by Alexander Zephyr (adapted from an article sent to Brit-Am by the author).
(26 February January, 2019, 21 Adar-A, 5778)
Brit-Am Note: The views below are those of Alexander Zephyr. On some points it could be that Brit-Am disagrees. Nevertheless the article is worth reading and high-lights some of the issues invovled.
Israel will not fight in Gog's invasion with anybody. There is not one word in the Prophecies of Ezekiel saying that Israel will literally (physically) fight the armies of Gog and Magog. The God of Israel will do battle for His people, as it is written: 'Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you, and all your hordes I will give Gog a burial place in Israel. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD' (Ezekiel 38:3; 39:3, 4, 6, 11). It is worth to emphasize here again that IDF will not fight against Gog's hordes - Almighty God will personally take care of them: 'The war against Gog and Magog I shall wage myself. Their destruction shall be complete' (Midrash Esther Rabbah 7:23; Ezekiel 39:3-8).
When will the war of Gog and Magog start?
Can we know when and what events will lead to the War of Gog and Magog? Let's read what God has said through the prophet Ezekiel on this subject.
1. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land of Israel. In the latter days I will bring you against My land (Ezekiel 38:8, 16). 'Later days' and 'Latter years' point out to the future. Many can argue that we are living in the End of days, so why the prophecy of Gog and Magog can't find its fulfillment in our time? Because the prophecy further reveals the mandatory condition and, indeed, timing, when, why, and how this war begins. Ezekiel not only points out that this war is of distant future, 'in a latter years,' but he also specified the exact timing of it by giving additional key information, which cannot be ignored.
2. He said that the people of Israel in the time of Gog's attack are 'brought forth out of the nations, and gathered out of many countries, all of them' (Ezekiel 38:8). What does it mean? This is simply mean that the prophecies of reunification and regathering of the whole House of Israel, which include the Jewish people and the Israel people of the Ten Tribes, come to pass just shortly before Gog and Magog attack (Ezekiel 37:19, 21; plus 40 prophecies more). There is no name 'Judah' written in Ezekiel 38-39. 'Judah' mean the Jewish people. 'Israel' means the whole House of Jacob, that is, the Twelve Tribes. Of course, there are some exceptions, it all depend on the context of the message. Gog will attack Israel when all the Twelve Tribes dwell in the Holy Land. Otherwise, there will not be the Gog and Magog invasion. Predicting this war without this condition is absurdity.
3. Here is another crucial condition of Ezekiel prophecy without which the war of Gog and Magog is virtually impossible. And this important condition is: 'They are at rest; they shall dwell safely. In the land of unwalled villages, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates' (Ezekiel 38:8, 11). We have already learned that Gog's attack begins in a latter years, when all Twelve Tribes reunited and dwelled in the land of Israel. Is Israel truly living now in security and safety? Far from it! This is certainly not the situation in the State of Israel to-day. The neighboring Arab-Muslim states have continued threatening Israel's existence and aiming for its destruction since the tiny country was born. Israel literally imprisons itself behind walls and fences. It has well equipped powerful (8th in the world) military army, IDF, 'iron dome,' and nuclear weaponry. By no means has Israel dwelt in safety; it has become a defensive fortress among 'evil neighbors' (Jeremiah 12:14-17). The prophet carefully emphasizes the fact that Gog will attack Israel specifically 'in that day when My people of Israel dwelleth safely' (verse 14). It is a significant error to think that modern Israel even close to this condition of security, prosperity, and safety.
4. The other necessary condition for Gog's attack is the fact that the Messiah (son of Joseph or David) revealed and lived among the united and redeemed Twelve Tribes of Israel. All these descriptions of safety and prosperity show that the Messianic Era begins with the Messiah in the midst of Israel. All Israelites will have been brought back from the sword from the nations of their exile. They (Judah and Ephraim, commonly called 'Israel' after the Reunification) must live safely, in a secure environment, all of them. According to Scriptures, those multitudinous prophecies of reconciliation and reunification of the whole House of Israel eventually involve the Messiah who will initiate and conclude the Messianic process. The coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of all Israel to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace and prosperity. It will happen only with the arrival of the Messiah himself! Gathering the exiles to the Land of Israel is one of the main priorities of the Messiah. Without this man as God's appointed Messiah, the King of Israel, there would not be in-gathering of Judah and Joseph; the Messianic Age would not come; and the war of Gog and Magog, the final battle between good and evil, would not happen. This is a basic belief of Judaism.
