There is one place in the Scriptures that reveals to us the name of country or land where the Beast will come from. Let us examine this passage and try to match this ancient name with corresponding modern country using other verses in the Scriptures as well as outside sources.

 

The Land of Magog

 

Chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel talks about certain people from the land of Magog who will come with armies from a distant land to fight against Jerusalem. There are similarities between these chapters and the Battle of Armageddon described in the book of Revelation.

 

Before we try to identify Gog (the leader of these people), it is crucial to proof, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the events described in Chapters 38 and 39 are related to the end times, more specifically to the Battle of Armageddon. We will compare the passage from Ezekiel to other verses in the Scriptures that give an account of this battle. We will also examine these events against historic accounts of all “battles” fought over Jerusalem in the past.

 

We know from history that there were primarily two major “battles” fought against Jerusalem in the past. The first one occurred when the Babylonian army surrounded and destroyed the city around 586 B.C. The second major “battle” against Jerusalem occurred when the Roman Empire destroyed the city in 70 AD after several years of siege. The main differences between the Battle of Armageddon and these past two battles against Jerusalem are:

 

  • The past two were results of God’s punishment on the people of Israel (or Judah) (Daniel 9:12-16; Luke 19:42-44).
  • God did not defend Israel during the Babylonian and Roman invasions. On the contrary, He allowed, or even caused, these armies to fight against Jerusalem in order to punish the people for their iniquities.

 

The Battle of Armageddon, is just the opposite. First of all, the Beast will bring his armies against Jerusalem to fight against the return of Christ:

 

"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army."

 

Rev. 19:19

 

"These (10 kings) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them"

 

Rev.17:14

 

Secondly, God (or more specifically, Christ) will defend Jerusalem against the armies under command of the Beast and his allies:

 

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."

 

Rev. 19:20-21

 

"These (10 kings) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them"

 

Rev. 17:4

 

Now, if we look at Chapters 38 and 39, we also can see that the events described in these two chapters don’t correspond to any past account of major battles fought against Jerusalem, specifically the Roman invasion of 67-73 AD, and the Babylonian invasion around 586 BC. Ezekiel 38-39 was likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem in by the Babylonians.

 

Here we see that God will bring Gog out against Israel so that He can judge and destroy Gog and his armies:

 

"And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:

And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured."

 

Eze. 39:2-3

 

"And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them."

 

Eze. 39:21

 

"Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD."

 

Like the Battle of Armageddon, this battle mentioned here is about God punishing and destroying the invaders, not judging the people of the land as had happened in the past.

 

We also see the total destruction of invading armies, just like what happens during the battle of Armageddon:

 

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog."

Eze. 39:11

 

There are many other similarities between the two accounts which I am going to present below:

 

1. Many nations will gather against Jerusalem (or Israel):

 

"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

Rev. 16:14

 

"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army."

Rev. 19:19

 

"And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee."

Eze.38:4-6

 

2. The battle happens in a valley or (big) open field away from Jerusalem:

 

"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

Rev. 16.16

 

(The region where Armageddon takes place is another name for the valley of Megiddo north of Jerusalem. See also 2 Chr.35:22):

 

"Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 39:5

 

Assuming that the burial place is the same where they were all killed:

 

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog."

Eze. 39.11

 

3. A multitude of birds will feed on corpses of fallen armies:

 

"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great."

Rev. 19:17-18

 

And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

 

"Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you."

Eze. 39:17-19

 

4. Internal conflict erupts between elements of the invading army so that they start killing each other. The account from Chapters 12 to 14 of the book of Zechariah talks about “the day of the Lord,” the Second Coming of Christ, and the Battle of Armageddon:

 

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

Zec. 14:13

 

And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother

Zec. 39:11

 

5. The occurrence of exceedingly strong earthquake.

 

This is the same notable global earthquake which will flatten all the mountains and level all the cities in the world, except, possibly, the cities in Israel (see "Seals, Trumpets and Vials" of this commentary along with Rev.16:19). This earthquake happens not long before the Second Coming of Christ, around the time when the armies of nations are gathered together in that valley:

 

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

Rev. 16:19-20

 

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

Eze. 38:19-20

 

Gog and Magog in Revelation 20

 

Revelation 20:8 mentions the name Gog and Magog when giving an account of a certain battle which takes place right before the Judgment Day and the Earth’s destruction:

 

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

Rev. 20:7-9

 

Is it possible that Ezekiel 38-39 talks about this very battle and not the Battle of Armageddon? In comparison with the Battle of Armageddon, this “final” battle does not happen until 1,000 years after Christ’s return, when the devil is let loose for a short period of time.

 

The two main similarities between Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20:7-9 are the key involvement of the same nation—from land of Magog—and the location of the battle—Israel. But at the closer look, it can be concluded that Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 give account to two completely different battles.

 

There are a number of reasons to believe that the events from the 20th Chapter and from Ezekiel 38-39 are two different events:

 

1. The methods of the destruction of these invading armies are different between Ezekiel 38and Revelation 20—devouring fire versus a number of things such as internal conflict, overflowing rain, hailstone and even fire. However, the Battle of Armageddon would leave a great multitude of corpses, which would be then buried by the Israelites. In the account of the “final battle,” the fire from God likely devoured even the corpses.

 

2. Another important difference between that second (final) battle and the events from Ezekiel 38-39 is that after the final battle, God’s Final Judgment will take place and this world will perish:

 

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."

Rev. 20:10-11

 

However, in Ezekiel we don’t see this. We see that life will continue on:

 

"And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:

So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.

And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.

And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.

And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.

And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land."

Eze. 39:9-16

 

As we can see from the above verses, life will go on. All the time it took to cleanse the land would not take place if the earth was set for destruction as will happen after the “final” battle in Revelation 20.

 

3. Another notable difference between the “final” battle and the events from Ezekiel is that Ezekiel talks about the house of Israel around the time of their acceptance of Christ (See "Israel & the Great Tribulation"):

 

22So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.

23And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.

24According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.

25Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

26After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.

27When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;

28Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Eze 39:22-29

 

As I have shown in "Israel & the Great Tribulation", the acceptance of Christ by Israel as a whole nation happens around the Second Coming of Christ 1,000 years before the “final” battle.

 

4. The similarities in description of the battles mentioned in Revelation 16 and 19 (the Battle of Armageddon) and Ezekiel 38-39 are quite striking. This means that Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 describe two completely different events. The Battle of Armageddon and the Revelation 20 battle are separated by one thousand years.

 

For these reasons, we can conclude that chapters 38 and 39 are describing nothing but the Battle of Armageddon. The nation from the land of Magog will play a key role in the Battle of Armageddon and will also be involved in the “final” battle.

 

 

The Chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal

 

Now that we have determined that Ezekiel 38-39 gives us an account of events around the Battle of Armageddon, we need to closely examine the identity of the leader of these invading armies.

 

Revelation 19 tells us that the Beast will be the leader among other kings gathered together for the Battle of Armageddon:

 

"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army"

Rev. 19:19

 

This means that the “Chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal” (or Gog) and the Beast are the same individual. We know this since both Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 19 describe the same event. The analysis of Ezekiel 38-39 will give us more relevant information about the Beast and his country of origin.

 

The Scriptures in Ezekiel 38-39 accentuate the prince from the land of Magog as the leader of the invading armies. In fact, this prophecy is addressed directly to this prince from the land of Magog:

 

"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:"

 

Ezekiel 38:2-4

 

From the above, we see that this prince is from the land of Magog (other translations say “Gog of/from the land of Magog”). If we could identify this land, we could predict the country whose leader will become Antichrist at some point in the future. How can we then identify the nation from the land of Magog? There are a number of theories as to the location of the nation of Magog.

 

Genesis 10:2 tells us that Magog, as well as Meshech and Tubal, were sons of Japheth:

 

"The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."

Gen 10:2

 

The majority of Biblical researchers today hold a view that all Europeans and some other nations (closely related to Europeans) are the prime descendants of Japheth. Their conclusions are based on outside historical sources, various documents from antiquity, and chronicles from the Middle Ages . The 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius, in his book, Antiquities of the Jews, identifies the descendants of Japheth, along with Magog, as such:

 

"Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tansis, and along Europe to Cadiz; and settling themselves on the lands which they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they called the nations by their own names. For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites. Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians."

Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 6

 

Here Josephus identifies the people of Magog as Scythians. Scythians once lived in the area which presently covers modern day Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia. As a nation, these people don’t exist today, having either disappeared or been assimilated into other nations. There a number of articles on the origins of Scythians which link Scythians to Indo-European origins based on DNA tests. This proves again that Scythians are likely direct ancestors of Japheth, the father of Magog.

 

It is not necessary to determine which nation today is a direct ancestor of Magog, although it can be easily done today with DNA sampling—assuming Josephus was correct about Scythians, of course. Rather, we need to identify the land where the ancient nation of Magog once lived, because the prophecy talks about the land of Magog. Moreover, the Scriptures do give some clues about the geographic location of this land:

 

Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

 

"And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:"

 

Other Bible versions translate “from the north parts” as “from the edges of the North” (Russian Synodal Translation) or as “the remotest parts of the north” (NRSV). That is, this land is geographically located in the very distant or far North, as viewed by an Israelite at that time. Don’t forget that this prophecy was given to Israel (Ezekiel) living in 6th century BC.

 

There are a number of verses in the Scriptures which prophesy about the invasions from the North, but most of them refer to the Assyrian invasion around 722 BC. There is one country, to the north of Israel, which can immediately be excluded from any association with Magog. We cannot associate Iran with the land of Magog. The reason for that is that this nation (Persia) is listed as among the allies of Gog (Eze. 38:5), so it cannot represent the people from the land of Magog. Secondly, all countries in close proximity to Israel cannot be identified with Magog, because these lands were well known to ancient Israelites by other names, be it Persia, Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, and so on. There would be no need, for example, to refer to nearby and the well-known regions as some distant land of Magog. It seems that this land was far removed from the ancient Mediterranean world, because of the lack of references to it in the Scriptures and other sources of antiquity. For this reason, we can also exclude modern day Turkey, since this territory was also well known by its original names in the ancient world (and thus to an Israelite living in 6th century BC).

 

This means we must look further north, to the “remotest part of the North.” This brings us to Europe, especially Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, which lie directly north of Israel.

 

There more reasons to believe that the people from the land of Magog are of European origin:

 

"Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:"

Eze. 39:1

 

Verse 1 tells us that Gog, the leader of these invading armies, is a prince of Meschech and Tubal. Both Meschech and Tubal are sons of Japheth, alongside with Magog. The above verse is saying that Gog is the main leader or ruler of people who are descendants of Meschech and Tubal, ancestors to uncertain European nations.

 

In my opinion, it is not likely that the land of Magog is located in Western Europe because Western countries are located either northwest or almost directly west of Israel (for example Italy and Spain). It is possible, though, that some (or maybe most) of these countries will be among allies to Gog. Descendants of Gomer, possibly the eldest and one of the most powerful sons of Japheth, are among allies to Gog (Eze. 38:6). Also, many of the southern European lands should not be considered as the land of Magog. These were known to the Israelites by their original names at the time when this prophecy was given to Ezekiel.

 

This leaves us with Eastern European and Scandinavian countries as most likely to be the location of the land of Magog. If we look further into the Scriptures, we will find more clues about this country of Magog.

 

From a number of verses in the Scriptures, we can note the following characteristics of this nation:

 

1. It has a very large population because of its enormous army:

 

"And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:"

Eze. 38:4

 

"Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee."

Eze. 38:9

 

We also see that this nation will again be very populous 1,000 years after Armageddon:

 

"And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

Rev. 20:8

 

2. This country has a large and heavily equipped army:

 

"And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:"

Eze. 38:4

 

3. This is a politically powerful nation with great influence over other nations and its many allies.

 

This would further eliminate all Eastern and Northern European countries and leave us with the only possible choice: Russia. Russia has a large population, much more than any other European country. The second most populous European country is nearly half of its size. It is also the largest country in the world territorially. This country has one of the largest (and heavily equipped) armies in the world and sits high among world leaders. Also, this country literally extends to the “edges” of the North. Russia is the only country in the modern world that would satisfy all of the characteristics of the land of Magog. No other nation north of Israel would fit this profile as perfectly as Russia does.

 

 

GOG AND MAGOG

SEALS, TRUMPETS AND VIALS

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