What are the differences between the War of Psalm 83 and the War of Gog and Magog?

“Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am (He).”

John 13:19

First, let me declare there has been an ongoing, honest debate between prophetic scholars and historians for decades regarding whether those things foretold in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39 are merely history or are yet to be fulfilled declaration of a coming war between Israel and her neighbors. If you are on the side of historians, you would say those things prophesied to occur have already happened, whether it was the war Israel’s Arab neighbors launched against her upon Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, or any of the other wars they initiated, including those in 1967 and 1973. To this day there are still many missiles fired into Israel and terrorist attacks by her avowed enemies trying to destroy her and “…cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance”. Psalm 83:4

Secondly, some equate the War of Psalm 83 with the battle of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38 & 39. There are substantial differences in these two wars. The most important difference is in who the named aggressors are and what happens to the attackers and Israel as a result of BOTH failed attacks.

Finally, if you agree with me that the Bible prophesizes a coming war where Israel’s closest neighbors attack them and are defeated, what is the net result for Israel and how does it fulfill Bible prophecy?

Before we start, I encourage you to read the 83rd Psalm. It is very short, being less than a page long. Basically, Psalm 83 is a prayer by the Jews for Israel’s enemies to be defeated. More importantly, the prayer is because…

“For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from BEING (capitals mine) a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent; they are confederate against thee:”

Psalm 83:2-5

Yes, you could argue this has been attempted by Israel’s enemies many times for over 70 years to no avail. Why now and why is this important? I believe the most critical issue that needs to be recognized is the location of the Promised Land God made to His chosen people, the Jews. He outlined in Genesis 15:18-21:

“In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt (Nile) unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

While God is very clear on what land He gave to Abram (Abraham) as part of His Covenant, I find it very interesting that when the Jews prayed in Psalm 83 for their enemies to be defeated, the lands given to them by God are the same lands! Since the names have changed over time I had to refer to Wikipedia’s map of those ancient lands given to the Jews and what you see below is the basis for the fact that the Jews today ARE NOT YET TOTALLY in their God given land. They do not have boundaries on the Nile, the Euphrates, the Mediterranean, etc. Today, Israel is comprised only of the ancient lands of Judah and Israel. But God promised them what is now (parts of) Egypt (Edom, Philistine), Syria (Aram Damascus), Jordan (Moab, Ammon), and Lebanon (Phoenician).

When I talk about the war of Psalm 83 and the war of Gog and Magog, the most notable difference is that in the first war (Psalm 83) it is Israel’s closest neighbors that will attack her and be defeated. This will then give the Jews ALL the Land originally promised to them by God. The bigger war of Gog and Magog IS NOT made up by her surrounding neighbors! Rather, they are countries like Iran/Iraq, Turkey, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Libya led by Gog, the leader of Russia (Magog). Not one of these countries today borders Israel! But many of them DO border the countries that today surround Israel who I believe will attack Israel and be defeated.

What a rallying cry to the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel people! Think about it. For some reason Israel’s surrounding neighbors decide to attack and are totally defeated giving her ALL the land promised by God. Russia then pulls together a coalition of 5 other countries to “finish” off the Jews in a way the first countries could not. But guess what? They also are defeated in a miraculous way that sees 5 of every 6 invaders and those in their homelands killed with it taking 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn their implements of war. And, this defeat happens in 1 day! I simply do not believe the attack by those in Ezekiel 38 & 39 could do so by marching through those countries that today surround Israel. I believe they would either be part of that coalition, or they previously had been subjugated by Israel.

After these two disastrous wars I believe at this time a world leader will emerge citing the fact that the Jews (who with the Blessing of God) have ALWAYS defeated their adversaries and MUST NOW be finally recognized as a true Jewish country. He will “confirm” a global, 7-year peace treaty with the Jews to finally end the hostilities. Or, so we will be told! Of course, this leader is the anti-Christ, and the signing of that treaty will begin the worst 7-year time period (referred to as the Tribulation) in the history of the world, resulting in the glorious return of Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon.

Scary? Only if you are here when these things happen and DON’T know the ultimate outcome! The purpose of this blog is to inform you what the Holy Bible says will happen, not to scare you but to make you aware of God’s Plan and hope you see the Truth of it and accept Christ as your Savior. If you have already been saved, please don’t hesitate to tell others and “…comfort one another with these words.”

So, what about that second war, the War of Gog and Magog prophesied in Ezekiel 38 & 39?

In late 2016 (during the end of the Obama administration), the United Nations voted (with the first ever abstention by the U.S.) to condemn Israel for their housing settlements in their disputed territories. Also, a few weeks later Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a mutual military agreement to fight ISIS in Syria (which sits on the northern border of Israel). Not long-ago Russia renewed a 50-year lease for a Russian naval port in Syria on the Mediterranean and for an air force base, also in Syria.  So, what does this have to do with Biblical prophecy?

In chapters 38 and 39 of the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel there is a very clear prophecy of a coming major war between 6 countries and Israel in the LAST DAYS. Remember, Ezekiel wrote this book 2,700 years ago (circa 586 B.C.). Before I get into the specific events foretold to occur, I believe it is important to first set the stage based upon chapters 36 and 37 in Ezekiel. Remember this was written at a time when the Jews were still living in the land of Israel.

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.”

Ezekiel 36:24

Of course this occurred officially on May 14, 1948 when the Jews declared their Independence and the nation of Israel was founded.

“Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.”

Ezekiel 37:12-13

“…and say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…”

Ezekiel 37:21-22.

