https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/ – By Jack Kelley
Below are segments of an excellent study presented by Jack Kelly with regard to Ezekiel 38-39. Things in the middle east are lining up exactly as prophecy would foretell and it is important to know these scriptures and to be watching for the alignment of nations which will participate in this epic battle – one in which God will undeniably reveal Himself. Parts 3-4 are worth reading in full. Or go all out and read Part’s 1-7 (Access Attached At the bottom of this Article):
We have now come to Ezekiel 38, the battle between Israel and a coalition of Moslem nations that comes on the threshold of Daniel’s 70th Week and will kick off the End Times in earnest. We’ll review the 2600 year old prophecy in light of recent world events.
First of all, let’s get some kind of time frame started. Although Ezekiel’s prophecies aren’t consecutive they are chronological. In other words, he didn’t include every event of the End Times, but those he did include are in the proper sequence according to time. Falling between Israel’s modern re-birth, prophesied in Ezekiel 36-37, and the Millennium, covered in Ezekiel 40-48, the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 has to take place after 1948 but before the 2nd coming, and all agree it hasn’t happened yet.
This has led some to see the passage as a description of Armageddon, but as we’ll see there are several prominent nations missing from this battle whereas Zech. 14:2 prophecies that all the nations will join the battle on that day. Even if you take the phrase “all the nations” to mean only Israel’s neighbours, you’ve still got a problem because Ezekiel’s list of attackers leaves out some that you’d expect to be involved.
Also, Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord would use this battle to turn Israel back to Him and to complete the return of Jews from all over the world to Israel, not leaving any behind. (Ezek. 39:28) This leads me to believe that the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 is the event that re-starts the clock on the 490-year period of time spoken of by Daniel, the famous 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. The 483rd year of that prophecy had come when the Messiah was crucified and the Temple destroyed, stopping the clock seven years short of complete fulfilment.
And there it’s remained. But I believe the dramatic victory the Lord wins over Israel’s enemies in Ezekiel’s battle will start the clock again. It will convince them to officially re-instate their national Old Covenant relationship and demand a Temple for worship. It’s this Temple that’s later desecrated by the anti-Christ, kicking off the Great Tribulation. That makes Daniel’s remaining seven years the last ones before the 2nd Coming, so Ezekiel’s battle will be a dramatic sign that the Lord’s return is very near, on a par with the re-birth of the nation.
With all this in mind, let’s begin a careful study of Ezekiel 38, to prepare us for these events now because many believe that they’ll become reality soon.
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you. (Ezek. 38:1-6)
So far in this study, we’ve seen the prophecies of Israel’s latter-day rebirth. We’ve learned that they would first appear again in unbelief, thinking that they had brought themselves back to life and that they themselves had built, populated, and defended their homeland. But we’ve read God’s declaration that He was behind this, although not because of anything they’d done to deserve it. In fact He said He would bring them back in spite of their behaviour in the world.
In our last episode we saw that one day soon God will decide to step from behind the scenes and reveal Himself directly to His people and to the world, through signature signs like fire, hail, and earthquakes that always signalled His presence in Old Testament times. He had Ezekiel tell them and us that this will happen in the context of a great battle that would catch them off guard and almost put an end to them. But at just the right time He will intervene and save the day. Now He’s going to tell us how this will happen.
“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. 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. 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.
”‘I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel. It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD. This is the day I have spoken of. (Ezek. 39:1-8)
The King James has the more accurate rendering for the beginning of this passage. The phrase translated I will turn you around and drag you along in the NIV and others, literally reads I will turn you around and leave but the sixth part of you which means that 5/6ths of the Moslem forces will be destroyed. The Hebrew concept is roughly equivalent to the one behind the English word “decimate.”
Although decimate originally described the punishment requiring that 1 in 10 soldiers in a mutinous Roman Legion be executed, figuratively it has come to mean that something is all but totally destroyed. Synonyms are “annihilate” or “wipe out.” So it is with the Hebrew. When the Lord brings this Moslem coalition into the mountains of Israel, He will also use the ensuing battle to wipe them out. Because they’re too big a force for Israel to handle alone, He’ll cause them to attack each other. Then He’ll make their weapons and ammunition fall from their hands.
Some interpret the idea of sending fire on Magog and those who live safely in the coast lands as warning of a nuclear exchange. Magog refers to Russia of course, but the identity of the coast lands is less clear. The Hebrew word literally means “a coast, island, or shore” and in Jeremiah 25:22 the phrase “beyond the sea” is used to help locate them, the sea being the Mediterranean. This reference could easily be pointing to Europe, and some even believe the US is in focus here. But as I’ve said, I don’t think this attack can take place until the US is out of the picture, so we’ll have to wait and see.
“Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: ‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls-all of them fattened animals from Bashan. At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,’ declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezek. 39:17-20)
“I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offences, and I hid my face from them.
Following this victory the Lord will complete the return of His people Israel to their land, begun in the early 1900’s and made official in 1948. Though He caused them to be scattered all over the world, He’ll now bring them back, not leaving any behind. Since about 55% of the world’s Jewish people currently live outside of Israel this will be some homecoming. But having witnessed His defeat of their enemies, Jews from all over the world will flock to Israel and to Him, yearning for a reinstatement of their Old Covenant relationship. And after waiting for nearly 2000 years for them to return, He certainly won’t refuse them now.