010615 – Ezekiel 38:7-9, “The Invasion Announced”
Introduction: The players of the invasion are announced in the first six verses of this chapter. The timing of the invasion must now be considered. As with any study of God’s Holy Word, everybody reads something that somebody else has written. This study is no different. There are credible authors who are greatly respected in the study of eschatology, which is commonly called “the end times.” Such scholars that find a place of great respect in my mind are John Mac Arthur, Charles Ryrie, R.C. Sproul, C. I. Scofield, J. Dwight Pentecost, John F. Walvoord, as well as the combined teams of The Pulpit Commentary, The Holman Christian Standard Bible, The New American Commentary and The Key Word Study Bible. Of course, none of these, or any other, highly respected students of God’s Word were ever in the presence of Ezekiel. Therefore, not all of these theologians will find total agreement in their conclusions, but their findings should be void of combativeness. It is always important for believers in Christ to consider the following thought: in essentials – unity; in opinions – liberty; in all things – charity!” May my writings always find place in such a community.
Ezekiel 38:7-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
7 “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. 9 You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”
Thoughts from The New American Commentary. This battle probably takes place at the end of the tribulation, bringing it to a conclusion and ushering in the thousand-year reign of peace. The battle starts again, however, at the end of the thousand years. Revelation 20:2-3 refers to the binding of Satan in the abyss for the thousand years “to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.” Revelation 20:7-8 adds that “when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them to battle.” This seems clearly to suggest a second stage of the Gog-Magog battle that began in Rev 19 at the second coming of Messiah and conclusion of the tribulation. The purpose would be the final defeat of Satan before the beginning of the eternal state.
Thoughts from The Mac Arthur Study Bible. This is the great time of Israel’s cleansing, salvation and spiritual life (cf 39:22, 27, 28; Zech 12:10-13:9), getting them ready for Messiah’s return and kingdom (Zech14). (See the following thoughts on words and phrases)
vs 8. in the latter years… In the context of Israel’s restoration (Ez 34-39) the invader will make its final bid for the land.
vs 8. restored from the sword… This refers to Israelites who have been returned to their land, after the sword had killed or scattered many of their people. The Hebrew word for “restored” means “to return” (Gen 40:13; 41:13).
vs 8. gathered… This word also frequently refers to God’s final regathering of Israel (37:21; Is 11:12; 43:5; Jer 32:37). It has begun historically and will continue until the latter days. In the final millennial kingdom, there will occur full and spiritual regathering, when all Israel is saved to enter their promised kingdom (cf Zec 12-14; Rom 11:2-27).
vs 8. living securely… This term occurs in several contexts devoted to the Israelites’ blessed estate after God had brought them back to their land (28:26; 34:25, 28; 39:26; Jer 32:37; Zec 14:11).
vs 9. You will go up… The time of the invasion is best understood as the end of the tribulation period of 7 years. Israel will have been under a false peace in treaty with the Antichrist (Da 9:27); 11:22, 24) before he turns on them in the “abomination of desolation” (Matt 24:15; Da 9:27). The false peace will end in hostility lasting to the completion of the 7 years (Zec 14:1-3). When this final war occurs (cf Rev 16:12-26), Christ will ultimately conquer the beast, the false prophet, and all the ungodly forces (Rev 19:11-21) in order to establish His millennial kingdom (Rev 20:1-10).
Consider the following key passages of end times scripture that relate to Ezekiel 38-39. They relate to the rapture of the church/the coming of Christ in the air to catch up His saints of all times; the tribulation, the Battle Of Armageddon; the Second Coming Of Christ (where he ends the Battle Of Armageddon and puts His feet on the Mount of Olives); the 1,000 year reign of Christ (with a time of peace on Earth); and the final attack of Gog and Magog (after which peace comes and is eternal).
Revelation 16:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Battle Of Armageddon – The forces of Satan gather in preparation for their attack on Jerusalem during the end of the Great Tribulation.
13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
Consider the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.
16:14 to assemble them for battle. In the climactic battle all the forces of wickedness are assembled to make war against the warrior Lamb (17:14). The imagery alludes to the battle between God and Pharaoh in Ex. 15:2, but the panorama is universal in scope. Several passages in Revelation describe the battle with increasing detail and precision (17:13, 14; 19:11–21; 20:7–10; cf. 6:12–17), all based on the eschatological battle of Gog and Magog in Ezek. 38; 39. Throughout the church age there are times of intense confrontation between God and the forces of Satan (2:10, 13), but the most intense takes place at the Second Coming (19:11–21).
Revelation 19:11-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Coming of Christ
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
Doom of the Beast and False Prophet
20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Consider the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.
Christ appears to wage final battle against all the enemies of God, led by the beast and the false prophet. Christ’s holy attributes contrast markedly with the unholy counterfeit attributes of the beast (13:1–10 note). This final war brings to a climax all the wars that God has waged on behalf of His people (Ex. 15:2; Deut. 20; Is. 59:16–18; Ezek. 38; 39; Hab. 3:8–15; Zech. 12:1–9; 14:3–5) and consummates the triumph achieved by Christ on the cross (5:9, 10; 12:10, 11; John 12:31; Col. 2:15). Some have interpreted the imagery as a reference to the spread of Christ’s rule through submission to the gospel, but the parallels with other visions show that the final battle is primarily in view (16:14, 16–21 and notes; 17:14; 20:7–10).
At this event in Revelation 19, we see “The Second Coming Of Christ.” (See Zech 14:1-4). He leads an army of saints who are returning with Him from Heaven. They had been raptured (caught up) in 1 Thes 4:16-17). A spiritual battle ensues, with Christ being victorious over his foes from Rev 16 (Battle Of Armageddon).
Revelation 20:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
See the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.
20:1–10 An angel descending from heaven binds Satan for a thousand years. The faithful martyrs (v. 4) come to life and reign with Christ. After the thousand years, Satan is released, gathers the nations for battle, and is finally rendered powerless (v. 10).
Following the second coming of Christ, there is peace in the world for a period of 1,000 years.
A final battle will occur before the eternal state of peace appears.
Revelation 20:7-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Satan Freed, Doomed
7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
See the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.
20:8 Gog and Magog. These names, taken from Ezek. 38; 39, represent the final enemies of God.
The final assault on Jerusalem ends with the final destruction of the forces of Satan.
In concert with Ezekiel 38-39, we see a mounting of forces for battle at Armageddon, with Christ being successful. Following, there is a time of peace for 1000 years. The final assault on Jerusalem by the forces of Satan ends with victory by Christ.
Consider The Jews, God’s Chosen People
Genesis 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
Deuteronomy 7:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Jeremiah 31:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
31 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”
2 This is what the Lord says:
“The people who survive the sword
will find favor in the wilderness;
I will come to give rest to Israel.”
3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;…”
Consider a Jewish wedding. Get to know and love the Jews, “God’s chosen people.”
Genesis 24:63-67 English Standard Version (ESV)
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her.
Such A Nice Jewish Wedding
Brooklyn, New York