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Who's Hooked in Ezekiel's War?

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 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, 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 armor, 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.  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.  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.  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?  Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: and thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.  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.  And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.  Ezekiel 38

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: 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.  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.  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.  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.  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.  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.  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

According to Ezekiel, Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, is the identity who is "hooked" in "Ezekiel's War".  Who in the world is Gog?  Meshech and Tubal.never heard of either of those places!  What in the world does the war described by Ezekiel, long ago, have to do with the world in which we live today?

Meditation on scripture is not always easy.  Some of the most sobering events that ever will occur are described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  These prophetic scriptures divulge a future invasion of Israel by a vast coalition of nations that surround the tiny land of the present day Jewish people.  Because of the many news venues available today it is easy to vicariously witness the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East on a daily basis.  Because of the continuous broadcast exposure, it would be difficult not to know that Middle East is a powder keg.  The Middle East, Israel and especially Jerusalem are becoming a perceived focal point with regard to peace and problems affecting the rest of the world. It is not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could easily be fulfilled in our lifetime, or next week for that matter!  Ezekiel 36-37 predicts a gathering of the Jews to reform the nation of Israel in it's ancient land, which will be followed by this massive invasion.  For almost two thousand years the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until May 14, 1948 there was no nation of Israel to invade.  With the nation of Israel now a reality for over fifty years, the stage seems set for the war that most likely will usher in the tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist.  This war will end with the massive destruction of Israel's enemies, and perhaps others, by GOD Himself.  The politics and results of this war could very well lead to the signing of a peace treaty with the Antichrist and the onset of the Tribulation described in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere in scripture.

It isn't just the creation of the nation of Israel that makes this prophecy seem likely to be fulfilled in the near future.  The nations that GOD tells us will form this league against Israel seem more likely now, than perhaps ever before, to form just such an union.  An understanding of what present day countries might be involved in such a conflict might be beneficial to aid in meditating on the prophecies of Ezekiel describing this future invasion of Israel.

However, before investigating who is involved, it might be interesting to see exactly who is not involved. Two of the most prominent nations in Bible prophecy and in the Mid East today, are conspicuous in their absence from the Ezekiel account.   Egypt and Syria are absolutely not mentioned as participants in this war.  Will they exist, as they do today when Ezekiel's war rages?  Will these countries exist, in a neutral state and not participate for some reason?  Time will tell, but any changes to either or both of these countries with regard to their relationship to Israel, should be closely scrutinized, as future events unfold in the Middle East.   It is very possible that Syria and Egypt might be partially destroyed and neutralized in a regional war or conflict with Israel a short time before Ezekiel's war begins.  Some scripture may indicate a partial destruction of Syria,  including the city of Damascus, will be a future event.  The "hook" in Gog's jaw may surface somehow as a consequence of such a regional conflict.

Based on scripture, there are several suppositions as to who will join in this future invasion of Israel.  Ezekiel identified peoples and countries in his prophecy.  Do these peoples of long ago match countries in existence today?   There are several general hypotheses that attempt to answer that question, and are illustrated as follows.

The map below identifies the general Moslem influence in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Western Asia.  Although this map is useful in showing just how thoroughly Moslem peoples surround Israel, it can be used to see most all the peoples identified in Ezekiel's prophecy.  A first supposition identifies Gog and his "country" Magog as Arab nations in confederation with the Muslim republics of the former Soviet union, such as: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.  This "Caucus Theory" omits most of the old Soviet Union including Russia.

Another theory postulates that Magog is descendant from Japheth (one of the sons of Noah).  These peoples migrated outward, after the flood, from the Mt. Ararat region (Mt. Ararat Mount Ararat is located in Eastern Turkey on the borders of Iran, Armenia and Nachivan. See photo below). Today the descendants of these people live in the countries of Russia, Turkey, Iraq and the Islamic republics, of the former Soviet Union, mentioned above.  This political bloc is therefore formed from an alliance of Arab nations, Muslim Republics, Georgia, parts of present-day southern Russia and peoples surrounding the Black Sea area.

Another thought held today by some is that many Islamic nations will attack Israel. These Islamic nations make up the lands occupied by Magog, Gomer, Togarmah, Meshech and Tubal. Either a Jordanian, Iraqi, or Turkish personage will lead this coalition of nations.  The enemy from the north refers to areas of Iraq with portions of Turkey and remnants of Syria included.

