Ezek. 38:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ezek. 38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
“prince” = properly, an exalted one, i.e. a king or sheik; also a rising mist:—captain, chief, cloud, governor, prince, ruler, vapour
I put the definition of “prince” first because it directly refers to Gog. I think it is interesting to note that the definition includes “a rising mist…chief…prince…vapour.” This ties in directly to my thoughts about this being. I believe it is a term that references the powerful evil spirit that is associated with the land. It would seem that we often forget that there are spiritual forces at work that have a direct impact on happenings on planet earth. Daniel teaches this concept clearly. Daniel had a revelation that sent him into great mourning that was followed by a vision in which he had an encounter with a spiritual being.
Dan. 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
Dan. 10:11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Dan. 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Dan. 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Gog and Magog are again referenced in Revelation.
Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev. 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
This being is active in his land again after the millennium—after Satan is loosed. This connects this being to the forces of Satan.
In updating my notes on Revelation, I found some information pertinent to this section. An excerpt from my journal on Revelation follows.
I found this note by Darrell Young of Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry in an article on “Iran in Bible Prophecy.” It will reference Amos 7:1, so I am showing it as stated in the KJV to preface his quote.
Amos 7:1 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.
“…an earlier translation of the OT into Greek, known as the Septuagint, embodies a different rending of Amos 7:1, “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.”
This fits in with my belief that these locusts are evil spirits. Scripture declares that normal locusts have no king.
Prov. 30:27 “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.”
Magog is listed as one of the sons of Japheth and brother to Meshech and Tubal. It would seem that the brothers and their descendants were located in adjoining areas. Magog probably occupied the dominant position (e.g., as did Ephraim among the tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel). Verse 15 identifies Magog as in “the north parts.”
I have most often heard it taught that Magog is a reference to the land of the Scythians which later became known as Russia, and most of my research supports that teaching. The following is quoted from an article at www.harpazo.net/magog.html. (As of 5/09, this is no longer an active link.)
One of the earliest references to Magog was by Hesiod, "the father of Greek didactic poetry"who identified Magog with the Scythians and southern Russia in the 7th century B.C. Hesiod was a contemporary of Ezekiel.
In the 5th century B.C. Herodotus of Harlicarnassus, known as "Father of History,” wrote extensively about the the Scythians and how they terrorized the southern steepes of Russia from the 10th century B.C. to the 3rd Century B.C.
"No one confronting them can escape on foot, and if they wish not to be discovered it is impossible to engage with them. The reason is that they do not build towns or fortresses, but all of them are mounted archers and carry their homes with them... How can they fail to be invincible, and immune from attack?" - Herodotus, 5th century B.C.
Another well known source is Josephus Flavius, who records that the Magogians were called "Scythians" by the Greeks.
"Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians."
"But even the Scythians, who delight in murdering people and are little better than wild beasts, nevertheless think it their duty to uphold their national customs." - Josephus Flavius, 1st century A.D.
“In the north parts” could also include a reference to Turkey as part of Asia Minor. The NIV Commentary makes this observation:
“The sparse data imply that Meshech and Tubal refer to geographical areas or countries in eastern modern Turkey, southwest of Russia and northwest of Iran. This, however, gives no basis for identifying these place names with any modern country. There is no data to support the contention of some that Meshech and Tubal refer to the modern Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk.
It can be concluded that Gog is a person from the region of Magog and that he is the prince, the chief ruler, over the geographical areas of Meshech and Tubal. These land areas or countries appear to be located generally toward the south of the Black and Caspian Seas, in the modern countries of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.”
David Legge (www.preachtheword.com) in his commentary on Ezekiel has this to say:
“Greek writers have told us that Tubal was located in the central part of Turkey…Tubal, historically, is in the central part of Turkey, immediately west of what we read in Ezekiel of being Togarmah.”
Again, from the article at Harpazo:
“Josephus also identifies the descendents of Meshech as dwelling in Eastern Turkey….Assyrian inscriptions refer to it [Tubal] as Tabal, West of Meshech in Eastern Anatolia.”
This reference to the land of Magog and the references to Meshech and Tubal could be referencing the combined land mass of Russia south to include Turkey as the area governed by this demonic prince.
