Some Important Issues that Need to be Addressed When Analyzing Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39

I’ve been studying the Bible these past few days almost nonstop in an attempt to gain further understanding of the prophecies concerning Egypt and Libya.

  • Again, the idea is that understanding the prophecies concerning Egypt and Libya could potentially enable us to gain some further understanding of what’s happening in these countries now and in the future.

A couple of days ago I realized that I will inevitably need to address the topic of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 to fully account for the prophecies concerning Libya.

For those new to Bible prophecy, Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 are perhaps the two most discussed and debated Bible prophecy chapters today among students of Bible prophecy. Ezekiel 38 describes a massive invasion led by an entity named Gog into the land of Israel. Gog’s invasion force will include several nations including “Libya” (verse 5).

  • Eze 38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
  • Eze 38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
  • Eze 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:
  • Eze 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
  • Eze 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
  • Eze 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.

Ezekiel 38:8-16 provides us details concerning Gog’s invasion of Israel:

  • Gog’s invasion of Israel will come at a time after the people of Israel are gathered from the nations, at a time when the people of Israel live in their land with a feeling of security, and at a time when Israel is a land that lacks security barriers like walls or gates.
  • Gog’s invasion is described in Ezekiel 38:16 as coming in the “latter days”.
  • According to Ezekiel 38:11-13, Gog’s and his forces’ main objectives are to attack the land, attack the people of Israel, and plunder the land and its people.

  • Eze 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.
  • Eze 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.
  • Eze 38:10 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:
  • Eze 38:11 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,
  • Eze 38:12 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.
  • Eze 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?
  • Eze 38:14 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?
  • Eze 38:15 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:
  • Eze 38:16 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.

Ezekiel 38:17-23 and Ezekiel 39 describe God defeating Gog and his forces.

Issues that Need to Be Addressed:
There are several issues that need to be addressed before a full understanding of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 can be achieved. Here are six major issues relating to Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 that I believe need to address:

How do Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 fit in context of other chapters in the Book of Ezekiel like Ezekiel 37 and Ezekiel 40? I’ve read some people who teach that the events in Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 occur before Ezekiel 40 and after Ezekiel 37.

How many invasions of Israel are described in Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39? The opinions I’ve seen on this question range from one invasion to three invasions.

When do the events of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 transpire? This is the most difficult question to answer and probably the most debated issue relating to Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39. The opinions I’ve seen range from just prior to the start of the End Times to after the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:8-9). The question becomes even more complicated when considering the possibility that Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 may describe multiple invasions by Gog.

Is Gog the same individual as the Antichrist? Many believe that Gog is the same individual as Antichrist. However, some argue that Gog may be another entity who engages in a power struggle with Antichrist.

Which countries comprise Gog's invasion force and which countries do not? There is a lot of debate about which countries will comprise Gog's invasion force. I think we may gain some additional understanding by looking at which countries do not join Gog in his invasion of Israel.

What other Bible verses/passages can help us understand Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39? Ezekiel 38:17 suggests that there are other verses/passages in the Bible that can help us to understand Gog when it says: “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?”

I am attempting to address each issue at the moment because I need to fully account for Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 before I can continue the study of the prophecies concerning Egypt and Libya. Recall, Libya is mentioned in Ezekiel 38:5 as a participant in Gog’s invasion force.

This is a very challenging topic to undertake because there are several issues that need to be addressed and there are many Bible verses to consider.

  • For instance, I have a Word Document that has at least 10 pages of Bible prophecy verses that could potentially be used to locate the timing of the events described in Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39.

This topic is likely going to require a multiple part study over the course of several days and weeks. If anyone knows of any Bible verses that might provide insight into understanding the events of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 I would appreciate it if you shared them.

25 comments: (+add yours?)

Connie said...

