Gog and Magog


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"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog ..." Ezekiel 38:2

"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: 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, To take a spoil, and to take a prey..." Ezekiel 38:10-12


:: the Magog Invasion

Those of us who believe whole heartedly that the Bible is indeed the infallible and inspired Word of God also realize that when the Bible declares something is going to happen ... it is going to happen! To date, Bible Prophecy has been fulfilled not only with 100% Accuracy ... but literally as well. This gives us every reason to believe this trend will continue with the yet to be fulfilled prophecies in God's Word. One such prophecy would be the famed "Magog Invasion."

This prophecy in Ezekiel 38 & 39 was written over 2,500 years ago. It details an attempted surprise attack on the nation of Israel. However, it is not a surprise for any student of God's Word, as this same passage lists - in detail - WHO is involved, WHAT they will do, WHY they will do it, HOW they will be defeated, and even the curious battle clean-up!

When this drama unfolds it will grab the attention of the entire world for 2 reasons...

It is when God Himself will intervene and destroy the invading forces.

There seems to be a hint to the use of nuclear weapons.
"Why do we think the passage has nuclear weapons in view? Because after God intervenes, the leftover weapons, the Scripture tells us, provide all the energy needed in Israel for seven years. (The ancient commentators said it must be symbolic because nothing could burn for seven years, and we smile at that because we know today that nuclear energy can easily "burn" for seven years.) Also, Ezekiel even describes how they hire professionals to clear the battlefield. They wait for seven months before entering and then they clear for seven months. They bury what they find east of the Dead Sea; that is, downwind."
"Ezekiel was still not finished: he said that if a traveler finds something that the professionals have missed, he is not to touch it, he is to mark the location, and let the professionals deal with it. These are contemporary department of defense procedures for handling nuclear, chemical, or biological warfare materials." (Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, Dr. Chuck Missler, Page 136)


:: Magog --> the Scythians --> Russians

To figure out the different countries who have a role to play we need to start at the beginning with
the Table of Nations in Genesis 10:2. This is where we first see these names appear.

Many ancient sources have clearly identified "Magog" as referring to the "Scythians"
which were the ancestors of the Russians.

One of the earliest references to Magog was by Hesiod, "the father of Greek didactic poetry"
who identified Magog with the Scythians and southern Russia in the 7th century B.C.
Hesiod was a contemporary of Ezekiel.

In the 5th century B.C. Herodotus of Harlicarnassus, known as "Father of History" wrote extensively about the the Scythians, and how they terrorized the southern steepes of Russia from the 10th century B.C. to the 3rd Century B.C.

"No one confronting them can escape on foot, and if they wish not to be discovered it is impossible to engage with them. The reason is that they do not build towns or fortresses, but all of them are mounted archers and carry their homes with them... How can they fail to be invincible, and immune from attack?" - Herodotus, 5th century B.C.
Another well known source is Josephus Flavius, who records that the Magogians were called "Scythians" by the Greeks.

"Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians."
"But even the Scythians, who delight in murdering people and are little better than wild beasts, nevertheless think it their duty to uphold their national customs." - Josephus Flavius, 1st century A.D.

Philo, is another in the 1st century who identifies Magog with southern Russia.

The Great Wall of China, in an 8th century reference, was called:
Sud Yagog et Magog "The Rampart of Gog and Magog."

The Moslems refer to Gog and Magog as Vadjudj wa madjudj in the Koran.

"Herodotus recounts many bizarre and savage practices of the descendants of Magog known as the Scythians: they drank the blood of the first enemy killed; they carried the heads of their victims to their chiefs; they scalped their enemies and used their scalps as "napkins"; they used the skins of their victims to cover their quivers; they drank from the skulls of their victims; they practiced blood brotherhood by drinking each other's blood mixed with wine. The Scythians "bathed" in the vapor from heated hemp seeds. When their king died they sacrificed one of his concubines and several servants . After a year, they commemorated his death by sacrificing fifty servants and fifty horses. ... Rough bunch, these Scyths."