(9/08) I was listening to Jimmy DeYoung on John Ankerberg this morning. He made reference to finding a map in Turkey that identified the land areas comprising ancient Turkey as Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. This supports the conclusion that the reference is to Russia and Turkey as stated above.
As we continue to study these two chapters, it will become clear that these events are yet to happen. I think it is important to note that this prophecy is against “him.” That tends to give further support to the idea that Ezekiel is prophesying against a being that will still be a functioning being at the end of the millennium.
Ezek. 38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
Ezek. 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
The Lord GOD establishes Himself in direct opposition to Gog. He also asserts that He is the One in authority because He is able to force Gog into action that the wording indicates is not of his choice—“I will turn thee back and put hooks into thy jaws.” The JFB Commentary had this note for the phrase “turn thee back”:
“as a refractory wild beast, which thinks to take its own way, but is bent by a superior power to turn on a course which must end in its destruction.”
refractory = obstinate in disobedience
In my mind, this description would apply more to the man that is being used or possessed by Gog at the point in time being referenced.
Gog is represented as having a great army that is well prepared defensively and has many offensive weapons at its ready. Though the reference is to horses and horsemen, there is room in the Hebrew to allow for vehicles (both for land and air) and those who operate them. The Hebrew for horses states:
“from an unused root meaning to skip (properly, for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight)”
“a steed (as stretched out to a vehicle, not single nor for mounting; also (by implication) a driver (in a chariot)”
This army is also described as having skilled soldiers—“handling (manipulating) swords.” The Hebrew for handling also includes the idea of using these weapons “unwarrantably” (not justifiable; illegal; unjust; improper). This is descriptive of their attack upon Israel.
Ezek. 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
We are now given a list of those who align themselves with the army of Gog.
According to the research from the article at Harpazo listed above, which is in line with most of my research, these allies are:
(9/06) I was doing some research the other day and ran across a statement by Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his article, “A Review of After the Empire by Mark Hitchcock.” He doesn’t agree that Libya is the correct translation in this passage. He states: “The major problem is identifying Put with Libya since the normal Hebrew word for that country is Lub. It would probably be wiser to connect Put with Somalia….Lub is indeed Libya and that is the correct identification in Daniel 11. However, the Put of Ezekiel 38-39 is not Libya, but Somalia.”
These allies are said to possess their own defensive equipment (shield and helmet); but interestingly enough, no mention is made of offensive weapons. This would seem to imply that Gog will be responsible for arming them.
Ezek. 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
The list of Gog’s allies will include Gomer and all his bands and the house of Togarmah and all his bands. As noted previously, Jimmy DeYoung found a map in Turkey showing Gomer and Togarmah as part of ancient Turkey.
David Legge identifies these two as follows:
Jack Kelley at www.gracethrufaith.com states the following: “Gomer was a son of Japheth and brother to Magog. He inhabited the Rhine and Danube valleys and can be associated with Eastern Europe of today.
And the following from Bill Cooper in an article called “After the Flood” at www.ldolphin.org: Gomer “was the founder of the Cimmerians who settled originally on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Togarmah’s ‘earliest descendants’ settled in Armenia.”
At www.custance.org, Arthur Custance provides the following information in his Doorway Papers: “To judge from such ancient historians as Herodotus, Strabo and Plutarch, Gomer’s family settled first to the north of the Black Sea, giving their name in slightly modified form to that district known as Cimmeria later shortened to Crimea….Eusebius, in referring to Gomer, says, ‘whence the Cappadocians.’” He continues, “According to Josephus, the branch which returned to Asia Minor came to be known as the Galatians.”
The information I found as I researched was quite varied and revealed sources identifying Gomer with several European nations, including the Scandinavian nations, Ireland and Germany. However, it would seem that the preponderance of the evidence connects Gomer to Turkey. Togarmah seems to be universally accepted as comprising part of what is today known as Turkey.
I think it is interesting to note that most of the allies in Gog’s coalition are Muslim countries.
The Hebrew for the word bands is a reference to armies; in other words, it seems that the military of Turkey will add significant strength to this invasion. Gog will be accompanied by the specific allies listed along with “many people,” which in this day and age is probably a reference to other anti-Semites.
