Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gog of Magog and His Allies (Ezekiel 38-39)

An interesting article from http://www.ucg.org/ about Gog and Magog. This follows this post about Thanksgiving and Christmas. This follows this post about climate change. This follows this post about Star Wars. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.
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Gog of Magog and His Allies (Ezekiel 38-39)

 http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets

We come now to a remarkable prophecy, spanning chapters 38 and 39. It is God's message to Gog of Magog and his allies, who dwell far to the north of the Promised Land and of Ezekiel's place of exile in Babylon but will one day come down into the land of Israel with a vast invasion force. Notice that Gog's invasion will occur "after many days...in the latter years...in the latter days" (38:8, 16). So we are clearly dealing with an end-time prophecy.
Before more specifically examining the time factor, let's look at the identities of the various peoples mentioned.
"Gog, of the land of Magog," is called the "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal" (verses 2-3; 39:1). He is allied with "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya" (verse 5)-or, as Ezekiel actually wrote, "Peras, Cush and Put" (Living Bible)-as well as "Gomer and...the house of Togarmah" (verse 6).
Most of these names can be found in the Table of Nations of Genesis 10, which lists the families of humanity descended from Noah. Notice: "Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.... The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan...." (verses 1-2, 6 emphasis added).
Notice that Gog is not mentioned here. That may be because the name Magog actually means "land of Gog"-so that perhaps the actual son of Japheth was named Gog and the nation he founded became known as Magog. The name Gog could in a later context designate anyone who was from the land of Gog (i.e., from Magog).
The first-century Jewish historian Josephus wrote: "Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who by the Greeks were called Scythians" (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, chap. 6, sec. 2). The name Scythians denoted a wide array of peoples who ranged across the Russian Steppes all the way into China. (The Western Scythians were heavily Israelite and Germanic in nationality.)
One researcher writes of the Eastern-ranging Scythians: "The Assyrians called them Mat Gugi (Ma-Gog) which means 'the country of Gog'.... Let Milner, famous for his writings on the Japhetic races, add further to our understanding: 'Magog, as a geographical term used by Hebrews of old and Arabs today (Majaj), denoted that vast stretch of country to the north of the Black Sea, Caucasus, Caspian Sea, Hindu Kush, and Altai, known to the Greek geographers as Skythia'....
"The term Mongol, sometimes written as Mongoul, appears to be directly derived from Magog. In India, for example, Mongol becomes Moghul and a large part of China was known as Mangi when Europeans first visited it. The Arabs called the Scythian tribes of Tartary Yajuj and Majuj which is Gog and Magog and the Great Wall of China as the 'wall of al Magog'....
"Where is Magog located today? They migrated via southern Russia to their current homeland, leaving behind such place-names as: Mogliev city, Mogiolistan, Mugojar Mountains, Mogol-Tau Mountains. Among the people of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, central and much of northern and southern China...and even some Japanese are also descended from Magog. Here are the hundreds of millions of China today. No wonder the name of ancestor Japhet means 'expansion,' implying a large or expanding race. Other peoples descended from Magog [as well]" (Craig White, In Search of...The Origin of Nations, 2003, pp. 189-190, available at www.originofnations.org).
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names states in its entry on Magog: "[English biblical commentator Bishop] Lowth on this place says: 'The Mogul Tatars, a people of the Scythian race, are still called so by the Arabian writers.... By Gog and Magog may most probably be meant the Turks, who were originally natives of Tartary, called Turcheston [Turkestan] by the eastern writers, and whose language is derived from that of the Tartars'" (Alfred Jones, 1997).
Indeed, the Turkish peoples of Central Asia may be included-and are, at the very least, included in the broader alliance, as many of the Eastern Turks appear to derive from Togarmah (see White, p. 198). The Western Turks, as noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Obadiah, appear to derive from Edom. As also explained there, one such group that appears to have migrated into Central Asia is the Edomite tribe of Amalek (see also White, p. 65). Interestingly, Amalekite kings bore the name Agag (Numbers 24:7; 1 Samuel 15:8) and we later see the enemy in the book of Esther, Haman, referred to as an Agagite (3:1, 10; 8:3, 5; 9:24). Josephus refers to him as an Amalekite (Antiquities, Book 11, chap. 6, sec. 5). Agag is written in the Septuagint as Agog, and there could conceivably be some relation to the name Gog-some, such as Milner cited above, suggesting that Agog is a compound of A (number 1) and Gog (great or high), denoting the ruler (see White, p. 65).
