by Alexander Zephyr.

Part Six.

Continued from Part Five.

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by Alexander Zephyr.

Part 6.

Since we established the fact that the hordes of Gog will attack Israel just at the beginning of the Messianic Age, let us deal with the proper determination of the geographical location of this attack. S. Collins insists that this attack will aim for the territories where the Ten Tribes of Israel are dwelling, mainly USA (Manasseh), Great Britain (Ephraim), Canada, Australia and a good dozen of European countries of Israelite origin. And the reason for this, according to author, is three fold:

a) Gog's attack will take place in the 'latter years', prior to the Messianic Age, before the reunification of Judah and Ephraim and advent of the Messiah.

b) The prophet Ezekiel did not mention the name of Judah in chapters 38 and 39, therefore the word 'Israel' here means the Ten Tribes of Israel;

c) The Mountains of Israel can not be identified with the Land of Israel because they are not high enough to be called mountains and, besides, they have not always been wasted, as required by the prophecy.

It is true that the name 'Judah' is not mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It is also true that when God speaks of the Jewish People, He refers to them by the names of 'Judah', 'Daughters of Zion,'  'House of Judah' or 'Jerusalem' (Zephaniah 2; Zechariah 12 and 14). The same applies when God speaks of the Ten Tribes of Israel, for it is sufficient enough to call them 'Ephraim', 'Manasseh', 'Joseph', or 'Israel', which automatically means Israel. We are also in agreement that Judah and Israel are not synonymous. They are different nations, living in different countries on the four corners of the Globe. And they will be different entities until the time of their spiritual resurrection ('open graves'), reconciliation and reunification ('two sticks') and redemption (partial, by stages, not final yet) with the advent of the Messiah son of Joseph (forerunner and representative of the Messiah son of David, with an interval of forty years, according to the Talmudic tradition).

Sure, if Gog would have initiated his attack before the advent of the Messiah, 'the graves' would not have been opened; there would not have been reconciliation and reunification of 'the two sticks': Then it would have been justifiable to use the word 'Israel' as a synonym for the Ten Tribes of Israel in exile. 'Clearly, the nations of modern 'Israel' (not 'Judah') would then be the primary targets of Gog's attack in the latter days as the author says.                  
But this is not so. The word 'Israel' in Ezekiel 38 and 39 most obviously means the whole house of Israel,  Judah and the Ten Tribes of Israel combined, because they will  already have been reunited before the attack of Gog, as we have proven from Bible verses and other sources.
 Since Mr. S. Collins has assumed (wrongly!) that Gog's attack against Israel would have been taken place before the millennia of the Messianic World, he has no choice but use a Procrustean bed tactic to fit all relevant Scriptural information in the shape and form needed in order to satisfy his preconceived ideas. That is why his explanations that the Mountains of Israel, for example, are too low, look like mere hills and have not always been wasted. They, therefore, can not be identified with the Land of Israel. This sounds like argumentation that could not withstand any serious theological criticism.

a. Height.
The 'mountains' in the hill country of Ephraim might be classifiable as mere 'foothills' in comparison with the Rocky Mountains of North America.. But what about the other mountains in the restored, Biblical Land of Israel' Let us consider say, the snow-capped mountains of the Golan Heights with the highest point in the Mount Hermon massif at 2,224 meters, or Mount Meron in Upper Galilee at 1,208 meters.

b. Waste.
Another proof used by Steven Collins to say that these Mountains can not possibly be identified with the Land of Israel is the fact that "they have most assuredly" not been 'always waste' . One can fly over Rocky Mountains of North America and not see any sign of human habitation over much of its expanse, and they are much higher than the 'Mountains of Israel.'
Based on these two 'very important' reasons (a. high and b. wasted) it is claimed that the prophet Ezekiel 'describes North America', the home of the Israelite Tribe of Manasseh, not the Israeli nation and the Holy Land.
These so called proofs do not give a good impression for seriousness and reliability when faced with the simple and plain truth of Scripture at its 'face value'.
The Mountains of Israel throughout the Bible are everywhere identified with the Land of Israel (Ezekiel 36:1, 8-12; 37:22; 38:8; 39:4).  It is also recorded in Scripture and secular history that the Land of Israel and the Mountains of Israel are synonymous and connote no difference in their intention. After the exile of the Jewish People by the Romans in 135 CE, for 2000 years they indeed 'had been desolate and continual waste' (Ezekiel 38:8) .                
It is no accident that the Land of Israel throughout the centuries had not become the home state for any one of the Empires who happened to conquered it. This Land had lain desolate continuously from the time of the Romans through occupation by Byzantine Christians, Arabs, and Turks to 1967, when it was wrestled back from Jordan ('under sword'). Victorious Empires had never found the Holy Land hospitable. The Land has always rejected other peoples.   
It seems that Land has a loyalty to the People of Israel and mourns when they are not on it.
God has kept the Promised Land in this way for His People Israel.
It takes a lot of imagination and guts to remove the 'Mountains of Israel' out of the Holy Land and place them elsewhere in North America, Europe, Australia, or South Africa, as homelands of the Ten Tribes of Israel in exile. By doing this, the words of the prophets are simply ignored. The plain meaning is not taken at its  'face value'.