The tortuous path from the horseback archery of the early Scyths to the nuclear missles of the Russian Federation includes many centuries of turbulent history. The various descendents of Magog terrorized the southern steepes of Russia from the Ukraine to the Great Wall of China." (The Magog Invasion - Chuck Missler - pg 30-31)

In the New Testament the word Scythian occurs once. Paul is stressing the point that even people with the most diverse backgrounds can still be one in Christ.

"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision,
Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." Colossians 3:11
Ancient authorities clearly identify the Scythians as the ancestors of the present day Russians.
However, even without that information. The identity of Magog is not too difficult to figure out.
In Ezekiel 38:15, it says: "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou,
and many people with thee ..." The "north parts" is literally the "extreme, or uttermost" parts of the north.
Now that we have identified Magog ... Let's look at the company they keep in this upcoming drama...


:: Among the Allies ...

"..... Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 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: 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." Ezekiel 38:3-6

Persia = Iran
The main ally listed is Persia. The identification of "Persia" includes the descendents of Elam, the 1st son of Shem and is modern Iran. The name "Persia" is first encountered as Parsua in Assyrian texts of the 9th century B.C. The official name of the country became Iran in 1935, as a cognate of Aryan.

Cush = Ethiopia
This refers to the land south of Egypt, usually translated Ethiopia. Originally Cush referred to a piece of territory lying between the 2nd and 3rd cataracts of the Nile. Later it became a broader area known as Nubia. In broad, connotative usage, it is generally viewed as embracing "Black Africa".

Phut (or Put) = Libya
The 3rd son of Ham. Josephus identifies him as the founder of Libya whose inhabitants were originally known as "the Putties." In a connotative sense, it is associated with "North Africa" populated by the Berbers and tribes distinct from Cush, and thus, reaches from Libya to Mauratania and the Mahgreb: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco.

Gomer = the Cimmerians / Germany
In the Babylonian Talmud, the Biblical Gomer, the father of Ashkenaz, is rendered Germania or Germany. Gomer is also associated with the people referred to in nonbiblical sources as the Cimmerians. (Akkadian: Gimmiraia, Greek: Kimmerioi) who eventually established themselves in the Rhine and Danube valleys. Riphath, another son of Gomer, is identified by Josephus as associated with the Paplagonians.

Togarmah = Turkic Tribes / Armenia
Another son of Gomer. The Assyrians called them Til-Garimmu, a name derived from the Hittite city of Tegarama and carried into classical times as Gauraema. (modern Gurun), 70 miles west of Malayta. The city was destroyed by Sennacherib in 695 B.C. Josephus refers to them as Phrygians. The Armenians still refer to themselves as "The House of Togarmah" even to this day, although they are only one of the Turkic people descending from these ancient tribes. The tribal associations also appear to include Turkey and Turkestan.

Meshech & Tubal = ancient Anatolia / Turkey
Meshech: The 6th son of Japath; identified with the ancient Mushki of the Assyrians and the Muschoi of the classical Greek writers. The Assyrian inscriptions describe them as inhabiting Phrygia in Northern Anatolia (modern Turkey). Herodotus identifies the Mushki with the mountains southeast of the Black Sea or the Northeast part of Turkey. Josephus also identifies the descendents of Meshech as dwelling in Eastern Turkey. Many also link the names with Mushkovi, the old name for Russia.
Tubal: The 5th son of Japath and brother of Meshech. 9th century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions refer to it as Tabal, West of Meshech in Eastern Anatolia. Geographical neighbors, they became allies against the Assyrians in 713 B.C. The classical Greek writers called them the Tibareni and the Moschi. Herodotus also places them both along the Southeast shores of the Black Sea. Some associate it with Tobolsk of Russia.


:: Sitting on the Sidelines

"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 38:13
SHEBA and DEDAN were cities in what is now Saudi Arabia.
It is interesting that they are not involved in the invasion ... but rather sitting on the sidelines watching it unfold.
"The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that "ships of Tarshish" sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26; 22:48; 2 Chr. 9:21).

Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning "the great wady" or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian, and was the farthest western harbor of Tyrian sailors.