Following are several news articles that I think are quite interesting in connection with Gog, who I believe is the spirit controlling the ruler of Russia at the time of this attack, and his allies.
Consider: In the 1920’s Kemal Ataturk established Turkey as a secular country. It’s interesting to note that they elected an Islamic Prime Minister in 2002. Though it may have seemed highly improbable not that many years ago to think that Turkey would be part of Gog’s coalition, it is not so improbable now.
In August of 2001 Recep Tayyik Erdogan and Abdullah Gul founded the Islamist-rooted AKP (Justice and Development) Party in Turkey. Erdogan, who was elected prime minister in 2002, eventually became the first directly elected president of Turkey in 2007. He has ruled with an increasingly heavy hand since taking office. He is an advocate of conservative Islam and is methodically pushing the government in that direction. Following is information from an BBC article of July 2016: “In the decades before the AKP's rise to power, the military intervened in politics four times to curb Islamist influence….When he became prime minister in 2002 as head of the AKP, he asserted civilian supremacy over the army….On the international stage he has bitterly condemned Israel - previously a strong ally of Turkey - over its treatment of the Palestinians. Although there is now rapprochement, the policy not only galvanised his Islamic base, but also made him a hugely popular leader across the Middle East.”
Though the relationship between Turkey and Russia has hit several bumps in the the road along the way, following is a quote from sputniknews.com (12/20/16): “Turkey will not allow anyone to spoil relations with Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday at the ceremony to unveil the Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul.” And this quote (12/26/16) from Putin’s year-end press conference: “…we realize the importance of Russian-Turkish ties and will make every effort to deepen them.”
On 5/30/17 at chathamhouse.org, I found the following quote: “Russian involvement in the Libyan civil war has increased substantially since 2015. It provides political support and military assistance to General Khalifa Haftar, who controls the eastern part of Libya….Russian involvement in Libya is also part of its global power games with the West….demonstrating to Europe and the US that it is not ‘confined’ to Syria or Ukraine, and that it’s ‘success’ in Syria was not accidental.
The following was from an article by Elif Beyza Karaalioglu on 1/4/19 on middleeasteye.net: “Turkey and Russia are clearly developing their strategic relations, and the speed at which this is happening is important….it has become clear that Russia is Turkey’s primary focus for strengthening relations, with the US and EU lagging behind.”
And this quote on 3/12/19 from sudanvision.net: “For decades, Russia and Sudan have an international strong honest economic and political a strategic partnership due to their seriousness and willingness to working in one glove to meet their challenges, both countries now are exerting an efforts to strengthen their relationships in all aspects.”
This was a headline on 4/15/19 at horndiplomat.com: “Somalia, Russia Keen on Enhancing Bilateral Relations.”
On 5/8/19, the following quote was found at jewishpress.com: “The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on Monday cited a Kremlin diplomatic source saying Russia and Iran are showing unanimity only on a strategic level, but the two countries’ positions differ on many issues.
As these headlines show, the puzzle pieces are falling into place just as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel so long ago. To be sure, all is not smooth sailing between Russia and Iran; but they both have a vested interest in Syria in particular. I am reminded that Gog/Russia will be drawn into taking an action that he doesn’t necessarily want to take at that time. It wouldn’t surprise me that it is Iran that forces his hand.
Ezekiel 38:3–4 “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth….”
Or maybe it will be the destruction of Damascus (see comments on next verse) as foretold by Isaiah—which I am surprised hasn’t already happened.
Isaiah 17:1 “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
Ezek. 38:7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Interestingly enough, the Lord is warning Gog to be prepared—not only to protect himself, but to protect or put a hedge about all his allies to ensure his command of them. This verse seems to stand out significantly in reference to how Russia is positioning itself in alliance with Muslim nations today—especially Syria.
