As with my earlier article, Possibilities: The Ezekiel 38 Invasion, I would like to offer some possibilities I see within the aftermath of this invasion found in Ezekiel 39. To begin, I would like to cite the following quote from that article concerning the Ezekiel 38 invasion:
While there are some who believe, as my earthly mentor Dave Hunt did, that this battle could very well be the end-time battle known as Armageddon1, this cannot be for the following reasons:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 primarily focused on the aftermath of the Ezekiel 38 invasion found in Ezekiel 39, offering a few “possibilities” that many may, or may not, have considered, as well as a general study of the chapter itself.
“Therefore, 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: And 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” (Ezekiel 39:1-2).
I did a little digging, and it looks like the phrase “the sixth part” in the King James Version is not in the original Hebrew text. I’m not sure how the translators came to that translation but, from what I can see, the KJV is one of only a few translations with this particular phrase.
So, let’s look at the Complete Jewish Bible translation, which is similar to many others:
“I will turn you around, lead you on and bring you from the far reaches of the north against the mountains of Isra’el.”
Obviously, Russia – the predominant nation and her leader “Gog” – is directly to Israel’s far north. As we see today, God has already drawn the Russian forces, along with Turkey and Iran (the other two major players in this invasion), into Syria, which is directly on Israel’s northern border, seemingly ready to initiate this invasion, which is detailed in Ezekiel 38.
Ezekiel 39:1-6 seems to be somewhat of a summary of Ezekiel 38 with additional details of this invasion.
“And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou 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” (Ezekiel 39:3-4).
God will cause confusion among the invading horde:
“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” (Ezekiel 38:21).
As with most large and deadly battles described in the Scriptures, the “ravenous birds” and “the beasts of the field” will be filled with the flesh of men.
As Moses warned Israel through the Word of the LORD, “… if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day: The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away” (Deuteronomy 28:25-26). (Emphasis mine)
Thus, the invaders of the Gog/Magog invasion will meet a very similar fate.
“Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 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” (Ezekiel 39:5-6).
Obviously, these invading forces will be devastated “upon the open field” in and around Israel’s mountains. But I also find these two verses fascinating as there do seem to be two different possibilities here.
One: God/Israel will “send a fire on Magog” in Israel to accomplish their defeat (Ezekiel 38:19-20). Two: This could be saying that God/Israel will “send a fire on Magog” in her homeland by way of missiles. Or it could be both!
In both possibilities, Israel and Magog (Russia) would have “isles,” or better, “coasts/regions” that would also be in the line of “fire” as Israel repels the invaders from near and, possibly, even farther.
“So 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. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken” (Ezekiel 39:7-8).
Many in the generally secular nation of Israel will recognize that God’s hand of protection – as well as the weapons God’s sovereignty had supplied to them to beat back this invading horde – was with them mightily in defeating the enemy.
God “will not let” Israel “pollute” His “holy Name any more” and many will at least acknowledge the God of their fathers. But they will not have received, up to this point, Yeshua as their Messiah. This is not to say that the nation’s overall state of affairs will change. Their government and laws will remain secular and progressive, but many in the community will at least recognize God’s provision and think of the LORD God differently than they had before.
This will be the first step to bringing God’s people back to Himself in His Son, with the final step, of course, being the Great Tribulation.
Sometime after this event, Israel will make a covenant with Antichrist and the many (Dan. 9:27) and rebuild their temple (if it hasn’t already been built) – which God will be furious with – reverting back to the original sacrificial system of their past. Therefore, many in the nation will no longer deny the LORD God and pollute His Name, yet still will not have acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason that God will allow Antichrist to defile the temple, destroy most of the Jews, and a surviving remnant will flee to the mountains in order to finally bring them to saving faith in their Messiah during the Great Tribulation.
In addition, the heathen will certainly “know the [God of Israel] is the LORD” because, once again, Israel defeats her foes against all odds.
“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: So 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” (Ezekiel 39:9-10). (Emphasis mine)
The Israelis, after turning back and destroying the invading armies, will take the spoil of what’s left from those who intended to spoil them (Ezekiel 38:12-13).
But Ezekiel 39 has been quite contentious in the prophetic community for years. Confusion comes when one thinks of the seven-year Tribulation period: How does this align with what we already know concerning the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7)?
I have a possible solution. Could it be that, in the middle of the Tribulation – when Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation and attacks the Jewish people with many of the Israelis escaping to the Petra/Mt. Seir mountains – the Jewish people take these weapons with them to burn for fuel and for defensive purposes to survive the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation in the wilderness after having burned many of these weapons in Israel for the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation?
If so, this would satisfy many problems that seem to be posed by this prophecy, as well as give the Israelis the means for fuel to sustain them once they are forced to flee Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. They would be burning these weapons with fire for cooking food and for warmth and, maybe, even use them for protection should they need it; although the Lord will certainly be their “shield.”
