This article was first written on 8-29-21.
Prophecy in Ezekiel 38 & 39
With the tremendous turmoil currently taking place in the world, we should look at an Old Testament prophecy found in Ezekiel 38 & 39. The passage speaks of a war against Israel in the last days. Some Bible scholars think this war is yet to be fulfilled.
Scripture is full of prophecies, both fulfilled and unfulfilled. When we reflect on fulfilled prophecies it helps us see God’s faithfulness – that He always does what He says He will do. Studying unfulfilled prophecies, especially in uncertain times, can reassure us that God wins in the end!
As we discuss this passage of Scripture, remember that prophecies are God-given windows of revelation that show both immediate and future truth. Even though they are sure and steadfast in their fulfillment, they are not the full picture of future events. They are certain specifics that God has chosen to reveal in His Word. Sometimes we don’t understand all the details, the timing, nor how one text might relate to another. So, we need to consider them with humility.
War in Israel
You can begin by reading Ezekiel 38 & 39. We will start by looking at the several different places mentioned Ezekiel 38:2-6.
“Son of man, face Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, including horses and riders, who are all splendidly dressed, a huge assembly armed with large and small shields, all of them brandishing swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops—many peoples are with you.” Ezekiel 38:2-6
The places mentioned have different names than what we know them as today. Listing them and their corresponding geographical areas will give us an idea of their location. (These areas are very general as it is hard to pinpoint their extent.)
- Magog – North of Black Sea and North/West of Caspian Sea
- Meshach – area above Black Sea; Russia, Georgia, Ukraine
- Tubal – Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan
- Persia – Iran
- Cush – Ethiopia, possibly Sudan
- Put – Northern Africa, Libya
- Gomer – Turkey, Southern Russia
- Togarmah – Turkey
According to Ezekiel 38:15-16, there will be a war against Israel in the last days.
“You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” Ezekiel 38:15-16 (NASB)
This war will be commanded by a chief prince, Gog (probably a symbolic name), who is of the land of Magog.
There are differing opinions as to the timing of this war against Israel. I tend to think it will be just before the beast/antichrist comes to full power (Revelation 13) and makes a covenant with Israel (Daniel 9). But regardless of your system of theology or eschatological position, we can still gather details from the text to help us see the big picture.
You may ask, what might be the circumstances of this war against Israel? Well perhaps if Israel is abandoned by her allies, her enemies will be emboldened to attack her. Maybe Gog and his alliances are emboldened by events taking place in the Middle East. Nonetheless, he comes against Israel.
“It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger.” Ezekiel 38:18 (NASB)
How Will This War End?
God will destroy Gog and the enemies of Israel directly, bringing glory to His name among the nations!
“With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:22-23 (NASB)
Looking at the current events in the Middle East, is it possible something like this could occur in the not-too-distant future? It is quite conceivable you and I could see this happen before our eyes!
But be encouraged. God is in control and will glorify His name! Although God has not revealed how everything will unfold, we can rest on the fact that God has a plan. Our responsibility is to remain faithful and steadfast in proclaiming the truth to a world that is watching.
For More on Revelation and End-Time Events
The Beast From the Sea (Revelation 13) By David Sheldon
The Great Harlot (Revelation 17) By David Sheldon
Will Christians Know Who the Antichrist Will Be? (Order of End-Time Events) By David Sheldon
The Book of Daniel: A Historical-Chronological Look By David Sheldon