In other words, while the Jews still occupied the land of Israel, God instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to them that He would bring them BACK from the nations of the world (where they were later dispersed in 70A.D. by the Roman Titus) and would reinstate the Promised land. Here we have clear evidence that it was God’s intent to see the Jews dispersed because of their sins but in fulfillment of His Abrahamic promises to them, he would bring them back to THEIR land that would amaze a world that believed this was never, ever going to happen.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate  in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins , desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”

Ezekiel 36:33-35

I stress these prophecies because of the fact that God said he would bring the Jews back in the LAST DAYS and rebuild the nation and land of Israel. Check out pictures of Israel from the 1930’s and 40’s when the land was not in control of the Jews but of the Palestinians. The change is incredible! Israel was an absolute mess with ruined cities, no clean water or electricity, etc. Since the Jews had to return to the land BEFORE the prophesied War of Gog and Magog, which they now have, there is now nothing  standing in the way of this battle.

As I have said previously, some have viewed this war of Gog and Magog as being the same as the war of Psalm 83 or even, Armageddon, but there are substantial differences. In the war of Gog and Magog, the invading counties are actually named (Magog, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth Togarmah – see Ezekiel 38:1-6) where in the battle of Armageddon ALL the nations of the world will invade Israel (“They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the WHOLE (capitals mine) world, to gather them for the battle  on the great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:14, and “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” Revelation 16:16). I believe the Bible is clear. These are two distinctly different wars. If you look at the timing of these two wars, you will notice in the war of Gog and Magog God’s wrath destroys the invaders (Ezekiel 39:19-22) where at Armageddon Christ returns and “Out of His comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.” Revelation 19:15.

Also, at the destruction of the invaders at the war of Gog and Magog, the Bible says it will take 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn the implements of war (Ezekiel 39:12 and 39:9). At Armageddon, the dead are eaten “The rest of them were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse (Christ), and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. So at the first battle, it takes 7 months to bury the dead but at Armageddon the dead are eaten by the birds with NO burial. Finally, at the war of Gog and Magog, only one sixth of the invaders will not perish (Ezekiel 39:2) while at Armageddon ALL the invaders will be destroyed (Revelation 19:21).

Since this post is about the differences between the war of Psalm 83 and war of Gog and Magog you may be wondering who is Gog of Magog? Where are Persia, Gomer, Cush, Put and Beth Togarmah? According to Biblical scholars (and I will use Tim LaHaye’s Prophecy Study Bible – KJV for clearer definition), these are the ancient names of the lands occupied by the future enemies of the rebuilt land of Israel. Most of us recognize Persia as modern-day Iran. The rest of them are known today as the following:

  • Magog – Gog is the leader of the this 6 country coalition. Magog in ancient times is identified with the vast land north of Israel beyond the Caucasus, around and above the Black Sea. Most view this today as the country known as Russia. Furthermore when the Bible refers to Gog as the chief prince of Meshech (Moscow?) and Tubal and says he will come from the uttermost north of Israel, any global map would ascertain Russia as being Magog with the distinct leader of Russia and this coalition being called Gog. Interestingly, in Hebrew “chief” is called Rosh which when the Bible is translated refers to Gog as the prince of Rosh (Russia?), Meshech (Moscow?) and Tubal (todays Georgia recently invaded by Russia).
  • Persia – Iran
  • Cush – Ethiopia, Sudan
  • Put – Libya
  • Gomer – eastern Turkey and the Ukraine, possibly the Cimmerians who migrated from Western Asia to eastern and Central Europe.
  • Beth Togarmah – eastern Turkey and the Ukraine

Except for most of Russia, all of these countries are Islamic and have very anti-Israeli views. Today, not one of these countries “touch” Israel’s borders. Imagine a scenario today where a possible  “solution” is offered by a current or future Russian leader to finally solve the problems with Israel and form a coalition of these countries to once and for all eliminate the Jews from Israel. They would band together and invade but would be defeated by a furious God so that it would take 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn the implements of war! With the recent treaties of Russia with Syria, Iran, Turkey, et.al. does anyone not believe this is a distinct possibility of something that could occur very soon?

You might ask, “Where is the U.S. in all this? They would never let this happen to Israel, their ally”! Actually, the Bible does inform us as to how the rest of the world will react (another example of why this is NOT the battle of Armageddon). The rest of the world is watching and asking the invaders:

“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”

Ezekiel 38:13

In other words, NO other country will come to Israel’s aid when the 6 nations mentioned above gather together and invade. Many scholars believe the merchants of Tarshish refers to the United Kingdom and her commonwealth of countries, like the United States. Instead, they will ask questions like “Why are you doing this? Do you want the riches that Israel has been given?” I have long believed that with the United States history of protecting Israel this could not happen as long as the U.S. was a global power. I have altered my assumptions based on the current news and fact that I could see a scenario where either the U.S. draws back their support (like what happened under the Obama administration) or a significant event  like the Rapture would not only take the Believers in Christ out of the world but could at the same time embolden Russia and her allies to once and for all solve their perception of the Jewish “problem”. Not to be self-righteous but how many believing Christians are there in power in the U.S. versus Russia and her allies? But God has spoken and when these people do in fact invade:

“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God: this is the day whereof I have spoken.”

Ezekiel 39:8

Please, do not be afraid of these events when they occur. If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ and we have not yet been Raptured, we should take this as yet another fulfillment of God’s prophecies to us as proof of His Being and His promised fulfillments. If the Rapture has occurred and you are reading this (which means you WERE NOT previously Raptured with the Believers) and recognize this was prophesied previously, you CAN STILL accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. For all of us, whether we witness this war or not, God’s Word is eternal and we should take solace AND comfort in His WORDS to us:

“Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Please do this with your friends and family before it is too late. Share this post with them. May God Bless you as we all attempt to bring His message to all!

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