'And thou shalt come against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in a latter days, and I will bring thee against My Land' (Ezekiel 38:16).

'My Land' here does not mean America, Great Britain, Australia, Europe or any other territory where the Ten Tribes of Israel live in Exile: It surely means the Holy Land, home of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, as any student of the Bible knows.
There is another 'hint' in Ezekiel 38:12 saying that Gog will attack the people 'that dwell in the midst of the land.' All translators of the Scripture have understood that 'midst of the land' is the Land of Israel!
God said to Gog:
 # Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel. I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea; and they shall call it 'The valley of Hamon-gog.' And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah # (Ezekiel 39:5, 11, 16).

There are so many strong proofs here that the campaign of Gog and its tragic finale will take place on the 'Mountains of Israel', which is the Land of Israel. Indeed, what country of the Ten Tribes in exile would fit the descriptions of Ezekiel 38-39?

Meanwhile, in  Talmudic tradition, the geographical places mentioned in Ezekiel 39:5, 11, 16 were well known to the Jewish People. Targum identifies the sea of Verse 11 as the Sea of Ginossar i.e. the Sea of Galilee (Radak). Ginossar was known as the Royal Gardens for its luscious produce and attracted many tourists, 'passengers' and 'travelers' (Breishis Rabbah 98).

'I will give unto Gog a place there for graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea' (Ezekiel 39:11). The valley of Hamon-gog will extend to the east of Jerusalem, along the Jordan to the lake of Kinneret and up to the city of Tiberias.

The prophet, in connection with Gog's defeat and burial, speaks of  one 'field', one 'valley', one 'city', one 'Sea', one 'Land of Israel'. Is it not obvious that Ezekiel 38 and 39 picture the Holy Land as the target of Gog's attack against Israel'!

All these arguments against our understanding are put forward in order to fit the theory that at the time of Gog's attack the tribes of Israel will not have been united, the Messiah not revealed and the Messianic Age will not have not started. It is up to our readers to judge whether to believe in misleading argumentation, or our own position based on the undeniable verses of the Bible, Sages of the Talmud and other Historical and Rabbinical sources.

Brit-Am Now no. 1658
#2. Daniel Duffield
: Are Not Mountains Symbolic of Countries?

Brit-Am Now no. 1659
#2. Globetrotter Comments

Re #2. Daniel Duffield : Are Not Mountains Symbolic of Countries?

Why will this multitude of nations really go against Israel? Is it because they are all evil and hate God's Chosen People? Or, maybe, there are some other reasons? Let us see what the Prophet says of Gog's intentions:

          'I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the earth' (Ezekiel 38:12).

Gog will come to take a spoil, to take a pray ' this is the reason Gog attacks! But what kind of spoil could they rob and loot from Israel' Ezekiel speaks of live stock (cattle), properties and goods. Of course, it also includes gold and silver, the wealth and riches of the Israelite nation. In ancient times victorious enemies plundered the immense treasures of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
Similarly, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon looted and plundered Egypt of her wealth (Ezekiel 29:19).
We have already pointed out that this prophecy of Gog is not speaking of the Jewish state of Israel of today, but rather of a time, when the Messiah will have been revealed, and Judah will have been already reunited with the Ten Tribes of Israel. This will happen in the 'Latter Days', at the beginning of the Messianic Era. The riches and wealth of Ephraim's nations, primarily the USA, UK, Europe and other countries of Israelite origin will have relocated together with their Israelite populations to the Promised Land. The Land of Israel will be free of all surrounding enemy nations as we have positively demonstrated above. Israel will be living in peace and safety. Gog could not have found Israel in a more vulnerable situation inviting attack than this one:

'I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people, all of them living without walls and without gates and bars' (Ezekiel 38:11).

