The Prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39

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With the war in Ukraine, and Russia and Iran recently making pacts with China, many speculate about Ezekiel’s prophecies 38 and 39. Here is an overview and commentaries on these prophetic texts.

What is Ezekiel 38 and 39 about?

“The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.”

– Ezekiel 38:1-3

Due to these opening verses, this prophecy is often referred to as the “prophecy against Gog” or “the Gog and Magog event.”

The prophecies in Ezekiel 38 and 39 show the “last conflict of the world with God, and the complete overthrow of the former,” writes scholar Barnes in his notes on the Bible.

Written 2,600 years ago, Ezekiel predicts a great power to the far North of Israel, and a coalition of nations will invade and attack the restored land of Israel, author John Weldon says in his book, The Ezekiel 38 & Psalm 83 Prophecies.

“One of the perennial enigmas of biblical prophecy has been the Gog and Magog event described in Ezekiel 38 and 39,” said commentator Ralph Alexander, according to a paper on digital commons at liberty.edu.

The question, of course, is whether this is a prophecy that God and Ezekiel intended to communicate a message that would be fulfilled in history. Many do, although some liberal scholars do not believe so.

Identifying biblical nations

When reading Ezekiel 38 and 39, several nations are mentioned with names we don’t recognize today.

According to the Galion Inquirer, here is a guide to their names given in the Bible of nations invading Israel and their names today.

Russia (Magog).

Iran (Persia).

Meshech (Currently the southern part of Russia that reaches Turkey and Iran).

Tubal (The area of land east and north of Iran. Currently, five nations with ‘stan’ at the end of their names. These nations include Afghanistan. *As a side note, The United States relinquishing control of Afghanistan could possibly be a step in fulfilling this prophecy).

Ukraine (Gomer).

Turkey (Togarmah).

Ethiopia and Libya still retain their Biblical names.

When will the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies occur?

There is debate as to when this great war, the Gog and Magog event, will occur.

Some believe it has already occurred that it was an ancient event. Some believe it is pre-rapture, while others think it will occur after the rapture but before the tribulation.

However, the most widely held view is that this invasion will occur around the middle of the seven-year tribulation. This view identifies Ezekiel 38 and 39 with the invasion of the king of the North as described in Daniel 11:40.

Yet another view sees the Gog and Magog event has been synonymous with the battle of Armageddon in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 16:16)

Lastly, another major view sees the battle occurring at the end of the millennium, based on Revelation 20:7-9.

Does the Ukraine-Russia conflict play a role in Ezekiel’s prophecy?

Amid the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, many speculate if there is any relation to the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies.

“Russia is the clear leader in the coming attack,” refers to the Gog and Magog event.

Ukraine must either be allied with Russia or under Russian control to engage in an invasion with her,” Galion adds. “Therefore, any soon coming overthrow of Ukraine by Russia would satisfy that piece of the puzzle.”