Indeed, it is possible that the names Gog and Magog may be figurative labels on some level in Ezekiel 38-39. Gog basically means "rooftop" and is also thought to mean mountain. As it seems to indicate a peak or highest point, some have viewed it as designating a supreme ruler-a despot or dictator. In that case, Gog of Magog becomes "dictator of the dictatorship." That would certainly fit the description given. Perhaps both the figurative and national meanings are intended.
On the other peoples listed, a footnote to Ezekiel 38:2-3 in The Living Bible states: "The names of Gog's confederates (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth-togarmah) can be identified as Mushki, Tabal, Gimaraya, Tegerama, peoples who lived in the mountainous area southeast of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian." This would place them in the region of eastern Turkey and Armenia, just south of the Caucasus Mountains.
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary states in its entry on Tubal: "Tubal and Meschech, the Tabali and Mushki of the Assyrian monuments, were the representatives of eastern Asia Minor. Their territory originally extended far to the S[outh]. In the time of [Assyrian emperors] Sargon and Sennacherib, the territory of the Tabali adjoined Cilicia [in southeast Asia Minor], while the Mushki inhabited the highlands to the E[ast] of them, where they were in contact with the Hittites. In later days, however, Meshech had retreated to the N[orth], and the classical geographers place the Tibereni and the Mushki not far from the Black Sea." Thus we see a clear northward progression.
Meshech evidently "migrated with Tubal up to the Black Sea and into the Russian plains. Dr. Gesenius [the famous Hebrew lexicographer] wrote in the nineteenth century that Meshech became the Moschi.... They dwelt, he said, in the Moschian Mountains. The Moschian Mountains were the connecting chain between the Caucasus and Anti Taurus Mountains. The Scofield Reference Bible says that the 'reference to Meschech and Tubal (Moscow [the Russian capital] and Tobolsk [in West Siberia]) is a very clear mark of identification.... Milner explains: '...The whole district within five hundred miles of Moscow seems to be saturated with the name of Meschech.' He then refers...to the following place names: Moscow; the Moskva River; the Novo-Mosc-owsk on a tributary of the Dnieper; Mosch-Aisk near Borodino; Mosch-ok between Moscow and Nijini Novogorod; Mosch-arki stood on a tributary of the Volga River; Misch-etski stood between Moskow and the Tula...Mesch-a, a branch of the Dwina River; Mesch-Tschowsk near Tula [etc.]...." (White, pp. 178-179).
What about the name Rosh in Ezekiel 38-39? This name is not found in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. Some translators prefer to view the word as the Hebrew word for "head" or "chief" and link it with the word prince in the verse as denoting "chief ruler" rather than as a tribal name. However, other translators prefer Rosh as a name. Interestingly, the Mitanni kingdom in eastern Asia Minor became known as the land of Rashu, "Rash or Rosh meaning 'blond.' Also, nearby dwelt the Urartians [ancient Armenians].... Their last great ruler was Rusa II who built great cities and huge defences. He established the religious center and fortress of Rusai-urau-tur or Rusa-patari which means 'the small city of Rusa'.... Herodotus wrote that the Matienaians from the land of Rosh were with the peoples of Tubal and Meschech; while Pliny wrote of the Matiani as moving into southern Russia over the Caucasus" (White, p. 267; see also p. 268).
It is commonly believed that the Varangian Rus, Vikings from Sweden, gave their name to Russia. However, "while western scholars accept this as the origin of the Rus, Soviet scholars contend that the Rus were Slavs from the southern steppes.Both are probably correct.... There is no evidence of a tribe from Scandinavia called Ros or Rus. But a tribe of the Antes was known as the 'Ros' and later modified to 'Rus' which resided along the river Ros, a tributary of the Dnieper in the southern Ukraine, just north of the Black Sea" (White, pp. 268-269).
