The Gog and Magog War
As we study prophecy in the Bible, we repeatedly see how key wars and world events played a critical role in fulfilling the purpose of God. We must also remember that the Word addresses prophecies regarding God’s dealings with Israel and the Church. That means many world events, such as WW1 and WW2, are not in Bible prophecy except to the degree they fulfill God’s plan for the nation of Israel.
We know that the Lord promised the nation of Israel 70 weeks of years of punishment, of which, at the end of the 69th set of seven years, their Messiah would be cut off or killed for the people. This happened in 32AD. But what about that last week of years? This time known as Jacob’s Trouble, or the Tribulation Period, will occur in the Last Days, resulting in Jesus returning as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Historical events have marked shifts in prophetic time cycles. The time gap, which started just after the Messiah was cut off, is the Church Age, which will continue until the Tribulation Period begins.
“After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all dwell safely.”
Ezekiel 38: 8
First, we are told it is in the Last Days that this event will occur. How do we know we are in the Last Days? Well, the prophetic calendar is built around Israel, and their Last Days or Latter Days began when the nation was reborn on May 14th, 1948.
Secondly, we are told the Children of Israel have begun making “Aliyah” and returning from the nations. Turn to Isaiah chapter forty-three.
“Fear not, I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth- Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43: 5-7
In prophetic verses, it is important to note that the Lord often declares what He will do and the purpose or end goal, but there can be a time gap between them. We see similar prophecies in Ezekiel regarding bringing back the Children of Israel to the Land, and we see the promise that He will put a new heart in them. The latter part is where and what He will do, and now they are brought back.
In 1989, Israel saw the Jews from Russia and the former Soviet Union return in masse. In fact, between 1989 and 2006, over 1 million Jews returned. Please note that the “north” was Russia and the former Soviet States.
Regarding the return:
“And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.”
Ezekiel 28: 26
“Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be SAFE in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell SAFELY, and no one shall make them afraid.”
Ezekiel 34: 27, 28
We could also add verse twenty-five, and we see the Lord bringing them back and stating they will dwell in “SAFETY.” The Hebrew word for “Safety” is “betach.” Interestingly it is the term used by Benjamin Netanyahu in his election campaign. This word can be translated securely or carelessly, and it can be said with a positive or negative connotation. The Lord promises that they will dwell safely or carelessly because of Him.
The word “betach” can also mean overconfidence or careless in a negative way:
“On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid…”
Ezekiel 20: 9
“This is the rejoicing city that dwelt securely, that said in her heart, ‘I am it, and there is none beside me.’ How has she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her shall hiss and shake his fist.”
Zephaniah 2: 15
In the initial context of verse eight of Ezekiel chapter thirty-eight, it is clear that God has brought the Children of Israel back into the Land, and they dwell securely by His hand.
On That Day
As we read through Ezekiel thirty-eight, we see this verse:
“Thus says the Lord God: On that DAY it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan.”
Ezekiel 38: 10 emphasis added
So we need to understand the term “that day” better. The Hebrew word is “Yowm,” and it can mean day or period of time. We can say, therefore, that during a certain period of time in the Last Days, these things will happen. What will happen?
“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”
Ezekiel 38: 7-8
The period is during the Last Days; as we can see, these nations desire to attack Israel. They are told to prepare themselves and be ready, which takes time and practice. The battle initially occurs in stages until the launch on Israel; then, God steps in.
Before we go further, separating and explaining three battles is very important.
- The Battle at the End
At the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ, we are told in Revelation chapter twenty that Satan is released for a short time and causes a rebellion.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle whose number is as the sand of the sea.”
Revelation 20: 7, 8
It is hard to imagine that men would rebel once again under the perfect reign of Jesus. Jesus immediately responds, Satan is cast into the lake of fire, and we see the final judgment. After this, the Lord makes a new heaven and earth. What is important to note is the timing of everything. In the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel, they will burn the weapons for seven years, which would make no sense if the Lord was going to consume everything with fire anyway, and why wait seven years?
Plus, the cast of characters is people from all nations, which is not the case in Ezekiel.
This battle occurs at the end of the Tribulation Period and involves all nations launching an attack against the Most High God. It is found in Revelation sixteen, and it says in Revelation chapter fourteen-
“And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred miles.”
Revelation 14: 10
This massive battle covers a massive area and includes all nations. Again why would they burn the weapons for seven years right into the millennial reign of Christ?
- Ezekiel 38 and 39
This battle includes a specific cast of characters and involves an attack in the Golan Heights area and West Bank.
“Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows, and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.”