5. So, what we established so far? We know that the Gog and Magog war will happen in the 'latter years,' when the whole House of Israel reunited and brought back to the Promised Land by the revealed Messiah. They will settle on the Mountains of Israel, 'which have been always waste' (Ezekiel 38:8), rebuild the cities, plant vineyards, cultivate the desolate land that 'the wilderness become a fruitful field' (Isaiah 32:15). Thanks to the national talent for innovation in science and technology and toil labor, the Israelites create a sound western type economy, communications, and infrastructure; organize well equipped and highly efficient defense forces to protect its State. United Israel must somehow achieve a secure environment described in the prophecy as 'a land of unwalled villages,' 'people at rest,' 'having no bars, no gates' (Ezekiel 38:11). All these descriptions of safety and prosperity show that the Messianic Era begins with the Messiah in the midst of Israel. How will they have done it? The Bible explains: 'They will dwell securely when I execute judgments against all around them who treat them with contempt' (Ezekiel 28:26). Who are these people all around Israel 'who treat them with contempt?' They are the same 'evil neighbors' spoken by the prophet (Jeremiah 12:14-17). These surrounding aggressive Arab-Muslim nations are listed in Psalm 83:6-8. They will be defeated by IDF (Isaiah 11: 14; Zechariah 12:6; Ezekiel 25:13, 14; Obadiah 1:18; Zephaniah 2:8-11; Jeremiah 48-all) and wiped out from the Holy Land. Israel will repossess their territories and reestablish its borders to its Biblical dimensions as prophesied in the Hebrew Bible: -Unto your descendants have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates- (Genesis 15:18; Numbers 34:1-13). That is how the Israelites will establish safety environment under their brilliant Commander-in- Chief the Messiah who will be victorious over the enemies and lead the world toward peace, brotherhood, spiritual and material fulfillment.
6. The next key condition of the Gog's attack on Israel is to know the reason why it happens. Well, Gog did not hide his intentions: 'I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land' (Ezekiel 38:12). Gog's goal is clear: he will come to take a spoil, to take a prey, this is the reason for his attack! I have to make it perfectly understandable that this prophecy is not speaking of the present-day Jewish state of Israel, but rather of the time when the Messiah will be revealed, when Judah is already reunited with the Ten Tribes of Israel. It will occur in the 'latter days,' at the beginning of the Messianic Era. The riches and wealth of Ephraim's nations, primarily the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and other countries of Israelite origin together with the remnants of the Jewish people in Diaspora will relocate, with the numerous Israelite populations, to the Promised Land. It will be the greatest and final Exodus ever predicted by God's prophets (Isaiah 60:4-66, 9; Jeremiah 16:14-15). Gog's purpose 'to plunder and loot the people living at the center of the land' means that Israel will possess the vast riches of agricultural products and manufacturing goods, abundance of clean water, gold and silver 8 the great prosperity. Meanwhile, in this period of time, the world economy will crumble and collapse; there will be riots and wars; substantial shortages of food, drinking water, and natural mineral resources and, most importantly, an energy crisis with no gas and oil available. These sources of energy are limited and non-renewable. The world desperately needs renewable sources of clean and inexpensive energy that will change the ways of living on our planet. Until humanity finds new sources of energy and revolutionizes live on Earth, we have to deal with what we have. And here is another, the most important reason for Gog attack: God blessed Israel with huge reservoirs of natural gas and oil (Leviathan and Tamar) under the Mediterranean Sea and in the Golan Heights. The prospects of this discovery are enormous - it will meet the energy needs of Israel for more than 100 years. This 'gift from God' will tremendously change the life of the Israel nation for the better, resembling the Biblical expression of Israel as 'the land of milk and honey.' Overnight Israel from fossil fuel importer will become potential exporter of natural gas. As of to-day, Israel has reached an agreement with Greece, Cyprus and Italy on the world's longest underwater gas pipeline, estimated to cost nearly $7 billion. The pipeline will have the capacity of 10 to 20 billion cubic meters of gas and 2,100 kilometers long. The European Union is very much interesting in this deal, which could be operational as soon as 2025. Israel's economy will blossom with astounding growth and become the strongest economy in the world. This will open a new era of prosperity, peace, and safety for Israelites. When Israel builds natural gas pipes and starts to export it to the democracies of Europe and other places with better prices and more reliable service, it will undermine Russia's interests and influence, which in turn will make them very furious and violent. The Leviathan and Tamar fuel fields might become that important 'spoil' Russia, China, Iran and the rest will come to plunder from Israel. But this is not all. When it comes to the Land of Israel, we have much to thank Hashem for vast amounts of natural treasures that are hidden in the sea and in the earth. Just recently, under the Carmel Mountain were found rear precious stones that no other country has. The mineral is embedded in sapphire is unique and is named 'carmeltazite.' And because it is sufficiently rare, it proves to be more valuable than diamonds. On the High Priest's breastplate, every Israel tribe was represented by a precious stone. The Temple and the Kohanic vestments also required many precious stones, which were extracted from the depths of the Land of Israel.
