Eschatology Studies (25)

It is written:

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2  “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, (Ezekiel 38:1-2)

Ezekiel 38-39 describes a horrific war in which many nations join together and attack Israel. Here are some of the facts that we are told about this war from Ezekiel 38-39:

It will be led by Gog from the land of Magog (Ezekiel 38:1-2);

Several other countries would help in this war against Israel including Meshech (Ezekiel 38:2), Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2), Persia, Ethiopia, Libya (Ezekiel 38:5), Gomer, Togarmah from the far north (Ezekiel 38:6);

Some nations would appear to be undecided in the Magog War including Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish (Ezekiel 38:13);

The attacking armies would be like a storm and a cloud (Ezekiel 38:9), with an evil and wicked mindset determined to plunder the people of Israel (Ezekiel 38:10-12), when the people of Israel are dwelling safely in their land (Ezekiel 38:4), in their land without walls (Ezekiel 38:11);

A horrible earthquake would take place (Ezekiel 38:18-20), and violence would overtake those involved in the Magog War (Ezekiel 38:21), even while pestilence, rain, hailstone, fire, and brimstone would overwhelm them (Ezekiel 38:22-23);

God would send fire upon the people of Magog (Ezekiel 39:1-6);

The people of Israel would bury the corpses of the Magog War for seven months (Ezekiel 39:9-16);

God calls on the birds of the air to devour the flesh of the enemies of the Magog War (Ezekiel 39:17-20), and He would be glorified among the peoples of the world (Ezekiel 39:21-29).

There are some who teach that the Magog War has already taken place. They have claimed that the events recorded in the Book of Esther (where some of the Persians attempted to wipe out the Jewish people) fulfill these events.

However, the facts demonstrate that this is not the case.

“Some preterists contend that the events in Ezekiel 38–39 have already occurred. Gary DeMar contends that Ezekiel 38–39 was fulfilled by the events described in Esther 9 occurring in about 473 BC in the days of Queen Esther of Persia. DeMar states that the parallels between the battles in Ezekiel 38–39 and Esther are “unmistakable.” Gary Demar, End Times Fiction (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001), 12–14. DeMar, however, fails to account for several clear differences between Ezekiel 38–39 and Esther 9. A simple reading of the two passages reveals that they cannot possibly be describing the same event. Here are five of the more apparent and problematic inconsistencies. Ezekiel 38–39 Esther 9 The land of Israel is invaded (38: 16). Jews are attacked in cities throughout the Persian Empire and defend themselves (9: 2). The enemies fall on the mountains of Israel (39: 4). The enemies die throughout the Persian Empire. Gog, the leader of the invasion, is buried in Israel (39: 11). The Jews bury the dead bodies over a period of seven months to cleanse the land of Israel (39: 12). No need to cleanse the land because the bodies are not in the land of Israel. The invaders are destroyed by a massive earthquake in the land of Israel, infighting, plagues, and fire from heaven (38: 19-22). God destroys the enemies supernaturally. Attackers are killed by the Jewish people themselves assisted by local government leaders (9: 3-5). Invaders are from as far west as ancient Put (modern Libya) (38: 5) and as far north as Magog, the land of the Scythians. The Persian Empire never included these areas. It only extended as far west as Cush (modern Sudan) (8: 9) and as far north as the southern part of the Black and Caspian Seas. God sends fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands (39: 6). There is nothing even close to this in Esther 9. 226 One important question we might ask at this point is, if Ezekiel 38–39 was fulfilled in the events of Esther 9, why did this escape the notice of everyone in Esther’s day? Why is there no mention in Esther of this great fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy? And why are there no Jewish scholars in that day or subsequently who recognized this fulfillment? The answer seems quite clear. Esther 9 did not fulfill Ezekiel 38–39. An important Jewish holiday known as Purim developed out of the Esther event (9: 20-32). This is a joyous annual holiday to celebrate God’s deliverance of Israel from the hand of her enemies. Purim’s celebration includes the public reading of the book of Esther, but no tradition has developed or even been heard of in which the Jews read Ezekiel 38–39 in connection with this observance. If Ezekiel 38–39 had been a fulfillment of Esther, then no doubt a tradition of reading that passage would have arisen in conjunction with the celebration.” (Mark Hitchcock, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy And The End of Days, 485-486 (Kindle Edition); Carol Stream, Illinois; Tyndale House Foundation)

Several “time-texts” in Ezekiel 38-39 clearly shows us that the Magog War has not taken place, and will not until near the end of the Christian Age.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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