Note: This article is part one of a three-part series.
Despite the fact that Russia is never specifically mentioned in Scripture, many believe that the Hebrew seer Ezekiel prophesied that in the end times Israel will be attacked by Russia and its allies, in a great land invasion of the tiny nation.
In chapters 38-39 of the book of Ezekiel, he becomes like a war correspondent, describing end-times battles and strategies in advance of them actually happening. While not describing the great end-time battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16; 19:11-21), Ezekiel did foresee an alliance of 10 Gentile nations that will gather for war with Israel.
This invasion army is to be headed by a person named Gog, from the land of Magog (Ezek. 38:2). The word "Gog" may actually be more of a title than a person's name, much like "Caesar" or "Pharaoh." Meanwhile, Magog is identified in Genesis 10:2, in the "table of nations," as being the second son of Noah's son Japheth.
Gog appears initially to be a commander of a coalition with three other lands: Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (v. 2-3). Many believe Rosh to be modern Russia and speculate about Meshech and Tubal being tribal groups within that region.
The other listed proper names in verses five and six may be the names of ancient Middle Eastern nations (38:1-6), although the actual geographic locations may have changed as people groups migrated. Some current biblical scholars identify the name Togarmah (thought to be named for the descendants of Noah's great-grandson Gomer at Gen. 10:3) with modern Turkey, which Ezekiel notes (v. 6) lies to the "far north" of Israel but is much closer than modern Russia.
This unlikely coalition of nations might have been seen as "fake news" in Ezekiel's day (over 2600 years ago), but these prophetic revelations are becoming more believable by the day. The named nations are "summoned" in the "latter years" to the restored and repopulated "mountains of Israel" where people will be "at rest" and "living securely" in "unwalled villages" in their ancient homeland (38:8,11-12).
Since the modern founding of Israel (in 1948) and the closing of the "Cold War" (1947-1991; "Mr. Gorachev, tear down this wall!"), Russia has increasingly been viewed as Israel's ultimate archenemy. Their military "advisors," technicians and materials find a ready welcome in many Arab countries today.
Russia's atheistic imperialism is acceptable to Arab Islamists under the credo that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Unfortunately, they ignore the promises of God Almighty to Abraham and his covenant-keeping descendants that He will "bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you" (Gen. 12:3). God promised the neophyte nation He would "have their back!"
Note: Stayed tuned for part two, "Consider Turkey Too," on charismamag.com.
Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys' California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms. Gary and his wife live in Southern California and have two married daughters and five grandchildren.
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