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Ezekiel 38:1,2 – “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Gog (high extension) appears for the first time in Ezekiel. He is the Anti-christ of whom so much has been written. Please note that he is identified as the “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” Many commentators, especially in the last 100 years, have not identified him as the Antichrist, but have identified him as the ruler or chief prince of the land of Magog, which I do not believe Scripture justifies. Before the 20th Century, most identified him as the Antichrist. In verse 2 Ezekiel is told to set his face against two separate things, a person and a place. The person is Gog (Antichrist), and the place is the land of the descendants of Magog where it existed in Ezekiel’s day. If we do not locate the territories of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal as they existed in Ezekiel’s day, then we can have no idea as to where the Antichrist will soon rear his head, or the area from which his attack will be launched. Why? Because more than 2500 years have slipped by since Ezekiel wrote his prophecies, and the bloodlines of all three men been distributed across the entire planet. In order to correctly identify the area, from whence the Antichrist will attack Israel, we must identify where the descendants of Meshech and Tubal were residing in 500 and 600 B.C. Why? Because the Antichrist is not the chief prince of Magog, he is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. He will come from the area where their descendants were settled in 500 and 600 B.C.
I will attempt to use two different sources to locate where the descendants of Meshech and Tubal were clustered at the time of Ezekiel’s writings. The first is found in the 27th chapter of Ezekiel, and the second is from the Assyrian monument stones of that period. Ezekiel 27:3 – “And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord God; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.” Tyrus (Tyre) was a seaport on the southern coast of what we know today as Lebanon, which is directly north of Israel. Tyrus built its first great sea wall to protect its harbored ships more than 3000 years ago, and was a thriving seaport in Ezekiel’s day. Its ships carried merchandise from the countries of the east across all the Mediterranean, and even as far north as the shores of the English Channel. Zidon (Sidon) was also a sea port, and less than 20 miles separated the two cities. The wise men of Tyrus were the navigators of the ships, and the men of Zidon were the deck hands, as portrayed in Ezekiel 27:8 – “The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots.” Now, bearing all this in mind, let us look at Ezekiel 27:13 – “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.” Meshech and Tubal were warlike tribes, who often took their captives (persons of men) and the vessels of brass they had captured, or hammered out themselves, and carried them to the NEAREST seaport for trading. The captives were, of course, loaded on the ships and sold as slaves in foreign ports of trade. Why the NEAREST seaport? Because, in Ezekiel’s day, travel was by foot, donkey, camel, and horse. People always carried their trading goods to the nearest port, particularly slaves. Therefore, I conclude that Meshech and Tubal must have roamed in the area we know today as Syria, Lebanon, northwestern Iraq, and southern Turkey. Meshech and Tubal are the Mushki and Tabali of the Assyrian stone monuments. In the time of Sargon and Sennacherib (700 B.C.) the territory of Tubal adjoined southern Cilicia, while that of Meshech filled the highlands to the east of Tubal. Considering the locations derived from the Bible and stone tablets, it appears that the Antichrist, as the chief prince of the area once occupied by Meshech and Tubal, is likely to arise, and eventually to attack Israel, from Syria or Lebanon. And, since Lebanon is virtually controlled by Syria, it appears greater Syria is the best guess for his homeland.
But what about the land of Magog? Where were the Magogites settled in Ezekiel’s day? Lord willing, we will attempt to zero in on that area in Prophecy Update Number 28.
Ezekiel 38:1-3 – “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  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:”
In Prophecy Update Number 27 we established, from the Scriptures and the Assyrian stone monuments, that the descendants of Meshech and Tubal, at the time Ezekiel wrote his prophecies, were primarily located in what we know as Syria and Lebanon. We also established that the prophecy is again a person, Gog (Antichrist), and against a land, the land of Magog. I am convinced that the Antichrist will attack Israel from Syria. Now, what about the “land of Magog?” Where were the Magogites located at the time of Ezekiel’s writings? Flavius Josephus, the noted Jewish historian makes the following statements concerning the Magogites in Antiquities of the Jews, Chapter VI, under the title, HOW EVERY NATION WAS DENOMINATED FROM THEIR FIRST INHABITANTS: “Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons.” “They called the nations by their own names.” “Magog founded those that from him were called Magogites, but who by the Greeks were called Scythians.” The Greek writers of the Classic Age said the Scythians occupied the area which today we identify as stretching from Moldova eastward across the Ukraine, southern Russia, and into Kazakhstan, then southward into Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan – Roughly the area north of the Black Sea, between the Black and Caspian Seas, and the area northwest, north, and northeast of the Caspian Sea. I do not believe the nations in this area will join in the initial attack against Israel, but I am certain they will come down for the final battle of Gog’s war, which is the Battle of Armageddon. The Battle of Armageddon, found in Revelation 16:16, is the final battle in Gog’s war, which began 3 and ½ years earlier.