By this time the people of Israel will have built the best economy and commerce arrangement in the World. Their national talents of innovation in science and technology will bloom and open up a new era of prosperity and happiness.
Their people will have the highest standard of living and live longer than anybody else. Most of the countries of Gog's alliance will not have such a prosperous situation as that which Israel will be enjoying. Their economies will be poor and on the verge of collapse. There will be an energy crisis, shortages of oil and gas, foods, minerals and other life essentials.  And now we come closer to the real reason why Gog's armies will invade Israel.
What is the Leviathan? It is a huge and terrible serpent, a sea monster of  Near Eastern Mythology. It is also the name given to a large natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, discovered by Israeli scientists in June 2010. Leviathan is located approximately 130 kilometers south- west of the port of Haifa off the cost of Israel, 1500 meters deep in water. It is estimated that the Levantine basin contains 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The Leviathan area is 253 billion cubic meters and contains about 4.2 billion barrels of oil. The potentials from this discovery are enormous. This 'gift from God' may change tremendously life in the State of Israel for the better: We are going to see an economic boom justifying the Biblical description of Israel as a 'land of milk and honey'. The plan is to develop it and start production of fuel at full capacity by the year 2014-2015. Israel will no longer be totally depend on coal and crude oil imports from foreign countries any more. Israel will have its own supplies of fuel oil which are sustainable for a few decades. This vast reservoir of natural gas will sustain the needs of Israel for more than fifty years; some even predict that it will last for 100 years. Israel will receive some $300 billion over the Leviathan field life-span. The cost of energy will be significantly reduced and the environmental damage of generating electricity decline substantially. Overnight Israel from a fossil fuel importer will become a potential exporter of natural gas and oil.
Our readers might wonder what connection  the story of the recent discovery of the Leviathan natural gas and oil fields has with the subject of the 'Gog and Magog Wars'? Well, we think there is a direct connection! We mentioned above that the spoil and prey Gog will be going for in Israel, as described in Ezekiel 38:13, includes gold and silver, livestock, goods and properties. This will not however be the most important treasure that Russia, China, Turkey and the rest of the Gog alliance will be looking for. Everybody knows what a crucial role oil (black gold) and gas have played in our highly industrial age. We see how the most powerful countries in the world bend themselves over (often playing politics and betraying their friends and allies) to please Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries in order to secure oil flow to their own countries. Quiet often the Arab nations have threatened those countries who support Israel with their 'oil weapon', and twice they made their threat a reality by reducing oil production and crippling OPEC oil embargoes. We see how Russia, one of the largest producers of fossil fuel, politically trying to control all of Europe, at will closes or opens the gates of their pipe lines. If Israel builds natural gas pipe lines and starts to export it to the democracies of Europe with better prices and more reliable, friendlier service, it will undermine Russia's interests and influence, which in turn could make them very furious and violent.

Russia is not the only country who will oppose the Israeli desire to develop cheap energy resources for their own needs, not to even mention the profitable export of it to other countries. It has already drawn some enemies in the region. Lebanon, supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and pushed by the religious extremist Hezbollah, declared that the large part of the newly discovered Leviathan natural gas field belongs to them and not to Israel. They warned the Israelis not to drill in their territorial waters; otherwise they will face serious consequences. Israel in reply threatened to use force if needed to protect their rights to the natural gas fields. Turkey, who controls the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus, supports Lebanon and the Palestinians of Gaza in their claims to portions of the Leviathan expanse. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran do not like the idea of Israel becoming self-sufficient in fossil fuel and exporting natural gas to other countries. The sudden interest of these countries in the potential hydrocarbon fuel resource wealth of the Mediterranean deeps could ignite a new war in the region.

The possibility that Israel enemies round about will target installations of the Leviathan fuel fields in the next Arab-Israel war(s) is real, and so is the potential of an ecological catastrophe in the region. A situation like this may as well trigger the War of Gog and Magog in the future because the Leviathan fuel fields and the other sites inside of Israel where a potentially enormous amount of oil and gas have been discovered might be that important 'spoil' Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and the rest will come to plunder from Israel. This is the kind of the treasure Israel was abundantly blessed with by God Almighty in many instances of the Hebrew Bible. (Genesis 49:25; Deuteronomy 33:13).

Many theologians have seen in these blessings hidden allegorical references to the vast treasures deep underneath the Land of Israel. 'Milk and honey' of Deuteronomy 32:13 they interpret as 'Shemen Adama' or 'Shemen Avanim' in Hebrew which may be translated into English as 'earth oil' or 'stone oil.' The People of Israel will 'suck oil out of the flinty rock'. The expressions of the blessings as 'precious thing', 'chief things' of 'everlasting hills' and 'ancient mountains', 'blessings of the  breasts and of the womb', 'living by the well', 'blessings of the deep that lie beneath', they explain, indicate that the prophecies speak of immense wealth from oil and gas in the Promised Land. They quote from Job 29:6  ''and the rock poured me out rivers of oil.' Also, the blessings to the Tribe of Asher, ''let him dip his foot in oil' (Deuteronomy 33:24), directly points  to the geographical location of Asher on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where the Leviathan Field huge reservoirs of hydrocarbon fossil fuel fields were recently discovered. There is an enormous amount of oil in the form of 'stone oil', 'earth oil' and 'rock oil' to be sucked out of the 'breasts' and 'womb', plus the 'abundance of the seas and treasures hid in the sand' (Deuteronomy 33:19).

Those people who used to joke that Moses at the time of Exodus from Egypt made a big mistake by turning left (Israel) instead of right (Saudi Arabia), choosing the only place in the Middle East with no oil, have been proven wrong by the prophetic Word of the Holy Bible and the real geological discoveries of the 'glory of the Deep' by Israeli scientists.

Of course, there will be other motives for some countries to attack Israel as well. Iran with the Islamic camp, for instance, is moved by anti-Semitic hatred and the goal to prove that the Muslim religion of the god Allah and his messenger Muhammad is stronger than the Judaic belief in the God of Israel and His prophet Moses. These may be reasons for a sudden attack of Gog against Israel. But the main reason of this attack is the Sovereign Lord Himself:  
'This is what Almighty God says; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and lead you on from the uttermost parts of the north against the Mountains of Israel' (Ezekiel 38:2; 39:1-2).

List of Contents Concerning,
The Wars of Gog and Magog
by Alexander Zephyr.
See Also:
Questions and Answers about Gog and Magog.

Part Seven.

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