It’s a confederacy!
A whole “bloc” of nations (from large to small) ready to strike Israel! Sometime in the future, when (finally) that little Land is at peace, at rest.
Such a story, a prophecy, gives Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Our job today is to try identifying these aggressors.
“Son of man, set thy face against GOG, the land of MAGOG, the chief prince of MESHECH and TUBAL, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O GOG, the chief prince of MESHECH and TUBAL: and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: PERSIA, ETHIOPIA, and LIBYA with them; all of them with shield and helmet: GOMER, and all his bands; the house of TOGARMAH of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” Verses 2-8 of Ezekiel 38.
In Hebrew “Gog” just means “mountains.” But this could be a proper name, or a title to a ruler of a certain land called “Magog.” That’s not much to work with, grammatically, etymologically. But every conservative textbook I can find tells me that these people likely lived somewhere in Asia Minor, NORTH of Israel. (Between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, says one annotated Bible.) On a map locate “Georgia,” formerly part of the USSR, that general area.
“Meshech” is clearly a “chief prince,” thus a man. The City “Moscow” may preserve this name, as “Tubal” well may identify present-day “Tbilisi.” (Any map of that area will show you.) We could be talking (I believe so) about the vast Russian Nation and its environs! Still, north of Israel and clearly (once again) a world power! Furthermore, these people are descendants of Noah’s son Japheth. “The sons of Japheth; GOMER, and MAGOG, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and MESHECH, and Tiras.” Genesis 10:1, King James Version
But this force has company! Allies! “Persia” is certainly “Iran.” And “Ethiopia” and “Lybia” still exist and are more easily identified. These nations (yet) despise Israel, even questioning her right to exist!
“Gomer,” at least all my life as a student of Scripture, has been identified with the Germanic people. But one trustworthy set of notes locates Gomer in Crimea, that area. With “Togarmah” being near Armenia.
Here come attackers toward little Israel from the north, east and south! The Mediterranean Sea is directly to her west. Surrounded by her foes! A massive army, apparently! Sometime during the Tribulation, its last half, probably. I’ll explain this later.
Notice the phrases like “a great company” and “all of them” and “all his bands” and “many people.” Sounds like half the world against God’s chosen people, the “apple” of God’s Eye!
But, did you see this? God has already told us the result of this impending battle, prior to the first shot being fired! “I am AGAINST thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I WILL TURN THEE BACK, and PUT HOOKS INTO THY JAWS, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.” Defeat, promised!
Putting hooks into the jaws of one’s prisoners-of-war was a common (and cruel) ancient practice. Painful and humiliating, debilitating as well. Like a “caught” fish on a line!
What a chapter! (One of the most difficult, along with chapter 39, passages in the whole Book of Ezekiel, the teachers all say!)
More tomorrow morning, the Lord willing. Maybe even with a few people trying to “withstand” this onslaught, these “bullies” ganging up on a nearly “helpless” victim.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Psalm 83 describes another united war against Israel! But the nations described there “touch” the Land of Israel, are much closer. While the nations depicted in our Ezekiel Text are further away, not directly touching that Holy Land! Yet there could be some conformity between the two Texts, between Ezekiel 38-39 and Psalm 83.