Verse 3 fails to include the “land of Magog,” and is a message directly pointed, and personally addressed, against the Antichrist Gog, who once again is identified as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Popular writers in the last century brought a teaching into play that is simply not true. They said the word “chief” was “rosh” in the Hebrew language, which is true. But they said it meant “Russian,” which is not true. The Russian and Hebrew language have never overlapped in history to support such a claim. He is not a Russian prince. He is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, most likely having a Syrian father. The word “rosh,” in the KJV, is translated as “chief” 90 times, as “head” 349 times, as “top” 75 times, as “beginning” 14 times, as “company” 12 times, as “captain” 10 times, as “sum” 9 times, as “first” 6 times, as “principle” 5 times, as “chief man” 4 times, and as “ruler” on two occasions. At no time, in all of history, could it legitimately be identified as someone who is a Russian.
I am convinced this chief prince of Meshech and Tubal will come from either northwestern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, or southern Turkey, but I will be very much surprised if his father is not a Syrian. He will be the leader of a multilateral Arab force that will carry out a surprise attack against Israel from the north. I believe this is spoken of in Revelation 17:12,13 – “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
Although he will have the support of ten Arab nations, I believe the nations directly involved in the initial attack will be Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran from without, and the Palestinians from within. I believe the other nations, which will then immediately become involved in the Jihad, are most likely Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan. Lord willing, I will continue a line by line exposition of Ezekiel 38 in Prophecy Update Number 29.
I have established a case to show that the Antichrist is likely to arise in Syria, and will launch his initial attack again Israel from that position. Although he will have the support of ten Arab nations, I believe the nations directly involved in the initial attack will be Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran from without, and the Palestinians from within. I believe the other nations, which will then immediately become involved in the Jihad, are most likely Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan. Now, let us continue from Ezekiel 38:4 – “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.” This portrays a man overtaking a fleeing beast, putting hooks into its jaws, then turning and pulling it along a path the man desires to lead it. The Antichrist will have no choice in this matter. God will create political and economic circumstances whereby he must come down at exactly the appointed time. I protest the efforts of some commentators to take the weapons of Ezekiel’s day, and attempt to carry them into our day and time. Suppose God had inspired Ezekiel to write 1020 tanks, 923 MIG JETS, 3283 katyusha launchers, 12000 katyusha rockets, 723 SAM shoulder held launchers with 4673 SAM’s, and 2073 flamethrowers. The readers of Ezekiel’s day would have laughed him to scorn. I am persuaded that God meant for our final generation to picture a great, mighty, army, fully armed to the teeth with all the known modern weapons of warfare.
Ezekiel 36:5,6 – Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.  Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
Verse 5 names three of the peoples from which the Antichrist will draw his initial attacking horde: “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:” Persia was basically the peoples east of the Euphrates, which today would be Iran and Iraq. Libya corresponds with the location of modern day Libya. And Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day was made up mostly of what we call Sudan today. Once again the point is made that they will be fully armed for all out war.
Verse 6 continues to name the peoples of Ezekiel’s day from which he will draw his support, and by knowing where they lived at that time, we can at least attempt to identify those nations that occupy these areas today: “Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” Quite frankly, I have searched, and researched, the writings of many historians, both ancient and modern, and, in the end, knowing that honesty is the best policy, I can only say that there is a wide diversity of opinion. Up to this point, as regards the locations of Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Libya, and Ethiopia, I have presented a case from both the Scriptures and historical records, which I believe is substantial. But in the case of Gomer, and the house of Togarmah, as to where they were settled in Ezekiel’s day, I can only give a rough approximation. The house of Togarmah and the descendants of Gomer were sandwiched between the Magogites (Scythians) to the north, and Meshach, Tubal, and Persia to the south. They stretched from west to east across modern day Turkey into the area south of the Caucasus Mountains, and through extreme northern Iraq and Iran.
We will continue our verse by verse exposition of Ezekiel 38 in Prophecy Update Number 30.
We concluded Prophecy Update Number 29 with an exposition of Ezekiel 38:6, which had been continuous from Ezekiel 37:1. We will now continue our exposition, beginning with 38:7 — “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” This is a specific warning to Satan and his antichrist to get set, to be ready, and to be prepared to protect his armies as a guard or big brother. This is the showdown between God and Satan at the end of the age of the Gentiles, and God is literally saying, “This is it! You had better be ready.”
Ezekiel 38:8 – “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.” The “after many days” have piled up to some twenty-six hundred years since Ezekiel wrote these words. “Thou” refers to Gog, the anti-Christ. “Be visited,” means to muster, or to be called to arms. The rest of the verse identifies the general time, the place of the battle, and the people he will attack. The time (latter years) represents the closing years of the age of the Gentiles. The land is the restored nation of Israel that has been “brought back from the sword” (that has been restored from war). “And is gathered out of many people” refers to the residents of the land that is “brought back from the sword,” which have been gathered out of many nations across the face of the earth. “Against the mountains of Israel, which have always been waste” gives a topographical description of the land of Israel into which the anti-Christ will plunge southward. “Which has always been waste” refers to the hundreds of years between A.D. 135 and 1948 that the land of Israel was, compared to her former years of productivity, virtually a barren wasteland. “But is brought forth out of the nations” is exactly how the present nation of Israel was formed – by Jews brought forth from virtually every Gentile nation on this planet. Thus far, I am confident that all this has already been fulfilled. However, the last expression in verse eight has yet to be fulfilled. The last phrase in verse eight, “And they shall dwell safely all of them,” has not happened since the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. Israel has not had a single year, since she became a nation in 1948, that she has not had the constant possibility of war, or a conscious awareness of a terrorist act at any given moment. They have most assuredly not dwelled “safely all of them.” I have detailed what I believe will cause peace to finally come to the Mid-East, in spite of what is currently going on in the region. But it will be a false truce, and of short duration. It will abruptly end with the forces of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran pulling off a surprise blitzkrieg attack from the north. The Palestinians will attack Israel from within at the same time, and Israel will be forced to withdraw into the Negev. There will be five other Islamic nations involved in the peace of deceit, but the five aforementioned nations will provide the bulk of the force.