The strong stance that Russia has taken to support the Assad regime in Syria in alliance with Iran is just another example of how deeply entrenched they have become in the region. Following is quoted from Dmitri Trenin’s Task Force White Paper of April 2016 as posted at Carnegie.ru: “For the Russian defense industry, countries in the Middle East and North Africa are important customers. In 2015, they accounted for 36 percent of Russia’s defense deliveries, second only to Asia (42 percent). Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria have been Moscow’s principal arms customers for decades…. Other vested interests include the Russian nuclear industry, represented by Rosatom, which has built reactors at Bushehr in Iran and looks for new contract there. Rostatom is also working on projects in Turkey and Jordan. A Russian private oil company, Lukoil, is active in Iraq. Russian gas company Gazprom is Turkey’s main supplier of natural gas and has had plans for a pipeline going to Southeast Europe via or close to Turkey. Qatar and Iran are, alongside Russia, key members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.”
The Russians have had a naval base in Tartus, Syria, for a long time that they now plan to make permanent. It is their only naval base in the Mediterranean. Consider this quote from www.gulfnews.com dated January 4, 2017: “In October, Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov spelt out how Tartus fits into the Putin government’s global military vision, when he announced that the port would be expanded to become a permanent base for the Russian navy, at the same time as Russia said it was considering reopening Soviet-era bases in Vietnam and Cuba.”
Ezek. 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
“After many days” and “in the latter years” are a reference to “end times” in the Hebrew. The rest of the verse is very clear that Gog and his armies are going to invade the reborn nation of Israel whose people have returned to it from “out of the nations.” At that time the people of Israel will be dwelling “safely.” (The “shall” is added by the translators.) After looking at the Hebrew, this could just mean that they are living with a false sense of security and careless confidence of their safety as a nation. Why? Because of their confidence in the support of the United States (now that Obama is history)? Because of their nuclear arsenal? Tech capabilities? Because of their treaty with the Antichrist? Is this why the Arab nations are not involved? If so, this would indicate that this invasion could not happen until after the signing of the 7-year covenant.
Maybe the Arab nations aren’t involved because they have already been defeated (see notes on Psalm 83).
Note that this negates identifying this attack with the Armageddon campaign. At that time Israel will be anything but peaceful or without care.
Ezek. 38:9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
This verse indicates that Gog and all his armies (including his allies) will suddenly attack Israel like an unexpected thunderstorm that covers the land with a great cloud (which would seem to reference the magnitude of the combined armies). Could this reference a vast air attack?
Ezek. 38:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
Ezek. 38:11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
Ezek. 38:12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
I think the wording of the CJB is clearer for verse 10.
“Adonai ELOHIM says: ‘When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme.”
Gog is going to take advantage of a point in time in which Israel is the most vulnerable, a time when they are “at rest” (Hebrew = appease, quiet, settle) and their defenses are down or they are overconfident. Since being reborn as a nation in 1948, Israel has never been in such a position; in fact, they have never experienced this type of rest during their existence since the Babylonian exile. Point is made that Gog’s plan will be an evil one.
The reason for Gog’s attack—
Israel possesses things that Gog wants. Cattle is a reference to livestock, but goods is inclusive of anything that represents wealth, money, or riches. Special note is made of the “midst,” or central part of the land.
One might ask, what could Israel have that Gog would covet? I’ve always heard that one of Israel’s great treasures is the Dead Sea. David Legge stated some amazing statistics in his commentary.
“I don't know whether you know this, but the Dead Sea is full of mineral deposits - to such a great extent that in monetary terms it cannot be valued in today's market! It is priceless! It is saturated with chemicals, the water has untold wealth within it. It's estimated that the Dead Sea contains two billion tonnes of potassium chloride, which is potash, which you sweep along ground that is barren and it sweetens it, it enriches it, it makes it fertile soil, it makes fruit grow lavishly again. Two billion tonnes of potassium! Twenty-two billion tonnes of magnesium chloride, twelve billion tonnes of sodium chloride, six billion tonnes of calcium chloride, and in addition to all of that it has cerium, cobalt, manganese, and even gold in the Dead Sea!”
Add to that, two large gas fields that were discovered off the coast of Haifa—Tamar in 2009 and Leviathan in 2010. And in 2015, a huge oil deposit was found in Israel in the Golan Heights.
Maybe it is the thought of these riches that is the “hook in the jaw” that will cause Gog to attack. Maybe it will be due to actions on the part of one of his allies and the need to defend his vested interests that will be the hook. Again, the future will tell.
Ezek. 38:13 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?
