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Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Russia

Reader comment on item: Tour d'Horizon: ISIS, Iran, Turkey, and the Palestinians
in response to reader comment: Footstool Commentaries IV - Nothing Easy About Eschatology From the Human Perpsective

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Feb 22, 2015 at 18:55

Hi, Tovey

I've completely lost track of what the OP's about, so I'll just hop into the very interesting things you're saying here:

...mention that the two divergent references to Gog and Magog are not related leads to a certain speculation this observer noticed so long ago, that it makes it easier for some to dismiss in a later review of the Scripture and how the world today will be disastrously ignorant as its dip into calamity comes to reality. That being said, it is this observer's current discernment that while not easily connected, since Gog and Magog are indeed the same entities

I liked what you said first here -- even though I don't know specifically what you were thinking. First of all, yes, people are ignorant of the times we live in, even as Jesus prophesied:

Matthew 24:
[37] But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
[38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
[39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

I have taken a rather dim view of contemporary Christian "voices" (to get around any "prophet" stumblingblock), because they steer people, especially Americans, AWAY from the guts of what the true prophets have said. What they said is a warning to us, so that we can look up at the signs of the times, and fear, and prepare for Messiah's coming.

You said "Gog and Magog" are the same "entities" in Ezekiel 38-39, and in Revelation. Here is how they appear in the latter:

Rev 20:
[7] And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
[8] And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
[9] And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
[10] And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
[11] And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
[12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

This "Gog and Magog" reference is clearly for a time "when the thousand years are expired" -- in other words, it is "postmillennial", and both "Gog" (the nation of "Beit Gog", or modern Turkey) and "Magog" (an ancient name for Anatolia) are geographical entities: They emphasize the remoteness of the countries "in the four quarters of the earth" that will participate in the final rebellion.

The references to Gog (a person) and Magog (a geographical area) in Ezekiel 38-39 are, by contrast, PREmillennial: They concern an entity in our times, as I believe you were inferring above. Yes, they are the same "entities"; but they refer to very different episodes, separated from each other by a thousand years. Moreover, I personally understand the "Ezekiel" references to refer to the actual country of Turkey -- a point on which I am at variance with others, perhaps including you.

The importance, in my mind, of reading Ezekiel 38-39 as specifically referring to Turkey, is that we can foresee the "Gog Coalition" of Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Cyrenaica (Libya) already forming today; whereas one might have to wait forever to see Russia taking part in such a coalition against Israel. The situation today is as follows:

  1. Turkey. President Erdogan has been revealing himself, these past few years, more and more, as an antiSemitic lunatic, bent on destroying Israel. He and his government are in regular contact with the Iranian government, with whom they have a sharp difference of opinion concerning Syria.
  2. Iran: Is developing a nuclear weapons system, and has threatened to destroy Tel Aviv "in ten minutes". If Israel were to pre-emptively attack Iran in order to preserve its very existence, there can be little doubt that the Turks will instantly forget their differences and join them in retalliating against the Jewish state.
  3. Sudan ("Ethiopia" in the KJV, but wrongly so. "Cush" of Ezekiel refers to the ancient country of Nubia, in modern Sudan). Sudan is led by Omar Bashir -- who is, like Turkish President Erdogan, a member of a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that promotes the application of Sharia Law. Bashir has played both sides in the Turkish-Iranian dispute. On the one hand, they are suspected of aiding the pro-Muslim-Brotherhood "Libya Dawn" movement in Libya, which Turkey also supports. On the other hand, they have a history of facilitating Iranian arms shipments to Sinai and elsewhere.
  4. Libya: At present, it is torn between three broad factions: The Islamic State in the northern cities, the Libya Dawn in the northwest and in Misrata; and the Egyptian-backed House of Representatives faction in the northeast and Zintan. The Islamic State faction, in particular, is busy lopping off Christian heads and hates Israel; so they would have no qualms about joining any anti-Israel coalition, at the drop of a hat.
  5. Russia. Russia has a long-standing relationship with the Syrian government, because of port facilities it uses at Tartus. At the moment, though, Russia is developing ever-deeper relations with Cyprus and Egypt, whose ports can eclipse Tartus in importance. Moreover, Iran, which is by far the principal ally of Syria and Hizbullah, has had a difficult time receiving Russian weapons promised years ago. Russian-Turkish relations, meanwhile, have oscillated between pragmatic and unfriendly. Turkey backs Azerbaijan and Russia backs Armenia, for example, in a conflict which is unlikely to get resolved for a long time; and the Russians are sympathetic with the Greek Cypriots against the Turks. In contrast to the Turks and Iranians, moreover, whose interests converge and focus sharply on attacking the Jewish state, Russia's interests are far more broad, involving far-flung places such as Venezuela and Vietnam.

I have criticized the "Russian" interpretation of these passages before, on scriptural grounds. In the world of people who do not regard the scriptures, it's possibly more important that I point out the current world situation, and relate the scriptures to it. To them, the important thing is to note that Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Libya will soon unite to attack Israel. This is especially important to the Jews of Israel.

Shalom shalom :-)


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