So far, then, we have an alliance stretching from Russia and Turkestan in Western Asia to Mongolia and China in the Far East. Are other eastern peoples listed in Ezekiel 38-39?
Notice the listing of Gomer. This name has caused a lot of confusion as the ancient people near Armenia known as the Gimirrai or Cimmerians migrated around both sides of the Black Sea into Europe-becoming the Celts. For this reason, many equate Gomer with Europe. But the Gimirrai or Cimmerians who migrated into Europe were actually the people known to the Assyrians as Bit Khumri, the "house of Omri"-that is, the northern tribes of Israel (once ruled by the dynasty of Omri), who were taken captive to northern Assyria.
The actual people of Gomer (that is, of Japheth's son Gomer), migrated not to Europe but in the exact opposite direction-to southeast Asia. "Gomer gave rise to the Siamese [Thai], Burmese, Indonesians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians who all have the same sub-racial anthropological classifications.... The Cambodians' real name is the Khmer which is very likely derived from Gomer. Similarly, one of the regions of Burma is known as Khemarata. Also, Kamara was the original name of Sumatra.... We also find the area of Kemarat in Thailand and the Gimaras island in the Philippines. Given the aforementioned, it is highly likely that these place and ethnic names are ultimately traceable back to Gomer. While it is impossible to prove, it is most likely and should be included in our list of strong probabilities" (White, p. 194).
Consider next the people of Gomer's son Togarmah, who appears, as noted earlier, to be the progenitor of some of the peoples of eastern Turkestan. "The name may be preserved in the E[ast] Cappadocian city of Til-garimmu, listed in the Assyrian records" ("Togarmah," New Unger's Bible Dictionary). This location was in what is now central Turkey.
The Hittite name, given above in The Living Bible footnote, was Tegerama. The people of this region "lived on the border with Tabal. Other names for this people were Tegaram a Tilgarimma, Trochmi and Trogmades. The Tegarma or Tegarama migrated from Cappadocia into Armenia.... From there they moved into Turcoman territory (Turkistan) a possible derivation of Tegarama. In Turkistan, among the tablelands of Pamir, rose a great mount, Tagharma.... These were the Mongoloid peoples of the eastern division of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia" (White, p. 197).
An apocryphal Hebrew work known as the Book of Jasher, though contradictory of Scripture in a number of regards, may nevertheless contain some accurate historical traditions. It states that "the children of Tugarma are ten families, and these are their names: Buzar, Parzunac, Balgar, Elicanum, Ragbib, Tarki [another possible origin of the name Turk], Bid, Zebuc, Ongal and Tilmaz; all these spread and rested in the north and built themselves cities" (10:10).
"Among the sign-posts indicating where Togarmah settled we find: Tagarchi in eastern Turkestan; Tigranoama in eastern Turkey; Tagarma mountains in eastern Turkestan; the city of Tagarma in western China; Taganrog, Tigeretsk Mountain, Togur town, Turgai province and Turgins, a town in Siberia; many Uighur peoples may be a derivative of Togarmah.
"Tradition speaks in terms of a certain son of Japheth known as Tork [Togarmah or Tarki?]. He in turn had a son Taunak Chan. He was in turn succeeded by Jelza Khan, Dibbakui Khan, Kajuk Khan and Ilingeh (or Alanza) Khan. Ilingeh Khan in turn had two sons: Tatar Khan-progenitor of the Tartars; and Mongul Khan-progenitor of some of the Mongols or Moghuls" (White, pp. 197-198).
If these people did indeed migrate to eastern Turkestan and then up into Siberia and Mongolia, as appears likely, that would certainly fit the biblical description of "the house of Togarmah from the far north" (Ezekiel 38:6).
The only ones left to identify in Gog's confederation are "Peras, Cush and Put" (Ezekiel 38:5, The Living Bible). Peras is correctly translated in the NKJV and other versions as Persia. Persia is modern-day Iran. The descendants of the ancient Persians may still be found in their homeland of Iran. They can also be found, as noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Isaiah 21, in parts of Eastern Europe and of India.
