Chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel set out details of an invasion of Israel from the north by an alliance of nations. Ezekiel uses the names of tribes / nations that were applicable in his day when writing this amazing prophecy and there are several views as to which areas of the current territories of the nations the tribes occupied, as follows:
Rosh / Meshech – includes parts of modern-day Russia and possibly Turkey, Iraq and Iran but the reference to ‘the far north’ favours Russia, it being the farthest due north from Israel. Rosh Meshech is the leader of the alliance. ‘Gog’ is the person ruling Rosh / Meshech at the time of the invasion.
Tubal – parts of Russia and / or Turkey and / or Iran
Gomer – perhaps the least clear, either Russia, Turkey or Germany. If Germany, then expect further dispersal of the EU and developing relations between Russia and Germany.
Beth Togarmah – Turkey / Armenia
Persia – Iran
Cush – Ethiopia
Put – Libya or Somalia
Many nations with you – will be determined as the alliance takes shape.
Ezekiel Ch. 38 v 3 – Ch 39 v 15– This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “I am against you O Gog, chief prince of Meshech (see NIV foot-note / Rosh) and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army… Persia, Cush and Put will be with them… also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togamah from the far north with all its troops – the many nations with you… 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…. 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’…. In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you”.
Although there is some debate as to the exact pairing of some of Ezekiel’s names for the nations of his day and our present day political map it is a massive invasion attempt by a confederation of nations definitely including, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Ethiopia and many others, the exact make up of which will only be fully understood when the plans take shape.
The invasion will initially be successful, the invaders making it to the ‘mountains of Israel’. However, they will be destroyed without the intervention of other nations.
Ezekiel 38: 18 – 39: 5 – This is what will happen in that day. When Gog attacks the land of Israel my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel… I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother…. I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulphur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him… On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
In addition the land of ‘Magog’ will suffer disaster;
Ezekiel 39: 6– “I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coast-lands, and they will know that I am the Lord… “
The nation of Israel will recover a huge haul of weapons and equipment;
Ezekiel 39: 9– Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up… For seven years they will use them for fuel…
And the clean-up operation will take months;
Ezekiel 39: 12 – 15 – For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them… Men will be regularly employed to cleanse the land. Some will go throughout the land and, in addition to them, others will bury those that remain on the ground. At the end of the seven months they will begin their search. As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog.
What does this mean?
The timing of this invasion is not specifically given in the Bible and a number of views exist in trying to place it into history to come, but that is not the point for the moment. What matters is that for the first time in history we are watching the emergence of nations, allied by regional interests and their hatred of the Jews, coming together. Russia is wooing the Arab nations, working directly against the West. Turkey, having been denied entry into the EU has turned to Russia and is rapidly trying to develop itself into a major player in the middle-east, holding a strategically important location. Iran and Russia are united in their support for the Syrian regime and have built up considerable military might in Syria, bordering Israel. It is happening today as we look on.
What does that mean for you?– Good News