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A Major War Is Coming in Israel

Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 talk about a major war in Israel in the latter years. These chapters are included at the bottom of the page for convenience. In the battle God will deliver Israel and destroy the invaders. The discussions continue about who the countries are and also when it will happen. When it is over 5/6's of the invading armies will be destroyed. Every wall in the land will fall. It will take seven months to bury the dead and seven years to burn the weapons. It appears to be part of the death and destruction in Revelation 6:8 where the Bible says, "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." According to the U.S. Census Bureau the current population of the earth is over 7.2 billion people. That means 1,800,000,000 human beings will perish from war, famine and all other sources. It is what most people would refer to as the start of World War III.


The War Is at the Beginning of the Tribulation

The war is at the start of a seven year period of great trouble called the Tribulation. Objections have been raised to this event taking place at the start because it requires Israel to be at peace and live securely without walls. Ezekiel 38:10-11 says, "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: 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," First of all, this is what Gog thinks not what the truth actually is. The Bible refers to it as an evil thought. Gog will seek to murder many through an unjust war. The evil thoughts of evil men cannot be counted on as truth. Also, while Israel has problems it does not have war right now. There are no standing armies lining the whole border. Armies as not crossing the borders. War has not been declared. Israel is not seeking to overthrow the government of any nation. The Jews are not fleeing their homes or country. There are some walls but it not like a castle. There are not gates to each city that are closed at night. Ezekiel 39:9 says, "And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:" At the end of the tribulation Jesus returns to the earth and reigns for a thousand years during what is called the millennial kingdom. It does not make sense that the Jews will still be burning weapons during this time. They will burn the weapons for seven years during the tribulation. Next, Daniel 9:27 lets us know the antichrist will come in the middle of the tribulation and cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Refer to Matthew 24:15-17; "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:" When the antichrist comes to Israel there will be rooftops and buildings, and hence, walls. The walls will have been rebuilt following the great earthquake mentioned in Ezekiel 38:20. If the war happens in the middle of the tribulation and the antichrist comes right after that there will be no walls and no rooftops standing. That makes a mid-tribulation invasion an impossibility. If he came first followed immediately by a great war it would be possible for walls to be standing but that scenario would be inconsistent with God's deliverance of Israel. Would God defeat the invading armies but leave the antichrist to reign at that time? That does not make sense.

The War in Ezekiel is not Armageddon

Different opinions put this war in the beginning of the tribulation, right after the rapture or right before it (pre-trib), in the middle (mid-trib), at the end of the tribulation or what is also known as the Battle of Armageddon. What about Armageddon? Revelation 9:16 speaks about an army of 200,000,000 soldiers which kill a third of the earth. When the kings of the east are no longer bound by the Euphrates river in Iraq they will come to Israel in a final battle in a place called Armageddon. The force here is from the east. The countries in Ezekiel 38 are not located in the east. Armageddon also happens at the end of the tribulation not at the beginning and not at the middle. These are two different battles.


The Names of the Countries Are not as Clear as Most Make Them out to Be

Gog and the land of Magog along with Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and all his bands; and the house of Togarmah form a large confederacy to take over Israel. It was thought that Gog is Russia because it lies to the uttermost north of Israel. Look at Ezekiel 38:15. It says Gog comes from the north not that Gog is located from the north. When America entered Iraq it mostly came from the south but it is not south of Iraq. The direction a country attacks from does not indicate which direction one country is located in comparison to another. The word used in the original language "yerekah" can mean "the flank; but used only figuratively, the rear or recess:--border, coast, part, quarter, side". If the correct translation of the north parts or north quarters (tsaphown yerekah) refers to the extreme or uttermost north then Gog would have to come from Russia.

Some teachers think Meshech is Moscow. An reference to Moscow's first mention can be found at Wikipedia noting that in 1147 Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to "come to me, brother, to Moscow" This was 1500 to 2000 years after the psalmist wrote of Mesech. This cannot be the same word. Psalm 120 mentions a similar name Mesech with Kedar which is nowhere near Russia. Ezekiel 27 mentions that Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were merchants with Tyrus. It does not make sense that Tyrus or Tyre traded with with Moscow 2,500 years ago. The journey is too long and the volume of trade would be too low.

Persia is called Iran today.

Ethiopia is used in the translations but the real name Cush really refers to the area around southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia.


Those who Live in Remote Countries Are not Safe

Ezekiel 39:6 warns, "And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. We do not know who those are who dwell carelessly in the isles but living far away from Israel will not guarantee one's safety. Violence will extend outside the war zone and destroy those who do not expect it. It may affect even those who do not send armies to Israel. When forces invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein sent Scuds to Israel even though they did not have anything to do with it wrong or right. The armies in Ezekiel may also attack other nations not involved in the war. Is any place safe? Those who dwell carelessly in the isles, coasts or distant lands apparently think they will be. This could even include the United States of America.


Ezekiel 38

1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4And 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:
5Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
7Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8After 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.
9Thou 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.
10Thus 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:
11And 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,
12To 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.
13Sheba, 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?
14Therefore, 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?
15And 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:
16And 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.
17Thus 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?
18And 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.
19For 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;
20So 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.
21And 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.
22And 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.
23Thus 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 39

1Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
2And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
9And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
11And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
12And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
13Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
14And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
15And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.
16And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
17And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
18Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
23And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
24According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
25Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
26After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
27When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
28Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
29Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.



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