The 2001 Commentaries

Gog of Magog

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Not Two Different Prophecies

Note that we have titled this document Gog of Magog (pronounced Gōg of Mah-gōg), not Gog and Magog (as found in Revelation), because in Ezekiel, Gog is spoken of as being from the land of Magog, and this is a discussion of both prophecies.

The term Gog of/and Magog is found in two places in the Bible, in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, and at Revelation 20:8. Yet, despite the fact that the description of this individual, his land, and the things that the prophecies say he will do are strikingly similar, many religions teach that the prophecy in Ezekiel doesn’t correspond to the one in Revelation. For, most of them teach that the prophecy in Ezekiel is taking about things that have to do with the battle of Armageddon, while the prophecy in Revelation is clearly talking about something that will happen a thousand years after Armageddon… and this doesn’t seem logical to us.

Notice, for example, that the setting for the events mentioned in Ezekiel 39 and 40 is of a time when ‘IsraEl’ will be dwelling in peace, whereas the events that lead up to the Battle of Armageddon in the Revelation speak of a time of great turmoil for the earth and for God’s people. So, as we will show, the prophecy in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 really isn’t describing the kings and armies that are destroyed at Armageddon, as is commonly taught. Rather, it is describing the attack by Gog that will come after God’s people have been living in peace on the earth at least a thousand years after the Battle of Armageddon.

Note these similarities between the prophecies:

The ‘Gog of the Land of Magog’ of Ezekiel

Ezekiel 38:1, 2 says:
‘And the Word of the Lord came to me and said:

O son of man;
Against Gog and the land of Magog
(The ruler of Mosoch, Tubal, and Ros),
You must now set your face;
And against him, prophesy this!

Then verses 14-16 read:

‘Therefore, O son of man;
Now, you must prophesy this…
Tell Gog that thus says Jehovah:
Against IsraEl, My people, you will come in that day…
Against those that have settled in peace.

‘You will come from your place in the north,
And bring along many nations…
Horsemen all riding horses…
A huge crowd and a great army.
Against IsraEl, My people, you will come,
Like a cloud that covers the land…
Yes, in the last days, this will happen.

The ‘Gog and Magog’ of Revelation

Revelation 20:7-10 says,
‘Now, when the thousand years are ended, the Slanderer will be freed from his prison. Then he will go out and mislead people to the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – and bring them together for a battle… there will be as many as the sands of the seas! They will march across the earth and surround the camp of the Holy Ones and the loved city; but then fire will come from the sky and consume them! And the Opposer that misled them will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the wild animal and the false prophet already are, and they will be tortured day and night for ages of ages.’

NOTE: There is another mention of Gog in the Bible, at Amos 7:1 in the Septuagint. However, this may not be speaking of the same series of events mentioned in Ezekiel and Revelation. ALSO, Tischendorf’s Bible uses the Greek word CHILIOI in Revelation 20:1-7, which, if correct, could be speaking of thousands of years not one thousand years.

Why People Believe They Are Not the Same

As you can see, there are clear similarities between both prophecies. And our experience with the Bible has taught us that whenever we want to understand what Bible prophecies mean, we must simply look for similar descriptions in other texts. So to understand the meaning of who this character is and what his land represents, we should look to both accounts to see if they describe the same individuals and events… and they do!

So then, why have most ‘Christian’ religions concluded that there is no connection between these two prophecies? Because the scripture in Ezekiel seems to better support their wrong teachings about what the Battle of Armageddon will involve.
(See the subheading Who are Destroyed at Armageddon? in the linked document, ‘Armageddon When?’).

Let us compare the teachings with the scriptures to see why these conclusions are unlikely.

An Attack on JeruSalem?

One of the most common beliefs among Protestant religions that teach that the attack of Gog of Magog has to do with Armageddon, is that armies from many countries will be led by Gog to attack the modern city of JeruSalem and its surrounding country, which battle will end at the nearby Plains of Megiddo (resulting in the Battle of Armageddon). Of course, this view accepts the idea that the modern Jews in that land are still God’s chosen people, which Paul pretty well argued against in his epistles.
(See the Note, ‘God’s Chosen People’).