Another theory matches Gog and Russia together.  The Hebrew word for chief prince, "rosh", mentioned in the Ezekiel account, is identified with Russia, 'Tubal' with Tiblisi or Tobolsk and 'Meshech' with Moscow, therefore Gog and Magog refers to a leader and his country, Russia.  This theory most closely matches Magog with the Russia of today.

Combinations or variations of the above theories also exist.  When Jesus' disciples asked him what would be the signs of His return and the end of the age (see Matthew 24) Jesus, enjoined His followers to watch.  The war described in Ezekiel is part of the end of the age.  While there may be real and reasonable differences of opinion on exactly who participates in this war, it should be easy enough to recognize when some group of nations forms or looks like they are forming against Israel and then match some of those countries against known peoples mentioned in Ezekiel.  No one needs to be a political science expert to read GOD's word, pray and watch what's going on in the world today.  In fact with the explosion of the various media choices, including the Internet, and the readily available Bible anywhere in this country there is really no excuse not to read, pray and watch.  With the recent emphasis on the "fight on terror" in this country and the rising scepter of Islam dominating much of the world, along with most of the world siding together against the tiny country of Israel, some reading, praying and watching are most definitely in order for any of us.

The following is a more detailed look at the nations and peoples described in Ezekiel, overlaid, where possible, by the politics and events of the day.  This look is from one perspective only and is in fact opinion based on personal reading, prayer and watching.  It is your responsibility, as you choose, to form your own opinions, by your reading, your prayer and your personal watching.  The hope is that you will be encouraged to read the relevant scripture and meditate on it yourself.  The events described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 could happen at any time, and could, in fact, come to pass very soon.

The war described in Ezekiel includes specific nations that invade Israel.  First mentioned, is the land of Magog.  The most common identity for Magog is in Central Asia.  The Jewish historian Josephus said, "Magog founded the Magogians, called Scythians by the Greeks.  Scythians were a nomadic tribe who inhabited the ancient territory from Central Asia across the southern part of ancient Russia."  Today the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and possibly northern parts of Afghanistan inhabit this region.  All of these nations that make up the land of Magog have one interesting bond in common.that being the religion of the Prophet Muhammed, Islam.  Militant Islam has been on the rise in these countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union Islam was practiced in secret.  That is no longer the case.  Radical Islamic groups such as the Islamic Renaissance Party, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islam are working to reunite central Asian nations and ultimately the entire Muslim world.  It is possible that a leader from this part of the world will arise to bring together a great coalition of nations to invade Israel.

Some translate the Hebrew word "rosh" (chief prince in the KJV), as a noun, and connect to a place in Russia.  The only support for this view is that Rosh sounds like the modern-day name Russia and Meshech sounds like Moscow.  The word rosh is treated as a proper name.  The Greek translates Rosh as the proper name Ros.  Because the ancient Sarmations were known as the Ras, Rashu, and Rus and inhabited Rasapu, which is now Southern Russia, some feel this verse points to Russia as the prince of Rosh.  Another support sited for this view is that Ezekiel writes that the invasion will come from remote parts of the north, and Russia is more remote than other places nearer to Israel.

Others have translated 'rosh' as an adjective.  In this case 'rosh' is translated head or chief as it is over 400 other times in the Old Testament.

If your understanding is that 'rosh' should be translated as a proper noun you may find the interpretation that Russia will be a major player in this coalition against Israel most reasonable.  If your belief is that 'rosh' is better seen as an adjective, the only concern remaining is who Meshech and Tubal are today, in order to identify the countries.

Meshech and Tubal were the names of the 5th and 6th sons of Japheth, the son of Noah.  Ezekiel elsewhere mentions Meshech and Tubal as trading partners with Tyre, which is in modern Lebanon.  It's likely that Meshech and Tubal refer to the ancient Moshi/Mushki and Tubalu/Tibareni peoples who dwelled in the area around and primarily south of, the Black and Caspian Sea in Ezekiel's day.  Today these nations would be in the modern country of Turkey, parts of Southern Russia and Northern Iran.  All these areas are now Moslem strongholds (see previous map above).

