Which War of Gog of Magog will Israel Choose?
The Bible prophecy alludes to three scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 9-11, and Zechariah 12-14, the final war in this world, also known as World War III – the final war that will end all wars before the return of Yeshua, the Messiah of YHVH. Two main Biblical prophets – Zechariah and Ezekiel – foretold messages about the War of Gog of Magog.
The War of Gog of Magog is predestined; it will happen regardless. It is predestined from the beginning of the world that the serpent would bruise the woman’s Seed and now is the time for the transcendent Son of Elohim to crush the serpent’s head.
The predestination of this war is like a projection of the future event in the past. Elohim has been steering it towards the end times, but it is up to Israel and mankind to choose which way it will go.
Which of the three scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog will come to pass depends on decision of the Israelis in the upcoming elections. Elohim is watching!
The three scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog
In chapter “Two Scenarios for the War of Gog of Magog” from the book “The Reckoning of Time“, the present author suggested that both prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 12-14 speak of one war – the War of Gog of Magog.
We also studied that according to the prophecy in Ezekiel, the mysterious ruler Gog of the land of Magog and his destruction is in the focus of the prophecy, while the prophecy in Zechariah 12-14 speaks of Israel being the major concern, as the battle will be waged in Jerusalem. Thus, the scenario in Zec 12-14 appears to be the darkest of the two, as this scenario may lead to a new holocaust, when the armies of the hostile nations led by Gog of Magog will lay a siege against Jerusalem.
On the contrary, what seems to transpire from Ezekiel 38 and 39 is the total destruction of the coalition forces of the enemies of Israel, as no siege is even mentioned in them.
In the series of two articles “A Third Scenario for the War of Gog of Magog“, however, the present author suggested another scenario, a third scenario of the War of Gog of Magog, as depicted in Zechariah 9-11 – “Burden of the word of YHVH against the land of Hadrach”.
This scenario differs from the scenarios in the prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 12-14, and, as we studied, it appears to be a variant of the War of Gog of Magog in Zec 12-14, although not in such a dark portrayal.
As we studied in the aforesaid article, the two prophecies in Zechariah 9-11 and Zechariah 12-14 are not just two portions of the same prophecy, as commonly interpreted, but two scenarios of the same prophecy – two postulated sequences of the possible events of the final war – the War of Gog of Magog.
And if Zechariah 12-14 and Ezekiel 38-39 are two extremes of the same prophecy of the War of Gog of Magog, where Zechariah 12-14 is the darker of the two, then Zechariah 9-11 is a variant of the prophecy in Zechariah 12-14.
According to the third scenario of the War of Gog of Magog, the land of Hadrach, a symbolic name of a land which historically encompasses Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia, denotes in the prophecy in Zechariah 9-11 a land hostile to Israel.
A quick reference to the location of the land of Hadrach indicates that it was known in the history as Levant, as that land was once a historical province in the Arab Caliphate spreading from today’s Southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and Israel.
According to the study of the third scenario of the War of Gog of Magog, when the curse against Hadrach and Damascus takes place, YHVH will find rest in its fulfillment, as all mankind and Israel will be witnessing it.
In support of this interpretation comes another prophecy in Isaiah concerning Damascus being no more (see Isa 17:1). This condemnation on Damascus goes straight forward to threaten the city at the very beginning of the prophecy declaring that Damascus will cease to exist as a city.
The present author is also in opinion to consider that the prophecies concerning Damascus in Zec 9:1-5 and Isa 17:1-3 are related to one event, since their contexts suggests that Damascus will be a heap of ruins, as the curse appears to be hanging like a Damoclean sword over the city with nothing to save it.
The ultimate destruction of Damascus was the subject also of the article “The War of Gog of Magog and the Burden of Damascus“, according to Isaiah, Amos and Jeremiah.
Which sign of the Messiah points to the war?
In Chapter “The Signs of the Coming of the Messiah” of the book “Reckoning of Time”, we went through sign by sign as given by the Messiah Himself in Matthew 24 rightly viewed as a “mini Book of Revelation”.
But to answer this question which of the three scenarios of the war of Gog of Magog is about to take place, we will consider chronologically also the signs the Messiah has given in the gospel of Luke.
And as Yeshua sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples were speaking about the Set-apart Place, when He said, “The days are coming in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down”. And they asked Him, “Teacher, but when shall this be? And what is the sign when this is about to take place (Luk 21:6-7) and say to us, when shall this be, and what is the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Mat 24:3)
And Yeshua said to them, giving them the signs of His coming.
First Sign: False Messiahs and Teachers.