An Attack on Spiritual JeruSalem?

Due to all the things that Jesus said and what Paul wrote about JeruSalem as being rejected;
Some religions have come to the conclusion that Gog (whom they say represents the Devil or Slanderer) will lead a worldwide attack (along with all the nations of the world) on spiritual Jews (‘anointed’ servants of God), and this will lead to Armageddon.

This theory also sounds reasonable, for things that Jesus said at Matthew 24 and prophecies in Revelation do indicate that there will come a time of persecution upon Jesus’ true disciples. And this persecution will likely follow (or happen during) the destruction of what could be unfaithful religions (assuming that they are ‘the Great Babylon,’ which is referred to at Revelation 17-19).

But, what if we really can trust the Bible to do its own interpreting and allow that (in harmony with the account in Revelation) the attack by Gog of Magog that is spoken of in the prophecy of Ezekiel is going to happen more than a thousand years into the future?

An Attack at the End of 1,000 Years?

Contrary to the teachings of some that Armageddon will be ‘the final battle,’ we know that there will be an attack by Gog of Magog at the end of the thousand (or thousands of) years, because Revelation 20:7-10 says so.
And whom will Gog attack?
The account tells us that his armies will ‘surround the camp of the Holy Ones and the beloved city.

Who are the ‘Holy Ones’ and what is their ‘beloved city?’
The ‘holy ones’ are apparently faithful people that will live here on the earth at that time.
(For more information, see the document, ‘The Resurrection‘).
And regardless of whether the sacred city that they will live in is real or symbolic, we do know that it – and they – will be attacked by Gog and his armies. Notice that those that comprise these armies will be taken from among (unholy) people from ‘the four corners of the earth.’

Now, if we can accept the fact that those whose names are found written in God’s scroll of life comprise ‘the IsraEl of God,’ then perhaps we have a picture of what this ‘loved city’ is. And if so, these enclaves could be ‘the camp of the Holy Ones’ or ‘the loved city’ (or ‘cities’) that will be attacked then.

The Sequence of Ezekiel’s Prophecy

As further proof that the attack by Gog of Magog in Ezekiel’s prophecy refers to what will happen at the end of the thousand years (not Armageddon); consider the similarity to the sequence of events in both Ezekiel and Revelation:

Ezekiel Chapter 36 – The pronouncements against the mountains of the unfaithful northern ten tribes of IsraEl.
Revelation Chapters 17, 18 – The destruction of the Great Babylon.

Ezekiel Chapter 37 – IsraEl’s valley of dry bones come to life.
Revelation Chapters 19, 20 – After the Battle of Armageddon and the marriage of the Lamb, there is the resurrection.
And at Revelation 11:7-13, there is also a description of ‘two witnesses’ coming to life.

Ezekiel Chapters 38, 39 – The attack by Gog of Magog.
Revelation Chapter 20 – The attack by Gog and Magog.

Ezekiel Chapters 40 through 48 – Description of New JeruSalem, the healing waters, etc.
Revelation Chapters 21, 22 – Description of New JeruSalem, the healing waters, etc.

So, there is strong indication that the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the prophecy of Revelation 20 are speaking of the same people and the same period in time.

Who is Gog?

Then, who is Gog?
Well, many have come to believe that his land, ‘Magog,’ represents the country of Russia. There are four reasons why they believe this:

1. Magog is described as being in ‘the far north’

2. The term Ros (at Ezekiel 38:2, which is really pronounced Rosh) is said to be an early term for Russia

3. Mosoch is said to be the person from whom the city of Moscow derived its name.

4. It is thought that the descendants of Tubal took up residence in the nearby country of Georgia.

Therefore, the conclusion that Gog and his hord represent countries in the old Soviet Union is possible.
However, is this really what the Bible was foretelling?
Not if the prophecy of Ezekiel was actually speaking of an event that will happen at least a thousand years after Armageddon.

