Does Ezekiel 38-39 describe Armageddon?
Some commentators interpret the last-days invasion of Israel described in Ezekiel 38/39 as the battle of Armageddon, while others believe it is a separate invasion by Russian-led Muslims. Which view is correct?
Some commentators have confused the invasion of Israel by Gog, from the land of Magog (Russia), as described in Ezekiel 38-39, with the final battle to be fought at Armageddon, as described in Revelation 16:16.
The Bible makes it quite clear that there are two invasions of Israel during the Day of the LORD, otherwise called the Great Tribulation. These invasions have different participants, and have an entirely different purpose. Joel describes BOTH conflicts separately and indicates that Armageddon is AFTER the Russian/Muslim invasion and Israel’s repentance (See Joel 2 and 3). Ezekiel’s prophecy explains the rise of Islam, and cannot be Armageddon for the following reasons:
- The invasion described by Ezekiel involves only a limited number of nations which are They are Meshech and Tubal from the land of Magog (Russia), Persia (Iran), Togarmah (Turkey), Libya, and Ethiopia (Sudan in our day) with protests from “the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions thereof” (Britain and USA etc) and “Sheba and Dedan”(Arabian Peninsula). The invaders are Muslim nations led by Russia, whereas the final battle to be fought at Armageddon will involve “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (Revelation 16:14; Joel 3:1).
- There are different leaders in these two The first invasion is led by Gog from the land of Magog (Russia), while Armageddon is orchestrated by Antichrist who is the final ruler of the Roman Empire (EU).
- A large component of the armies at Armageddon will come from “the kings of the east”, and their number is stated as 200 million and is said to come from the east beyond the Euphrates, whereas the Russian- led invasion is described by Joel as “the northern army” (Joel 2:20). Muslim nations could raise an army of this size.
- After the Russian/Muslim invasion one sixth of the invaders will be driven into Siberia, “a land barren and desolate with his face toward the east sea” (Joel 2:20), but there will be no place for the armies to escape from Armageddon. Those surviving will actually be gathered to Jerusalem for final judgment as “sheep” or “goats” (Matthew 25:31-46).
The armies at Armageddon will fill the land of Israel and reach Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2) and “the valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:2), whereas the Russian/Muslim army is destroyed on “the mountains of Israel”.