God’s Plan For The Ages – 2 – War Against Israel – Ezekiel 38 – How Close Are We To That War?

Click onto any blue letter, number or symbol to see the video and text in the blog.

Consider the world events of today, as they relate to the mistreatment of Israel by the nations of the world, even by the USA. Consider the description of the Ezekiel 38 War of the video. Consider the words of God, as they relate to His love for Israel.

Deuteronomy 7:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Jeremiah 31:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Zechariah 2:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 After a period of glory, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations who plundered you. For he said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.

Zechariah 14:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God Will Battle Jerusalem’s Foes

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.

Consider the words that God gave to the prophet Ezekiel as he describes an upcoming war on Israel.

Ezekiel 38 New Living Translation (NLT)

Prophecy Of The Future Invasion Of Israel

1 This is another message that came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog, the prince who rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. 3 Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy! 4 I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army—your horses and charioteers in full armor and a great horde armed with shields and swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons. 6 Gomer and all its armies will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-togarmah from the distant north, and many others.

7 “Get ready; be prepared! Keep all the armies around you mobilized, and take command of them. 8 A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel. 9 You and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud.

10 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. 11 You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! 12 I will go to those formerly desolate cities that are now filled with people who have returned from exile in many nations. I will capture vast amounts of plunder, for the people are rich with livestock and other possessions now. They think the whole world revolves around them!’ 13 But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Do you really think the armies you have gathered can rob them of silver and gold? Do you think you can drive away their livestock and seize their goods and carry off plunder?’

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself. 15 You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army,16 and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the Lord.

17 “This is what the Sovereign Lord asks: Are you the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through Israel’s prophets that in the future I would bring you against my people?18 But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! 19 In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. 20 All living things—the fish in the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth. 21 I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord. Your men will turn their swords against each other. 22 I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur!23 In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Notes from MacArthur Study Bible. Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible.

38:1—39:29 These chaps. tell of a coming northern confederacy of nations who will invade the Promised Land.

38:2 against Gog. This name is found in 1 Chr. 5:4. The LXX used “Gog” to render names such as Agag (Num. 24:7) and Og (Deut. 3:1), possibly showing that though it was a proper name, it came to be used as a general title for an enemy of God’s people. “Gog” most likely carries the idea “high” or “supreme one,” based on the comparison in Num. 24:7. It refers to a person, described as a “prince” from the land of Magog, who is the final Antichrist.See note on Rev. 20:8, where Gog and Magog are referred to again. These titles are used there symbolically of the final world uprising against Jerusalem, its people and Messiah King. This attack comes not just from the N but the 4 corners of the world, as a world of sinners at the end of the 1,000 year kingdom come to fight the saints in the “beloved city” of Jerusalem. On that occasion, there is only one weapon used—divine fire. This is the climax to the last battle with Satan and his armies, whose eternal destiny is set. It is followed by the final judgment of all the ungodly before the Lord (Rev. 20:11–15) and the creation of the eternal, sinless state (Rev. 21:1). See notes on chap. 39. Magog.Some see this people as derived from Japheth (Gen. 10:2), later called the Scythians. Others propose a people in SE Anatolia, later known as Asiatic people such as the Mongols and Huns. Others see Magog as an overall term for barbarians, N of Palestine, around the Caspian and Black Seas. the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Should be translated “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal…” because: 1) Rosh (more than 600 times) in the Heb. OT is an adjective, “chief,” often in references to the “chief priest” (2 Kin. 25:18); 2) most ancient versions took it to mean “chief “ or “head”; and 3) in all places other than chaps. 38 and 39 where both Meshech and Tubal are mentioned, Rosh is not listed as a third people (27:13; 32:26; Gen. 10:2; 1 Chr. 1:5). This is also descriptive of the Antichrist, who rises to world dominance in the coming time of tribulation (cf. Dan. 9:24–27;11:36–45; Rev. 13:1–17; 19:20). Meshech, and Tubal. Two peoples were recognized in ancient Assyrian monuments: one called Mushki (Mushku) and the other Tubali (Tabal). Both were in Asia Minor, the area of Magog, modern-day Turkey. Summing up, a chief prince, who is the enemy of God’s people, will lead a coalition of nations against Jerusalem. The details of this enemy force and its destruction are given by Ezekiel in the rest of chaps. 38, 39.