Next, we are told that "Persia, Ethiopia (Cush) and Libya (Put) with them".  In 539 B.C. the Persians conquered the city of Babylon.  You only need look at a map of the ancient Persian Empire to see that it was centered in the nation known today as Iran.  In fact Iran was called Persia until 1935 when it was changed to Iran and then to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution.  It's no secret that Iran hates Israel and the West, and is a supporter of the Palestinians in Israel.  The Iranians are actively working to get other "Arab (actually Moslem)" countries to change thinking and actions regarding any cooperation with the U.S. and Israel whatsoever.

The ancient kingdom of Ethiopia, or Cush in Ezekiels time, was the land just south of Egypt on the Nile River.  Today this land is occupied by Sudan.  Sudan is home to the National Islamic Front, is ruled by an Islamic military dictatorship, a strong supporter of Iraq, home to Osama Bin-Laden from 1991-1996, and harbors countless Islamic terrorist groups.  Many may not recognize that backed by Muslim clerics, the National Islamic Front regime in the Arab and Muslim north of Sudan declared a jihad, or holy war, on the south part of the country back in 1989. Since 1983, an estimated 2 million people have died from war and related famine. About 4.5 million have become refugees. Christians are killed and tortured daily in this country.  Don't see that on the daily news reports do you!  Sudan would easily fit into any anti-Israel bloc of countries, as it is already close allies with Iran, trading military supplies for docking rights on the Red Sea shipping routes.

Ancient Put was the land just west of Egypt, or what is today Libya.  Libya is another sponsor of terrorism, and openly refuses to recognize Israel's right to even exist.  Libya announced on December 19, 2003 it would dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile program.  This start to a "re-integration to the world community" is most likely only temporary and when a coalition against Israel is formed, Libya won't have to be asked twice to join.

Next Ezekiel adds Gomer and Togarmah (Beth-Togarmah) to the coalition.  Gomer was the first son of Japheth.  The Gomerites were the ancient Cimmerians, expelled in 700 B.C. from the southern steppes of Russia into what is today Turkey.  Togarmah was the 3rd son of Gomer.   The Hebrew word for "house" or "place of" is "beth", thus the Beth-Togarmah reference.  In Ezekiel's time there was a city in Cappodocia (Modern Turkey) known as Tegarma, Tagarma, Til-garimmu, and Takarama (very close in spelling to Togarmah).

The possibility that four of the names mentioned in Ezekiel are now in Turkey (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Beth-Togarmah) makes a pretty convincing argument for Turkey being a part of the invasion of Israel (even if one or more of the four is located elsewhere.Gomer being the Germanic peoples in Europe for instance).  Current circumstances in modern Turkey also lend this view some credibility.  Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Turkey has been gaining inroads into Central Asia (the possible people of Magog).  It is also linked to Central Asia both ethnically and linguistically, and has a growing number of political parties that support opposition to Israel, establishment of a Turkish Islamic Republic, and the worldwide rule of Islam.

Finally "and many people with you" is referenced.  The nations previously discussed and listed specifically above are all somewhat distant from Israel.  By adding "and many people with you", GOD may have been indicating that those nations and peoples in closer proximity to Israel will join the Jihad.  Other nations that might join the alliance are part or all of Iraq and/or Jordan, and but neither of these are mentioned specifically.  Both of these nations are Islamic, and would support the destruction of Israel, in varying degrees, were the opportunity to join such a vast coalition presented to either of them.

The reasons GOD gives us for the enemies' invasion of Israel are further indications that the attack might be an Islamic invasion.

The first reason GOD gives for the invasion in Ezekiel is a desire by the coalition to cover the Jewish land, which would essentially wipe the Jews from the face of the earth.  This is the stated goal today of almost every Islamic nation in the Middle East.  The only nations not currently in a declared state of war with Israel are Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, yet they would certainly be glad to see Israel eliminated if presented with an appropriate leader and an opportunity to finally rid the Middle East of Islam's archenemy, Israel.

GOD tells us that they also come to "seize plunder.and to capture great spoil".  Many verses in the Quran (Koran) advocate plundering for the benefit of Islam and there are several instances of this war tactic throughout the history of Muhammad's life.  In fact, it is a common theme in his teachings.  Ezekiel reveals that Gog has "come to take a spoil and to take a prey". These are the two motives for the attack. Cash-poor countries desire Israel's great wealth; they come to "take cattle and goods". However, the radical Muslim nations, will come to "take a prey"; as they desire to utterly destroy the Jewish people.