What then of Cush and Put? The NKJV and other translations usually render these as Ethiopia and Libya. Cush and Put (or Phut) were, according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, sons of Ham, father of many of the dark-skinned people of the world. Cush, it is generally acknowledged, became Ethiopia and other black peoples of East Africa. And the people of Put were indeed the ancient Libyans, whose descendants may be found throughout black Africa (see White, pp. 89-97).
Yet these two would seem to be the odd men out in this prophecy, being African while all the rest of the confederation is Eurasian. Indeed, the alliance thus far appears to include all of Asia north and east of the Euphrates River except for most of the people of the Indian subcontinent. However, when we better understand the identity of Cush and Put, we can see that the people of South Asia are not left out at all (and that the African branch of these peoples are probably not intended by the prophecy).
Concerning the identity of the people of India, 19th-century author George Faber wrote: "Their military nobility is acknowledged to be of the same family as the Sacas or Chasas, who maintain that their great common ancestor was Cusha or Cush... But we read in a special manner of two lands of Cush, the Asiatic and the African. These were by the Greeks called the two Ethiopias...but by the Hindoos [Hindus], as by the sacred writers, they are denominated the land of Cush within and the land of Cush without" (The Origin of Pagan Idolatry, 1816, qtd. by White, p. 99).
In Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, author Martin Bernal writes: "The tradition of two Ethiopias is much older than [the 5th-century-B.C. Greek historian] Herodotus. In the Odyssey [of the Greek writer Homer], the Ethiopians are described as dwelling 'sundered in twain, the farthermost of men, some where Hyperion [the sun] sets and some where he rises.' Thus, there were Black men, Aithiopes...from Western Libya (Africa) to Eastern Mesopotamia" (qtd. by White, pp. 100-101).
Those on the east of Mesopotamia evidently migrated further east, giving their name to the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. "A few other tell-tale signs of the movement eastwards of the sons of Cush include a land called Kushian, in modern Pakistan. Just to the north of India also lay the land Kashgana. And in the south of India ran a river called Kishna. All of these names are variously derivatives of 'Cush'" (White, p. 102). Thus, many of the dark-skinned people of the Indian subcontinent are evidently Cushite.
Regarding the people of Put or Phut, historian George Rawlinson wrote: "This term is obscure.... In most {scriptures} Phut is joined with tribes which are distinctively African; but in two of them (Ezek [27].10, and [38].5), the accompanying nations seem to be Asiatic. The explanation of this may possibly be that, as there were two Cushes, so there were two Phuts, one Asiatic, and the other African" (qtd. by White, p. 97).
The eastern branch of Put "may have migrated from the east Mediterranean region as this is where anthropologists trace the northern Indians to. All one can say is that large parts of India were known as Rajputna (modern Rajasthan state). Rajputna was a group of princely states ruled over by a warrior-caste called the Rajputs (meaning 'chief of Put' or 'chief over Put'). In northern India, near Bhutan, we find the town called Panta, later Patali-putra, the capital city of Maghada State. The Rajputs and others drove the Dravidian Cushites into Central and Southern India. Those Phutites which settled in Central India mixed with the Dravidians. In the east some mixed with the Mongoloids" (White, pp. 97-98).
So rather than present-day Ethiopia and Libya in Africa, it appears much more likely that Ezekiel 38:5 is speaking of the people of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Consider then: the vast hordes of India, China, Indonesia, Russia, Turkestan and more combined-an unimaginable force and staggeringly formidable foe to be sure...
But no match at all for Almighty God.

When Will Gog's Forces Invade and Be Destroyed? (Ezekiel 38-39)

We have already seen that Ezekiel 38-39 is a prophecy of the latter days (38:8, 16). Yet where does it fit in the march of end-time events?
Some, thinking the Israelites brought out of the nations and back to the Promised Land in Ezekiel 38:8 is referring to the Jews who have returned to the land during the past century, conclude that this prophecy concerns an invasion of the modern Jewish state of Israel prior to Christ's return. But this view simply does not fit the picture here. The returned Israelites are described in this prophecy as dwelling in peace and safety-in a "land of unwalled villages...without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (verse 11). While modern cities don't normally have defensive walls, the image here is mainly a figurative one-of living in complete peace, free from invasion or harm. And that certainly does not describe the modern Israeli state. Israel today is constantly under grave threat from hostile neighbors and from terrorists within. In fact, the Israelis are currently building an actual wall or security fence to protect them against Palestinian suicide bombers.