It was to this port Jonah's ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled "the Peru of Tyrian adventure;" it abounded in gold and silver mines." (Bible Encyclopedia - christiananswers.net)


:: Syria Not Involved?

Notice, Syria, an extremely anti-semetic country is not listed in this battle. This may be because they have already - by the time of the Magog Invasion - been dealt a blow. As described in: Isaiah chapter 17, Jeremiah 49:23-27 and elsewhere ...

"The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.... 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 17:1, 14
"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!" Jeremiah 49:24-25
Damascus, the capital of Syria, is known to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world!
... It has never yet been "taken away from being a city" ...
Presently many terrorist organizations have their bases within Damascus. If Syria were fully functional when the Magog Invasion were to occur, you can just bet they would want in on it. But God declares that Damascus will become a ruinous heap. As of this writing, we believe this is yet future...

(See Also: the Burden of Damascus)


:: When Could the Magog Invasion Occur?

Let's start with when this could NOT have occurred. This prophecy had to be fulfilled "in the latter years"
AFTER Israel was back in her land. Remember Israel was dispersed for almost 2000 years!

Interestingly, Ezekiel chapter 37 is the remarkable passage referred to as the "Vision of Dry Bones". This chapter spoke of Israel being regathered back into her land in the last days. This occurred May 14, 1948. (See Also: Israel, God's Timepiece). This is when prophecy students believe the end times officially began. (Some count from June 1967, when Jerusalem was back within their control after the six-day war.) In either scenario, we see that Ezekiel 37, a last days vision, has indeed taken place.

Then we see in the very next chapter Ezekiel 38, the Magog Invasion.

"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.

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:

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,

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." Ezekiel 38:8-12

As a precondition for this to occur, Israel needed to be dwelling "safely" in her land. "Safely" employs the word, betach, which can mean false confidence; not necessarily in physical security, as the English translation would imply.
Ezekiel also describes "unwalled villages" which he probably had never even seen in his day.

Zechariah also prophesied of this:

"And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. Zechariah 2:4-5


:: Is this "The Battle as Armageddon"

Some hold to the view that what is described here in Ezekiel is the 'The Battle of Armageddon' as described in the book of Revelation. While others believe it is an altogether different battle. (One thing we all seem to agree with is that it is after the Rapture of the church.)

While there are undoubtedly enough similarities between the passages to make this a good argument on either side. There also seems to be some very distinct differences or omissions if these scenarios where to be one in the same.

Let's start with who is "missing" in Ezekiel's description:

Egypt (Mizraim) ... a key player as "King of the South" in the Armageddon passages, is not listed in Ezekiel 38.
Babylon ... also not listed in the Ezekiel 38 scenario, yet is listed at the final battle - center stage!

Also the Armageddon passages in Daniel 11, and Revelation 16:13-21 are led by Antichrist.
The Magog Invasion is led by Gog. Unless Gog "is" in fact the Antichrist. It would be yet another distinct difference.
Another point, that may surely stand out against the two being synonymous would be the idea that in the Ezekiel passages Gog/Magog is attempting a "surprise" attack on those who think they are dwelling "safely" albeit in a false security...

But we know the Battle of Armageddon is no surprise and it occurs as the grand finale of the Great Tribulation culminating with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to rescue Israel from ALL the Nations of the world!

- Zechariah 14:2-4 "For I will gather All Nations ..."
- Zechariah 12:2-3 "all the people of the earth..."
- Revelation 16:14 "and of the whole world.."
In Ezekiel 38, it is not the "whole world" but rather a specific alliance.
It would be hard to imagine that Israel will be feeling "safe" just prior to Messiah's appearance at Armageddon. Because we also know that the last half (last 42 months) of the Tribulation (i.e. The Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob's Trouble) it will be anything but business as usual for Israel. (Jeremiah 30:7 ... Matthew 24:21)

It seems at the time of the "attempted surprise attack" in Ezekiel 38, they are instead experiencing "peace & security" just prior to ... or at the onset of the 7 year tribulation. Which is why many place this Magog Invasion, somewhere between the Rapture of the church and the early part of the Tribulation or thereabouts.

