Is Russia involved in biblical end-times prophecy?
For decades, maybe longer, people have wondered if Russia is related to the prophesies of Ezekiel regarding Gog, Magog, Meshek, and Tubal.
Why? Because Magog, a nation or group of peoples, is located far north of Israel (Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2). Gog is a leader in Magog. He will plan to attack what many think is Israel, but God will defeat him (Ezekiel 38:4, 19–23; 39:3–6).
Historically, the term Magog may refer to a group of people who lived near the Black and Caspian seas in ancient times. Some of this area is now controlled by Russia, and previously the Soviet Union.
Ezekiel 38—39 does refer to a nation from northern Asia attacking Israel. When the Soviet Union exhibited so much power, it was thought t0 represent Magog. Now, with Russia exerting power in the region, that theory continues, even as Moscow courts friendship with Muslim nations.
The Bible says that a great northern power will align with many nations to form a formidable army against Israel. It refers to Persia (Iran), Put (Sudan), Cush (Libya), Gomer (Turkey), and Beth Togamah (part of Turkey or Syria). Most of these nations are currently strongly Islamic, some militantly so. Ezekiel says that some groups of people or nations will speak out against this formidable army of nations: "Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, 'Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?'" (Ezekiel 38:13). Sheba and Dedan are thought to refer to northern Africa. Tarshish could be possibly Spain (and by historical association South America), possibly Britain (and by historical association the United States and other former colonies), or somewhere in eastern Africa.
So, war will come. Some scholars see this war as part of the prelude to the tribulation and others see it as part of the tribulation. This war, or large-scale battle, is not the Battle of Armageddon which occurs at the end of the tribulation.
It is important to remember that God will destroy Gog's army (Ezekiel 38:21—39:16). As a result, many will turn to God in belief.
So much is not known. This great strength from the north appears to some to be Russia leading an alliance against Israel. However upsetting these events will be, remember it is God who is victorious.
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