Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Bible Prophecy
The Russian war in Ukraine has been going for nearly 12 months. Russia is showing no signs of giving up. This is quite significant. End time prophecies of the Bible require that Russia be in control of Ukraine and quite a few other countries too. Western countries have voiced strong opposition to what Russia is doing in taking Ukraine but have stopped short of taking military action. This is also prophesied in the end time prophecies in the Bible book of Ezekiel.
What Russia is doing is a sign that we are approaching the end times – the times of Armageddon but also the times of happiness when Jesus Christ will return and set up God’s kingdom on earth. The Kingdom of God will be a time of unprecedented peace and happiness for all peoples.
This understanding of the prophecies of the Bible is not a recent interpretation in response to the current aggression of Russia. Christadelphians have been presenting these prophecies about Russian aggression in the end times for over a hundred years. This video (done in March 2022) gives an introduction to a key prophecy about what Russia will do in the end times and what it means for you. For more on this see here and here.
Russia’s final move – Ezekiel 38
This is one of the most amazing end-time prophecies in the Bible. Russia’s final move is foretold in the Prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 38, written 2500 years ago. It describes Russia leading a confederacy of nations to invade and destroy Israel. There are some countries that object to the Russian led invasion. This results in a huge war – it is described as Armageddon in the book of Revelation. God then intervenes and removes the invaders from Israel and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth for 1000 happy years.
This prophecy can only apply to the times in which we live, because for nearly 1900 years before 1948 there was no Israel to invade. The video gives a short overview of this prophecy.
It is important to note that Christadelphians have no political affiliations whatsoever. Showing that this prophecy describes Russia leading a confederacy of nations against Israel, is not a political statement against Russia or any other nation of the world. It is merely showing what the Bible teaches.
The invading confederacy
The first six verses of Ezekiel Chapter 38 (NKJV) are shown below. These verses introduce the confederacy of nations that will invade the land of Israel. The prophecy introduces the leader of these nations as Gog . The names of the nations in the confederacy led by Gog are shown in red. These can be located on the map below in the parts coloured in shades of red. The prophecy uses ancient names for these nations and the modern equivalents or territories are given in the table below. The proof for the identification of each of the nations is given further down the page – see Identification of the Nations.
Ezekiel 38:1-6 “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libyaare with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomerand all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.”
The Invasion of Israel
Verses 7 to 9 shows that Gog will bring the confederacy of nations to invade the land of Israel.
(NKJV) “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”
The words used to describe the land of Israel at the time of Gog’s invasion (words in bold) can only apply to Israel since they became a nation again in 1948. Hence this prophecy is very much a prophecy for our times. Other Bible prophecies of the return of the Jews to the land of Israel in our times are on the Israel page.
“gathered out of many people” – There are Jews in Israel that have come from almost every nation and people on the earth.
“brought out of the nations” – Israel was a nation brought into existence by the nations of the world. In November 1947 the United Nations voted in favour of establishing a Jewish State in the land of Israel.
“which had long been desolate” – the land of Israel had been a desolate land for over a thousand years before the Jews returned and established the nation of Israel. These pictures were taken around 1900 and show a land largely desolate, without trees and largely uncultivated. At the time Ezekiel prophesied (about 600BC) the land of Israel was fertile and cultivated.
“now all of them dwell safely (securely)” – the early days of Israel’s existence as a nation again were characterised by war. In 1948, 1967 and 1973 the Arab nations around Israel were involved in war against Israel and tried to destroy Israel but were defeated each time. Since then Egypt and Jordan established peace treaties with Israel. In September 2020 the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also signed peace treaties with Israel. Israel is heading towards dwelling safely (securely) as this prophecy predicts.
Some nations oppose the invasion
There are some nations that oppose Gog and the confederacy of Nations invading Israel. Verse 13 describes this.
v13 (NKJV) “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”
On the map above, these nations are shaded in blue (and Egypt is also included because of a parallel prophecy in Daniel Chapter 11).
“Sheba and Dedan” are ancient names for the peoples who live in the Arabian Peninsula, which now is Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. (See section on Identification of the Nations below for proof). These Arab states were enemies of the nation of Israel up until about 10 years ago and would not have opposed the invasion of this confederacy of nations. However, they have progressively become more aligned with Israel. As noted above, in September 2020 the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace treaties with Israel. So it is only in the last 10 years that Sheba and Dedan have come into the position prophesied in Ezekiel 38.
“Tarshish” is the ancient name for Britain. In the Bible, Tarshish is referred to several times. The table shows the attributes of Tarshish which identify it as Britain – an Island power to the extreme west of Israel. In particular, in Ezekiel 27:12 Tarshish is described as a supplier of various metals including Tin. This is highly significant because at the time Ezekiel was writing (about BC600) Britain was the only source of Tin. This alone would show that Tarshish is Britain. Britain is now a keen supporter of Israel, just as the prophecy anticipates.