" Cattle and goods " are a reference to the wealth of Israel. Israel is becoming a wealthy nation. The Israelis have begun to harvest the tremendous mineral wealth of the Dead Sea, worth many trillions of dollars. They have also recently struck a potentially massive oil reserve south of the Dead Sea. Israel is ranked first in the world in graduating PHD's. The Israelis continue to be leaders in just about everything, particularly medicine and science. Six percent of the work force is engineers (as compared to 1.6% in the U.S.), and thousands of Russian scientists have emigrated to Israel in the "alyia" (return to Israel) also predicted by Ezekiel.

"Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its young lions will say to 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?'" As this invasion develops, a few countries will make a lame protest.  Perhaps these countries have been surprised by the invasion.  This isn't hard to believe when you look at the indifference most nations have shown in recent years as Israel is repeatedly attacked by terrorists.

Sheba is most likely a reference to the area from which came the Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon. Sheba was on the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Dedan was probably the habitat of the Arabs on the northern part of the Arabian Desert, which is modern-day Saudi Arabia. The ancient capital of Saudi Arabia is still called Dedan on many maps today. Therefore, Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia.

" The Merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions " is not as simple to identify, but important. Tarshish, was a distant land.  It is commonly believed that Tarshish was Tartessus, in the south of Spain, near Gibraltar.

" Young lions" is derived from the Hebrew word for "whelps" or "cubs". In this context, they probably refer to the colonies or offspring of what or whom the merchants of Tarshish represent. Ezekiel's "merchants of Tarshish" (i.e. traders by sea) generally operated out of the port of Cadiz after the city of Tartessus disappeared. They continued to establish trading posts (many of which had grown into sizable colonies) along the entire coast of Western Europe, including an active tin trade with Britain.  Britain later colonized the United States, Canada and Australia. It is no coincidence that the lion is the symbol of Great Britain today.

Around the year 1000 the Phoenicians colonized western Spain, including the port city of Cadiz. It was from Cadiz that Phoenician navigators, having usurped the Tartessian routes and trade business, piloted the ocean-going fleet of Tarshish. At the time of Solomon, the Bible mentions the fleet of Tyre as capable of making difficult crossings. The king had at sea a navy of Tarshish which every three years brought gold, silver, apes and ivory. Jeremiah mentions Tarshish and gold from Ophir.  Ezekiel apparently visited the ports of Tyre and Sidon where he had seen the Tarshish ships himself.  In any event, it is possible that in these contexts, the fleet of Tarshish is used to describe an ocean-going navy.

Therefore it seems that Tarshish was originally a Western European colonizing power based in Spain, and the fleet of Tarshish is sometimes used to describe an ocean-going navy. This fleet is what the Phoenicians ultimately used to conduct trade from Spain, even after the original city of Tartessus ceased to exist.

Ezekiel was certainly seeing a distant time and lands which did not yet have names. So when Ezekiel mentions "the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions", he is referring to a future nation, perhaps with an ocean-going navy, who was associated with or colonized as a result of the Phoenician's colonization activity. This includes Great Britain and the United States.

According to some historians the Phoenicians even reached the east coast of America, where they set up trading colonies. However, more importantly, since " young lions " refers to offspring or colonies, one cannot help but notice the connection between Great Britain (whose national symbol is the lion) and the United States another lion, a younger one!

Currently the United States is a major sea power in the Middle East and is also aligned with Saudi Arabia (Sheba and Dedan). Interestingly, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab nation to consistently side with the West against radical Islamic elements around the world.  The royals of Saudi Arabia mostly side with the West out of an interest in self-preservation and greed, and at times oppose us behind the scenes. They would most probably put on a show of opposition to radical Islam in order to maintain the support of western governments.

Interestingly, Isaiah tells us that, in the last days, some of the Jews return home to Israel in "ships of Tarshish."

Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. Isaiah 60:9

The largest concentration of Jews outside Israel today is in the United States, when the mass exodus of Jews from the U.S. begins, undoubtedly many will seek transit by ship, which can carry many thousands of passengers at a crossing.