Yeshua warned them and us to stay alert, for many will come in His Name, saying, that He is the Messiah and the time of His coming is near (Luk 21:8) and they will lead many astray. (Also Mat 24:4-5) For false messiahs and false prophets shall arise showing great signs and wonders in order to lead astray even the chosen ones. Yeshua said, “I have forewarned you, do not believe them!” (Mat 24:23-26)
This forewarning the Messiah chose to be the first sing His coming is not accidental. The Messiah forewarns the believers today that the false teachers will proclaim with their mouths that He, Yeshua, is the Messiah and yet they will deceive many. How could that be possible? The answer of this question which is nonetheless chilling we studied in the aforesaid chapter.
Second Sign: Wars and Terrorism.
While wars and local violent conflicts were present in every decade since the end of WW II, the real fulfilment of this sign can be seen in the last two. Yeshua warns us that we will begin to hear of reports of fightings in the news. There is no day in the last couple of decades without wars, terrorism, or mass shootings in places. Terrorism and fear of terrorism have become a norm, but the Messiah says, “See that you are not troubled, for these have to take place, but the end is not yet!”. For it is written that nation will rise against nation, and reign against reign. (Mat 24:6-7 and Luk 21:8-10)
See the related chapters of the Book “The Reckoning of Time” and particularly “Writing on the Wall Concerning the New World Order” concerning the Syrian conflict and the global terrorism: the clear signs that the coming the Messiah is near.
Third Sign: Calamities and Natural Disasters.
And there shall be scarcities of food, and deadly diseases, and earthquakes in places, continues Yeshua. And all these are the beginning of birth pains. And there shall be horrors, and great signs from heaven. (Mat 24:7-8, Luk 21:11, and Luk 21:25-26)
Industrial incidents and natural disasters such as deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, and volcanos are just statistics in the news. New strains of bacteria and viruses are not uncommon today. More and more the scientists speak of possible asteroid crashes on the earth that may be catastrophic for the very existence of the planet Earth, but these will not be the end.
Fourth Sign: Persecution of the Faithful.
The wars and terrorism will result in persecution of the faithful. They will be delivered up to affliction and be killed and be hated by all nations for His Name’s sake. Then many will stumble and because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many will become cold and lukewarm, but only those who will have endured to the end will be saved. (Mat 24:9-13 and Luk 21:12)
And this sign will be for a witness to the believers, says Yeshua.
The persecution of the faithful started as early as 70 AD. In that year the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and after five months, invaded the city. That invasion had many profound effects on the Nazarenes, the early believers in Yeshua the Messiah. When the city was brought under siege, the Nazarenes remembered His words to flee to the mountains and they fled. Their flee made the Pharisees resent the Nazarene.
The flight had a profound effect on the Nazarenes, which resulted in a great deal of confusion and their unity fell apart. It was at Pella that the Ebionites first emerged as a separate sect.
The time will come when the faithful will be betrayed even by their parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, so that some of them will be put to death. (Luk 21:12-19) See also Joh 16:2 and Mic 7:5-6.
Today, Israel is the most hated country in the world being blamed for almost everything that can happen in the Middle East. Jews and Israelis are killed, beaten on the streets for simply being Jews. The beheading, kidnapping, rapes, and selling in slavery of Christians in the Middle East countries by ISIS and imposed restrictions on religious freedoms in the West are reality today. Anti-Semitism in Europe and North America, are sure signs of truthfulness in Yeshua’s words.
Many lukewarm Christians leave faith. American churches are plagued with apostasy, sex abuse, scandals, and controversy not to mention a general apathy that has left many under the political correctness, materialism, and self-indulgence. The churches in the Western Europe do not exist any longer.
There are no longer absolute moral values and norms; everything is relative. Immorality is vogue guilt. Liberal organizations engineer lawful means to criminalize anything that opposes homosexuality, transgender agenda, and euthanasia as hate crime.
Fifth Sign: Abomination in the Set-apart Place.
This is probably the most sure sign of all signs of the coming of the Messiah. When this sign becomes fulfilled, count 1260 days and the Messiah will come right then. But for insight on the timing of Yeshua’s coming and how we can know the time, refer to the article from the series “The Appointed Times of YHVH” “The Appointed Times of YHVH: The Day of Trumpets and the Messiah”.
Yeshua says in Mat 24:15-20 that when we see “the abomination that lays waste” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, set up in Jerusalem, those who can understand, let them understand.
Those who are in the Land are to flee to the mountains without turning back to worry about their possessions. And the prayer is to be that your flight will not be on the Sabbath. (see also 2Th 2:3-4)
And when they see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then they are to know that its laying waste is near, because these are days of vengeance, to fill all that have been written. For there will be great distress in the earth and wrath upon them. And many may fall or be led away captive into all nations. And the city will be trampled underfoot by the nations until the times of the nations are filled. (Luk 21:20-24)
The Messiah, prophesying about the end-time, reveals to us that we will perceive the “Abomination that lays waste … set up in the set-apart place”, quoting from Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 Weeks.