We also know when the Antichrist shows up, it is "by peace that he will destroy many" Daniel 8:23-25
(See Also: profile of the Antichrist)

There are other definite differences. But also many similarities in the language which is why some people believe they are one and the same. (Example: Ezekiel 38:19-23 and Ezekiel 39:4-5 as compared to Revelation 19:17-21)

We will attempt to summarize the main points of each below.

#1 - The Magog Invasion
Ezekiel 38 & 39
"An Attempt to Invade Israel"
Led by Gog (Ezekiel 38:2)

Attacking a newly formed Nation of Israel. (Ezekiel 38:16)

Muslim Allies (Ezekiel 38:3-6)

Coming to take a spoil, to take a prey (Ezekiel 38:11-12)

Overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone...(Ezekiel 38:22)
Ezekiel 39 "Invaders Destroyed"
God intervenes ...
He supernaturally comes to Israel's rescue! (Ezekiel 39:3-7)
Clean-Up Time!
The entire chapter of Ezekiel 39 is describing the clean-up from this battle which has all the indications of being nuclear!

The weapons will be burned with fire for 7 years - (Ezekiel 39:9)

The House of Israel will be burying Gog and all his multitude for
7 months - (Ezekiel 39:12)

#2 The Battle of Armageddon
Armageddon ... Revelation 16:13-21
'An Attempt to Destroy the Jews & Wage War with The Lamb of God!'

Led by the Antichrist (Rev 16:13)
(See also: profile of the Antichrist)

Armies of the whole world gathered together by demonic forces
(Rev 16:13-14, Zechariah 14:2)

Gathering together in Har-Magedon or Armageddon (Rev 16:16)
(Valley of Jezreel,right below Mt Meggido 60 miles N of Jerusalem)

Coming against Jerusalem (Zech 14:2-4, Zech 12:2-3)
And to make war with Jesus, The Lamb, at His 2nd Coming w/ His Saints!
(Revelation 17:4, Revelation 19:11-21)

Voices, Thunders, and Lightnings (Rev 16:18)

MAJOR Earthquake! "such as was not since
men were upon the earth.."(Rev 16:18-20)

Mountains & Islands disappearing! (Revelation 16:21)

100 lb. Hailstones (Rev 16:21)

Egypt = King of the South (Daniel 11) involved.

* The Destruction of Babylon
( Is 13, Is 14, Jer 50, Jer 51, Rev 17, Rev 18)

Euphrates River dried up to prepare the way of
the 'Kings of the East' (Rev 16:12)

Messiah Yeshua Makes His Victory Ascent Upon Mount of Olives!
( Zechariah 14:3-4, Rev 16:17-21, Matthew 24:29, Joel 3:15-17)
The Antichrist & False Prophet Destroyed!
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:20-21 (KJV)

*Note: No mention of any clean up, which Ezekiel 39 spent entire chapter covering for the Magog Invasion. No need for Israel to burn weapons for 7 years in Millenial Kingdom.



* SideNote: - Many believe that there are 2 Babylons: Literal Babylon & Mystery Babylon
*Important Babylon References:

Isaiah chapters 13 & 14

Jeremiah chapters 50 & 51

Revelation chapters 17 & 18
:: Literal Babylon = Iraq. The Land of Shinar. "the Beauty of the Chaldees"
It sits approx. 60 miles South of Baghdad. This is where the Tower of Babel once stood. Also the vicinity of numerous other significant Bible stories of great Historical and Prophetic importance.

:: Mystery Babylon = Vatican City / Rome
The "Mystery" Religion that began with Nimrod and Semiramis,
back in Babel, is alive and well.

See Also: B a b y l o n

We believe both "Babylons" have a huge part to play on the prophetic horizon! The roots of Mystery Babylon are from Literal Babylon and Zechariah 5 implies a future connection of some sort back at the ol' home base.


:: Who is GOG?

Gog is obviously the leader of the people of Magog.
In fact, by some renderings, he is the "Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal."

