Is Ukrain – Russia conflicts a beginning of Gog and Magog War?
Gog and Magog , characters as per religious scriptures appear in Hebrew Bible and the Quran as individuals and his lands.
In Hebrew Bible , the prophesied invader of Israel are also referred as yajuj and majuj in Quran.
As per the Chronicles , Gog a descendant of the prophet Joel, and in Ezekiel was the chief prince of the tribes of Meshech and Tubal in the land of Magog, who will be called upon by God to conquer the lands of Israel. With a great support of forces from all around the world, Gog and his entire army will invade and command the saltant of Israel .In the Next steps ,God will send terrible natural disasters which will destroy Gog and his forces. These calamities and defeat of Gog will demonstrate the holiness of God and restore good relations between God and his people.
One of the most important historical believes associates Gog and Magog with that of Alexander’s Gate, said to have been built by Alexander – The Great to imprison these uncivilized and barbaric people until the end of time. In variety of prophetic texts, Gog and Magog participated in the persecutions led by Antichrist, preceded Antichrist as a sign of his coming, or emerged following the defeat of Antichrist in the struggle prior to the Last Judgment. According to a Calabrian abbot and theologian (Joachim of Fiore), Gog is the “Final Antichrist.” In Joachim’s view, Gog will come just before the Last Judgment day but conditionally with the defeat of an earlier antichrist and a period of millennial peace.
Where it all started
The epic began with God’s intention to rule over the world with his new creations – Humans, all the while being present with his heavenly host. In Eden, heaven had come to earth.
Of course, as the creature could not truly be like the creator , God has given the ability in humans to truly exercise free will and choose between loyalty and rebellion.
Geographical north: A harbinger of Doom
As it sat on the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Canaan was sandwiched between the homelands of ancient Nearby the Eastern civilizations that would have the control of the entire region: Mesopotamia and Egypt. Canaan, and hence people of Israel, would find themselves being invaded from the north and south by foreigners
The Bible records says to be having several such incident. But the majority of the traumatic incursions into Canaan were always initiated from the north:
- In 722 BC , Assyria invaded (from the north) to conquer the tribes of the northern Israel kingdom and deported them to many corners of its planet.
- In a back to back as series of triple invasions from 605 to 586 BC, Babylon mobilized from the north and destroyed the southern kingdom, comprising only two tribes, Benjamin and Judah.
These brutal invasions became the conceptual backdrop for descriptions of the final, eschatological judgment of the disinherited and their divine overlords
It seems to be hard to overstate these trauma of the Babylonian invasion. Fate of these northern tribes was also awful, and the outcome was also very well known to the occupants of the kingdom of Judah. Since,Judah was David’s tribe and Jerusalem was the home of Yahweh’s temple. As such, the ground was considered as holy and would surely never be conquered by the enemy—or so the kingdom of Judah thought.
The thoughts were proved to be a myth and Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The incident brought physical desolation as well as theological and psychological devastation.
This destruction of Yahweh’s temple and his throne casted a backdrop of spiritual warfare by ancient people. The Babylonians and corrosponding civilizations were having the pre assumptions that Yahweh (the God of Israel) was finally defeated by the gods of Babylon. Many Israelites have wondered that either God was weaker than Babylon’s gods or else he had turned away from his promises. As per epic saga Prophets like Daniel, Habakkuk ,Ezekiel were raised up by God during the exile, had a different perspective. Yahweh then summoned foreign armies who served other gods to punish his own people
The sinister, supernatural North
In Hebrew the word “north” is tsaphon (or zaphon) . It refers to one of the common directional points.
Bashan can be considered as the most common example, which also has references of Mount Hermon. As per Jewish theory, this is the place where the rebellious sons of God of Genesis 6 infamy descended to follow their act of treason.
Places like Tyre, Sidon and Ugarit were the places which lay beyond Israel’s northern border. The worship of Baal was central in these places. The cities of Syria and Phoenicia were Baal’s home turf. The fact that the center of Baal worship was just the other way of the border was a major contributing factor in the apostasy of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Israel still in exile
Some of the misconceptions of biblical study is regarding the return of the Jews from Babylon in 539 BC and following years solved the problem of Israelite exile. It didn’t. The prophets forecasted the return of all 12 tribes from the place where they had been dispersed. However , this was didn’t happened in 539 BC or any other time.
Jeremiah 23:1–8 is among the clearest examples of this expectation:
“Woe to all those shepherds who have destroyed and scattered the flock of my pasture,” says Yahweh. Therefore, The God of Israel – Yahweh says concerning the shepherds, “You have scattered my flock yourselves, and you have drove them away, and you don’t attend to them. Look, I am going to punish you for all the evil of your deeds,” says Yahweh. “After that I myself is going to gather all together the remnant of my flock from all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their grazing native place, and they will be fruitful and will become numerous. I will raise up over them shepherds, and they will shepherd them, and there will no fear, and they will not be dismayed, and they will not be any more missing,” declares Yahweh.
