After many years, Gog is told to gather his forces together and take command of them. While many today have forgotten Russia began to do this as early as 1982. In 1982, Israel made a preemptive strike into Lebanon uncovering stockpiles of weapons and documents which proved Russia was ready to attack later that year. This is documented in the book Magog 1982 – Canceled by David Allen Lewis.
Once again, we see Russia building ties with Iran, Syria, Libya and other radical Islamic states. Putin announced that “Russia is determined to enhance cooperation with the Islamic world.” Silly American diplomats have handcuffed themselves by joining with the so-called Quartet (Russia, EU, UN, and U.S.) to try and solve the Mideast problems when Mideast turmoil is to the advantage of at least half of the Quartet!
But, as usual the nations of the world fail to take into account God’s feelings on the issue. God says “I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army.” Two things are clear: 1) God is in charge of the situation, and 2) something will happen to force Russia’s hand.
Some believe the event that forces Russia’s hand is an outbreak of hostilities between Syria and Israel. Syria and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah and build up its forces on the northern Israeli border trying to provoke an attack. Will this bring on what Isaiah prophesied – a Destruction of Damascus, Syria which has not yet happened.
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.” – Isaiah 17:1
Considering the strong ties Russia has with Syria, this would certainly be like “hooks in their jaws.” Also a preemptive attack on Iran by Israel could also set off this war. As early as 2007 Israel was seeking an all-clear from Washington for just such an attack. Now, seven years later and perhaps just one year from Iran testing a nuclear bomb, Israel may launch such a strike without U.S. approval. They see an Iran with a nuclear bomb as a threat to their national life. Another possible scenario is ISIS forces threatening Syria and Iran which they are presently doing.
Whatever the “hooks” are that God uses, it is clear that He is using Israel to judge the nations of the world. Ezekiel reveals that Israel will once again be a nation back in their land, as we see today. God calls this event an ‘ensign to the nations‘.
When Russia moves, its armies will be “like a storm, like a cloud covering the land”. Most people today do not realize that Russia was the first nation to use paratroops. Some have thought this is describing an airborne attack, which is a favorite scenario of Russia. It is the method they used in Hungary – first the paratroopers to secure airports and strategic positions, then the armored cavalry. When Stalin first introduced paratroops, some advisers observed that they looked “like clouds covering the sky.” This is also the scenario Russia recently used to take Crimea.
Ezekiel describes the weapons of this battle as shields, horses, swords, bows and arrows. Is this to be taken literally? Here are some possible explanations that have been offered. 1) Ezekiel is describing modern warfare in terms he understood. 2) Israel has developed a gamma ray weapon that destroys all transistorized machines, making mechanized travel impossible (we know they have been researching such a weapon). 3) Because Israel is very mountainous, Russia will use horses to transport troops and equipment. It is also known from a Reuters’ report that Russia has purchased large amounts of horses and bows since WWII. 4) The use of EMP weapons renders modern transistorized weapons inoperable.
My feeling is that of the first option. Even in Vietnam we used cavalry units – they were called helicopter troops. Much of our tank units are now called mechanized cavalry units.
Before we get to the outcome of this war, let’s examine Israel’s strategic partners. Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to Gog, “Have you come to plunder?” Sheba and Dedan are in the area of southern Arabia, where Saudi Arabia, Muscat, etc. are now located. Saudi Arabia is already deeply concerned about any movements by Iran as they know Iran would like to take Medina and Mecca, Muslim holy cities, from Saudi control. They would be doubly suspicious of Iran’s bid to control the Mideast, although they wouldn’t worry much about Israel being eliminated.
There is good evidence that Tarshish is England. The KJV reads “Tarshish and all the young lions“. England’s national symbol is the lioness and her young lions would be her colonies. A number of considerations point to Great Britain as the Biblical Tarshish. Ezekiel 27:12 states that Tarshish was rich in “silver, iron, tin, and lead” minerals which Britain produces.
This source of tin was known to the Phoenicians as “Barath-anak“, which means ‘land of tin’. The Greeks interpret this name as Britain. Herodotus also alludes to the British Isles as the ‘tin islands.’
Great Britain is proverbially known as “a nation of shop-keepers”, which is perhaps where the allusion to “the merchants” of Tarshish comes from. Great Britain’s royal standard is a mother lion, which is on every imperial coat-of-arms and her coinage. This could explain her colonies being likened to ‘young lions“. If this identification is the correct one, and I believe it is, then we must consider who these colonies are; the United States ?, Canada ?, India ? Because as we will see in the following post, they will bear some consequences for not standing with Israel with more than just talk!
Whoever they are, it is clear they do nothing but diplomatic talk. Much like the UN does all the time. In Israel, the UN is known as “the united nothing”. Whenever they control a so-called “security zone” Muslim extremist, like the Hezbollah, seem at liberty to move in and out with UN blessings! And, if liberals are in charge of our Congress, it is doubtful they would do anything without first reading the polls to see which way the wind was blowing. Even a semi-conservative administration, such as George Bush’s may refuse to get involved as they recently did concerning Iran. Obama certainly will not take a political chance against Russia and Iran. There is also a possibility that our economy could collapse thus stopping us from any involvement.
Israel, who is largely a secular state, will be left to face the coming onslaught alone. Russia and all the Islamic forces will be advancing on the mountains of Israel. Israel will be facing extinction. But, at this point, God begins to show the world once again that He is control of history. With great earthquakes, torrents of rain, great hailstones, and burning sulfur God will attack. He will strike them with confusion so that ‘every man’s sword will be against his brother’ much like the LORD did for Gideon (Judges 7:22). The KJV says only a sixth of Gog’s armies will survive.
In the next post I will conclude with specifics of the war and its outcome. I will also examine the possibilities of other prophesies happening before this war described by Ezekiel.