Here is a great op-ed on how the whole “more flexibility after I’m re-elected” (Said Obama to Medvedev) thing has worked out for Israel in the past:
International relations expert David Rothkopf says US, Israel ‘zeroing in’ on military options; credible threat of pinpoint strike may prove to be a useful diplomatic tool
Headlines Backing Up Millennia-Old Prophecies Exciting to recognize Scripture playing out on the daily news.
Here is an article, first published in February of this year, that provides good background information about the situation in Syria and the involved “players”: Up to the Minute: The Latest Political Developments in Syria There is no mention of Syria in the Ezekiel 38 alliance, therefore it is likely the destruction of Damascus precedes the Ezekiel 38 war.
And below is a refresher from GraceThruFaith.com, written by Jack Kelly, about the various names in Ezekiel 38, that has heped me recognize the significance of certain events when I hear or read about them:
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Many of the nations we hear about in today’s news existed in ancient times but under different names. By using the ancient names for the countries He prophesied about, the Lord made possible the use of scripture to interpret scripture. Much of the information below can be gained by referencing Genesis 10, the so-called Table of Nations, in a good study Bible. Learning the modern names of the nations whose founding families are listed there really helps connect Bible prophecy to current events.
I believe that Gog is a supernatural being (showing up in the battle of Ezekiel 38 and the final battle at the end of the Millennium) perhaps Satan’s counter part to Michael the Arkangel. There is an obscure reference in the Septuigent translation of the Book of Amos in 7:1 to a Gog, King of the Locusts, for what that’s worth. You won’t find any hint of this in translations rendered into English from Hebrew. You can only get there from the Greek (Septuigent) translation. But with no connection to any physical territory or people as there is with Magog and the others named in Ezekiel 38, and with Biblical appearances so far apart in time, there’s good reason to believe that Gog is a non-human character, one of Satan’s own.
In contrast, there are over 130 historical references tying Magog to the ancient Scythians. In Colossians 3:11 Paul mentioned the Scythians. The Strong’s concordance identifies a Scythian as an inhabitant of Scythia or modern day Russia. The Great Wall of China was known as the “Ramparts of Magog” in ancient times and was built to protect China from Magog. Magog was a son of Japeth and inhabited central Asia. His children, the Scythians, are the ancestors of today’s Russian people.
Meshech and Tubal
These two were brothers of Magog and are linked to the same general area, but more likely with the Turkic people. Josephus associated Meshech with Cappodocia, home of the ancient Hittite Empire in Eastern Turkey.
This one’s easier because the name changed to Iran in our memory.
Cush and Put
These two were sons of Ham and brothers to Mizraim (which means “two Egypts”) and Canaan. Narrowly they are called Ethiopia (Cush) and Lybia (Put) but both were in possession of much larger territory in the past. The word Cush has a Hebrew root meaning black, and can be representative of the black races of Africa, while Put can represent the north part of the continent; Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, etc. Note that all are sons of Ham and therefore not Semitic. The common denominator among African nations is religion (Islam) not race (Arab).
Another son of Japeth and brother to Magog, Gomer inhabited the Rhine and Danube valleys, and can be associated with Eastern Europe of today.
Beth means house in Hebrew. Togarmah was a son of Gomer. The Armenians of today call themselves the House of Togarmah. The Turks (but not the Kurds, who are the ancient Medes of Media-Persia fame) are also included, and they’re the ones Ezekiel had in view.
Sheba and Dedan
These two are first mentioned as grandsons of Cush in Genesis 10:7. Later, in Genesis 25:3, we read of two grandsons of Abraham’s named Sheba and Dedan as well, born to Jokshan, a son of Abraham and his 2nd wife, Keturah. It’s not clear which pair of grandsons is being referenced, but commentaries none-the-less identify these two as probably representing the nations of the Arabian Penninsula, notably Saudi Arabia.
According to archaeologists W. F. Albright and Wendell Phillips, Sheba was on the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula across the Red Sea from present-day Ethiopia. Sheba is known in history as Saba in Southern Arabia, the Sabaeans of classical geography, who carried on the trade in spices with the other peoples of the ancient world. Dedan was probably the habitat of the Arabs on the northern part of the Arabian Desert, which is modern-day Saudi Arabia. The ancient capital of Saudi Arabia is still called Dedan on many maps today.
Tarshish was a son of Javan, who settled the area of Southern Greece. There are three schools of thought where Tarshish is concerned. One view locates Tarshish to the East, accessible from Solomon’s great seaport at Ezion Geber on the Red Sea. Since Javan and his family traveled north and west from Babel at the confusion of tongues, it seems unlikely. Large sea going vessels were often nicknamed “Ships of Tarshish” and more likely this is how Tarshish came to be linked with Ezion Geber, since both Solomon and Hezekiah built such vessels there.
Others see this as a reference to ancient Tartessus, a seaport in southern Spain, near Gibraltar. Still others recall the sea going navies of the Phoenicians, who operated Ships of Tarshish out of nearby Cadiz and sailed as far north as England for tin, a metal used in the making of bronze and other alloys, which they mined in Cornwall. Some believe that the name Britannia is actually derived from a Phoenician word meaning “source of tin.” If so, since the ships of Tarshish brought tin to the ancient world, this reference could be to Great Britain making the “lions” (KJV) or “villages”(NIV) of Tarshish Great Britain’s colonies, of which the US is most prominent today. The fact that the lion is a symbol of the British Empire lends support to this view.
Again, it’s instructive to view the common motivator as religion, not race. Some years ago, an editorial in the Jerusalem Post outlined the “Arab” plan as being composed of two phases. Phase one was to gain as much as possible through the inexpensive negotiating process while simultaneously weakening Israel and strengthening the Moslem coalition. Phase two, after no more negotiated gain can be made, is to go to war for the rest.
1The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. 3The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. 4And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. 5And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim. 6Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel. 7At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. 8And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. 9In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. 10Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: 11In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. 12Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! 13The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. 14And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.
1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4And 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: 5Persia, Ethiopia (Cush), and Libya (Put) with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8After 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. 9Thou 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. 10Thus 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: 11And 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, 12To 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.
13Sheba, 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? 14Therefore, 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? 15And 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: 16And 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. 17Thus 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? 18And 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.
19For 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; 20So 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. 21And 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. 22And 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. 23Thus 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.
- The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 3
- The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 4, Conclusion
- Isaiah 17, Now or Later?