“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

Sister Debbie stated, I thought all Arabs were descendants of Ishmael son of Abraham and Hagar…

In Reply, The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s son through Hagar, who was not Abraham’s wife but his wife’s handmaid—Gen 16:1–16) who founded the Ishmaelites; and Esau (Abraham’s grandson and Isaac’s eldest son, who sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob—Gen 25:19–34) who founded the Edomites.

Most of the Arab nations have sprung from one of four biblical ancestors—Ishmael, Esau, Moab, and Ammon.

Sister Debbie asked, forgive me for asking, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at the end of the Gospel Age, during Jacob’s Trouble and one at the end of the Millennial Age, during the Little Season)?

In Reply, Two mysterious names dominate the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, Gog and the land of Magog.

Gog appears to be the head of the confederacy against Israel in this traumatic battle. Magog is given as the sphere of his influence, seemingly encompassing all of the various tribes mentioned in the coalition of enemies.

Verse 2

* Rosh (Heb. “chief prince”, i.e. Russia)

* Meschech (Northern Turkey)

* Tubal (Georgia)

Verse 5

* Persia (Iran)

* Ethiopia (Cush) Central Africa

* Libya Northwest Africa

Verse 6

* Gomer Northern Turkey, (Armenia)

* Togarmah (Turkestan)

These nations apparently will be brought into this battle after having been previously involved in conflict with Israel (See Prelude to “Gog and Magog”, “War in the Middle East”, Part 1). The Lord himself takes credit for causing them to once again invade Israel “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and with all thy army.” (Verse 4)

From another prophecy of the same conflict, Zech 14:1-3, it appears that at first the battle will go against Israel, so much so that “the city shall be taken”, Jerusalem will fall. It is at this desperate turning point for Israel, with its back against the wall, that both Zechariah and Ezekiel prophesy a dramatic turn of events. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.” (Zech 14:3)

It is obvious from the context that the battle of Ezek 38 occurs before the introduction of Christ’s kingdom, for the result of that battle is “that all men may know that I am the Lord” (Verse 23) Gog and Magog appear one more time in the Bible, in a far different context. This is found in Revelation Chapter 20.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever”(Rev 20:7-10).

Here, a thousand years after the battle of Ezekiel, when evil has been restrained and righteousness has ruled on the earth, we find the same foes appearing once more, during the “little season” which closes out the Millennial Age.

One more reference is worthy of note, Num 24:7-a Messianic promise of Israel’s millennial king: “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

The Septuagint and other ancient manuscripts here read, “Gog:’ instead of “Agag.” The reference seems clear in showing the height of Messiah’s throne to be above that of his chief adversary-Satan, the devil. Therefore it seems that in the name Gog we have a reference to the real leader of the hosts of the north (Verse 15) against Israel, Satan himself. The land of Magog refers to his entire dominion.

Thus we understand the “little season” to be a dividing point between good and evil. Gog and Magog symbolize the evil forces led by Satan. The “camp of the saints” are those who are “harvested” into the “ages to come,” during this final judgment (krima).

So in answer to your question, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at Jacob’s Trouble and one at the Little Season)?

It is because the true leader behind both conflicts still lives, Satan (Gog) and even after his imprisonment for a thousand years he remains the same incorrigible sinner and implacable foe of God, the same liar and murderer, that he was from the beginning (John 8:44; Matt. 16:23) and he will stop at nothing until he somehow foils God’s plans or at least he imagines that he will do so.

Gog and Magog are names with the apparent etymological meaning of Mountain and Great Mountain. Just as these two symbolic names represent a challenge to God’s new government through Israel at the end of the Gospel Age (Ezek 38), they also represent a challenge to God’s new order at the end of the Millennium. A mountain is a kingdom, and there is room only for one, and that one is the Lord’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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