January 9, 2015 - A. V. Rauf
Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog and Magog (Part 3)
Ezekiel 38:7-16—Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8 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. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11 And thou shalt say, 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, 12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? 14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Why is this invasion going to take place? Let me give to you 4 possible reasons:
1) The Prophetic Reason: (Ezekiel 38:1 says, And the Word of the Lord came unto me. It’s a prophetic reason. It’s God’s word being fulfilled. By the way the phrase, “The Word of the Lord came unto me..” is used 92 times in the entire Bible. Out of those 92 references, over half (47) are in the Book of Ezekiel alone! Also, the phrase “Thus saith the Lord…” appears 415 times in the Bible. 127 of them are in the Book of Ezekiel alone!
There is no prophet that who so establishes the fact that this is God’s Word; a direct Word from the Almighty God, a revelation from God. So there is obviously the PROPHETIC reason.
2) The Personal Reason (verses 10-13): The personal reason for this invasion is to receive a material and financial reward. Notice that the opportunity to invade comes when Israel has a false sense of peace and security. (verse 11 says that they dwell safely.)
Interestingly, in all the peace negotiations that is the major issue, at least from the Israeli side. The Israelis have said that over and over again recently that they have never had more security then they have now, yet they are well aware that there are 27 Islamic countries currently that are calling for their destruction! Again the media paints this picture as if the nation of Israel is a war zone and that there is so much turmoil taking place there.
Ezekiel said that there will be prophets and leaders in Israel who will seduce the people into believing that there is peace when there really is no peace. (Ezekiel 13:16). So the opportunity to invade comes when Israel has a false sense of peace and security.
Is there anything in Israel worth taking? ABSOLUTELY!
Currently Israel has become a major player in the foreign markets. There wealth is well-known. There ability is well-known. Israel is on the verge of becoming the next “Silicon Valley” of the world. There is a common –used joke in Israel: “When you put on your clothes, make sure you put on your cell-phone!” There are more cell-phones per person in Israel than anywhere in the world. They of course, have a security reason for that. Even the little children take cell-phones with them to school.
In Ezekiel 38:13, we see something very interesting regarding any opposition to this invasion. We see some nations questioning this invasion. (Sheba and Dedan)
Genesis 10:7—And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
According to Genesis 10:7, Sheba and Dedan are the grandsons of Cush. But they are also the same names used of the grandsons of Abraham by his second wife Keturah. And they are the fathers of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is not necessarily from the lineage of Ishmael. They come from Sheba and Dedan who were the sons of Keturah, the 2nd wife of Abraham.
Genesis 25:1-3—Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
Haven’t you noticed recently that there seems to have been a sort of drift or separation between Saudi Arabia and the more fundamentalist Islamic countries? There are reports indicating that Saudi Arabia is very concerned about Isis making their way towards Saudi Arabia as well.
Most Muslims are divided into two major camps with many side issues. The two sides are Shiite, who are more fundamentalist and the Sunni, who are not as radical. The Saudi Arabians are Sunni and they control the holy sites of Mecca & Medina. There is another sect which is based in Arabia (Wahabi) which we won’t discuss now.
According to verse 13, they are merely questioning this invasion and not confronting it militarily.
Now we are about to enter some touchy territory:
13 …and the merchants of Tarsish, with all the young lions thereof,…
Actually it’s the the word means to plant. As in planting villages. Let me explain. Hebraically speaking, it means the merchants of Tarsish planted villages somewhere in the world. In your Bible, the merchants of Tarsish are mentioned 24 times. Several of those passages connect them with ships. Thus, they are a seafaring people.
Psalm 72:10—The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psalm 72:10, refers to the kings of Tarsish and of the islands.
Ezekiel 27:12-–Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.
Ezekiel 27:12 refers to a multitude of riches that they have including silver, iron, tin and lead.
Kind of interesting that the name Brittania, from which Great Britain gets its name, means a land of tin, and it is an island beyond Tarsish. Now in the ancient world, Tarsish was thought of being at the tip of Spain. The area we know as Gibraltar.