I don't know if you find this of any value or not, but as most prophecies have two fulfillments (one is usually in the past and one in the future)I see this as the same only both still being in the future. Both being "Armageddons" so to speak.The first at the end of Daniel's 70th week and the other at the end of the millennium. I see in chapter 39:17-end the sacrifice spoken of in Rev. 17:19, so I view that chapter as being about our time, but in chapter 38 I see Israel described as a land of unwalled villages that live in peace. No matter how you try, I cannot see how anyone can describe Israel as a land living in peace. They never have and never will until the millennium. So I see that chapter as a reference to the battle at the end of the millennium. It's just a thought to consider.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll consider this point of view as I gather more verses. It's interesting that Zechariah 2:4-5 mentions Jerusalem being unwalled. The passage sounds like a time beyond the 70th Week of Daniel.

Zec 2:4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
Zec 2:5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

Connie said...

That certainly sounds like a millennium one to me. I know that a lot of people don't think much about the millennium and what will go on, but the Bible has quite a bit to say about that, and I think they will be looking at the Scriptures to tell them what to expect at the end of the millennium just as we look at the prophecies, even the ones already fulfilled, to see what to expect from our own time. The problem is trying to weed out what belongs to which time, or how it applied so that you can find what belongs to your own and how it applies. God was very efficient in His use of prophecies. He uses them multiple times. If you can figure out the passage in Daniel 11 it may be helpful. The problem is, God spoke of countries as north and south, so filling in the right country is a little tricky. I do not know the history of the first fulfillment well enough to weed out that which does not fit and must apply to our time. Perhaps you have already or will do (if you haven't) better at figuring it out. If you have that figured out, it may help you to figure out some of Ezekiel. It's like a big jigsaw puzzle. Really difficult to put the pieces together.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Daniel 11:40-45 is on my mind. I expect to be able to deal with that passage if/when I have a fuller understanding of Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39. I have several possible ways to view Daniel 11:40-45 on my mind. Whichever way to view the passage depends on how Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 is viewed.

It is indeed a big jigsaw puzzle. Every verse has to be accounted for...

Steven Curtiss said...

He is reffering to two different battles that take place at the same time, the first Ezek 38:1-9 is of the great war against Israel then in vers 10 he says "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;" This is another country that they will invade at the same time. This other country is described in verses 11 and 12 and can only be the United States of America. With lack of border enforcement we have no walls nor gates. With live in peace since the reveloution we have never been invaded. The desolate places that are now inhabited would be the cities of Los Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles etc. With people from every country on earth living here we are truley the people gathered out of the nations. With more cattle and goods we have grown fat and complacent. We are the Saints that will be afflicted as mentioned in Revelations 17-18. The constitution will hang by a thread but be ye of good chear, we will prevail for we are on Gods side.

Connie said...

I might agree with you if it weren't that it is only a couple of verses in the midst of talking about Israel, and in vs. 14 it is talking about Israel dwelling safely which implies that the previous verses talking about the unwalled villages that dwell safely is speaking of the same thing. I don't see the context being changed so abruptly for so few verses and then switched right back again, especially as no other country is named. As for being on God's side, I don't think you are aware of our President's stand on the present Middle East conflict. He is siding with the Muslims. We are Babylon, we are not on God's side as a country. Maybe individual Christians are, but not as a country.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

I'm looking at Ezekiel 34 and Ezekiel 36 very closely today. It concerns the mountains of Israel and bringing the people back to them from the nations. You might find it interesting. These two chapters might be very important to identifying the timing of Ezekiel 38/39.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I should pay some close attention to verse 10 after you've mentioned it.

Steven Curtiss said...

In vs 14 he is reffering to a time period when this will happen, this is confirmed with 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."

This peace is the peace pact that the Antichrist will make with Israel and the world and then break.

He cannot name the United States because the Lord chose to hide the western hemisphere from them, so until 1492 no one in the old world knew of these continents.

In vs 9 the Jews are gathered out of many people.
In vs 12 the Americans are gathered out of the nations.

In vs 13 they are asked why are they attacking the U.S. but this question is never answered because there is no good reason other than their belief that we are the great satin and they are unsuccessful anyways.
In vs 14 we are told when they will attack.
In vs 15 we are told the direction that they will attack Israel from.
In vs 16-17 the world realizes that this is what was foretold in the bible.