This prophecy was fulfilled the first time in 70 AD, but the Messiah is here also prophesying about the last forty-two months of the world, as the close references to this event in Dan 9:27, Dan 11:31 and Dan 12:11 seem to indicate.
Sixth Sign: The Two Witnesses.
And the Good News of the Kingdom of heaven will be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Mat 24:14) For this reason Elijah (Eliyahu) the prophet will be sent before the coming of the great and awesome day of YHVH. (Mal 4:5)
This sign, Yeshua has given us, must refer to the ministry of the two witnesses during the three and half year of Tribulation, when repentance will be required to enter the coming kingdom.
Seventh Sign: The Beginning of Ya’akov’s Trouble. The Tribulation.
The events of the preceding sign will lead to the beginning of “Ya’akov’s Trouble” (Jer 30:7). Then there will be great distress, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever will be. In these three and half years, no flesh would be saved, except for the sake of the chosen when those days shall be few and Israel will be saved. (Mat 24:21-22)
Eight Sign: Sign from The Sky of The Coming of The Messiah.
The coming of Yeshua will be as the lightning comes. And immediately after the distress of “Ya’akov’s Trouble” the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of mankind will appear in the heaven, and then all nations of the earth will see Him coming as on the clouds of the heaven with power and glory at the great sound of the [seven] trumpet. (Mat 24:27-31)
And when everyone on the earth sees this sign, the redemption has drawn near. (Luk 21:27-28) (see also Dan 7:13)
Read more in the series of articles dedicated to the Book of Revelation: “The Revelation of YHVH”.
Ninth Sign: The Rebirth of The State of Israel. We Are the Last Generation.
Yeshua gave us the parable of the fig tree, so that when that post-war generation saw it, no one could doubt that the Messiah is near to the gates. (Mat 24:32)
Truly, I say to you, this generation shall by no means pass away until all this takes place. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away. (Luk 21:32-33) Until that day, and concerning that hour, there will be no man that knows: not even the angels in heaven, but My Father only. (Mat 24:33-36)
In the Parable of the Fig Tree, Yeshua seems to tell us that we can know the general season of His return in advance, yet we cannot know the exact time. This is the same way to say that we can know when the Fall Festival Season approaches, but we cannot know when Yom Teruah will begin because we still need to wait for YHVH to show us the first crescent sliver of the seventh month.
The Jewish migration to the promised land began in the late 19th century. The spoken commandment to restore the people on the land seems to be given on November 29, 1947 with UN Resolution 181, but it did not fulfil the requirement for a legal decree to rebuild Yerushalayim and start the countdown, because it divided the city.
Furthermore, it was not the UN that legally created the Jewish state, but rather Israel’s own declaration of independence in 1948, when the State of Israel was established with its own Declaration of Independence (see Isa 66:7-9), which fulfilled the ninth of the signs of the coming the Messiah.
That this is peculiar sign of His coming is evident from the fact that that generation that witnessed the establishment of Israel in one day is still alive.
Tenth Sign: As in The Days of Noach
This is probably the most obscured sign of all signs of the coming of the Messiah, as He says, And as the days of Noach so also shall the coming of the Son of mankind be. As that generation in the days before the flood was negligent of Noach’s warning, so also will the generation at His coming be. (Mat 24:37-39) “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming”. (Mat 24:42-44)
Look for more insight on this, refer to Chapter “The Signs of the Coming of Messiah” from the book “The Reckoning of Time”, As in The Days Of Noach.
Eleventh Sign: As in The Days of Lot
With this sign Yeshua is linking “as in the days of Noach” with “as in the days of Lot” But on the day Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all. And it will be the same in the day the Son of mankind is revealed. “Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it”, warns Yeshua. (Luk 17:26-33)
The attractions and seductions of this world may deceive some believers to “look back” with nostalgia towards the life style they leave and this may cost them their lives. This seems to be the warning of the Messiah when He referred to Lot’s wife. Read more in the article “As in the Days of Lot, Likewise, as in the Day of the Son of Man“.
Twelfth Sign: The Remnant.
With this sign Yeshua warns us that the indulgent life style or too many worries of this world will blind our eyes and we may not see the clear signs of His coming, and that day will come on us suddenly, because they will come as a snare on all those dwelling on the earth. “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of mankind”. (Luk 21:34-36)
As in the days of Noach and as in the days of Lot, a remnant was preserved, so will there be a remnant at the Messiah’s return.