Ezekiel mentions that the invasion occurs after Israel has been re-gathered from the nations and has re-inhabited the desolate places. This re-gathering and re-inhabiting has been accomplished.  One aspect of the re-inhabiting might be referred to as a replanting.  Crops, trees and flowers cover the country.  In fact, the Israelis have planted so many trees that the weather patterns and climate have been affected, yielding rain, as the trees on previously-barren mountain tops capture the moisture from passing clouds. This rainfall, coupled with agricultural techniques and cutting edge irrigation efforts, have resulted in land that was a wasteland becoming verdant and fruitful.

He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. Isaiah 35:1

Tiny Israel, about the size of New Jersey, is now the world's third-largest fruit exporter. Most of Europe is supplied it's fruit and produce from Israel.  Israel is indeed becoming rich. And with her growing brain trust, she will continue to grow in wealth and goods. It is during such a time of prosperity and well being that Gog will strike.

The invasion is against those that "dwell in the midst of the land". Israel is certainly surrounded by enemies, but an examination of the words "that dwell in the midst of the land", in the original Hebrew, lends some unique insight. The words "that dwell in" is the transliterated Hebrew word "yashab".  It is usually translated "to dwell, to remain, to settle or to live". However, it can also be translated  "to sit down", specifically as a judge, or to sit down in ambush. An ambush is most likely the hallmark of this invasion. It is at a time that the Jews have a new found sense of peace and security that Gog's forces will ambush them. The removal of Sadam Hussein from power and the temporary elimination of one of the greatest threats to Israel has not been lost on them. Once again the United States wants Israel to sit out the current military action in Iraq offering to protect Israel (safety) and offering peace as Bush continues to pursue his plan for peace in the Middle East. However, the Bush plan calls for dividing GOD's land and therefore invites the retribution of Almighty GOD upon the United States.

With the growing anti-Semitic attitude of most all of the western world in common with the radical Muslim nations, someone could certainly be getting ready to take a spoil. The stage for Ezekiel's war is indeed set, all the players could be in place. All that is left is for GOD to hook Gog and a coalition of countries into battle...where they will be judged, possibly with another nation that lives in the safety of the far distant coastlands - the United States?   Will multiple atomic warheads rain on our planet, even our country, as the Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV) shown below?  It is fairly possible!

What the invaders of Israel will not anticipate is GOD's intervention in the course of human history. The result is catastrophic for the invaders, but will change life for all mankind, as well.  These events include nuclear weapons and an earthquake so large that it shakes the entire earth. But most important is that, during this time in history, GOD once again pours out His Spirit on the House of Israel, showing His greatness and holiness, and making Himself known in the sight of many nations.

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.  Ezekiel  38:23

For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.  Haggai 2:6-7

GOD's righteous judgments are always redemptive. He does not desire that anyone perish, but that all come to repentance and everlasting life.

It is a possibility that might be worthy of meditation, that Ezekiel's war is associated with the time of the rapture.  Ezekiel's war most likely will come around the beginning of the time of the Tribulation.  Ezekiel states that the implements of the war will be burned for seven years...the exact length of the time of the Tribulation.  If a worldwide earthquake is in process and bombs, maybe nuclear, are falling from the sky, the rapture could most certainly occur at a time "when ye think not".  In the chaos that would follow no one would believe Jesus had come for His church.

And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.  Luke 12:39-40

This war against Israel could well pave the way for the Antichrist's military rule over the world and his demand that the world worship him as GOD.  With Islam defeated and the Bride of Christ raptured, opposition to worshipping a man, as GOD will be greatly reduced.  Those who are left would have no army with which to mount much of a protest.  People would readily accept a "man of peace", "a messiah" or "the Christ".  One thing is certain, the death and destruction from this war will be like nothing that has happened before.  Israel will be picking up the dead and pieces of the dead for seven months.

The war that Ezekiel describes will come to pass.  Who, exactly, are all the peoples and countries involved and the precise timetable for the horrors to occur are debatable, but some day soon the events will transpire.  It really doesn't matter whom Gog turns out to be, GOD's Word will come to pass.  We are encouraged to read GOD's Word, pray and watch.  As we see events seemingly fall in place to match Ezekiel's prophecy we should be encouraged that Jesus is coming for us.and He's coming very soon.  Put your hook in that!

Please read the Word of GOD, pray and watch.and.

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed!!!!.. the choice is yours!!

Contender Ministries,
Word of Life Baptist Church,
The Nations of Ezekiel, Sal Smario ,
Ezekiel's War, A Russian led invasion, Glenn Allen,

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