Recent archaeological finds inspired the book, America, B.C., by Professor Barry Fell of Harvard University. With an estimated date of 700-600 B.C., the findings suggest that voyagers were probably not explorers but rather merchants trading with the New England Celts who, by that dates, were already well established fur trappers and very likely also mining precious metals from those sites where ancient workings have been discovered. If the findings of Professor Fell are accurate, large colonies of Celts had been brought by ship from Tarshish, Spain, to mine for ore and trap for furs and thus to establish trading posts deep within the American continent. They must surely be recognized as belonging to Ezekiel’s “merchants of Tarshish.”
Now the Book of Ezekiel was written around 500 B.C., during Babylonian captivity. 300 years prior to that we have evidence that there were people here in America. All the way in Iowa as well as all over in New England they have found inscriptions. These have now been deciphered. And guess what, there in glowing terms unmistakable, we have the name merchants of Tarsish, who were here in America.
Apparently as a seafaring people , they had planted themselves in “the islands far away from Europe.” And these people, may have been apparently as far away as the British Isles. They had a vast network of economy and shipping that was taking place hundreds of years before Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. This means that when Ezekiel wrote this, he would have known about them!
This is not a new revelatory “prophecy point.” There is accurate evidence that can prove its authenticity. You can do the research yourself. But we have an even greater accurate and authentic proof and that is the Bible itself.
So then this reference to merchants of Tarsish could not only refer to the British Isles, but it may also allude to The Unites States of America! And if that is true, then all we are doing is the same thing that Saudi Arabia is doing, which is not intervening in this war.
Recently , it seems as if we have been doing a lot of work with Saudi Arabia, who apparently have been very friendly with us. Nonetheless, it seems as if even the U.S. is just questioning about this invasion and not doing anything about it. This seems to indicate that there will be no deliberate military action engaged by any of these nations in opposition to Russia.
Note that Ezekiel refers not just to Tarshish, but to “the merchants of Tarshish with all its young lions” (KJV). This phrase is a Hebrew idiom meaning nations that have come out of Tarshish. The young lions of Tarshish are a reference to the colonies that emerged from Britain and Europe – including the USA. Out of the Merchants of Tarshish came the colonial Empires. The most successful of these was Great Britain. The symbol of Great Britain is a lion. That symbol exists to this day and no other empire had more young lions than Great Britain. The present young lions are the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Commonwealth. These young lion nations that came out of the British Empire have generally been pro-Israel.
Therefore, ‘the young lions of Tarshish’ describes the USA in the last days joining in with her European and Saudi allies to lodge a formal protest against the Russian-Islamic aggressors.
My concern is when the U.S., who currently seems to be the only ally of Israel, ever decides to turn its back on Israel and side with the Arabs due to the Arab oil, watch out! It is very possible that the stage is being set for this to happen. Only time will tell. However, I gauge my view based on the Word of God. Jerusalem will a trembling cup to ALL nations. ALL nations will gather to fight against Jerusalem.
We do know that the personal reason for this attack on Israel will be for material and financial rewards.
Ezekiel 38:17–Ezekiel 39:9 —Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? 18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. 19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
Chapter 39: Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 6 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. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
As you read the above passages, this brings me to the next reason for this wars and that is:
3) The Providential Reason: “Providence,” refers to the control of God behind everything. The providential reason is to see that the Lord’s hand is behind it all. God Himself states, “I will turn thee back,” “I will bring thee forth,” etc.
The same thing is said about Armageddon, by all the Hebrew prophets that it is God who will bring the nations against Israel and will unleash His judgments and fulfill His plans
Ezekiel 39:10-21—So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God. 21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
You see, there is a providential reason, that we would see the hand of the Lord behind it all.
Now I know Jesus said that when you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not troubled. Again if one is not reading their Bible, or living right, they may panic when hearing this. (The conclusion to this series will be in the next post….)