As Russia continues an unprovoked invasion into the sovereign nation of Ukraine, political warnings abound.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the United Nations on Wednesday an outright war with Russia would be the "end of the world order." Others are pondering what Russian President Vladamir Putin's obstinate and dangerous acts mean for the future of international affairs more broadly.
Amid all this dismay, though, is a lingering theological conversation that has unfolded for decades around the biblical end times and Russia's theoretical involvement in it.
Are the end times upon us? Are Russia's actions part of the eschatological landscape? What does it all mean? These are just some of the pressing questions before us.
Is Russia a Key End-Times Player?
Most Bible experts carefully discuss these issues and are cautious not to overstate or definitively make proclamations about nations and events, though viable theories have emerged that are worth exploring.
Author Joel Rosenberg has been among those who have vocally explored Old Testament prophecies about the biblical end of days, discussing Russia's potential placement in the mix. He published a blog post a few years ago in which he discussed world events as they pertain to the writings of Ezekiel, a biblical prophet.
"The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that in the 'last days of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north," Rosenberg wrote. "Bible scholars refer to this eschatological conflict, described in Ezekiel 38–39, as the 'War of Gog & Magog.'"
A New Development ... Russia Rejects Israel's Claim to Golan Heights
The text discusses a "Gog, of the land of Magog" and points to not only a battle but a victory for the Lord before the world's eyes. Ezekiel 38:14-16 (NIV) reads:
"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes."
Read the rest here.
What Are Gog and Magog?
There are undoubtedly many opinions surrounding Gog, Magog and the intensely complex themes in these biblical texts. GotQuestions.org is one of the outlets that has provided an explainer regarding Russia, among other facets.
"Gog is a person. Whoever Gog is, he is from the land of Magog and is the leader of Tubal and Meshek (some translations add 'Rosh' to the list) and a confederacy of other nations: Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:5–6)," the outlet notes. "And, whoever he is, he will have plans to 'attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people,' viz., Israel (verses 11, 14, and 18). But, regardless of Gog's plans, the Lord God is against him and will defeat him soundly (Ezekiel 38:4, 19–23; 39:3–5)."
This is a pretty concise recap of what is believed to be happening in this text. But you might have a lingering question: Why is Russia believed to be Magog by so many?
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Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright © 2022 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc.
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