38:4 I will…lead you out. Just as God used Assyria (Is. 8) and Babylon (21:19) as human invaders for His judgments, He aims to use this army. In this case, He brings the invader to Palestine so that He may visit judgment (v. 8) on the invader itself (38:18–23; 39:1–10). He thus uses the language of hooks in the jaws, as in judging Egypt (29:4). From the aggressors’ perspective, they think that it is their plan only to seize the spoil which draws them to Palestine (vv. 11, 12).

38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. The invasion involves a coalition of powers from the E and S of Palestine. Persia is modern Iran, Libya is in N Africa, W of Egypt; and Ethiopia is S of Egypt.

38:6 Gomer. Today the area is Armenia, which also was known as Cappodocia, having a people called Gomer in Assyrian inscriptions. Togarmah. Today’s eastern Turkey (see note on 27:14).

38:7, 8 This is the great time of Israel’s cleansing, salvation, and spiritual life (cf. 39:22, 27, 28; Zech. 12:10—13:9), getting them ready for Messiah’s return and kingdom (Zech. 14).

38:8 In the latter years. In the context of Israel’s restoration (Ezek. 34–39), the invader will make its final bid for the Land.those brought back from the sword. This refers to Israelites who have been returned to their land, after the sword had killed or scattered many of their people. The Heb. word for “brought back” means “to return” or “restore” (Gen. 40:13; 41:13).gathered. This word also frequently refers to God’s final regathering of Israel (37:21; Is. 11:12; 43:5; Jer. 32:37). It has begun historically and will continue until the latter days. In the final millennial kingdom, there will occur the full and spiritual regathering, when all Israel is saved to enter their promised kingdom (cf. Zech. 12–14; Rom. 11:25–27). dwell safely. This term occurs in several contexts devoted to the Israelites’ blessed estate after God has brought them back to their land (28:26;34:25, 28; 39:26; Jer. 32:37; Zech. 14:11).

38:9 You will ascend. The time of the invasion is best understood as the end of the future tribulation period of 7 years. Israel will have been under a false peace in treaty with the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; 11:22, 24), before he turns on them in the “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15). The false peace will end in hostility lasting to the completion of the 7 years (Zech. 14:1–3). When this final war occurs (cf. Rev. 16:12–16), Christ will ultimately conquer the beast, the false prophet, and all the ungodly forces (Rev. 19:11–21) in order to establish His millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:1–10).

38:10–13 This describes the peace in Israel during the period of Antichrist’s short-lived treaty with them (Dan. 9:27) in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. References to “unwalled villages,” refer to that period of 3½ years when Israel is secure under the protection of the world-ruling “prince that shall come,” called Antichrist (cf. Dan. 9:27). After Antichrist turns on Israel, there is an escalation of hostility until the end of the 7 year time when this great force comes to plunder Jerusalem and the Promised Land (v. 12).

38:12 to take plunder…booty. Antichrist takes over the world for his own power and possession. The wealth of his empire is described in Rev. 18.

38:13 Dedan, Tarshish. See note on Jon. 1:3.

38:15 riding on horses. These could be actual horses used in war, if tribulation judgments (seals, trumpets, vials) in Rev. 6–16 have dealt drastic blows to industries producing war vehicles and weaponry. Or, some see horses and weapons here (39:3, 9) being used symbolically to represent meaning which would be easy to grasp in Ezekiel’s day, but which would be fulfilled in the future time with different war forms suitable to that time.

38:16 that the nations may know Me. The phrase, frequent in Ezekiel, is part of the theme to glorify God and show His sovereign power (cf. Introduction: Historical and Theological Themes). God is the victor, who will be “hallowed” by fire (cf. v. 19).

38:17 Are you he…? See notes on 38:2. This refers to the general references to this time and the participants (cf. Joel 3:9–17; Amos 5:11, 12; Zeph. 3:8). Even Daniel (Dan. 2:41–44) referred to this time at least 3 decades prior to Ezek. 38. The nature of the question presupposes that the previous generalities are now being particularized in the person of Gog.

38:18–23 My fury will show. God’s patience will be exhausted with the repeated attempts to annihilate Israel since the “abomination” by Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15), and He will employ a great earthquake in Israel; panic will seize the invading soldiers (v. 21) who will turn and use their weapons against one another (cf. 2 Chr. 20:22, 23). He will further decimate the ranks by pestilence, a deluge of rain, large hailstones, plus fire and brimstone. The descriptions here are identical to that of the last half of the 7 year tribulation in Rev. 6:12–17; 11:19; 16:17–21;19:11–21.

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