Ezekiel 38 & 39 refers to an alliance of Northern peoples, formed to invade Israel, sometime during these latter days. Scholars differ as to who these peoples/nations are, but no reference is made to Israel’s present immediate neighbours – the Arab/ Islamic nations and entities, such as Hamas. The reason why they are not included in this alliance, is the fact that they will have already suffered an earlier massive defeat.
The passage in Ezekiel 38:11-13 describe Israel as:
1/ A people dwelling securely – not the case at present.
2/ A nation at peace – all of the nations surrounding are outright or potential enemies. Saudi Arabia still has a declaration of war against Israel in its books.
3/ Dwelling without walls – in modern terms: undefended borders.
4/ An extremely wealthy nation – not really true of Jewish Israel.
This shows that His people, righteous Israel, will be in the Land after this clearance.
Ezekiel 38 & 39 are both describing the same event, an attack upon Israel, by a leader known as Gog, from the ‘far reaches of the North’. He is mentioned again in Revelation 20:8-9 which uses Ezekiel’s prophecy to portray another, final attack against Israel. The result of this battle is that all are destroyed by fire and Satan is finally judged. Some differences are:
1/ The first battle involves only a few nations, the last will be every nation.
2/ There is no mention of Satan in Ezekiel 38-39, but in Revelation, he is the primary character.
3/ The Ezekiel battle says the dead will be gathered and buried for 7 months. The armies at the end of the Millennium are cremated instantly, by fire from heaven.
4/ The battle in Ezekiel is used by God to display His power. In Revelation, Israel has been faithful to God for 1000 years. Those in Rev 20:7-10 who are rebellious are killed without any more opportunity for repentance.
Ezekiel 38:1-2 The Lord says to me, prophesy against Gog, in the land of Magog the King of Rosh, Mesech and Tubal. Ezekiel 38:3-6 Say: I am against you, Gog, I shall lead you out – you and your whole army, fully equipped. With you will come the men of Persia [Iran], Cush and Put [Africa], Gomer [Turkey] and Beth Togarmah from the far reaches of the North.
Ezekiel 38:7-8 Be prepared, keep ready, for in future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations into the mountains of Israel – long desolate. The Israelites brought out from their dispersion now live in their Promised Land, in peace and security. [..just recovered from war’, must be the Psalms 83 attack, then, His people, Christian Israelites, gather and settle into Greater Israel. “Mountains of Israel” are Judea and Samaria currently inhabited by Palestinians. These two verses are clear proof that all 12 tribes of Israel plus those grafted in, will come back to the Land before the Return of Jesus.]
Ezekiel 38:9 You will advance like a storm, like a cloud covering the land.
Ezekiel 38:10-11 Your plan is to conquer these people, living quietly and undefended, You say: I will plunder and destroy these people, who have been gathered out of the nations, now becoming rich and living in the centre of the world.
Ezekiel 38:13 Other nations will ask: Is it for plunder that you have come?
Ezekiel 38:14-16 Therefore, says the Lord, when My people are living in their Land, undisturbed, will you not take notice of it? You will come and many nations with you, a mighty army. In the last days, I shall bring you against My Land, so that the nations may know Me, when I show My strength, at your expense.
Ezekiel 38:17-20 God says: When My servants prophesied, it was you Gog, that I will bring against Israel. On that Day, as you attack My people, in My anger, I swear that there will be a great earthquake in Israel.
Ezekiel 38:21-23 Universal terror will come upon Gog’s armies – they will fight each other. I will execute judgement on them with plagues and bloodshed, rain, hail, fire and brimstone will kill them. By this, I shall make Myself known to many nations. They will know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 39:1-2 The Lord God says: I am against you, Gog, I will take you from the North and bring you to Israel.
Ezekiel 39:3-8 I shall strike down your weapons, you and your allies will all fall in Israel. Wild beasts and birds will eat their fill of you. I shall send fire on your land of Magog and those who live undisturbed on the coasts and islands. Then they will know that I, the Lord, am holy in Israel. It is coming, it will happen, says the Lord.
Ezekiel 39:9-10 Those people living in Israel will gather the weapons to use for fuel, enough for seven years. They will plunder those who came to plunder them.
Ezekiel 39:11-16 When Gog’s army is dead, their place of burial will be the Valley of Abarim [now Wadi Mujib] east of the Dead Sea. The Israelites will take seven months to cleanse the land, they will carefully search for and bury all the remains.
Ezekiel 39:17-20 Call all the beasts and birds to this great sacrifice, they will be filled.
Ezekiel 39:21-24 I shall display My glory among the nations, they will see My judgement. Israel will know that I am their God and all will know that they were exiled for being unfaithful to Me. They were punished as they deserved, and I hid Myself.
Ezekiel 39:25-29 The Lord God says: Now I shall restore the fortunes of all Israel, they will forget their shame, when they live once more in their homeland, free from terror. My people will be a light to many nations. They will acknowledge that I am their Redeemer for they are all brought back from exile. No longer will I hide Myself from them, I who have poured out My spirit upon them.
The second chapter of Joel up to verse 28, is a sequence of events.
Verse 1- 11 is the Day of the Lord’s vengeance/ Middle East devastation/ Sixth Seal.
V 12-17 A call for the repentance of His people. V 18-19 They gather into the Land.
V 20 The Gog and Magog war. V 21-26 People of Zion, rejoice, I shall recompense you.
V 27 You will know that I am present in Israel and I am your God. This verse parallels Ezekiel 39:28 It is by His deeds that He is known, not by His presence, until His Return, after the Tribulation, therefore, all the above happens before that.
Joel 2:18-20 Then, the Lord showed His ardent love for His Land and was moved with compassion for His people. He answered their appeal and gave them food in plenty. I shall expose you to the danger of attack no longer. I shall remove the Northern peril [Gog and Magog] far from you, into the desert areas. The leading troops will be near the Dead Sea and the rearguard by the Mediterranean. Their rotting stench will rise up! The Lord has done great things!