Neither can the prophecy refer to, as some assume, the gathering of forces at Armageddon referred to in Revelation 16 and their destruction in Revelation 19. There is some parallel symbolism, as the sacrificial feast of fallen troops given to birds and beasts is found in both Ezekiel 39 and Revelation 19. However, similar imagery is also used of the defeat of Egypt, as we will next read in Ezekiel 32:4-5. Moreover, the people of Israel will by no means be dwelling safely as the gathering at Armageddon occurs, with the forces of the European-centered Beast power, end-time Babylon, still occupying the Holy Land. And having just experienced the Great Tribulation, with the cataclysmic Day of the Lord still ongoing, the Israelites will not yet be enriched with "livestock and goods" (compare Ezekiel 38:12).
Considering these factors, the only time that fits what is described is the period after the return of Jesus Christ. When He comes, He will defeat Israel's enemies and gather those who are left of all Israel in the Promised Land, where they will at last dwell in peace and safety under His rule.
As that stage of Christ's reign will last 1,000 years (the Millennium), during which time Satan the devil will be imprisoned (Revelation 20:1-6), the question now becomes: At what point following the commencement of the Millennium will the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 come to pass?
Some think it comes at the end, when there definitely will be a march to battle by Gog and Magog. Revelation 20:7-9 states: "Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." It is also claimed that because armaments such as shields, bucklers, bows, arrows, javelins and spears will be able to be burned for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9-10), this must indicate not modern weaponry but wooden implements-fashioned by people at the end of the Millennium who will be without military technology and hardware.
But there are problems with this view. For one, Gog and Magog in Revelation 20 are said to be from the four corners of the earth and therefore apparently represent people of all nationalities. In Ezekiel 38, it is clear the forces are of specific ethnicities and associated with a particular northern region.
Notice also what God says to Gog in Ezekiel 38:17: "Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them" (NIV). How then could Ezekiel 38 be a postmillennial reference, as none of the prophets appear to have mentioned this in any other prophecy (unless it was simply not recorded)-the only reference being in the New Testament book of Revelation?
(Granted, there do not seem to be any other references to an invasion early in the Millennium either. Yet the destruction of Gog's forces at that point in time may simply be part of the fulfillment of God's general prophecies of calamitous judgment accompanying the Messiah's coming. Indeed, if Gog is a leader of Edom, which seems possible given that the western Turks may have blended to some degree with those of the East and that Gog may be short for Agog or Agag, there may be more specific prophecies regarding him-that is, those that foretell Edom's great downfall at the time of Christ's return.)
A more serious objection to Gog's invasion in Ezekiel being postmillennial is that it evidently occurs soon after the return of Israel to the Promised Land-not after they have dwelt there for a thousand years. Notice Ezekiel 39:7: "So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore." Clearly, if the Israelites had been living under Christ's rule for a thousand years at this point, this statement would not seem to make any sense.
Notice also: "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward" (verse 22). Yet at the end of the Millennium, Israel will already have been living under God's covenant for a thousand years, wherein "no more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know [Him], from the least of them to the greatest of them" (Jeremiah 31:34). It thus seems to make more sense to view verse 22 as applying to a time early in the Millennium. (It's interesting that up to this point, many Israelites are still confused about the identity and character of Jesus Christ and the unlimited extent of His power. It appears that up to this time they have not yet fully and reverently submitted to His rule.)
By the end of the Millennium, the gentiles too will know the Lord-indeed, they will know Him throughout most of the Millennium, for of Christ's 1,000-year reign we are told that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). And yet Ezekiel 38-39 presents the defeat of Gog as resulting in the gentiles coming to know God. It appears, then, that the defeat of Gog described in Ezekiel must come during the early part of the Millennium.
Further, God says that in the wake of Gog's defeat "the Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity" (39:23)-that is, this is the point at which the nations would come to understand it. "Then," He continues, "they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent [the Israelites] into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land...And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel" (verses 28-29). Again, it seems obvious that this is describing events that take place shortly after Christ's return.