Ezekiel 39: 9
For seven years, they will be disarming and burning the weapons, which suggests this war will occur just before the Tribulation Period. When we look at the Tribulation Period, we see that certain things have to change, including the Jews being allowed to rebuild their Temple.
It would be easy to see that out of the chaos of this war which will have major impacts worldwide, the world will celebrate and believe the best days have come, and when a leader arises ushering in peace, he will be worshipped.
The Cast of Characters
So we see in Ezekiel thirty-eight:
- Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal
- Many Nations
Let’s stat by looking at Magog and identifying this nation. Josephus Flavius wrote
Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians.2 The Encyclopedia Britannica explains that the Scythians became what we would call today the Russians. 3
Arno Gaebelien said-
“We know from Genesis x:2 that Magog was the second son of Japeth, Gomer, Tubal and Meshech were also sons of Japeth; Togarmah was a grandson of Japeth, being the third son of Gomer. Magog’s land was located in, what is called today, the Caucasus and adjoining steppes. And the three, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal were called by the ancients Scythians…. Rosh is Russia… The prince of Rosh means, therefore, the prince or king of the Russian Empire.”4
Louis Bauman wrote:
“It is interesting to note that the very word ‘Caucasus” means ‘Gog’s fort.”5
Turning to the prophecy:
“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. And prophesy against him.”
Ezekiel 38: 2
William Kelly wrote in this verse-
“It is true that…. (Rosh), when the context requires it to be a common appellative, means ‘head’ or ‘chief’; but it is this sense which in the present instance brings confusion. There can be no doubt therefore that it must be taken as a proper name, and here not of a man as in Genesis xxvi. 2, if the common reading stand, but of a race. This at once furnishes a suitable sense, which is strengthened by the term which precedes it, as well as by those that follow… Meshech and Tubal fix … (Rosh) as meaning a Gentilic name (Rosh).”6
In Dwight Pentecost’s research, he identifies these nations as present-day Russia. Magog was the second son of Japheth (Genesis 10: 1, 2). The Japhetic race became known by the Romans and Greeks as the Sarmatians, whom today are called Russians. 7
In addition, verse fifteen says, “Then you will come from your place out of the far north,” further supporting it is Russia. Which this verse sounds similar to the verse where God commands His people to come from the north.
Persia, is modern-day Iran and includes a section called Elam (we will deal with the prophecy of Elam later).
Cush: Many people believe Cush is an African nation or part of Libya. However:
“If John D Davis, in his Dictionary of the Bible, is right, and “Put” lay south or southeast of ‘Cush,’ and the ‘Cush’ of the prophecy is adjacent to Persia, may we not look for the people of ‘Put”… to sally forth from that same part of the earth out which will come all the rest of the nations who may be joined together in the great “North-Eastern Confederacy.”8
The New Chaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explained regarding Cush:
“A tribal and place name appearing frequently in the Old Testament in the version generally rendered Ethiopia and Egypt. Since the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions, and a more thorough examination of the historical inscriptions of Assyria, Babylonia, and Arabia, it has been discovered that the inhabitants of a region east of central Babylon, who were known between the seventh and twelfth centuries BC… a land and people in northern Arabia.”9
Bauman claims of Cush… “since Cush is one of the many peoples named as coming with God from out of the uttermost parts of the north, it is quite evident that the Cush in Ezekiel’s prophecy was not Ethiopia of Africa but a country that was somewhere contiguous to Persia.”10
Put: Dwight Pentecost places Put as adjacent to Persia. 11
Gomer: Gaebelein says:
“Valuable information is given in the Talmud; Gomer is there stated to be the Germani, the Germans. That the descendants of Gomer moved northwards and established themselves in parts of German seems to be an established fact.”12
Togarmah: Bauman explains-
“Togarmah, probably the Turkoman tribes of Central Asia, together with Siberia, the Turks and the Armenians.”13
Bauman explained that the Siberians stretched all the way to the Pacific Ocean.)
Add to this list, many nations which are not named.
Arrows and Chariots
Before we go there, I want to point out something regarding Biblical prophecy and the military.
“The chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, they run like lightning.”
Nahum 2: 4
“With a noise like chariots over mountaintops they leap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.”
Joel 2: 5
Here we have two prophetic words, and they mention chariots. Surely, that means they can’t be a word for today. The Hebrew word for “chariot” is “Merkavah,” which is the same word for the tank. So if you put the word tank into this verse, they make better sense than a traditional chariot.
Here is another example…
“Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the king of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because of the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His temple.”
Jeremiah 51: 11
In the prophecy, Ezekiel said-
“Thus says the Lord God: ‘On that days it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates…”
Ezekiel 38: 11
To understand this prophecy and the timing of the prophecy, we need to understand this verse better. Those who believe the next war will be the Psalm 83 war claim this verse supports them. But let’s look closer and see.