This verse tells us that there are nations that will not be part of Gog’s coalition that will protest his actions. As I read this verse, I though the NLT expressed it best.
But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Who are you to rob them of silver and gold? Who are you to drive away their cattle and seize their goods and make them poor?’
Who are Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish?
If this information is correct, we can conclude that Sheba and Dedan are a reference to the Saudi Arabia and Yemen of today.
I won’t go into more speculation on the location of Tarshish except in reference to the phrase “with all the young lions thereof.” Those who postulate that Tarshish is a reference to the British Isles then go on to postulate that the United States would be one of the young lions. It is understandable for Christians of America to wonder at the obvious lack of mention of our country regarding end times prophecy since we occupy such a prominent position of power today. This just tells me that America will not much longer occupy that position. Something will happen that will remove her as a dominant world player when the events associated with this war take place. I would like to think that it comes about as a result of the rapture, but there are many other more sobering possibilities that could bring about such a scenario. In other words, there could be much harder times ahead for those of us living in America today.
I was just about to leave this verse when I noticed the phrase “and the merchants of Tarshish.” This would include not only Tarshish but all of her trading partners. It would still seem to indicate that Tarshish is the dominant player among her trading partners. If, as I believe, this invasion happens just before or at the beginning of the tribulation period, it would be at a time when the Antichrist is just rising to power. Since God is the One who is going to intervene miraculously on Israel’s behalf, the invasion would not appear to have any effect on the 7-year covenant (except maybe to facilitate its acceptance) that marks the beginning of the tribulation or the continued ascendancy of the Antichrist.
As of August 2019, this also leads me to believe that this invasion has to occur after the U.S. has fallen from a position of military might, since Gog’s coalition seems to know they won’t meet any true opposition to their invasion.
Ezek. 38:14 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?
YHWH is stating His awareness of the fact that Gog will recognize the time that Israel is most vulnerable to his attack. If I am correct, and Gog is the demonic spirit behind the Russian leader, he is one of Satan’s top commanders. Satan has ever been on the lookout for any opportunity to thwart God’s plan. He knows the prophecies and the scripture as well as we, if not better. In his mind, if he can destroy Israel, he can thwart God’s plan.
Ezek. 38:15 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:
Ezek. 38:16 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.
These verses reiterate the fact that God will force Gog’s hand, and he will attack Israel with a powerful army of great multitude (cf v9 & 15). Emphasis is made that Gog will come from the “north parts,” and it will be in the “latter days” (cf v8).
Emphasis is also made that it is God whose sovereign hand is in control of these events. What is His purpose for bringing about such events? “That the heathen may know Me.” The word know in the Hebrew is a reference to comprehending with understanding. It has always been God’s plan for all peoples to acknowledge Him as Lord. Because Israel has failed so miserably at fulfilling their chosen purpose before the Lord, it has directly affected how the nations have viewed God. In human reasoning, it has made Him seem weak and unable to carry out His purposes. When He intervenes for Israel according to this prophecy, the nations will have to recognize that He has been in control all along and that His purposes will be accomplished in spite of the failings of His people. I think it is significant to note that this will happen at a time when all nations will be able to watch events unfold “before their eyes” (e.g., television).
Frankly, the “church” hasn’t done much better than Israel in demonstrating the blessings of submission to God as LORD and loving Him with all your heart, soul and mind. The “church” has taken many actions in the name of God that have dishonored His name and caused people to reject Him. God’s purposes will be accomplished in spite of the rebellious and apostate church just as surely as they have been accomplished in spite of Israel’s disobedience to and rejection of Him.
Ezek. 38:17 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?
This is an intriguing verse. The indication is that God had spoken of Gog in times of old through the prophets of Israel. The Hebrew for the word old just means those that went before or previous to this prophecy. A word search quickly shows that there are no other prophecies related to “Gog” in the scripture (other than the one in Revelation).
(10/12) I was listening to a teaching by Joe Focht on this section, and he explained that God is speaking in the prophetic future tense that indicates that God is talking in the present tense—the time of the attack—and referencing the prophecy of Ezekiel.
There are many prophecies regarding God’s judgment upon the enemies of Israel. One in particular that stood out to me is found in Deuteronomy.