It is highly significant that Britain (Tarshish) is described as being in opposition to the invading confederacy which includes Europe (Gomer and Magog). For this prophecy to happen it requires that Britain be out of the European Union. This is what Britain is now doing with Brexit. Brexit started in 2016 with a referendum deciding in favour of leaving Europe. By the end of 2020 Britain will have left Europe completely – just as the prophecy requires. For more information see the Brexit Page
Tarshish is described as having “young lions“. This again fits with Tarshish being Britain. Britain has used the lion as its symbol for many years. Who are the young lions then? In the first world war poster shown opposite, Britain as the old lion is seeking the help of the young lions of Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand. The young lions are the offspring of Britain – countries that were previously colonies of Britain. All these young lions are supporters of Israel today, just as the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 anticipates.
Gog’s invasion is not stopped
The next section of the prophecy recaps on Gog coming into the land of Israel. The leader of the confederacy of nations, Gog, is described as being from the “far north”. There is only one country that is far North of Israel and that is Russia. Hence Gog is from Russia. That this prophecy is an end-time prophecy is confirmed because it states “it will be in the latter days“.
Verses14-17 (NKJV) “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?”
God intervenes and judges Gog
The last section of the prophecy shows that God intervenes in dramatic ways and destroys Gog and the invading armies.
Verse 18-23 (NKJV) “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’
The judgements against Gog include an earthquake of huge proportions and raining upon the invading armies hailstones, fire and brimstone. Other endtime prophecies describe similar things. For example in Zechariah 14:2-4 similar judgements are described for those nations attacking Jerusalem, including a great earthquake. That Zechariah 14 is an endtime prophecy is proven in that after the judgements on the invaders are outlined, it shows that God will establish his kingdom on earth – a time of joy and peace and happiness.
Appendix – Identification of the nations
These are given in the order they appear in Ezekiel 38.
Magog = Eastern Europe
The Magogites have been identified with the Scythians who moved north to Georgia in Southern Russia, and from thence to Central Europe.
“Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians” (Josephus, Antiquities Book 1, VI 1 (70AD)
“Scythians … north of the Black sea, between the river Don (Russia) and the river Danube (Central Europe)” (Herodutus’ Histories (450BC))
Rosh = Russia
In Gesenius’s Hebrew Lexicon it is stated that the Hebrew word ‘Rosh’ in Ezekiel 38 & 39 “is a proper noun of a northern nation mentioned with Tubal and Meschech, undoubtedly the Russians“. It is noted that in some other versions of the Bible that the expression “Prince of Rosh” is translated as “Chief Prince” because the word Rosh is often used as a common noun meaning “chief” or “head”. However it matters not whether Rosh is a proper name or not. The leadership of the confederacy is undoubtedly Russia, because Gog is described as being from “the far north” (or as other translations put it “from the uttermost parts of the north”). There is only one country that is “far north” of Israel – that is Russia.
Meshech = Moscow Region
Gesenius’s Hebrew Lexicon states that Meshech is a “Proper name – Moschi, a barbarous people inhabiting the Moschian mountains”.
Eastons Bible Dictionary states “… the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians … a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, … There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East”
Tubal = Tobolski region
Josephus states “Thobel (Tubal) founded the Thobelites, who are now called Iberes” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chap VI, 1)
Tiglath-pileser I, king of Assyria in about 1100 BC, refers to the descendants of Tubal as the Tabali. Their land, in Josephus’ day, was called by the Romans Iberia, and covered what is now Georgia whose capital to this day bears the name Tubal as Tbilisi. From here, having crossed the Caucasus mountains, this people migrated due north-east, giving their tribal name to the river Tobol, and hence to the famous city of Tobolsk. (Harold Hunt & Russel Grigg, The sixteen grandsons of Noah)
Persia = Iran
Persia has been a nation in the same location for around 3000 years. Persia changed its name to Iran in 1935.
Ethiopia = Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia
The Hebrew name for Ethiopia in Ezekiel 38 is Cush.
Josephus identifies Cush with Ethiopia “For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Cush; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Cushites.” (Antiquities of the Jews 1.6).
Ancient Cush (Ethiopia) included what is called Sudan today. Egypt is described as bordering with Ethiopia (Cush) in Ezekiel 29:10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia”.
Libya = Libya
The Hebrew word translated Libya in Ezekiel 38 is “phut”. Josephus states “Phut also was the founder of Libya” (Antiquities of the Jews 1.6)
Gomer = Western Europe
Josephus state “Gomer founded those from whom the Greek call Galatians (Romans Gaul)” – “Antiquities of the Jews” Book 1 Chap6, p36
Isador (AD 600) identifies “Gomer, from whom proceeded the Galatae, that is the Gauls”.
Diodorus Siculus, identifies the Galatae, as those “between the ocean and the Hercynian Mountains.” The Hercynian Mountains are a series of massifs in France.
Gomer thus identifies the nations of Western Europe comprising of Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, part of Germany and Switzerland.
Togarmah = Armenia and part of Turkey
Josephus states “Of the three sons of Gomer … Thrugramma (founded) the Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved were named Phrygians”
(Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chap VI, 1)
Gesenius states “A northern nation and country sprung from Gomer … apparently Armenia. The Armenians regard Torgom the son of Gomer as the founder of their nation”