Possibilities: The Ezekiel 38 Invasion :: By Mark A. Becker

  1. [Note: This author is a pre-Tribulation rapture believer, and this article reflects that view.]


    When it comes to end-time battles and wars, I find them interesting but often notice myself avoiding the study. Why? Well, mainly because of the lack of empirical evidence to make sense of it all.

    The truth is, there are so many interpretations, scenarios, and views regarding end-time battles and wars that it is virtually impossible to keep up with – let alone come to a logical and trustworthy conclusion. I’ve seen other prophecy students and teachers’ thoughts on this subject range from the simplistic to agonizingly complex, with virtually no agreement with each other.

    Some see just about every war prophesied in the Old Testament as being an end-time war, but, honestly, that just doesn’t seem to be the case. Some were predicted for the near future of the prophet who declared it.

    And there lies the difficulty, trying to assess which prophetic wars were meant for their current audience and which were meant for the end times. The terms “in that day” and “at that time” can be helpful, but they aren’t always exclusive.

    With that said, there are battles most of us can agree are certifiably end-time conflicts, and one of those is the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel. We know the actors – Russia, Turkey, and Iran being the primary nations (with others that are mentioned by name) – and this fact is well documented.

    But who are the “many people” with them? Could this war correlate with other battles mentioned by the prophets? When does this war take place in the overall scheme of things?

    While there are some who believe, as my earthy mentor Dave Hunt did, that this battle could very well be the end-time battle known as Armageddon, {1} this cannot be for the following reasons:

    1. While there are many nations in this battle, all of the nations of the earth are not represented as they will be at Christ’s Second Coming.
    2. The Jews will not be present in Israel at Christ’s Second Coming – as they will have been forcibly exiled to the mountains after the Abomination of Desolation – but are present in the land of Israel and living in relative peace during this battle.
    3. In the Gog/Magog war, the nations invading Israel will be repelled from their attack, while during Christ’s Second Coming, all the nations will already be waiting for Him stationed south/southeast of Jerusalem.

    This article is focused on this invasion, and I would like to offer “possibilities” that many may not have considered. Again, these are just what I see as possibilities; nothing more or nothing less.

    Unwalled Villages with Neither Bars nor Gates and Dwelling Safely

    “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” (Ezekiel 38:11).(Emphasis mine)

    Unlike most people in the prophetic community, I already think these conditions have been met. With the exception of the boundary fences protecting Israel from their enemies on the Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank borders, Israel is living in amazing security and freedom of movement, especially when one considers her past. There are no “walls” around their cities.

    Israelis, Israeli Arabs, and visitors from all over the world have been moving freely and securely in Israel, from city to city, for quite some time. They are certainly living in a “land of unwalled villages,” they “dwell safely,” and their cities have “neither bars nor gates” restricting free and easy access for their citizens and visitors alike.

    I’m certain some won’t agree, but this is truly how I see the situation on the ground. And, from what I hear from those who have visited the country, people seem to be unanimous in saying there is no other place on earth where they feel safer than in the land of Israel.

    Timing of The Invasion

    I’m in the camp that believes this end-time war will happen after the rapture of the church. To be more specific, I suggest it will happen immediately after the rapture.

    The United States, Israel’s closest ally in the world, will be greatly impacted by the body of Christ being taken from the earth. More than that, it is because of these believers in Jesus Christ that keeps the United States the best friend of Israel. Once these lovers of Israel and the Israeli people have gone, who is left to protect Israel from her enemies? The answer is, obviously, nobody. Nobody, that is, but God!

    This would be the absolute perfect time for the Gog/Magog invasion to occur. Israel’s enemies will know it when they will see it, and they will capitalize on the situation when the opportunity arises.

    “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” (Ezekiel 38:10).

    “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” (Ezekiel 38:4).

    The spoil in Syria, where these invading nations are presently stationed, in concert with the rapture of the church, may very well be the “hooks into [the] jaws” that draw these invading troops into Israel for even more booty and spoil.

    “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.

    “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?” (Ezekiel 38:12-13).

    Common knowledge notes that Sheba and Dedan is modern-day Saudi Arabia, and one could lay down money that they are soon-to-be signers of the “Abraham Accords.”

    Tarshish, at one time, was thought to possibly be Spain, but the evidence seems to point to England. Many fine prophecy teachers have thought and taught this for years, and this has currently been coming back in popularity with more evidence to back up this theory. Of course, if this is true – which I personally think that it is – then the many nations that have arisen from the British Empire would certainly be the “young lions,” and this would include the United States.

    Why are they protesting and not actually taking action to help Israel? Some, like Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, won’t have the military strength to combat this gigantic multi-national force. Others, like the United States, for some reason, won’t be able to help, either. This is where the rapture could come in, as it should have insurmountable consequences; that is, if the United States hasn’t already been destroyed from within or without.

    Israel: A Strong Nation & God’s Sovereignty

    “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.

    “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; 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” (Ezekiel 38:18-20).

    Yes, the Lord’s sovereignty plays a major role in the defeat of these nations. But let’s not overlook the power that the Lord has bestowed upon Israel in these last days. God, more often than not, uses human agents to accomplish His desired results. Assyria’s defeat of the northern 10-tribe nation of Israel and Babylon’s overthrow of Judah are excellent examples of how God uses human agents, often more wicked than the nations He purposes to judge and to fulfill His will.

    The “earth shall shake,” mountains and walls will fall down, wildlife and men “upon the face of the earth, shall shake” in fear of this attack, the fall-out, the ramifications and its consequences because of the Lord’s presence in protecting Israel and the military strength of the Israeli Defense Forces.

    “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. 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” (Ezekiel 38:21-22).

