Gog of Magog
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. Also, the account in Revelation appears to be referring to Gog and his land of followers (Magog).
The term Gog of/and Magog is found in two places in the Bible, in Ezekiel 38, 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 religious groups teach that the prophecy in Ezekiel doesn't correspond to the one in Revelation, and this doesn't seem logical to us.
Ezekiel 38:1, 2 says:
'And the Word of Jehovah came to me saying:
O son of man;
Against Gog and the land of Magog
(The ruler of Ros, Mosoch, and Tubal),
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, won't you come in that day…
Against those who've settled in peace?
Won't you come from your place in the north,
And bring along many nations…
Horsemen all riding horses…
A huge crowd and a great force?
'Against IsraEl, My people, you'll come,
Like a cloud that covers the land…
Yes, in the last days, this will happen.'
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 who 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.
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 places in the Bible. So, to understand the meaning of just 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.
However, as we pointed out earlier; most religious groups have concluded that there is no connection between these two prophecies. Why? Because they choose to believe that the prophecy in Ezekiel is describing something that will happen during the Battle of Armageddon, while the prophecy of Revelation clearly describes something that will happen a thousand or possibly thousands of years after Armageddon. So, let's compare the teachings to see if these are likely conclusions.
One of the most common teachings among many Protestant religions, 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 and will result 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.
Then, who is Gog? Many teach that Gog represents the country of Russia. There are three reasons for 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.
Now, these conclusions are 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.
It is due to all the things that Jesus said and what Paul wrote about JeruSalem as being rejected, that 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 on 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?
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 loved city.'
Who are the 'Holy Ones' and what is their 'loved city?' The 'holy ones' are apparently faithful people who 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 who 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.
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 (unfaithful) 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.
Does Magog (of Ezekiel's prophecy) really represent Russia? That could be; for notice that Gog was also the leader of Mosoch, and Tubal. These 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.
It is interesting that the descendants of JaPheth were the first ones who 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 we find in the Bible's history. 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 Thobel), then who is Gog, and why was Magog referred to as Gog's land in Ezekiel and in Revelation? Could Gog (or 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.
How do we know that the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the attack by Gog has any modern 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 6th Century BCE? Because there is no record of nations from the far north (Caucasians) ever actually attacking JeruSalem. So this, as well as the other prophecies, must be assumed to have a future and greater fulfillment.
It appears as though all those who are found faithful (as well as many of those who 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 who join the Slanderer in his final battle against the Holy City by the names of the people who 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, Gog likely represents the Slanderer (Devil), while Magog and his associates are likely those who are called 'the nations'… those who will not prove to be 'holy' at the end of the thousand years. For more detailed information, read Ezekiel Chapters 38, 39.
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, mention is made of people of the nations (gr. ethnics) being left over on the earth. And 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 unrighteous peoples who will still live on the earth after Armageddon.
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