In the past few weeks, there has been a considerable uptick in interest/speculation, etc., about the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel spoken of in Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39. Given recent activities, it is no surprise.
I have been a student of Bible prophecy for over two and a half decades, and in that time, I have read much in the way of different interpretations of the “when,” not “if” about these verses.
While I am in the camp of those who believe this invasion will not happen prior to the Rapture, this article will deal with a rather intriguing verse dwelling in the midst of Ezekiel 38. That is to say, verse 8.
Ezekiel 38:7-9 “Get ready; prepare yourself, you and all your company gathered around you; you will be their guard. 8 After a long time you will be summoned. In the latter years you will enter a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and all now dwell securely. 9 You and all your troops, and many peoples with you will go up, advancing like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.”
I think it is clear that Israel has not been “dwelling securely” since the time of the height of Solomon’s kingdom. Neither has Israel ever fully recovered from war. In fact, they must be constantly preparing for that very reality. If you were to travel there today, you could not help but notice that the Israelis are ever on a war footing. In worldly terms, Israel is under a constant existential threat.
Every day, every night, every minute. Even since the rebirth of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, there has been no respite.
Since the time of Solomon, the warning the Lord gave to the Hebrew peoples in Deuteronomy 28:64-67 has continued unabated, with varying intensity, depending on world conditions.
“Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul.
“So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see.”
The Lord indeed has, and is still, bringing about all that He promised due to the intransigence of His people.
It should be carefully noted here that while this discussion relates to the Jews, by no means would ANY OTHER PEOPLE have behaved any differently or any “better.”
Now let us examine verse 8 of Ezekiel 38 as it may be seen in light of Psalm 83: verses 1-8.
Psalm 83:1-8 “O God, be not silent; be not speechless; be not still, O God. See how Your enemies rage, how Your foes have reared their heads. With cunning they scheme against Your people and conspire against those You cherish, saying, ‘Come, let us erase them as a nation; may the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For with one mind they plot together, they form an alliance against You—the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, of Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, of Philistia with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them, lending strength to the sons of Lot.”
There are many who believe that this imprecatory prayer is simply that. But there are many who believe that this is a war yet future.
It is from the position that it is an actual future war that this author will seek to pose a consideration that makes some sense of verse 8 in Ezekiel’s prophecy.
The “nations” specifically mentioned in verses 6 and 7 above are, for the most part, immediately surrounding the modern-day state of Israel. While the names have changed, the various origins, ethnic groups, etc., that comprise the countries that are Israel’s modern-day neighbors still exist today, along with the mindset that has always been present throughout history. In the hearts of the leaders of these countries (not every citizen), there is a burning hatred for the Jews, and the conditions described in verses 2-5 above are alive and active. Nothing has changed. Politically, things may occasionally seem peaceful, but nothing has really changed.
If – and I emphasize IF – a war was to break out between the Psalm 83 nations and Israel, and Israel was to achieve a complete victory with the perception that they “did it by their own power, technology, and skill,” and they were to annex these lands and feel that they (Israel) were “invincible,” would it be possible that they might feel that they would finally be secure? That they might drop their guard?
This precedent has existed before. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel became complacent, even overconfident, and was almost overrun in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. They had dropped their guard. Their enemies pounced, and they were in serious trouble at the beginning of the war.
I spoke with an IDF soldier when I visited Israel back in 2012, and he said that they (the IDF and the Israeli people) were tired of the constant daily pressure and threats of annihilation. “We just want peace,” he said. I believe him. I can see where they would almost accept peace without careful examination of the conditions around them and even fail to consider the prophecies present in their own Old Testament scriptures.
I would suggest that this condition, were Psalm 83 to become a reality, would be one of the only situations that could explain this seemingly mysterious verse (38:8) residing in Ezekiel’s prophecy.
It also might explain why the countries listed as the allies of Magog in the Ezekiel prophecies do not appear to include any of the countries that immediately surround Israel at present.
It might also offer an explanation for one other prophecy that I have pondered over the years.
- Isaiah 17:1 and 14) “1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap…. 14And 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.”
This prophecy appears to indicate that the destruction of Damascus will occur in a single night.
Could this prophecy be encased in a real Psalm 83 war as a result of Syria (or Iran through Syria) employing chemical or biological weapons? Could Israel annex all of Syria, resulting in the loss of the warm water ports that Russia has invested so heavily in, as well as massive Russian casualties? Could this, along with Israel’s vast, newly discovered resources, constitute the “hook” of Ezekiel 38:4?
I have wondered about these things for many years. In the closing chapter of the book of Daniel (12:4), we read: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
This can mean both general, technological knowledge (which is certainly true today), but as with many prophecies in God’s Word, it can have a dual meaning. That is to say, it can also indicate a more complete understanding of hitherto unclear prophecies like a lifting fog. I suspect that we will soon see.
A word of caution: We can speculate and wonder about these prophesies, but we must always remember: God is the final arbiter of prophecy fulfillment. It is His signature.
Isaiah 46:9-10: “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'”
A parting plea: For anyone who may read this article who has not come to salvation in Jesus Christ, I offer this plea in hopes that you have come looking for answers to the blitzkrieg of uncertainty regarding everyday life that surrounds us all in this period that is the end of the end of days.
You can be saved from the consequences of ignoring God and denying that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life by coming to Him under His terms.
And what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance
- Confession of sins
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross
- To acknowledge that you are unable to pay that debt
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion
If you do this and you genuinely mean it, you will receive the free gift of eternal life guaranteed by God’s own Word.
John 5:24: “Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears my words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life.”
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org