Indeed, the arrangement of Ezekiel's final chapters may have some bearing here. God spoke of giving His Spirit to His people after the return of Christ in Ezekiel 36. Ezekiel 37 continues on that theme. Though it briefly flashes forward to the period after the Millennium to show that even all the Israelites who have died will ultimately receive the same opportunity, the story flow then returns to the beginning of the Millennium, when the nations of Israel and Judah are at last fused together as one nation. Continuing with that flow, it would appear that the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 will come next in time order-followed by that of chapters 40-48, concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple and the reorganization of the Promised Land, events that will also transpire early in the Millennium.
Of course, many of Gog's forces will evidently be destroyed when Christ first returns. For Revelation 16:14-16 says that "the kings...of the whole world" will gather at Armageddon for the "battle of that great day of God Almighty." Yet, understanding the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 to come early in the Millennium, it is evident that only part of Gog's army will be present in the Holy Land to be destroyed at Christ's coming. It seems likely that vast numbers will yet be stretched across Eurasia-apparently what remains of the 200-million-man force described in Revelation 9. Sometime after Christ smites the forces gathered against Him (which, again, would necessarily include only part of Gog's forces), perhaps even a few years later, the remainder of Gog's forces then marches down for the onslaught described in Ezekiel. (This is consistent with the fact that when Jesus returns, He will not bring the entire world into instant compliance with His way. Rather, Isaiah 2:2-4 and Zechariah 14:16-19 demonstrate that there will be a period of bringing the nations into line through both instruction and disciplinary measures.)
What then of the seemingly archaic military equipment? Certainly ancient weaponry has been used in other end-time passages to represent modern war implements. Yet does the fact that these armaments are used as fuel for fire for seven years mean none of them can be metal or modern? Many guns and rifles, and most notably the AK-47 assault rifle so popular in third world nations, have wooden stocks. Consider also that there are many flammable elements to even jeeps, tanks and jet planes-not least of which is their fuel. The fuel and reserve fuel for thousands upon thousands of military vehicles is staggering to contemplate. Small quantities of material can be used as a fire starter-and there would be vast quantities available. Furthermore, consider all the possessions of an enormous military force on the move-this one perhaps two thirds as large as the current U.S. population. There would be an unimaginable amount of burnable material for the few million Israelites then living in the Promised Land. Also, perhaps new technology, whether invented by man or given by God, could allow even metal to be converted to usable energy.
Of course, it should also be mentioned that a vast Eurasian army would have not only well-trained troops with sophisticated equipment but also huge numbers of poorly outfitted infantry and cavalry. Among hordes of Chinese peasantry and third-world Muslim jihadis, it would not at all be surprising to find large numbers of wooden spears, clubs, crossbows, wood-handled machetes and sabers-even hoes and pitchforks.
So if it is describing a later episode than Ezekiel 38-39, why does Revelation 20 mention Gog and Magog? As already noted, these names seem to be used there in a representative sense for a Satan-led force coming from all nations at the end of the Millennium. It may be that the great invasion of Gog and Magog that occurs near the beginning of the Millennium is being viewed as a forerunner of the postmillennial invasion. The first was a multinational force. The later will be as well-though encompassing even more nations. It may even be that Gog and Magog will constitute the largest portion of this final rebellious force. Some, it should be noted, see numerical significance to the use of Gog and Magog in Revelation, explaining that the words numerically add up to 70, a number the Jews see as representative of all nations (as 70 nations are listed in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10). Or given that Gog and Magog can perhaps mean "dictator" and "dictatorship" respectively, perhaps that is the parallel. In any case, the invasion of Ezekiel 38-39 does not appear to be the invasion of Revelation 20, though there is apparently some tie between them, if only a figurative one.
By the defeat of Gog's forces, God says He will set His glory among the nations-they will know His great power and majesty. The Israelites will come to know Him as their personal Savior and Protector. And the gentiles will see that as well-leading them, at last, to desire to become God's people too.

1 comment:

Maheen Shaikh said...

Outstanding post ! worth to read it out
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