Ezekiel does not skip around at all when telling us these things it is just a little foggy because it has not yet happened.

Connie said...

I am not sure what will bring about the building of the temple, whether a war averted, or a war quickly won, or what. But we know that there will be some sort of temple built and sacrifices offered during the first half of Daniel's week. We know that at the time of the abomination, part of Israel will be disbursed from the land to survive, and the rest will be killed.Then when the Lord returns (I believe it is at the last trump (7th trumpet)) all Israel will then see and believe on the Lord. It is at that time that He will regather her again into the land, while He pours out His wrath on the rest of the world. From that point on (after His wrath) is when they will dwell in safety knowing their Lord. In other words, the millennium. I believe this is when they will burn all the weapons left over from Armageddon for months on end. They will not know Him as their God again until they acknowledge Jesus. That is when He will put His spirit in them and they will have a new heart and will have one shepherd over them. So therefore I believe these chapters when talking about safety, fruitfulness, etc. are talking about the millennium, not before or during Daniel's 70th week. Just my opinion. No matter what peace agreement may create the ability for them to put up the temple, the Muslim countries will never sit back and let Israel live in peace. I think of Daniel 11:27 where it says they will sit at the table (peace talks) and speak lies to each other. And I think of all the battles in Daniel 11 that precede the abomination of desolation. There is a lot of activity going on over there, so I don't think peace and safety is really what is going on during the first half of those 7 years no matter what some of these prophecy teachers are teaching.

Steven Curtiss said...

A study of the Millerites (William Miller) and "The Great Disappointment " will bring new light on the subject of Daniels prophecy. This is the beginning of the Adventist movement in the 1830-40's. I believe much of their knowledge is true except as to what the end would be. It is far to much to explain here, but has a lot to do with Daniel. Couple their belief with the sign of Mathew 24:29 and Revelations 6:13 as been given on the night of November 12-13, 1833 (known as "the night of falling stars" when more than 34,640 falling stars were seen per hour the world over on this moonless night), and it will start to make sense.

Connie said...

Of course you are entitled to you own beliefs, but I am familiar with the Millerite eschatology and do not accept it as being a good interpretation of Scripture.As for those verses, I believe those particular heavenly signs will be much greater than a meteorite shower. Plus I don't think the shower was accompanied by an earthquake or a solar eclipse. Notice that all men hide in fear that the wrath of God is falling upon them. I do not think men had that reaction to the meteorite shower. Fascination maybe, deathly fear and running to hide themselves - all around the world? No. I don't see those Scriptures being fulfilled at all. Sorry. I take a literal view of Scripture.But you are free to believe as you wish.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

The peace and safety issue is a major one to address. I've seen a variety of theories of how it could be achieved

Isaiah 28:15-19 is a passage to consider. Ezekiel 13:10 and Ezekiel 13:16 are also verses to consider.

What do you think of Ezekiel 34:17-22? Last night I was comparing this passage with Ezekiel 20:33-38

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write that. It's useful for me to see another perspective on these verses and passages. I searched online for the thoughts of other people on these verses and passages and I didn't find a lot. These are passages and verses that people tend to overlook.

Steven Curtiss said...

I admit that my belief is not mainstreem, and I hope that I don't affend anyone by sharing them as forcefully as I tend to do.

I find that there are two great heavenly signs that occur. The first and smaller at the end of Daniels tribulation as mentioned in Mathew 24:29, this tribulation being the lack of spiritual enlightenment not to say that there were not many exceptions, but overall the majority of people were in spiritual darkness. This meteor shower was so big that "you could read a news paper in the middle of street" though it was a moonless night. In recorded history such an event has not been seen before nor sense.

The second great heavenly sign to be given after the physical tribulation that is acompanied by the return of the Savior, Jesus Christ as mentioned in Isaiah 34:4 and Revelation 6:12-14 when the moon is turned to blood and the stars will depart as a scroll when it is rolled with accompanying earthquakes, etc.

