It is best, and it saves space here, to read these two chapters carefully first.
In this article I want to show you WHEN this invasion will take place and WHO will be doing the invading and WHYinvade ISRAEL at that time. Also we shall see how it all ends.
WHEN. These two chapters describe an attack on Israel in THE LAST DAYS. “….In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword” 38:8 This verse clearly tells us it is in THE LAST DAYS (latter years), and it also gives us a clue as to the time in the last days –
“The land brought back from the sword”.or as the Amplified Version puts it “The land that is restored from the ravages of the sword”
We know that from the very commencement of the TRIBULATION, the Antichrist will make a peace agreement with Israel and rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem, or allow it to be rebuilt. So ISRAEL will be restored after many years of hostility from her neighbouring countries. This is also born out in verse11….
“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”
The only time that ISRAEL will dwell safely without fear of her neighbours will be during the first half of the TRIBULATION, when she will have the protection of the Antichrist. So I personally place the invasion during the first half (three and one half years) of the TRIBULATION. I cannot see Israel fulfilling these prophecies of being at peace, at any other time before her MESSIAH returns in GLORY.
WHO. Now I want to deal with who the invading armies will be. Here we have to be very careful NOT to go beyond what the Bible actually teaches us. Some do this to their own peril.
“I will turn you about and will lead you on, and will cause you to come up from the uttermost parts of the north and will lead you against the mountains of Israel” 39:2
If you look at an atlas, place a ruler on Jerusalem and point it far north. The ruler will end up right in the centre of MOSCOW. So Moscow is far north (uttermost parts of the north) of Jerusalem. So there can be little doubt that the main aggressor in this coming battle will be RUSSIA. This is again proven by the name ROSH (mentioned as ‘The Prince of ROCH’ in the Amplified Version of 38:1 and also NKJV) ROSH being an ancient form of the name RUSSIA.
So the leader of this invasion of the land of Israel will clearly be RUSSIA. But other names are mentioned too. Persia; Ethiopia; and Libya, mentioned in 38:5 are fairly self explanatory. PERSIA is modern day IRAN, Ethiopia and Libya go by the same names today. It is very interesting to note here that both ETHIOPIA and LIBYA are to the south and not from the north! This shows us that RUSSIA is not only the leading army from the north, but other enemies of Israel join forces with Russia. Verse 6 mentions GOMER & TOGARMAH. Some have tried to to identify these as UKRAINE & ARMENIA but this cannot be proven and is not much better than guess work. (dangerous in Bible study) Other players mentioned in this end time scene are SHEBA; DEDAN; & MERCHANTS OF TARSHISH WITH ALL THE YOUNG LIONS. (38:13) I have heard several suggestions over the years as to who these are, but again, not really much better than guesswork. Some even try to involve the USA and UK in this scene but there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that these nations are implied here. It almost seems like people want their home nation to be mentioned in scripture! This I believe was the reason behind the BRITISH ISRAELISM false doctrine that was very popular a few years back. BUT WE MUST STICK WITH WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY TEACHES, and realise that there are certain things known only to God.
“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed, belong to us and to our children forever…..” Deuteronomy 29:29
Whilst still on the subject of WHO will be invading Israel, I need to make a mention of GOG that we find in 38:3; 14;16; 18; 39:1; 11. Gog is said to be of the land of Magog the chief prince of MESHECH & TUBAL 38:2. It would be logical to assume that Gog of Magog occupied the region of the UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE NORTH (39:2) that is called RUSSIA today. Some interpret MESHECH & TUBAL as the places that became MOSCOW & TOBOLSK but it is hard to prove this without doubt. It is very interesting to note that GOG & MAGOG are again mentioned in Revelation 20:8
“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” Revelation 20 7-8
Most Bible teachers do not think this reference is connected to Ezekiel. Magog, in Ezekiel, is a country to the far north of Israel and Gog is it’s chief prince. In this mention from Revelation, Gog appears to refer to nations covering the whole earth who are opposed to the one true God.
Now we come to WHY do these nations attack ISRAEL. First, a word about the weapons mentioned in the EZEKIEL account. I believe what the Bible tells us. Many try to say that Ezekiel just wrote about about weapons known in his day and that modern weapons of war will in fact be used. To take this view we must admit that the Bible is wrong, something that I WILL NEVER DO. If we throw doubt upon the text of EZEKIEL, how do we know that texts such as JOHN 3:16 and Ephesians 2 are correct? To doubt one section of God’s word is to throw doubt upon the whole Word of God.
I believe that the weapons mentioned, shields, bucklers, swords and even horses for transport, will actually be used. Why? Two possible explanations . 1. When Antichrist comes to power and rules the world, all weapons held by individual nations, are likely to be confiscated or surrendered to him. 2. A gigantic magnetic force field will hit the earth during the tribulation which will ‘knock out’ all sophisticated weaponry which mainly relies upon ‘chip’ technology. It’s not so unbelievable to see that God could easily do this. Then the nations would have to revert back to traditional weapons of war.
As to Why, the answer is given to us in 38:12
“To take spoil, and to take 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.”
ISRAEL truly is a land “THAT FLOWS WITH MILK AND HONEY.”(Exodus 3:8)
Much of Israel was barren and infertile. But since God has been bringing the Jews back to the land after it became a nation again in 1948, God has mightily blessed it. It is also RICH IN MINERALS especially around and under the DEAD SEA. No doubt that these ‘RICHES’ will be very attractive to other struggling nations, who will join in this attack “TO TAKE SPOIL”
I have a theory, which I cannot prove, but I feel is worth sharing with you. We’ve looked at WHY these nations attack Israel, and now I ask you WHY AT THIS TIME do these nations attack Israel?
Israel’s defences are down, she is living at a time of peace, enjoying the benefits of the seven year peace agreement with antichrist. Eze. 38:11 There could also be another reason. Antichrist, around this time, will be doing battle in the south, namely EGYPT. Let me quote:
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall
not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and
over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at
his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him:
therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away
many.” Daniel 11:40-44
Now, as I said, this is just a theory. Daniel tells us that while antichrist is ‘doing business’ in Egypt, he hears news from the east and north that trouble him. The Northern Confederacy may be taking advantage of the fact that antichrist is tied up with his own problems in Egypt, and may not be too concerned about Israel . But, Antichrist hears of this invasion, notice, from the east (Persia / Iran) and the north (Gog /Russia) and he returns to uphold the peace treaty with Israel.
The end of this invasion of Israel comes apparently without God’s people having to raise a finger against her enemies.
God has declared “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel” 39:4
“Thou shalt fall upon the open field” 39:5
“ And I will send fire on Magog, and upon them that dwell carelessly in the isles, and they shall know that I am the Lord” 39:6
The weapons of this invasion, shields; bucklers; bows; arrows; handstaves;and spears, will take seven years to burn up! 39:9
I hope this little article will help to shed some light upon this difficult to understand, prophetic event. May God bless you in your studies.