“Look, days are coming,” says Yahweh,
“when I will be raising up for David a righteous branch,
and he will reign as a king, and he will achieve success,
and he is going to make justice and righteousness for the lands.
In his days Judah will be saved,
and Israel will dwell in safety,
and this is his name by which he will be called:
‘Yahweh is our righteousness.’
“Therefore look and admit that days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when they will no longer say, ‘As Yahweh lives, who led up the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As Yahweh lives, who led up , who brought the offspring of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where he had driven them.’ Then they will live in their land.”
As per Verse 3 —Yahweh then promises to bring back his people and followers from all the corners where they have been scattered. Both kingdoms Israel and Judah, will be brought back to the land in coming days (v. 6). The specific note that “the house of Israel” will be returned from “the land of the north” and “all the lands” where they were dispersed is an unequivocal reference to the first captivity of the ten “lost tribes” of Israel.
In this regard , Other passages are clear in this regard as well. In Ezekiel 37, a popular vision of the dry bones, Yahweh says,
Son of Human, take a stick and write on it, “For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him”; then take one more stick and write on it, “For Joseph – Ephraim’s stick and all the house of Israel associated with him.” And join them one on another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, “Will you not tell us what you mean by these?” say to them, “Thus says the Lord : ‘Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand.’ When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, “Thus says the GOD: ‘Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among those which they have gone, and will gather them from all around the planet, and bring them to their own native.’” (Ezek 37:16–21 ESV)
Again, both Israel and Judah are mentioned, and Yahweh’s people will be gathered from the nations to which they have been dispersed.
This means that Jews living in the time of Jesus saw the nation as still being in exile. Ten of the tribes had not yet returned and many Jews had stayed in Babylon when given the chance. Was Yahweh going to deliver them as promised? Could the darkness be finally overcome?
Who are Gog and Magog in the Bible?
So what does all this have the references with Ezekiel’s prophecy related to Gog and Magog?
The notified part is that these invasion would come at a time when the tribes had been united and dwelt in safety and peace within the promised land—in different words, once the complete tenure of exile hadsended.
The battle of Gog and Magog is somehow expected after the initiation of Yahweh’s plan which will reclaim the nations and will pull back his children, Jew and gentile from those nations. The Gog invasion is the response towards supernatural evil against the messiah and his kingdom. This is in fact precisely and is portrayed in Revelation 20:7–10.
Gog Vs The Antichrist figure
As per perceptions Gog is either a figure empowered by supernatural evil or an evil quasi-divine figure from the supernatural world bent on the dissolution of God’s people. Due to this reason,Gog is framed by many biblical scholars as a template of the New Testament antichrist figure.
All to the known invasion of Jerusalem by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) in 167 BC follows many elements with the details in Daniel 11. Attacked of Antiochus from the north (he was from the Seleucid Empire in Asia Minor). He committed the abominable act of profaning the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar (cf. Dan 9:24–27) which made Jewish customs such as circumcision punishable to death.
These offenses started a rebel in Jerusalem Which led to a short period of Jewish independence. Therefore, individuals who saw the Gog enemy in Antiochus could also have been led to think of the new Jewish independent land and the final kingdom of God. History reveals us clearly that it wasn’t. Moreover, despite the elements of precision noted by scholars between the invasion of Antiochus IV and Daniel 11, there are commendable conflicts between the record of Antiochus’s invasion and parts of Daniel 11.
Nearly about two centuries later, Jesus still regarded the prophecy of the abomination of desolation (Dan 9:24–27) is yet to come.
For sure , ancient Jews beliefs would expect that the reconstituted kingdom of Yahweh will be shattered by an enemy from the north—as it had earlier also. But ancient Jews must also have thought in supernatural terms. A supernatural enemy in the end times is expected to arrive from the seat of Baal’s authority—the supernatural underworld realm of the dead, located somewhere in the heights of the north. Gog is explicitly described in such terms.
But with contradictions there is similar thought trajectory in ancient Judaism and the early Church that has been noticed by the scholars: The antichrist would be coming from the tribes of Dan, located somewhere in Bashan.
The idea emerges from Genesis 49, part of the messianic mosaic. The right to rule Israel is having references to the tribe of Judah, and the one who is holding its scepter is a “lion” (Gen 49:9–10). In contrast (Gen 49:17), Dan is pointed as a serpent, fitting imagery for Bashan, who is going to judge his own people.
Deuteronomy 33:22 resemles up the theme: “Dan is a cub of a lion; he leaps from Bashan.” Dan is an upstart inferior, who will attack from Bashan. Dan is thus an “internal outsider,” an enemy of Yahweh’s people.