Deut. 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
Deut. 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
Deut. 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deut. 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deut. 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
Deut. 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Deut. 30:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
Deut. 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
These verses do not identify Gog, but they do speak of a time when Israel is being regathered to their nation after being “scattered” by God throughout the nations. It also speaks of the curses that will be put on their enemies and the fact that Israel will eventually return in obedience to follow YHWH. Since Gog, in my opinion, is a spiritual power working through a man, as part of Satan’s forces, it is reasonable to conclude that he would be utilizing Israel’s enemies to try and destroy her. In that regard, every time Satan’s purpose is thwarted it is connected to the fulfillment of the prophecy made in Genesis 3.
Gen. 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This is the first prophecy made regarding the Messiah’s defeat of Satan. Following is an excerpt from my journal in Genesis on these verses:
The serpent must have been nearby gloating; he has marred God’s perfect
creation. Immediately, we see where the power and authority lie. God passes judgment on the serpent. Satan had used the serpent just like he tries to use each one of us, and just like the serpent, we will be cursed if we choose to ignore God’s provision for us. By verse 15 God is speaking directly to Satan. He is promising a lifelong hatred and conflict between Satan and “her seed”—Jesus, the Son of God. (All other men that ever lived were from the seed of man.) The result will be that Jesus will suffer (a bruised heel) but Satan will be conquered (a bruised head). This is also a prophecy, a statement regarding God’s knowledge of the future. None of this was a surprise to God; His plan/provision was already in place waiting to be revealed.
Ezek. 38:18 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.
Because the Lord identifies Gog by name in this prophecy, it would seem to signify that this invasion as one of Satan’s last bold attempts to thwart God’s plan. Notice that it is referencing “when” not “if.” That this time would come has been known to God from the beginning. He is basically reminding Satan through this prophecy that his efforts will be in vain. This attack of Gog upon Israel is going to make God very angry.
It is always cause for me to stop and meditate as I see God’s hand at work bringing about a situation and then responding in fierce judgment in response to that situation. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express the thoughts correctly, but I know that these are the actions of a righteous God. He is allowing man’s choices in response to the desires of his flesh and the influence and deception of the enemy to bring about His sovereign plan. I think we are limited in our ability to fully express the truth adequately from a heavenly perspective—at least I know I am.
Ezek. 38:19 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;
Ezek. 38:20 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.
It would seem that God is going to intervene at least in part through a great earthquake in the land of Israel. According to Jerusalem Newswire (Feb. 11, 2004) after a 5.0 earthquake struck Israel and states surrounding it, “Israeli geologists believe a major earthquake could strike Israel without notice, and based on research predict the arrival of ‘the big one’ in the next 50 years.” The Creator of the universe is in control of the forces of nature and will manipulate them as He so chooses.
Though this earthquake will directly impact the land of Israel, there will be no doubt that it is an act of God and men will tremble at His power.
In reading through this section again, I can’t help but wonder if this is the event that triggers the beginning of “the day of the LORD.” Peter Goodgame at www.redmoonrising.com makes an interesting observation.
“…perhaps Jerusalem, God’s holy city, will be the exact epicenter of this great global earthquake. The tremors will first be felt in Israel, but then they will radiate outwards, gathering in momentum and intensity until the shaking of the earth affects the entire globe!”
The wording of verse 18 (“my fury shall come up in my face”) makes a strong connection with Revelation 6:17.
Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Ezek. 38:21 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.
This verse indicates that the forces of Gog will turn on each other.
Ezek. 38:22 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.
Gog’s armies will experience much more than a great earthquake; they will experience—
Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
It was one of the plagues of Egypt.
Ex. 9:18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
He intervened for the troops of Joshua to cause a great slaughter at Gibeon with hailstones.
Josh. 10:10 And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
Josh. 10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
Ezek. 38:23 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.
YHWH makes it clear that He will be magnified and proven holy and true when He delivers Israel from the armies of Gog. Again, He emphasizes that the nations will comprehend with understanding that He is LORD because of His miraculous intervention on behalf of Israel. In other words, whether by destruction through “natural” disaster and/or through the use of today’s technology in weaponry, the people on earth will “know that I am the LORD.”