    How many times in Scripture have we seen the Lord cause the enemies of His people to fight each other? Also, the Lord “will call for a sword against” the invaders throughout Israel and, it seems, Israel’s defense systems will play a major role. So much so that it appears Israel will have no choice but to use nuclear weapons in order to repel this invasion, which will result in “hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

    “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” (Ezekiel 38:23).

    With Israel’s defeat of her enemies, God will once again be vindicated and known to be the power behind His chosen people’s success against innumerable odds. A fact of history for the Jewish people that has been achieved time and time again in her past and ever since she was reunited with her land over 70 years ago. God’s power, providence, and protection will be clearly evident to the world once again.

    A Nation at Rest

    “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” (Ezekiel 38:11). (Emphasis mine)

    The Hebrew word for “rest” in this verse is not the word “shabbat” (7676), but the word “shaqat” (8252) and means “to be quiet or undisturbed.” (Biblehub.com)

    With this in mind, the recent lockdowns during the spring and fall feasts due to COVID-19 got me thinking. What if the rapture were to happen during another lockdown?

    Many prophecy students and teachers think the rapture could very well take place during one of these feasts – especially the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). Could this be the “rest” or a lockdown-type event during a feast that could set the stage for this invasion?

    While I find the thought of the rapture happening during a feast of Israel an interesting possibility, I’m of the persuasion that the rapture can happen on any day, of any week, of any month, and is not necessarily limited to any particular feast. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened at the end of Rosh Hashanah, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it happened today.

    With all that said, and returning to the Lord’s description of Israel being “at rest,” I’d like to point out that the only time in Israel’s history she has been at rest is during the reign of King Solomon. When compared to the rest of Israel’s history, she seems to be more at rest today than ever.

    Which brings me back around to the COVID-19 lockdowns. In today’s climate, I wonder if this passage could be alluding to such a condition for Israel when the rapture takes place. Knowing that Israel is at rest, and/or in a lockdown, and her only true allies have been taken from the earth at the rapture of the church – and the chaos that would certainly ensue – might it be that irresistible “hook in the jaw” that initiates the Gog/Magog invasion?

    Could Psalm 83 Be The ‘Many People’ In Concert with Gog?

    “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 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. 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” (Ezekiel 38:5-9). (Emphasis mine)

    The Greek word for “people” is 5971 עָם (am) –folk, men, nation, people. From amam; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically, a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively, a flock — folk, men, nation, people. (Biblehub.com)

    Many Bible teachers and students believe that Psalm 83, if indeed it is a prophecy and has not been fulfilled in the early wars of Israel (1948, 1967, 1973), will be a separate war and will most likely happen before the Ezekiel 38 war.

    My thought on this is: Could Psalm 83 happen in concert with Ezekiel 38? Once Israel’s surrounding Arab enemy nations see the Gog/Magog invasion taking place, might they also join in on the battle? Might the “many people with thee” be referring to just this possible scenario?

    Could Damascus Be Destroyed?

    “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).

    “Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy! Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord of hosts. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad” (Jeremiah 49:23-27).

    As pointed out earlier, and most certainly attestable by current news headlines, all three nations of Russia, Iran, and Turkey are currently carrying out military operations in Syria. Obviously, Syria is north of Israel where we know this invasion will come from.

    Doesn’t it seem reasonable that Israel will attack Syria in an effort to stop or repel this invasion? The destruction of Damascus might certainly cause the invading troops to at least reassess their operations into Israel, if nothing else, give them something more to think about. It seems like a logical response from the Israeli Defense Forces to attack where this invasion originated from.

    Could Elam Be Destroyed?

    “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the Lord; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them: And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 49:35-38).

    Elam is in modern-day southern Iran bordering the Persian Gulf. Thus, it is a vital part of ancient Persia and is a major actor in this Gog/Magog invasion of Israel. It is also the region where the Bushehr Nuclear Plant is located.

    Like the possibility of Damascus being a retribution from the Israeli Defense Forces, Iran would be a reasonable target as well. Hitting the Bushehr Nuclear Plant could have a two-pronged effect: Taking out nuclear capabilities that might retaliate in the future and might also result in Iran having second thoughts about the invasion they are currently undertaking and cause battlefield confusion.


    If the entire chapter of Jeremiah 49, with Elam and the other nations mentioned in this prophecy, is speaking of the Gog/Magog invasion, then here would be ‘many’ of your Psalm 83 participants. Which makes me wonder if we shouldn’t also consider Jeremiah chapter 48 for the remaining “many people with thee.”

    It is my personal opinion that the Scriptural evidence indicates that nuclear weapons will be used by Israel in the Ezekiel 38 war. The description in Ezekiel 38:21-22 seems to make this abundantly clear. And, if, in fact, Damascus is destroyed in this attack, as I suggest it might be, northern Israel, it seems, will also experience loss according to Isaiah 17:4-11.

    What follows in Isaiah 17 – and appears to confirm this connection – refers to what sounds like the aftermath of the Gog/Magog invasion:

    “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us” (Isaiah 17:12-14).

    As I complete this article, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the reader to assume that I might be suggesting the possibility that Ezekiel 38, Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Jeremiah 49 could all be speaking of the same invasion or different aspects of the same war.

    Only time will tell exactly how all of this will play out but, thank the Lord, we probably won’t be here to see its fulfillment. There is always a chance that this could be a pre-rapture event, but I personally don’t think that it will be.

    Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

    Email: mab10666@yahoo.com


    See The Meaning of “Armeged[d]on” by Jeff Van Hatten for an excellent article on this topic at: The Meaning of “Armaged[d]on”:: By Jeff Van Hatten – Rapture Ready