In the last address of YHVH to the world before the Judgement, He set clearly two things one needs to get saved: (1) to be found among the remnant and (2) to be found a saint, that is a set-apart one. We read in Revelation that the remnant are those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah. (Rev 12:17 and Rev 14:12)
From these two statements we understand that there are two conditions to get saved: guarding the commands of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua the Messiah. Not either-or, but both are necessary for salvation: guarding the Torah and the faith of the Messiah.
Therefore, those who guard them both, the Torah and the Messiah, are called the remnant and the set-apart ones.
Which scenario of the War of Gog of Magog is about to take place?
With all that being said about the three scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog and the signs of the coming of the Messiah, which scenario is the one that will come to pass and which sign points to it?
The first scenario in Zechariah 12-14 reveals the picture of the battle of Jerusalem in the darkest tones of a new holocaust, when the armies of the hostile nations led by Gog of Magog lay a siege against the city.
On the contrary, the second scenario in Ezekiel 38-39 depicts the total destruction of Gog of Magog and the coalition forces that will come against Israel; no siege of the city is even mentioned which leads us to assume that this scenario is the more favorable of the two.
And according to the third scenario of the War of Gog of Magog in Zechariah 9-11, a coalition of hostile Muslim countries will be the object of the curse of Elohim of Israel and as a result Damascus will cease to exist as a city.
So, which of these scenarios of the War of Gog of Magog is the one that will transpire in the last days of the world? And which of the signs Yeshua has given us is the one that will hint to it?
Let us read again from Zechariah 14 and Luke 21.
|Behold, a day shall come for Yehovah, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst. And I shall gather all the nations to battle against Yerushalayim. And the city shall be taken, the houses plundered, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into exile, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. And Yehovah shall go forth, and He shall fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, which faces Yerushalayim on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. And you shall flee to the valley of My mountain – for the valley of the mountains reaches to Atsal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziyah sovereign of Yehudah. (Zec 14:1-7)||And when you see Yerushalayim surrounded by armies, then know that its laying waste is near. Then let those in Yehudah flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of her go out, and let not those who are in the fields enter her. Because these are days of vengeance, to fill all that have been written. And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days! For there shall be great distress in the earth and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Yerushalayim shall be trampled underfoot by the nations until the times of the nations are filled. (Luk 21:20-24)|
An elaborate reading of the two passages in question is revealing the striking similarities between them.
Both passages use very similar description of the battle of Jerusalem. Clues such as (1) “all the nations to battle against Yerushalayim” and “Yerushalayim surrounded by armies”; (2) “the city shall be taken” and “Yerushalayim shall be trampled underfoot by the nations”; (3) “the women ravished” and “woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing”, are too close descriptions to overlook.
These clues and the overall reading of Zechariah 12-14 give us the sureness to say that the second scenario of the war of Gog of Magog may be the one that is about to take place in the last days; and this is the darkest of the three.
And if this is the case, we may ask the question as to why YHVH would allow all of this. If the goal of YHVH is to validate the reality of Him in the eyes of the world, and the truthfulness of the Torah and prophecies, can we expect that He will protect His people from their enemies?
Why would YHVH allow Israel’s enemies to rejoice over them saying, “Where is their God to protect them?” and “Their God has forsaken them”.
As we concluded in the previous study, the only reason why He would allow Israel’s enemies to overcome them is that the threat of surrounding hostile nations is a means to bring Israel to a complete repentance and final redemption.
If Israel is not willing to repent, the Righteous One will appoint over them the darkest threat. However, if Israel repents, the Messiah will come to deliver them and the prophecy in Ezekiel will come to pass. Either way, Israel will come to repentance, one way or the other.
YHVH is righteous and just! And even though we may suffer and go through dark trials, as gold is refined by fire, at the end all sufferings will turn to good. This is the outcome of all three scenarios of the war of Gog of Magog. The Jews among the nations and the nations are not exception.
And why will He treat any one preferentially, when gay pride parades are on the streets of Jerusalem? When progressive leftists want to give YHVH’s Land for delusional peace. When Haredi Jews do not recognize the spiritual authority of the modern state of Israel. When religious Jews reject the Land and choose to live in exile. When the deep state and corrupted NGOs undermine the given authority of the State of Israel to fight terrorism. When Jews hate Jews. Why will He?
In conclusion, writing about whether Biblical prophecy is more of a prediction or a warning, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom said,
Precisely because Judaism believes in free will, the human future can never be unfailingly predicted. People are capable of change. God forgives. As we say in our prayers on the High Holy Days: ‘Prayer, penitence and charity avert the evil decree.’ There is no decree that cannot be revoked. A prophet does not foretell. He warns. A prophet does not speak to predict future catastrophe but rather to avert it. If a prediction comes true it has succeeded. If a prophecy comes true it has failed.
All depend on Israel’s repentance. If Israel repents and calls on the name of YHVH, the nation may merit the Ezekiel or the Damascus scenario.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.