Introduction: The following verses can easily be related to news accounts of today’s world. Look for a common ground that clearly exists among the attackers of Israel. We are looking at a time that is known as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21, 33 A.D.) Dates are taken from the Scofield Study Bible, KJV Personal Size, 1909 A.D., updated 1917 A.D.
Ezekiel 38:3-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (587 B.C.)
3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.
Resources: Mac Arthur Study Bible; Ryrie Study Bible; Scofield Study Bible; R.C. Sproul (RSB); My thoughts.
vs 4. “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out.” God is in control of this invasion. Just as He used Assyria (Isa 8) and Babylon (21:19) as human invaders for His judgments, He will use this invading army. In this case He brings the invaders to Palestine so that He will bring judgment (v 8) on the invader itself (38:18-23; 39:1-10). God uses the language of hooks in the jaws, as in judging Egypt (29:4). From the vantage point of the aggressors, they think that it is their plan to seize the spoil which draws them to Palestine (vv 11,12).(Mac Arthur)(See scriptures below in Related Scriptures) (Ezekiel 38:18-23 and 39:1-10 will be studied later, but can be studied now.)
vs 4. In this battle actual horses will be used. During the tribulation, production and the movement of goods will be greatly restricted by the judgments of that time (Ryrie).
vs 5. “Persia, Ethiopia and Put.” The invasion includes a coalition of forces from the east and south of Palestine. Persia is modern-day Iran. Libya is in North Africa, and Ethiopia is south of Egypt. (Mac Arthur)
vs 6. “Gomer.” This is present day Armenia, which was also known as Capedocia, having a people called Gomer in Assyrian inscriptions. Beth-togarmah is today’s eastern Turkey, and is in northeast Asia Minor. (Mac Arthur)
vs 6. Gomer. This is probably a group from the area north of the Black Sea, known to the Assyrians as the Gimirrai and to the Greeks as the Cimmerians. Gog leads a coalition of nations from the south and the north. The picture is of a total mobilization against the people of God. Compare the divine summons to war in Joel 3:9–11. (R.C. Sproul) (See note below)
vs 5-6. Other allies will be Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (northern Sudan), Put (Libya), Gomer (probably the eastern part of Turkey and Ukraine), and Beth-togarmah (the part of Turkey near the Syrian border). (Ryrie).
Joel 3:9-11 Amplified Bible (AMP) (800 B.C.)
9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare war! Stir up the mighty men! Let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong [a warrior]! 11 Hasten and come, all you nations round about, and assemble yourselves; there You, O Lord, will bring down Your mighty ones (Your warriors).
My Note: Verse 10. Beating “plowshares into swords and pruning hooks into spears” indicates a change from peace to war in the oncoming seven-year Tribulation. Consider the opposite, “swords into plowshares,” in Micah 4:3, below.
Micah 4:3 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) (710 B.C.)
3 And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
My Note: “beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks,” indicates an end of war and beginning of peace. This illustration indicates a change from the time of Tribulation (war) to the time of the Millennium or Kingdom of Heaven, which is a time of peace, and is also known as the thousand-year Millennial reign of Christ. (See Joel 3:9-11, above)
Isaiah 8:5-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) (742 B.C.)
5 The Lord spoke to me again: 6 Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and melt in fear before Rezin and the son of Remaliah;7 therefore, the Lord is bringing up against it the mighty flood waters of the River, the king of Assyria and all his glory; it will rise above all its channels and overflow all its banks; 8 it will sweep on into Judah as a flood, and, pouring over, it will reach up to the neck; and its outspread (See Ez 38:4 Mac Arthur note)
Ezekiel 21:19 Revised Standard Version (RSV) (593 B.C.)
19 “Son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come; both of them shall come forth from the same land. And make a signpost, make it at the head of the way to a city;(See Ez 38:4 Mac Arthur note)
Ezekiel 29:1-4 New Life Version (NLV) (588 B.C.)
1 On the twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year, the Word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, look toward Pharaoh king of Egypt, and speak against him and against all Egypt. 3 Tell them, ‘The Lord God says, “I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt. You are the big animal that lies in his rivers and says, ‘The Nile is mine. I made it.’ 4 I will put hooks in your mouth. I will make the fish of your rivers stick to your hard skin. And I will pull you up out of your rivers, with the fish that stick to your hard skin. (See Ez 38:4 Mac Arthur note).
Ezekiel 38:11-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) (587 B.C.)
11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates— 12 in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world. (See Ez 38:4 Mac Arthur note)
Genesis 10:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (2347 B.C.)
2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.
Verse 2 – Scofield note
1 Gomer 2 Magog 3 Madai 4 Javan 5 Tubal 6 Meshech 7 Tiras
1 Progenitor (forefather) of the ancient Cimerians and Cimbri, from whom are descended the Celtic family.
2 From Magog are descended the ancient Scythians, or Tartars, whose descendants predominate in the modern day of Russia. Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:6; Revelation 20:8.
Notice that the names of the nations who will invade Israel are today’s countries who have shown continued and open hostility to the nation of Israel. There is a great Muslim participation in the attack. None of the invaders are true allies of the United States Of America. It is easy to see that because the USA is Israel’s key military supporter, the term “parenthetical player” can be used to describe the USA, which is not named in any of these scriptures. But, it is very possible that the military forces of the USA will be involved in defending Israel during this invasion. The qualifier is that United States forces may be present, minus its members who will have been raptured. Unsaved soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen will be left to fight in this battle.(1 Thes 4:16-17) (My thoughts)
For a worship song, I have chosen a song that I have known and loved for many years. You might want to read Micah 4:1-3. During the song all of the following are permitted: hand raising and clapping; foot stomping and dancing; and saying amen and hallelujah many times.
Come Let Us Go Up – Micah 4:2