By Merrill Olson
In regressing back before the Second Coming of Christ (previous article), there will be an all out invasion of Israel that will be a massive northern assault. This attack is prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. It is still future because it is prophetic Scripture that has never taken place in the history of the world. No warfare has ever come close to it.
This mammoth force will be composed of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, and others (Ezekiel 38:1-6). In fact, “Rosh” is most likely modern Russia that is from “the far north” (v. 15) of Israel. “Magog” takes in the former southern Soviet Union republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The northern parts of Afghanistan could be included.
Scripture does name the nations of “Persia [Islamic Republic of Iran 1979], Ethiopia [modern day Sudan], and Libya” (Ezek. 38:5). “Libya” could also include Algeria and Tunisia. The Bible mentions “Gomer” (v. 6) which is modern day Turkey.
The Word of God is predicting a future invasion of Israel by this gigantic force of Muslin nations in collaboration with Russia to obliterate it. This northern military coalition will seek to accomplish their long waited goal and threats to annihilate the Jewish state.
The time for this assault will be when Israel “dwells safely” (v. 8). At that time, the Lord God says of this massive army, “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, have neither bars nor gates’” (vv. 10-11).
When will this point in time come when Israel “dwells safely” in their land? Many Bible scholars believe that it takes place after the Antichrist signs the covenant with the nation of Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27). This will thus bring peace to the Middle East regarding Israel and will last for three and a half years. Therefore, Israel will enjoy a heightened security that they have desired for decades.
Others believe that it is happening right now with Israel’s well-equipped army and effective missile defense system. They also have a terrific air force that is well trained to defend the nation and defeat any attacks against it. In these ways, Israel is at a state where it “dwells safely.” However, is it really dwelling safely?
Even though these are very logical understandings, they may not necessarily be in accord with what is found in Scripture. A biblical perception is that it takes place right after the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:16-17) and before the Antichrist signs the peace agreement with Israel. There seems to be a time period before this signing takes place.
Whenever this battle happens, God will intervene for Israel as Russia and the Muslim nations will be literally destroyed (Ezekiel 38:17-39:16). This will then give opportunity for the Jews to build their long awaited temple as promised in Bible prophecy.
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