Most of the countries of Gog's alliance will not have such a prosperous situation as that which Israel shall enjoy. Their economies will be poor and on the verge of collapse. Of course, there is also anti-Semitism, jealousy, and hatred against God of Israel, His Messiah, and chosen people, which will facilitate invasion. Now you know why Gog and his hordes will attack Israel.
7. The armies of Gog and Magog will attack Israel right at the beginning of the Messianic Age, when the Israelites are most vulnerable: 'I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates' (Ezekiel 38:11). Anyone can come to the same conclusion after reading the words of the prophet Ezekiel, who clearly described Israel's situation as the down of the Messianic Time. Meanwhile, the majority of the 'mystical prophets' and learned 'prominent end-of-days experts have in unison announced that the war of Gog and Magog is pre-Messianic.
Nevertheless, Maimonides famously said that, 'The plain meaning of the words of the prophets seems to indicate that the war of Gog and Magog will take place at the beginning of the Messianic Era' (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Melakhim 12:2).
8. We know that 'the beginning of the Messianic Era' directly associates with the revealed Messiah, no Messiah, no Messianic Age. Maimonides is not alone in his opinion that the war of Gog and Magog takes place before the Messiah. The 11th Century CE Midrash Vayosha thus describes events of the Gog and Magog War: 'And when the days of the Messiah arrive, Gog and Magog will come up against the LORD of Israel, because they will hear that Israel is without a king and sits in safety.'
Rabbi Yuval Ovadia in his video on January 10, 2019 (BIN) said: 'First Moshiach will come. Then Gog will wage war against King Messiah. The same message God transmitted through the prophet Ezekiel with important key conditions of Gog's attack. Those scholars, who think that we have already reached well prescribed prophetic conditions for Gog's attack, are in error. Gog will attack Israel only when Israel meets those conditions, that is, be at rest and safety, 'having neither bars nor gates' (Ezekiel 38: 8, 11-12).
Is it not written that, 'You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it' (Deuteronomy 4:2)? Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai, who lived in 2nd-century AC, known by his acronym Rashbi, the author of the Zohar, one of the greatest teachers of Jewish Law and mysticism of Kabbalah, says that 'once Moshiach is manifested throughout the whole universe, all the kings will unite to fight against him.' The Sages and many sources of Rabbinical literature in the Talmud have come to the conclusion that the war of Gog and Magog will happen after the revealing of the Messiah. They based its decision on analyses of literal words of the prophet Ezekiel who clearly and satisfactory described condition and timing of this Biblical war.
Since the Messiah has not yet come; the House of Israel has not reunited and not lived in safety; the Messianic Era has not begun -- how is it remotely possible that the Gog and Magog War has already started? It is of those 'doomsayers' said the prophet: 'Listen not to the words of the prophets that prophesy to you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart and not out of the mouth of the LORD' (Jeremiah 23:16). In other place it says: 'Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing. Their visions are false and their divinations a lie'' (Ezekiel 13:3, 6). Their ultimate failure lies in the fact that the Lord has not sent them and reveals nothing. Ignoring the plain words of God's true prophets and even twisting the meaning of the prophecy is no less than sacrilege.
