They are portrayed as gainsayers on the sidelines.
Tarshish: And the young lions thereof? Tarshish was the grandson of Japhath, son of Javan (Greece). Phoenicicans obtained from a city called Tarshish. It is described as an island, with sea traffic. The term “Brittania” means “land of tin”.
Most prophecy scholars identify Magog as Russia. Grant Jeffrey in his book The Next World War, John Hagee in his book Final Dawn Over Jerusalem, Hal Lindsey in his book Planet Earth: The Final Chapter, and Joel Rosenberg in his book Epicenter are just the books that I have read that detail the case for Magog as Russia. There are also Jewish commentaries and historical documents that suggest that Magog are the same as the ancient Scythians who lived in modern day Russia. You may find it interesting to note that the first “country” named as an ally to Gog and Magog is Persia. As you will see in the above graphic, Persia is modern day Iran. It is interesting to see the relationship with Russia and Iran in our current times. Russia is very active in helping the Iranians develop and build nuclear “power” plants. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35934201/ns/world_news-europe/ Russia and Iran signed a pact in 1991 and the major terms of the agreement were at least threefold. Quoting from Planet Earth on page 179…
- Russia agreed to supply Iran with both materials and world-class nuclear and missile experts. They would help Iran build its own nuclear warheads and delivery systems.
- In exchange, Iran agreed not to encourage in any way Islamic revival in the former Soviet Republics and also not to interfere with Russia’s efforts to put down any such revivals.
- Russia agreed to fight alongside Iran against the West in the event they invaded Iran, invaded other Muslim nations of the region, or sought to interfere with the internal affairs of the Muslim nations of the region.
We can see the fruits of this pact already in Iran’s building of nuclear plants as well as their near complete nuclear weapons that they threaten to wipe Israel off of the map with. Let’s continue…
“Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.” ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people–all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Ezekiel 38:7-12 (NIV)
The scripture tells us that the army that consists of all the nations listed in the previous verses will be compelled by God (put hooks in your jaws) to attack the nation of Israel. The Bible says that the army will advance “like a storm”, “like a cloud covering the land”. I see this as an Air Force with so many fighter jets in the sky that it appears to be a cloud looming over the land. The scripture continues in saying that the army plans on invading a “land of unwalled villages”. There are differences of opinion in the timing of this “war” by the various prophecy scholars that I have read. Some scholars believe that the land is unwalled and the Jews are living in peace because the Antichrist has set up the 7 year peace and Israel is living in a peace that they have not experienced since the days of the kings of Israel. There are others that believe that Israel now lives in “unwalled villages”. The purpose of the wall around cities in Bible times was to protect a city from invading armies. Walls in todays era are useless and would not provide any kind of defense against a fighter jet or bombs. Israel lives in relative peace today in that they are not “at war” with any particular country. Remember too that Ezekiel had never seen a city without a wall. If he saw a city without a wall in a vision, he would say just that. It would not necessarily mean that it would have to be during the 7 year peace period of the 70th Week of Daniel.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Ezekiel 38:13 (KJV)
Now, if you noticed, I used the King James Version in this verse. The reason being is that it uses the phrase “with all the young lions thereof”. The NIV does not use this term. I wanted to briefly explain some of the teaching I have heard in reference to this. I have heard Perry Stone in his tapes Does America Disappear at the Time of the End? and have read it in Grant Jeffrey’s The Next World War that the “young lions” could be the United States. Here is an excerpt from The Next World War page 150…
When the Gog and Magog invasion occurs, it appears that the only response from the Western democracies will be a diplomatic protest. Ezekiel 38:13 says that “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof (probably the United Kingdom, the United States, and the British Commonwealth nations), shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil?” Tarshish, Sheba, and Dedan were ancient trading nations and are believed by many Bible scholars to refer to Great Britiain and her former colonies (“the young lions thereof”). It will not be the West that responds to this unprovoked attack. The superpower that intervenes to save Israel in her greatest hour of need will be her great Defender, the God of Abraham. The Islamic nations will realize that God has intervened against them, and they will reluctantly accept that this is not the time when they will acheive victory over their Jewish enemies. Jeffrey, Grant R. The Next World War. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2006.