Also, throughout the Christian Era Scriptures (NT), Jesus spoke of JeruSalem as having been rejected as God’s people, and Paul (in particular) showed how gentiles would also be accepted to make up a ‘New JeruSalem‘ and a spiritual (not literal) nation of IsraEl.

Where is Magog?

As we saw in Ezekiel’s account, Gog was described as the leader of Mosoch, and Tubal, which were the names of two of JaPheth’s sons (grandsons of Noah)… as was Magog. Also note that the house of Togarmah is mentioned as joining with Gog. If you check the Wikipedia link to this name, you’ll see that these are the progenitors of the Caucasian or white races.

So does this then mean that the armies of Gog are the white races?
No, it is a symbolic reference. For note:

It is interesting that the descendants of JaPheth were the first ones that were collectively referred to as the ‘gentiles’ or ‘the nations’ in the Bible. Whereas, the descendants of Shem (people of the Middle East) and the descendants of Ham (Middle East and the African continent) were not originally called that.
(See Genesis 10:5 & 14:2 and the linked Note).

The fact is; there seems to be more to this story than what the Bible accounts tell us.
Why were the Caucasian races alone called ‘the nations’ (or gentiles)? Were they perhaps the only races that were scattered and whose languages were confused by God in ancient Babylon?

Also, since Magog was an actual person (the son of JaPheth and the brother of Mosoch and Tubal), then who is Gog, and why was Magog referred to as Gog’s land in Ezekiel and in Revelation?

Could Gog (possibly the Opposer, Slanderer, and Devil) have been the god of Magog? This could be true, because, notice that The God (Jehovah) was said to be just the God of Noah’s son Shem at Genesis 9:26.

The Significance of Ezekiel’s Prophecy

Also, how do we know that the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the attack by Gog has any modern or future prophetic significance, since the account is bundled between prophecies concerning what would happen to JeruSalem and the nations round about them after the return of IsraEl to their homeland and the rebuilding of God’s Temple… things that actually happened in the Sixth Century BCE?

We have concluded this from the fact that there is no record of nations from the far north (Caucasians) ever actually attacking JeruSalem! So EzekiEl’s prophecy about Gog of Magog – as well as many other prophecies – must be assumed to have a future and greater fulfillment at the end of the ‘thousand years.’

The Outcomes for the Nations

From the Scriptures, it appears as though all those that are found faithful (as well as many of those that are referred to as ‘the dead’ in Revelation 20) will eventually prove faithful and finally receive an inheritance (see Revelation 21:7), and they will then be added to the existing ‘twelve tribes of IsraEl.’ And if this is true, it simply stands to reason that God will call all the unfaithful that join the Slanderer in his final battle against the Holy City by the names of the people that were first referred to as ‘the gentiles’ or ‘the ethnics’ – Magog, Mosoch, and Tubal.

Revelation 20:9 says that this final attack by Gog of Magog will come against the faithful ‘holy ones.’ So if Gog represents the Slanderer (Devil), then Magog and his associates are likely the ones that will not prove to be ‘holy’ at the end of the thousand years.
For more detailed information, read Ezekiel Chapters 38, 39.

And where will these nations come from?
Well, contrary to popular teachings that only the righteous will remain after the Battle of Armageddon; throughout the writings of the Hebrew Prophets, we read about people of the nations (gr. ethnics) that will still remain on the earth. Also, Paul (the Apostle), when speaking in his own defense before the Jewish religious court (Sanhedrin), said in reference to the Pharisees (Acts 24:15): ‘And I have this hope in God, which they (the Pharisees) also share, that there’s going to be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.’

So the Bible does speak of people that haven’t already proven themselves to be righteous, which will still be living on the earth a thousand years after ‘the Battle of Armageddon.’

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