We talked about the word “betach” and how it can mean careless in a positive or negative way. In other words, one translation refers to overconfidence or a false sense of security.
If we look at verses twelve and thirteen, they add more information:
“To take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder?’ Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder.”
Ezekiel 38: 12-13
We can see that this confederacy was attacked for several reasons, including strategic financial gain. There is a protest from the nations of Sheba, Dedan, Tarshish, and their young lions. Most scholars agree that these represent Europe and America.
Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine has sparked a series of problems made worse by America’s destroying the Nordstrom pipeline. Europe finds itself in a major energy crisis. 14. If they can’t find a solution, Europe could struggle to produce goods and survive the upcoming winter.
At the same time, the response of Europe has grown stronger against Russia as they supply weaponry and equipment to Ukraine. Russia is responding and threatening an escalation. With the help of Europe and the US, the Ukrainians have begun striking Russia in their homeland, with attacks closing in on Moscow. Both Russia and Europe can’t afford to lose, so the need to win requires stronger measures.
At the same time, Russia continues to build its presence and relationships in the Middle East. This a strategic move, especially as the world is on the verge of an energy crisis. Weak leadership in America has aided their plans, and if they can secure their foothold in the Middle East, they could help turn the tide in the war in Ukraine.
Ukraine is Europe’s breadbasket, producing 10% of the world’s wheat, 13% of the world’s barley, 15% of the corn, and around 50% of the sunflower oil used in the world. 15 The war has caused a dramatic increase in the cost of fertilizers 16, and as Ukraine is a leading provider of protein like chicken, or the feed necessary for cattle farmers, there has been a huge spike in meat prices.17 At a time when the world is in a major recession, the food and energy crisis could not happen at a worse time.
Further, the Russian attack on Ukraine has halted half the world’s production of neon needed for chips used in computers and other electrical devices. The volatility of markets has led to a jump in the cost of precious metals like gold 19, while at the same time, there is a push by many nations to return to the gold standard.
So Where is the Land of Unwalled Villages
While most have said the nation of the unwalled village is Israel, what if it is not? Why would the Lord punish Israel for being careless when He promised to protect and make them careless? Ezekiel explains that this horde will come into the and on that day or in that time period, an evil plan will arise in their mind to go against the land of unwalled villages. We know that Israel has a wall protecting it right now, and it is very hard to believe they would easily remove it.
Those who believe the Psalm 83 war is next suggest that Israel’s victory will secure such peace that Israel will pull the wall down. If their Muslim enemies are defeated, it changes a lot of the Tribulation Period. Several End Time Prophecy teachers believe the coming antichrist will be a Muslim. Why? Because of what he will do and where he comes from. For example, at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period, he invades Jerusalem and captured The Muslim section and Temple Mount. Plus, you end up with the problem of the king of the north and the king of the south
“On that day it shall come to pass…”
Ezekiel 38: 10 NKJV
The original KJV reads…
“It shall also come to pass, that at the same time”
Ezekiel 38: 10
Douglas Woodward catches this, too, and comments
What is different about the KJV translation, which is generally missed perhaps because the other translations do not include the word, is the insertion of the small adverb also. We know that it also is used to link a series of items or events.20
So is it possible that during this period, a series of events occur that will climax in this attack on Israel? If Woodward and I are right, it would suggest that perhaps the land of unwalled villages is not Israel. I would suggest it might be Ukraine, and the events in Ukraine are leading us to the Gog and Magog war.
Fire on the Isles
When we look at the protest, it appears it is not because of what happened to Israel but to themselves. Why would I suggest that?
“And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 39: 6
The battle goes beyond Israel; fire, perhaps missiles, falls on the overconfident nations. The word used for coastlines is translated in other places as nations. This would not be a far-fetched opinion as you look at current events. This attack would be a powerful strategic gamble by Russia which is being increasingly pushed into the corner. As Russia becomes more desperate, what will it do?
No Free Lunches
Looking at the war in Ukraine, Russia has been greatly aided by drones from Iran. 21 These drones are becoming an increasing threat in the Middle East and to Israel. Iran has continued to sponsor terrorism and has armed her proxies worldwide.
The growing alliance between Russia and Iran is changing many things, including increasing Iran’s “global challenge”. 22 Another report stated:
Deepening relations between Moscow and Tehran could end up prolonging the bloody war in Ukraine, U.S. officials and regional experts said, as Iran provides more military support and resources to Russia. At the same time, it could also endanger U.S. allies in the Middle East that oppose Iran if the Russian government delivers new forms of military technology and high-end weapons systems to the heavily sanctioned Middle Eastern power 23
But we must remember there are no free lunches, and Iran fully expects a return for their support, perhaps with her nuclear agenda or with her bigger agenda against Israel and America.