In Chuck Missler's book "The Magog Invasion" (pgs 248-249) he mentions:
"The sudden appearance of "Gog" in the Ezekiel text, without any apparent background from other passages, has puzzled commentators for centuries. From the context, it is clearly the title of the leader of the people of the land of Magog. Still, it seems inconsistent with God's established style to have such a key figure emerge in the text without a linkage of some sort.

There is, however, a provocative reference that has been widely overlooked in the Book of Amos.
The traditional rendering of Amos 7:1 reads as follows:

"Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings." Amos 7:1
Our English Bible takes its translation from the Masoretic text, a 9th century source. However, an earlier translation of the Old Testament into Greek, known as the Septuagint, embodies a different rending of Amos 7:1:

"Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and behold,
one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King."
The identification of Gog as the king of the locusts would have profound implications.

Proverbs 30:27 reveals that "the locusts have no king," implying that the "locusts" of Amos 7 are not intended to be natural locusts, but an idiom for something else.

We encounter a similar passage in Revelation chapter 9 where locusts there are described as having a king, and so are clearly a demon host.

The passage in Amos 7:1 suggests that Gog is the king of the demon locusts, and this would put an entirely new light on the Gog of Ezekiel 38 and 39....." (See Also: ufos/aliens for info about the Nephllim.)

While this undoubtedly sounds "out there" to some ... this may be significant. Let's remember it is not the first time we have heard about demonic forces behind kings and kingdoms. Consider Daniel chapter 10 where Daniel has prayed and fasted for 21 days, then an Angel appears to him. The Angel tells Daniel he had been dispatched 21 days earlier (when he began his prayer & fast) but was "withstood" by a demonic force he refers to as 'The Prince of Persia'. The prince of Persia, was the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world power, to which Israel was then subject. He even goes on to say Michael (the Archangel /one of the Chief Princes) came to help him. He then gives Daniel the visions, and says he now has to go deal with 'The Prince of Grecia' (Greece). (The Greek empire was another that would be coming!)

"The powers of darkness work through the rulers of this world. Satan, the prince of this world, is the power behind the world's governments and systems in rebellion against God. There's constant warfare in the spiritual world over the control of people's lives. Through prayer we're able to bind the works and power of the enemy and to battle for God's side." Chuck Smith

(See Also on Spiritual Warfare: Ephesians 6:12 ... 2 Corinthians 2:4)


:: Not Gog AGAIN?!?

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. " Revelation 20:7-9
In the above passage we see yet another appearance of Magog - led by Gog!
But what makes this more than a little bizarre is that this is AFTER the Millennium!
Long after the Rapture ... the Tribulation ... the Second Coming of Christ ... His 1000 year Reign etc.

We are told Satan was bound for this 1000 years but that after the Millennium, Satan will be released just for a very short while and he will unsuccessfully try to destroy the Millennial Kingdom! So, who does he gather for his last doomed rebellion ... Gog and Magog!

"There is a reference to Gog and Magog leading a rebellion after the Millennium which also has puzzled commentators. For Magog to reappear later is no surprise - it is a nation, a people. But for the leader Gog to reappear has been a dilemma. As the title of a demon king, however, the riddle is more easily resolved." (The Magog Invasion - Chuck Missler, pg 250)
As for the devil ... He gathers the nations which are in the four corners of the earth. They will come up on the broad plain of the earth and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city, (Jerusalem) and fire will come down from Heaven & devour them!

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10
That is the end of our unworthy adversary. The next scene we see in Scripture is the Great White Throne Judgment. Followed by the New Heavens & the New Earth! This is the happily ever after part for those who have placed their trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus the Christ!


:: A Final Thought

We would like to close with this thought ... The most important issue is certainly not whether you can list from memory the allies of this Magog Invasion ... or detail their historical or prophetic role.

While we personally think EVERY ASPECT of Scripture is exciting and well worth our study ... we also know that if a person does not know Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior ... studies such as these will not amount to anything.

If you have taken the time to read this article and yet do not know Jesus please take a little more time to read the following ... Because ultimately HE is what it is ALL ABOUT!