I agree that a lot of the Millerite's beliefs were out there but the main theme as to Daniel I will hold to for many reasons not to be mentioned here.

Herbnallison said...

Thanks for your articles, they are interesting. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this:

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

I have to respectfully disagree with the above interpretation. Their take on those prophecy passages warps the Bible to fit their belief system. I want scripture to speak for scripture and to minimize relying on current events/history to interpret those passages. I believe the best interpretation can be achieved when scripture speaks for scripture.

Steven Curtiss said...

But do think that there will be two cities of God?

The scriptures say that Babylon will fall, is it possible that Babylon will be rebuilt by the antichrist when he makes a peace pact with Israel after the demise of the US and then God will destroy it? This seams to make sense, Iran say the 12 Imam will rule from Babylon in Iraq. Is the Antichrist of Revelations, Gog of Ezekiel, and the 12 Imam of Islam one in the same?

Do you think that the Samson Option as used by the IDF could be a possible fulfillment of the destruction of Gog as written in Ezekiel 38-39?

If we are in the last days what signs do you believe have already come to pass?

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

I believe New Jerusalem will be in Israel and not in the United States.

The verses I've gathered so far suggest that God will destroy Gog and his forces-not the IDF.

With regard to everything else, I am still studying Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39. I am also still gathering verses which may explain what is going to happen and when things are going to happen. I've noticed that there are several passages that have not been accounted for in many other people's studies of these passages. Not everything about Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 is known yet...

Steven Curtiss said...

If it is a new city would it not be built in a new location like New York is named after York in the United Kingdom? When they rebuild a city after it has been destroyed by war or natural disaster they call it by the old name not new.

I hope that I'm not wasting your time but I find this fascinating.

Steven Curtiss said...

After further consideration I have to change my opinion and agree with you that the night of Nov. 12 1833 the night of falling stars has nothing to do with Mathew 24:29 there are as you pointed out too many other accompanying other signs that happen at the same time. Thank you.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Perhaps I can write an article about the location of New Jerusalem in the future. Not sure when I'd write it, but it's now under consideration.

Connie said...

You might find my take on the location of New Jerusalem of interest. We know that Jesus went to prepare a place for us and New Jerusalem is it, so it has been under construction for 2000 years and is waiting to arrive when God gives the go ahead. It's description is found in Revelation. It says in Rev. 21 that after the White Throne Judgment, God creates a new heaven and new earth and then New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven to then dwell on the earth. Then it goes on to describe it, however the timing of its descent is clearly after the Judgment as it says there will be no more sin after its descent and there will be sin during the millennium. It is my belief that New Jerusalem will, for the millennium, be an orbiting city. We know from the description it is probably a cube shape and it is crystalline in structure, which means that the glory of the Lord will shine through it like a sun. It does say later in that chapter that the people will walk in its light, and there is no need any longer for the sun (which for reasons & Scripture evidence I will not go into here I believe will nova and go dark at the end of the 70th week) so it will be quite radiant in its being. As it comes down from out of heaven after the millennium, the assumption is that it has been in heaven (the second heavens of outer space not the third heaven of God's present abode) during this time, ergo orbiting the earth. As the saints in their glorified bodies will have no trouble going back and forth between earth and New Jerusalem (Christ was able to ascend into heaven and our bodies will be like His) this location does not pose a problem for its inhabitants. And it keeps it apart from the still mortal sinful people who will be living on earth, so that they cannot gain entrance. During the millennium there will be a temple built in Jerusalem (description in Ezekiel), and Christ will be able to visit with His people and do His judging from there, but His residence will be in New Jerusalem. I tried to keep this short and still try to give reasons, but it is hard to in this type of forum. Hope I was clear.

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Connie said...

Thank you for your reply. I am so used to people disagreeing with my viewpoint that to see someone consider that what I said may have been correct was a lovely way to start my day. I don't often get that and I appreciate that you took the time to say that what I said may have made a difference.

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