Add to the mix the growing nuclear threat it is becoming easier to see how this prophecy could be fulfilled.
Woodward explained the belief that the Psalm 83 war is next-
There are too many fuses already lit which lead me to conclude that the explosion of apocalyptic events lies just ahead. The geopolitical realities of what is happening in Europe and the Middle East, the tension in the relationship between Russia and the United States, and the increased terrorist threats globally mandate a “breaking point” well before the year 2045 or even 2035 as the “Psalm 83” war thesis holds.24
We are seeing events moving at a faster pace, and while there may be a divine rest bit, without such a break, it is hard to see the Magog War not happening for over a decade. Especially as we are seeing a growing alliance of the cast of characters.
The Jerusalem Post shared the news that Russia is seeking a historic meeting of Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Syria. 25 There are the main power players in the Magog War. The Washington Post declared Russia’s alliance with Iran to be unprecedented and growing. 26
The significance of these events will be known soon, and perhaps we are seeing the stage being set for the war of Magog.
The War of Gog and Magog
We see a picture of this war as we read Ezekiel 38 and 39. May believe Joel’s chapter two also describes this battle as it states-
“But I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive them away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back towards the western sea; His stench will come up, and his foul odor will rise, because he has done monstrous things.”
Joel 2: 20
More on this in a minute. But if you read the early verses of Joel 2, you can see the terror and fear that fills the land as this invasion occurs. The Jews fear annihilation, and many begin to pray. Life as normal ends as holy desperation consumes the people, and it becomes the beginning of the turning of the nation back to the Lord.
The battle starts with what looks like an aerial attack:
“You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land…”
Ezekiel 38: 16
Such an attack would overwhelm Israel and its Iron Dome system. Such an aerial attack would seek to take out Israel’s defenses and paralyze the nation.
The fury of the Lord is stirred, and a great earthquake strikes the land.
“For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My Presence, the mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall on the ground. I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,’ says the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many people who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone.”
Ezekiel 38: 19-22
The Lord causes such a powerful earthquake that it is felt worldwide. This earthquake caused worldwide damage as it shook the nation. One can only imagine the financial earthquake and collapse of the stock markets. This is clearly a massive response, and the term “all My mountains” could suggest a worldwide response of missiles. We will see!
The invasion of Israel is not like Ukraine in that it occurs quickly.
We have talked about how Israel will disarm for seven years. But immediately after the battle, the process of cleanup begins.
“For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified, says the Lord God. They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Harmon God.”
Ezekiel 39: 12-15
It is highly suggestive that biological and other weapons of mass destruction will be used that they have employed special searchers and wait seven months before they search. No wonder Joel describes a stench or foul odor coming up.
A New World Order
In the Tribulation Period, we know there will be a literally rebuilt Temple and that preparations are currently being made for the Temple. But unless there is a major change, Israel could not rebuild the Temple. But if this war happened, it would change things. If you believe in the Psalm 83 war being next, why is the Gog war needed? Because if the Psalm 83 war had happened and Israel had been allowed to rebuild the Temple, we would have entered the Tribulation Period. Most scholars agree the Temple will be rebuilt by the two witnesses who arose at the beginning of the Tribulation Period.
The WEF is desperately looking for a crisis. They are predicting a major cyber-attack, and when this invasion occurs, it is highly probable we will also see such an attack. But the consequences of such an invasion and the global impact would be a perfect crisis for their global reset.
The world would be rejoicing as it would appear that the best time in world history has finally come. But the world order will have changed. Russia would be destroyed and, possibly and highly likely, America as well. There would be a shift back to Europe and the Middle East, which is exactly what we see in the Tribulation Period.
The antichrist would arise out of the sea of confusion and offer peace but bring hell on earth.
- Josephus Flavius: Antiquities of the Jews, location 9140
- Arno C. Gaebelein. The Prophet Ezekiel. PP. 257-58
- Louis Bauman. Russian Events in the Light of Bible Prophecy. Pp. 23-25
- William Kelly. Notes on Ezekiel. Pp. 192-193
- Dwight Pentecost. Things to Come
- Pentecost, pp 329-330
- Samuel Macauley Jackson, ed., New Schall-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, III 328
- Bauman, p. 31
- Pentecost, p 330
- Gaebelin p 259
- Bauman p. 38
- Woodward, S. Douglas. The Next Great War in the Middle East: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog . Book Ministry. Kindle Edition.
- Woodward, S. Douglas. The Next Great War in the Middle East: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog . Book Ministry. Kindle Edition.