Appendix 1 — The Gogian Invasion and the Beast

The subject of the Gogian invasion of Ezekiel 38 is discussed in part 1, chapter 4. The proposition presented there is that the Gogian invasion (or, more strictly, the attempted invasion) occurs after the Lord's coming and the establishment of the kingdom in Israel.

It was argued that the sequence of events in Ezekiel 37—39 is as follows:

1. The people of Israel are restored to the land of Israel.

2. They are cleansed and made spiritually alive by the breath of God.

3. The divinely appointed king is enthroned.

4. Kingdom blessings are enjoyed in Israel.

5. The Gogian confederacy attempts an invasion and is destroyed on the mountains of Israel.

From other scriptures we have seen that after the return of the people to their land and before the establishment of the kingdom in Israel the beast reigns — an Israelitish beast. Are we to suppose that Ezekiel is silent on this important matter?

Ezekiel is not silent concerning the beast. A passage from the second half of Ezekiel 39 can be easily overlooked:

"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. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God. 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. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward" (39:17-22).

These words do not describe the destruction of Gog and his company. By the time Gog tries to invade Israel, the people of Israel have turned to God and are enjoying His blessings. It is stated expressly that the destruction of Gog magnifies God in the eyes of many nations "and they shall know that I am the Lord" (38:23). The destruction referred to in the passage from Ezekiel 39 quoted above, however, is a destruction by which "the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward". Here then is a parenthesis concerning judgment on Israel itself that comes before the Gogian invasion. By this judgment the rebellious element is purged out and the remnant learns to serve and trust God. After this He is gracious to them and pours out His spirit on them — an event referred to earlier in Ezekiel, as we have seen, but appropriately repeated in verse 29 of this chapter.

It is more than interesting to see that the same language (concerning a feast of men of war and horses, to which birds and wild beasts are bidden) is used in Revelation 19:17-20. And the occasion? Why, none other than the occasion of the destruction of the army of the beast, when he goes forth to fight against Christ!

And it hardly needs saying that the evidence has been presented for believing that this beast represents a power that emerges from Israel.

So Ezekiel 39:17-20 concerns a judgment upon Israel itself— a judgment that takes place before the Gogian invasion. And this is in line with other latter-day prophecies.

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