By Nathan Jones
From the latest news headlines: Iran, Russia and Turkey have become allies. Fundamentalist Islam is uniting old Middle Eastern enemies against Israel. Russia is supplying rockets and weapons to those very same nations. Israel now has the means of becoming exceedingly wealthy.
To the student of Bible prophecy, these and other modern developments combined form a very familiar scenario already foretold in ancient biblical writings. Some 2,600 years ago, the young prophet Ezekiel relayed God's passionate message, telling us that when these events fully play out the battle that will occur will end up changing the very face of the world. Nothing will be the same for anyone by the time the Gog-Magog Battle is over.
To find out how today's headlines will eventually play out, let's inspect God's prophecy given to Ezekiel in the Book of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Ezekiel 38:1-6 — The Great Horde
"1The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you."
That doesn't sound very much like modern times, does it? I mean, who is this Gog after all? In these verses God is addressing this entity called Gog. Is he some type of military leader? Some personage?
Gog is not a country, but a person who has extreme power. I also believe that he is going to be a person who will be possessed. Just like the principalities and powers of this world ruling over different countries behind human governments such as when the Bible talks about the Prince of Tyre or the Prince of Sidon — Gog is a spiritual entity — a demon.
Gog is called "the chief prince." This interpretation will depend on your Bible translation, but you may or may not see the word "Rosh" which can be interpreted as either "chief prince" or denote a people group. Historically proven (see Timing Gog-Magog: Identifying Rosh), the Rosh are the ancient precursors to the Russian people. Rosh denotes then that Gog will be a leader who will come from the land called Rus, or Rosh, which is modern-day Russia. Gog will be a Russian president or military leader from Russia who will then assemble and spearhead a coalition of armies.
The Lord says in verse 3, "I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." It would have been really helpful if God gave Ezekiel the modern names of the countries. But, we can trace back and find out that there are different countries that fit the bill.
The little green dot right in the middle of the map is Israel and the little "J" stands for Jerusalem. Israel's so small because it's only about the size of New Jersey. Right in the middle of all those lands stands little Israel, right there facing at some point a looming war with Russia, or Rosh.
Magog is the land of the 'stans such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and possibly Afghanistan — all challenging to pronounce. Ezekiel lists Persia which is the ancient name for Iran. Cush is made up of the Sudan and possibly Ethiopia. Put's modern counterparts are Libya, Algeria and possibly Tunisia. Meshech along with Tubal, Gomer and Beth-togarmah are Turkey, possibly including Azerbaijan and Armenia. In fact, the peoples in the little country of Armenia next to Turkey still calls itself Togarmah today.
And so, we can know what the modern names of those ancient areas are today. All of those nations that Gog will lead consist of those many different people groups. Ezekiel says they're all against Israel, setting the world up for the largest battle since World War II.
In the next part of this "Impending Invasion of Israel" series, we'll learn of the great horde's evil plans.