Prophetic Future. The Wars of the Kings of the North and South
Now I would like to outline the future chain of events according to Scripture, rabbinical literature, contemporary geopolitical events in the world, and my understanding, of course. The way I see it, the first Biblical war on prophetic horizon is the war(s) of the kings of the North and South described by the prophet Daniel 11:40-45. For the readers' information, it is very important to understand that beginning from Daniel 11:36, the old prophecies picturing the Seleucid and Ptolemy kingdoms, their wars, and family feuds of its kings had gone. From the verse 36 begins a new, completely different reality - the prophecy jumps two thousand years ahead to our age with new players as the kings of the North and South, and with a new geopolitical reality of the world today. 'Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days' (Daniel 10:14).
Without going into deep details and lengthy explanations, to save time and space, I will make a brief survey of future development. The king of the North in this prophecy is the newly resurrected Holy Roman Empire (EU) under the indisputable leadership of Germany, which I identified as the Biblical Assur. It is the same personality listed in Psalm 83:8: 'Assur also is joined with them.' In both cases Assur-Germany and the king of the North are representing the same political entity -the European Union, and will be destroyed by God inside of the Land of Israel (Daniel 11:45). 'I break the Assyrian in My land and upon My mountains tread him under foot' (Isaiah 14:25). Here is another proves of it: 'Assyria will fall by no human sword; a sword, not of mortals, will devour them' (Isaiah 31:8).Germany is still awaiting its leader to fulfill the prophecy. The current president Angela Merkel is irrelevant to this prophecy. The next coming presidential election might reveal him.
The king of the South is Iran who has five allies: Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, the short lived Islamic Caliphate. Many theologians believe that Egypt is traditional king of the South, but the Scripture rejects this notion (Daniel 11:42-43), showing defeated Egypt as simple military ally of the king of the South. The wars of these kings will be initiated by the Muslim Republic of Iran, who shall 'push' at the king of the North (EU). The ultimate goal of this war for Iran is the resurrection of an imperialistic and expansionist Islamic Caliphate with jihad and Sharia law to achieve world domination with a capital in Jerusalem. As a result, the king of the South suffered crushing defeat. The victorious king of the North spared his ancient friends Edom, Moab, and Ammon (I Chronicles19) and then entered into the glorious land, that is, the Land of Israel, where 'he shall come to his end' (Daniel 11:41, 45). It will be the powers of Russia and China with their allies, as stated in Ezekiel 38:3-6, that will challenge and halt the beastly European power on its way to world domination. This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled because Assyria-Germany has not yet been defeated in the land of Israel.
The graphic and detail account of Iran's demise is also pictured by the parallel prophecy of Jeremiah (49:34-39). 'Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the foremost of their might' (verse 35). First of all, who is Elam? Elam, according to Josephus Flavius (Antiquities of the Jews, chapter VI: 4), is the Persian people: 'For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians.' The Elamites were excellent archers. It was their strength and the power of their bowmen (Isaiah 22:6). This instrument of war brought them many victories on the battlefields. It was the 'chief of their might,' the source of their great strength and glory. But this prophecy does not speak of the past, it aims for the future. In this case, it speaks of Iran and its modern nuclear arsenal and intercontinental ballistic rockets. God will break the bow of Elam, meaning all nuclear missiles launches, on land, air or water, will be destroyed. The judgment against Elam is very specific and the language used cannot be found anywhere else in Scripture. A disaster of epic biblical proportions will finally arrive in the Middle East, causing a nuclear holocaust and humanitarian crisis of unseen dimensions. The past nuclear disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima will not even be comparable.
'There shall be no nation where the outcasts of Elam shall not come,' said the Prophet (Ezekiel 38:36). The territory of Iran will be badly polluted, and the Arabian Gulf will become a cesspool of radioactive contamination, and whoever is saved from the Iranian people will be scattered into the nations of the world. God's judgment of Elam has not occurred in recorded history but will be fulfilled shortly in the future.
'I will set My throne in Elam' (verse 38) means that God will break not only Elam but also its militant religion of Islam, which seeks to destroy Israel and USA and take over the world. Instead of Islam, it will be the God of Israel who will establish His rule and authority over the entire world, including the people of Iran.
