Summary: As we read the headlines in the newspapers of today, and witness the conflict in the Middle East, it's not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could be fulfilled in our lifetime..
Ezekiel 38 - 39 tells of an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations that surround it. As we read the headlines in the newspapers of today, and witness the conflict in the Middle East, it's not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could be fulfilled in our lifetime. Ezekiel 36-37 predicts a gathering of the Jews to the nation of Israel, which will be followed by this massive invasion. For 19 centuries the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until
May 14, 1948 there was no nation of Israel to invade. With the nation of Israel now a reality, the stage is set for the war that will usher in the tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist; a war that will end with the destruction of Israel's enemies by God Himself, and lead to the signing of a peace treaty with the Antichrist.
As you read Ezekiel 38 and 39, it isn't just the creation of the nation of Israel that makes this prophecy seem likely to be fulfilled in the near future. The nations that God tells us will form this coalition against Israel seem more likely now than perhaps ever before to form just such an alliance. To understand the prophecies of Ezekiel about this future invasion, it's important to understand who the nations will be.
Before going through a list of the individual nations, I'll list some of the more common theories you'll hear when studying Ezekiel 38.
Ezekiel 38:1-6 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 horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 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.'
1. Hashemite Kingdom Theory: The Islamic Nations will come against Israel either by an Iraqi-led, Jordanian led, or Turkish led coalition. The enemy from the north refers to the areas of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. These Islamic nations make up the lands occupied by Magog, Gomer, Togarmah, Meshech and Tubal.
2. Caucus Theory: Gog and Magog are the Arab nations in an alliance with the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union. This theory leaves out most of Russia, and includes only the southern part.
3. All Europe theory: Gog and Magog are the sons of Japeth thus the originators of the European races. Gog and Magog therefore indicates all of Europe, not a widely held theory and little support for it.
4. Russian Theory: The Hebrew word 'rosh' in verse 3 is identified with Russia, 'Tubal' with Tiblisi or Tobolsk and 'Meshech' with Moscow, therefore Gog and Magog refers to Russia.
5. Indo-European Theory: Gog and Magog include the nations descending from Japheth: Russia, the Caucasus(Turkey), Iraq, and the Islamic republics of Central Asia, an alliance of Arab nations, Muslim republics, Georgia, southern Russia and the Black sea area.
These are some of the theories in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38.
The war in Ezekiel 38 is not the same as the war that will come at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and establish his millennial kingdom. How do we know this? The war at the end of the tribulation, known as Armageddon, is a world war. Revelation tells us that this battle will involve all nations. The war described in Ezekiel includes specific nations that invade Israel. Also, Armageddon is at the climax of the tribulation, while the war described in Ezekiel comes well before then.
Ezekiel 38:1-7 gives 10 names as participants in the invasion of Israel that will follow the regathering of the Jews to their homeland. First mentioned, is the land of Magog. The most common identity for Magog is in Central Asia. The Jewish historian Josephus said, "Magog founded the Magogians, called Scythians by the Greeks. Today this area is inhabited by the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Afghanistan. All of these nations that make up the land of Magog have one thing in common - Islam. Radical Islamic groups such as the Islamic Renaissance Party, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islam are working to reunite the entire Muslim world.
Below is a list of the nations that are Israel's last-days enemies: