Gary responds to a recent interview between Glenn Beck and Max Lucado about the state of the world and the war between Israel and Hamas where Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 are brought up.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, we were told that the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 was being fulfilled. When Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza, again the Gog and Magog war was being fulfilled. For nearly 1600 years prophecy “experts” have used the Gog and Magog battle as a prime indicator that the end was near for their time. In the fourth and fifth centuries, Gog referred to the Goths and Moors. In the seventh century, it was the Huns. By the eighth century, the Islamic empire was making a name for itself, so it was a logical candidate. It’s no different today. For example, Chuck Missler argued in his book Prophecy 20/20 that “the apparent use of nuclear weapons has made this passage [Ezekiel 38 and 39] appear remarkably timely, and some suspect that it may be on our horizon.”[1]

Not to be outdone, Glenn Beck and popular Christian author Max Lucado played the Gog and Magog prophecy card in a short interview. Attacks against Israel are not new. The Old Testament is filled with examples. The most noted is Nebuchadnezzar’s attacks against the southern kingdom in Israel: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it” (Dan. 1:1). Before that, according to 1 Kings 14:25 and 2 Chronicles 12:1-12, there was an Egyptian pharaoh called Shishak who attacked and sacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of king Rehoboam’s rule of Judah. There were numerous campaigns against Israel described in the book of Judges. The Philistines and Amalekites were engaged in battles with Israel in 1 Samuel. Let’s not forget the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD.

The Gog and Magog battle was an ancient war fought with ancient weapons against an ancient people with “bucklers and shields, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears” (39:9) and modes of transportation like horses and chariots (38:4, 15; 39:20). How these implements of war can be turned into “nuclear weapons” is beyond me. But those who claim to interpret the Bible “literally” find ways like horses referring to horsepower, bows, arrows, and spears to missiles and missile launchers, and chariots to tanks.

There’s a better way to interpret Ezekiel 38 and 39 if we let the Bible interpret itself. We often forget what Haman the Agagite wanted to do to the Jews. “Haman sought to annihilate all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were found throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus…. If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be eliminated, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry out the king’s business, to put into the king’s treasuries” (Esther 3:6, 9). Where would Haman get this treasure of silver? From the Jews who returned from exile with “silver and gold, with equipment and cattle” (Ezra 1:4), the same items predicted by Ezekiel in the Gog and Magog war: “‘Have you assembled your contingent to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to capture great spoils?”’ (38:13) Haman’s goal of plunder reminds us of what Adolf Hitler did to the Jews in pillaging and plundering their property, art, and other valuable possessions. See the film Woman in Gold (2015) and The Monuments Men (2014). Keep in mind that this World War II plunder took place in Europe.

One more point needs to be made about the living conditions of the Jews during Esther’s time. The Jews were living in unwalled towns. Ezekiel points this out in his prophecy. Note the similarities: The Hebrew word perazah is used in Esther 9:19 and Ezekiel 38:11. The KJV has “unwalled towns” (Esther 9:19) and “unwalled villages” (Ezek. 38:11). Israel today is a nation of walls.

You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to interpret the Bible. The Bible is the best interpreter of itself if you compare Scripture with Scripture.

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

What if we actually read Ezekiel 38 and 39 literally? Is it possible that the Gog and Magog alliance that was designed “to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children” has already taken place? That’s exactly what The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance attempts to show.

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Gary responds to a recent interview between Glenn Beck and Max Lucado about the state of the world and the war between Israel and Hamas. Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 are brought up as evidence that this current war is a key indicator that the “end is near” (again). Gary refutes this view (again) with history and biblical exegesis

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[1] Chuck Missler, Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future Through the Lens of Scripture (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 155.