Lord willing, I will continue with the exposition of the 38th Chapter of Ezekiel on our next regularly scheduled Prophecy Update Number 31.
We concluded Prophecy Update Number 30 with an exposition of Ezekiel 38:8. We will now continue our exposition, beginning with 38:9 — “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.” This describes the suddenness of the blitzkrieg attack of Gog the antichrist against Israel from the north. It compares the attack with the rapid development of a cumulonimbus cloud when it first comes quickly toward the observer as a rumbling thunderstorm, and then rapidly covers the land where he or she stands from horizon to horizon. This will be the manner the bands and many people supporting Gog will abruptly spread southward across Israel.
Ezekiel 38:10-12 — “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:  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,  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.” Take a look back at Prophecy Update Number 30 in the prophecy archives, and the exposition of the last phrase in Ezekiel 38:8, which is: “And they shall dwell safely all of them.” This phrase is directly tied to the “evil thought” that comes into the mind of the antichrist concerning the purpose of the false truce he has led them into by deceit. Israel will have truce security agreements with all the nations that touch her borders. But they will be agreements of deceit by Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. The Islamic leaders, and the leaders of the terrorist groups they support, are now becoming aware they can never defeat Israel by their present tactics, and that what is going on now, and what has been going on since 1948, can never accomplish their objective of driving Israel out of the choice northern part of her domain. In order for Israel to believe they have what every leader of Israel since 1967 has said they must have, that is, “A TRUCE WITH SECURITY, PEACE WITH SAFETY,” the terrorist groups must temporarily cease their activities for a reasonable period of time, and a well coordinated plan of blitzkrieg attack must be formulated between Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq behind closed doors. Verse eleven describes his evil plan to attack a nation he has deceived with a false peace agreement. Verse 12 tells us he will break or betray the agreement (“turn thine hand”), and that he will take the spoils of war from the nation of Israel. The “spoils” are identified in terms that the readers of Ezekiel’s day would understand (“cattle and goods”), but to us they are to mean the national wealth and high tech resources of modern Israel. I firmly believe that in spite of what appears to be a state of never ending conflict between Israel and the other descendants of Abraham in and around her, soon a false peace will come to exist between them. And it will be followed by an attack against Israel, a nation in unbelief, as a sudden blitzkrieg from the north. When Israel is driven into the Negev, God will finally get her attention drawn to her true Messiah.
Romans 11:25,32 + I Thessalonians 5:3,4: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
Lord willing, I will continue the exposition of Ezekiel 38 next Friday in Prophecy Update Number 32.
We concluded Prophecy Update Number 31 with an exposition of Ezekiel 38:12, which has been done continuously from Ezekiel 37:1. We will now continue this exposition, beginning with Ezekiel 38:13.
Ezekiel 38:13 – 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?
Verse 13 mentions three other descendants which were not mentioned previously as being among the horde that attacked Israel, namely, Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish. Sheba and Dedan settled in the land we know as Saudi Arabia, later colonizing across the Red Sea in the horn we know today as Ethiopia. Tarshish is much harder to nail down to a specific location. The descendants of Tarshish were sea merchants who became the peoples of the Mediterranean Sea coast. The headquarters of the descendants of Tarshish is now generally accepted by most biblical authorities as a district in the south of Spain where the city of Tartessus once existed. The merchants of Tarshish scattered their descendants in village settlements along most of the coastal sections of Europe. I am persuaded that Europe represents the descendant offspring of Tarshish. It is quite possible that God may look upon the rest of Western Civilization as being the offspring (descendants) of Europe (“the young lions thereof”). The countries of the New World became the “melting pot” of Europe. It is very interesting what Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the rest of Western Civilization have to say to Gog about his attack on Israel: “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?” This is no more or less than the perfect description of a diplomatic protest to Gog’s actions. When the anti-Christ and his armies roar south into Israel in a blitzkrieg lightning strike, the rest of the free world will protest, protest, protest – and do nothing about it. The anti-Christ will take Jerusalem within four days of his initial strike in the north, and within three weeks most of Israel will have fled into the Negev south of Beersheva, where she will remain for some three and one-half years. Jerusalem will fall and only one-third of Israel’s population will make it safely into the Negev.
Zechariah 13:8 to 14:2 – And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.