Perry Stone states that Britain’s symbol is the Lion and because the United States was initially formed as a British colony, the United States can be considered one of the “young lions thereof”. It is just an interesting tidbit especially for those wondering where the US was in prophecy. The above excerpt suggests that all the West does when this happens is protest diplomatically. We should find it strange that the US does not do anything militarily. After all, the US is in fact Israels staunchest ally. Or are we becoming something else…? If you have been able to keep up with the current relationship the US has with Israel, it may not shock you when you read that no one comes to the aid of Israel except the Lord God. Let’s look at some of the headlines…
These are regarding the recent news between Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the construction in East Jerusalem. No other dignitary of any other foreign country has ever been treated so poorly from any administration in our history. And this particular dignitary was the Prime Minister of the only democratic nation in the middle east who happens to be one of our greatest allies. Great job Mr. President. I believe that the day that we quit supporting Israel is the day the Lord quits blessing the United States like he has. Which brings me to a point…
I said earlier that the US does not do anything militarily to help out Israel during the Magog war. That is what the scripture details in that no one comes to their aid except for the Lord God. That leaves me to believe that one of two things happen. One: the US is unable to provide any help militarily or Two: the US chooses to not help Israel militarily. Let’s look at the first one.
Perry Stone compares the US to the old Roman empire. It is unbelievable how many ways we are like the Roman empire. The Roman empire was never defeated. The Roman empire basically faded away. They had outrageous debt that they couldn’t pay, their military was spread entirely too thin over the entire known world, and they had a bad welfare system that was bringing the state down. Does any of this sound familiar? With the economic crisis that the US is currently in, a currency that is about worthless, along with a President and Congress that seem dead set to make our nation a socialist nation, it is not hard to imagine our nation being incapable of helping out our allies across the globe.
The second possibility is that the US chooses not to help out Israel. It seems that this administration has no problem rubbing shoulders with the likes of Hugo Chavez but will leave the Prime Minister of Israel to his own devices in the White House while the President excuses himself for dinner. Those who know me heard me say during the election time that I thought if Obama was elected (and I had no doubt he would), he would be the one who would ultimately change our nations policy with Israel. Now you have Hillary Clinton rebuking Netanyahu but still standing up saying that our relationship with Israel is still as strong as ever. Just because you say it does not make it so. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not on top of this stuff going on in Jerusalem like I should but I do know one thing. That land is 100% Israels. Says so in the deed written in the Pentateuch. I also believe that Obamas Muslim roots will come into play in all this as well. I could be wrong…I love my country…but I really believe this is the route that we will go as a nation.
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know [it]? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord GOD; [Art] thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days [many] years that I would bring thee against them? And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, [that] my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that [are] upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. Ezekiel 38:14-23 (KJV)
In finishing the scripture up, I wanted to hit on one more topic. In verses 16 and 23 you see why God is allowing or forcing (hooks) this to happen. God compels Russia, Iran, and those other countries to attack Israel and then utterly destroys the armies. Why? To show Israel and the world the holiness and awesomeness of God. God is going to make Himself known to the whole world and let the whole world know that there is a God in Israel, He is the Great I AM, and He will protect His people!
I know I mentioned in this post several times that I would lay out the time frame of when this could possibly happen and the differences of opinion in this matter. Due to the extreme length of this post, I will give this post the title of Ezekiel 38 and do a post on Ezekiel 39 and talk about the differences there. I pray that this makes sense to you and that you find it interesting. I believe that this has to do with the current times that we are in and is very real to us in that we can almost see this stuff happening very soon. God’s Word is alive and is a treasure chest to be unlocked. Pray that your spiritual eyes be opened…Here take these Spiritual-D glasses and pass them around.