Oh My Gog
By J. L. Robb
The book of Ezekiel contains more dates than any other Bible book or biblical record.
Taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C., Ezekiel was called to prophesy and did so with other Jewish exiles in Babylon. Ezekiel witnessed firsthand the wickedness and disobedience to God of the Jewish people at that time and had warned them of their coming calamity. When it happened, the Jews were surprised. Just like the people in the days of Noah when it started raining.
Ezekiel prophesied about Israel’s future, which was looking pretty dismal. The first 24 chapters (out of 48) of Ezekiel warned Israel, as did Jeremiah, that their idolatry and rebellion against God would result in the destruction of Jerusalem.
By the time the news of Jerusalem’s destruction reached the exiles in Babylon, Ezekiel’s credibility suddenly went up. In spite of the situation, the exiled Jews held hope because of Ezekiel’s message of a coming time, a time when God would gather all the Jews scattered throughout the nations of the world, back to the land He had given them. It would be a while before Israel would be Israel again.
Ezekiel also spoke of another war that would come in the future, a war that would bring a strong enemy from the North and a confederacy of invaders, the Battle of Gog and Magog. Gog was a ruler and Magog was the confederacy that Gog ruled. The confederacy had three entities: The lands of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, also sons of Japheth and grandsons of Noah.
Modern scholars and biblical historians have identified the main components of this future confederacy as Russia, Iran, Muslim countries adjacent to Iran, Germany and Turkey.
Magog was the grandson of Noah, the son of Japheth. After the flood, Noah’s descendants dispersed throughout Asia, with Magog settling in the Caucasus Region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, now mostly Russia and ex-Russian countries.
The motivation for this future Battle of Gog and Magog is not totally clear but seems to be an invasion of Israel because of 1) strategic location, and 2) Israel’s treasure.
So what is Israel’s treasure she was to acquire at this end time event that was to come?
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.'” – Ezekiel 38:14-16 NIV
Why they would be riding horses instead of driving tanks in an end times war is another whole story, but there are many possibilities: Electromagnetic pulse, no electricity or power grids, disease.
Israel hardly provokes thoughts of treasure except for the biblical history of the land. The land has always been desolate until Israel was restored in 1948 and started planting trees and flowers. It’s still desolate however. It is desert and hills with little vegetation.
Here is a treasure possibility from a July 2015 news article: Huge Oil Discovery on Golan Heights
According to GLOBES News out of Israel, July 10, 2015:
After more than a year of round-the-clock drilling, large amounts of oil have been found on the Golan Heights. Estimates are that the amount of oil discovered will make Israel self sufficient for very many years to come.
Afek Oil and Gas chief geologist Dr. Yuval Bartov told Channel 2 News, “We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity. On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.”
Could this huge oil discovery be what Joel was referring to 2,700 years ago when he was talking about a future invasion and said this:
“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.” – Joel 3:1-2 NIV
It appears Israel’s fortunes have been restored and the bad guys want it. The Valley of Jehoshaphat, though many scholars say it never existed, is mentioned in the Bible nonetheless and is generally thought to be the same as the Valley of Megiddo (Armageddon) where the final battle(s) will be played out. Some believe the Battle of Gog and Magog and the Battle at Armageddon are one and the same. Others believe they are two distinct battles, which is my belief.
Are we close to the Battle of Gog and Magog?
Syria is an enemy directly to the north of Israel and has always been an archenemy of Israel’s throughout history, along with Persia (Iran). In the current Syrian civil war, more than 300,000 have been killed. There have been chemical weapons used, there have been barrel bombs dropped on the populace; and the world has one of the worst refugee crises in history. And a first-in-history confederation has formed.
Within weeks Russia has become the chief military in charge of Syria, and this is a first. Until the past seven years and the deterioration of the U.S. relationship with and betrayal of Israel (see Genesis 12:3 for significance of this betrayal), the United States was the power broker in the Middle East. We were allies with the nations there, at least the best one can be with the Muslim nations, but in many ways have betrayed, arguably, our closest ally in the world. I didn’t and you didn’t, but the U.S. government did. It’s as though we suddenly live in a kingdom.
The Battle of Gog and Magog from the land of Rosh, Tubal and Meshech describes a war that will be brutal and quick. There is debate as to when this war will be. Some scholars believe this war will be before the War of Armageddon, and some believe it will be after. Beliefs are all over the place, and this is certainly a prophecy that no one has completely figured out; but my guess is it will happen.
The alliance is being formed: Russia, Syria and Iran, all enemies to the NORTH of Israel. It will be interesting to see what happens. In the air above Syria there are numerous air forces patrolling the skies and bombing terrorists or someone. Who knows the real truth?
With Britain’s Royal Air Force, the U.S. Air Force and the Russian Air Force occupying a small volume of atmosphere over a missile firing land??? Anything could happen. World Wars have started for less.