For many years we have been following the conventional view of Ezekiel 38 and 39, the ill-fated invasion attempt of Magog and its allies, notably Iran. With the growing tensions between Iranas an ostensible nuclear powerand Israel, these passages are the subject of much current discussion and debate.
It is also significant to notice that the motivation of the invasion attempt by Magog and its allies is to take spoil: gold, silver, cattle and goods.(1) The Ezekiel account also includes participants from distant lands.
This leaves us with a puzzling anomaly: the players listed in Ezekiel seem to exclude any of the bordering nations: Where are the Palestinians? The Lebanese? The Syrians? The Iraqis? The Jordanians? The Egyptians? The Saudi Arabians? (Sheba and Dedan only appear as spectators rather than as participants!)
It is extremely provocative to contrast the attackers of Ezekiel 38 with the participants described in Psalm 83, which details immediate neighboring combatants. Furthermore, they also have a distinctively different agenda than the parties in the Ezekiel account:
Psalm 83 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
This appears to be a significant difference from the motivation of Magog and his allies, which is to take spoil. These combatants are the immediate neighbors, which continue to harass and torment Israel today and are unabashedly committed to wiping Israel off the map!
Furthermore, the specific players highlighted here are nearby, and not the ones included in the Ezekiel account:The
tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of
Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of
Many may be surprised that the identity of the Tents of Edom includes the Palestinians of today. This is a topic which will be treated in a separate follow-up article, tracing the origin of the olam ebahthe Everlasting Hatredfrom the womb of Esau and Jacob, and Esaus contempt of the covenant birthright, to Esaus spiteful intermarriage with the Ishmaelites, continuing the everlasting hatred to this very day.(2) As the Babylonians took Judah captivity, the Edomites (Idumeans in Greek), under pressure from the Nabateans in the east, moved west and established their own Idumea encompassing Hebron and environs. The other members of the Confederation can be easily identified with any good concordance or Bible Handbook.
Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. Psalm 83:9-12
In pleading for the destruction of their current enemies, the Psalmist appeals to the God of Israel to do just as He did in their historical victories of the past.
O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountain on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: Psalm 83:13-17
The Judgment against Edom is mentioned in more Old Testament books than it is against any other foreign nation: (3) (Again, the origin, identity, and destiny of Edom will be subject of subsequent articles.)
All the members of the Confederacy detailed in Psalm 83 are Muslims. Each of them is the subject of specific judgments which are detailed in Ezekiel 25 through 32. However, the principal issue of the entire episode is to make a specific point:
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. Psalm 83:18
His name alone is Jehovah, not Allah, the moon-god. And the Abrahamic Covenant has not been repealed! If this view is correct, it suggests a very dramatic prelude to the events of Ezekiel 38.
Order of Events?
This, then, would seem to set the stage for the subsequent events of Ezekiel 38 and 39. If this view is correct, there may be a huge surprise ready to unfold that will totally restructure the Middle East!