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:6).
I also suggest that with the 144,000 Israeli evangelists scattered throughout the world – converting and warning all people of the Antichrist (666: A Study of Revelation 13:18) and what his plans will be concerning Israel, the temple, and The Mark of The Beast – they might also be helping their brethren prepare for their soon-coming dispersion after the Abomination of Desolation.
Some of the 144,000 Israeli evangelists located in Israel may actually play a supervisory role in the planning and transporting of these weapons, food, and other supplies to the area that has been designated by God for Israel’s supernatural protection the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. If so, this would be occurring during the first half of the Tribulation, before the 144,000 Israeli evangelists are taken to heaven by Christ (Revelation 14:1-4) and just before the Abomination of Desolation, thus making the preparations for Israel’s preservation during the “Great Tribulation.”
“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: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:15-21). (Emphasis mine)
Notice that no one will have time to retrieve essentials and supplies in their haste to flee such a dire situation, so this possibility makes much sense in light of the information we are privy to. (A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11)
“And 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. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, 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.
“And 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. And 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. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land” (Ezekiel 39:11-16).
It is very interesting to me that the travelers or passengers will be stopped, blocked, or obstructed (different translations) from this area and not be able to pass over. This seems to be temporary due to the burial process, or it might be because of some kind of fallout to “cleanse the land” – it’s hard to tell.
For years now, every time I read these verses, I can’t but help to envision in my mind’s eye that those who are burying the bodies of the Gog/Magog invaders are in hazmat suits.
I honestly don’t know if this will be the case – and it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if it were – but I just wanted to share this with the reader for consideration in their own studies.
“And, 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.
“Ye 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. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
“Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 39:17-20).
Here, from Ezekiel 39:17-29, the prophecy jumps forward seven-plus years into the future to the Lord’s Second Coming (as God already prophesied to the Gog/Magog invaders that they would be feasted on by the animals of prey in Ezekiel 39:4 and we just read of their burial).
But how do we know this?
The first observational consideration in this particular prophecy is that there’s a pause after the burial of the Gog/Magog invaders – climaxing the end of the prophecy – and God proclaims a new Word through Ezekiel when He says, “And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God.” The second takeaway, as always and of most importance when studying Scripture, is context.
The context is made evident when one closely analyzes the last remaining verses of this chapter, which can only refer to the Second Coming, especially when it states in verse 25: “Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob.” Jacob, or Israel, will not be in captivity during and immediately following the Gog/Magog invasion, but will be in captivity during the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) in the Great Tribulation (the last three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation).
Not only that, but God states: “Neither 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” (Ezekiel 39:29). (Emphasis mine)
[There is yet another reason why this is speaking of the Second Coming of Christ, but I’m writing an article on this very subject, so it will have to wait.]
It is because of this jump in prophetic time that some believe the Gog/Magog invasion is Christ’s Second Coming.
I’m obligated to remind the reader that future prophecy frequently has both a near and far fulfillment in view, and it is the Bible student’s responsibility to rightly divide or cut straight these prophecies. When it comes to the ‘Day of the Lord,’ this is especially true and, as I like to do, I’ll cite just one example.
In A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11, I point out that there is a jump in time of three and one-half years within just four verses.
The first two verses read:
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1-2).
Zechariah 14:1-2, as I pointed out in my article, is describing the Abomination of Desolation (Matt. 24:15-21), which happens in the middle of the Tribulation.
The very next verse jumps three and one-half years into the future when Christ comes back at His Second Coming:
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:3-4).
This is just one of numerous examples of how Scripture has a blending of different time situations and events of future prophecy in view. (Messianic prophecies, as well, often have both the first and second coming of Christ within the same passages of Scripture.)
So, the above verses (Ezekiel 39:17-20) jump ahead to Christ’s Second Coming, and these verses concur with Revelation:
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great” (Revelation 19:17-18).
For confirmation, the rest of Ezekiel’s 39th chapter makes this certain as we read:
“And 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. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.
“And 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. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
“Therefore 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; After 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. When 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;
“Then 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. Neither 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” (Ezekiel 39:21-29). (Emphasis mine)
Thus begins Christ’s Millennial Kingdom as Yeshua restores the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).
Possibilities: The Ezekiel 39 Aftermath is meant to be a tool for the reader to consider in regard to this particular prophecy.
I realize there are other views and interpretations – there always are when it comes to future prophecy. Because there are, I’m in the habit of reminding the reader that even though I believe I am right with my interpretations, I also admit that I could be wrong.
This is always true for those who love to study future prophecy, and anyone who says otherwise, I humbly declare, isn’t being honest in their assertions and claims.
As far as knowing for sure, only time will tell. As always, let the reader be the judge.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
- See The Meaning of “Armaged[d]on” by Jeff Van Hatten for an excellent article on this topic.
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