WARS OF PSALM 83
As soon as the king of the North (Assur-Germany) with its ten countries of EU defeats the king of the South (Iran) and its allies, the prophecies of Psalm 83 will begin to unravel. In the war(s) of Psalm 83 all surrounding aggressive Arab-Muslim nations, plotting to annihilate Israel, will be defeated by IDF, except Assur-Germany who will be judged by God Himself. The military actions may start with provocative behavior of Moab and Ammon (Jordan), proxies of Assyrians, since it has been their familiar ancient trade (I Chronicles19).Then they will call Assur-Germany to protect them, as it is written: 'Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot' (Psalm 83:8). That is exactly the reason why the king of the North spared its devoted friends (Daniel 11:41). One of the 'casus belli' of this war(s) could be blowing up the Dome or Al-Aqsa Mosque by the sons of Lot, pretending that the Jews are to blame, and fabricate evidence, this would immediately rouse the indignation of the Arab-Muslin world against the Israelites, making war absolutely inevitable.
Before facing military defeat from the hands of the king of the North, Iran will order its proxies to attack and annihilate Israel, 'that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance' (Psalm 83:4). Syria, like the rest of Israel's Islamic neighbors, hates Israel, and has also publicly called for the destruction of Israel.
Syria will attack Israel and incurred a lot of damage, especially in the northern part. Israel will retaliate with nuclear weapons and completely destroy the city of Damaskus that 'it shall be a ruinous heap' (Isaiah 17:1). Of the Syria's same fate speaks the prophet Jeremiah: 'I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damaskus' (23-27). The nations of Moab and Ammon also will be dealt by IDF: 'The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hastens fast. Moab shall be destroyed as a nation because he magnified himself against the LORD (Jeremiah 48-all). Here is description of Ammon fall: 'The days are coming, when Rabbah of the Ammonites will become a desolate heap of ruins. Surely, Moab will become like Sodom and Ammon like Gomorrah' (Zephaniah 2:8-11). Next on the list of Israel's enemies are the Philistines of Gaza: 'I will raise My fist of judgment against the Philistines and I will cut off and utterly destroy their people who live by the seacoast' (Ezekiel 25:15-17). Edom will not escape the wrath of God and will be defeated by the hands of the Israelites as it is written: 'I will bring my vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel; and they must do in Edom according to My anger and according to My rage. I will wipe out its people with the sword' (Ezekiel 25:12-14). The prophet Obadiah (1:18) confirms demise of Edom: 'And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken it.'
Now I would like to show how the above judgments of Israel enemies wisely manifested in a short prophecy of Isaiah: 'They shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them' (Isaiah 11:14). United Israel's armies under the leadership of the brilliant Commander-in-Chief Messiah son of Joseph (or David) will conduct this operation swiftly and decisively. After cleaning the seacoasts of Philistines in Gaza on the West, he will direct his forces to the East and deliver a terrible blow and subjugate Edom, Moab, and Ammon. There are some scholars who saying that Edom represents many European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, the USA, and other countries on the West. How do they explain Isaiah 11:14, where is said that the Israelites will defeat Edom on the East? These three nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon during the Biblical history always have been together warring against Israel and geographically located in the close proximity to each other. I do not speak of Edom who used to dwell on Mount Seir - those Edomites are gone. Wonder, what country this Eastern Edom represent to-day?!
It is certain that countries such as Iran, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, as a result of Daniel's wars of the kings of the North and South, will not be able to take any action in the following wars of Psalm 83, as they will have been defeated and subjugated by the victorious king of the North. Those who mistakenly include these countries in the list of the plotters to annihilate Israel in Psalm 83 should rethink and make proper adjustments.
The next thing the Israelites do is to restore the Land of Israel to its God's established borders from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers. All those Messianic victories will be done according to God's will: 'You are My war club, My weapon for battle, with you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms' (Jeremiah 51:20). No weapon turned against Israel will succeed. And any voice of protest or accusation against Israel will be refuted and silence in judgment: 'This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me' (Isaiah 54:15-17).
The Gog and Magog War
Now is the time to discuss the timing of the third and final war of Gog and Magog. As we have already established, Gog will attack Israel at the time when:
a). This war will happen in the latter years, in the End-of-Days;
b). The Jewish people will reunite with the Israelite people of the Ten Tribes and all of them will dwell in the Promise Land;
c). The Messiah, son of Joseph or David, will be revealed and the Messianic Age started;
d). All surrounding aggressive Arab-Muslim nations will be defeated;
e). The Land of Israel will be restored to its Biblical borders;
f). Israel will live in peace, prosperity, and safety without walls, having neither bars nor gates.
As soon as these imperative conditions come to pass, Gog's armies will invade Israel, because outline situation perfectly conform to the description of the prophet Ezekiel of the beginning the Gog and Magog war.