Connecting Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39
When staring at individual threads, we are blinded to the overall tapestry that is being woven. When putting together the threads of these three upcoming prophetic wars, a startling big picture emerges.
Psalm 83 – “God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” (Psalm 83:1 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – “I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.” (Ezekiel 39:23-24 ESV)
The wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 will occur when God has been silent / hiding His face from Israel. We know from the duration of the Church Age that He has been “silent” (in the Old Testament sense) for close to 2000 years. Once the time of Jacob’s Trouble begins (what is commonly known as “the tribulation”), God will be actively intervening on the earth through the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. It seems that these 3 wars must then occur before the break in God’s “silence”.
Isaiah 17 – “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge.” (Isaiah 17:10 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – “the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8 ESV)
Before these wars occur we know that Israel has to be a nation, and from Ezekiel we know that the Jews will have been regathered from among the peoples (nations of the world). This regathering so far has been physically and nationally only – Israel is still spiritually dead. They have forgotten God. God is about to break His silence and wake them up! This establishes a possible starting point of anytime after 1948, but before spiritual restoration (presumably at or right after the rapture of the church – as per Romans 11:25).
Crafty Plans and Evil Schemes:
Psalm 83 – They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. (Psalm 81:3 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme. (Ezekiel 38:10 ESV)
Isaiah 17 – “This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.” (Isaiah 17:14 ESV)
Psalm 83 – “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” (Psalm 83:12 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – …to seize spoil and carry off plunder; 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 38:12 ESV)
In Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39, the main goal is to plunder Israel. In Psalm 83, they wish for Israel to cease being a nation completely, so that they may take possession of the pasturelands of God. Ezekiel 38 specifically mentions that God places the thoughts in Gog’s head according to His timing and purpose.
Participants in the Wars:
- “many nations”, “the peoples” (Isaiah 17) – deliberately enigmatic
- “all his hordes – many peoples are with you” (Ezekiel 38) – deliberately enigmatic
Inner ring of nations surrounding Israel:
- Syria (Isaiah 17, Psalm 83)
- Jordan (Isaiah 17, Psalm 83)
- West Bank (Isaiah 17)
- Saudi Arabia (Psalm 83)
- Sinai Peninsula (Psalm 83)
- Coastal Area of Gaza / Gaza Strip (Psalm 83)
- Lebanon (Psalm 83)
- Iraq (Psalm 83)
Outer ring of nations involved (Ezekiel 38-39):
- Magog – Traditionally Russia or possibly Turkey (Turkey is in much closer proximity; however, Turkey displays no history of similar might or leadership the way Russia does). This could be any land “from the north”. Other contenders could be Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
- Meshech and Tubal – Russian cities (Moscow? Tobolsk?), or cities in Turkey, depending on Magog’s identification.
- Persia – Iran
- Cush – Sudan or Ethiopia
- Put – Libya and possibly Somalia or Algeria and Tunesia
- Gomer – Turkey, or possibly parts of Southern Russia or the Ukraine; Gomel region of Belarus
- Beth-togarmah – Turkey or Armenia; Azerbaijan, Georgia
Purpose of God’s Intervention:
Isaiah 17 – In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7 ESV)
Psalm 83 – Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:16-18 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. (Ezekiel 38:16 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 38:23 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – they shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 39:6 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. (Ezekiel 39:7 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. (Ezekiel 39:7 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment (Ezekiel 39:21 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. (Ezekiel 39:22 ESV)
God is very clear that His purpose for intervening in all three of these wars is to vindicate His Name, to declare that He is God, to show His greatness and holiness, and to turn all eyes on Him. This purpose is not only to spiritually awaken the house of Israel, but also to reveal Himself to the nations involved.
Speed of God’s Intervention:
Isaiah 17 – In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! (Isaiah 17:14 ESV)
Isaiah 17 indicates that the intervention from God will come suddenly – in the span of an evening/night. In Ezekiel 38, God arises in jealously and wrath and refers to “in that day”, which is the imminent start of the Day of the Lord. Destruction will be sudden.
God’s Specific Intervention:
Isaiah 17 – Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. (Isaiah 17:13 ESV)
Psalm 83 – O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. (Psalm 83:13 ESV)
Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 are interestingly connected by chaff driven by wind.
Psalm 83 – “As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane.” (Psalm 83:14 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – “On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur.” (Ezekiel 38:19-22 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – “I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord”. (Ezekiel 39:6 ESV)
Asaph’s request in Psalm 83 is for God to consume Israel’s enemies with fire, flame, tempest, and hurricane. This is symbolic language, but it is surprisingly paralleled in Ezekiel 38, where God rains down wrath of fire and sulfur, torrential rains and hailstones. There will also be a great earthquake that starts in Israel and spreads globally. People will fight against their own troops, and pestilence (infectious disease? plagues?) will occur. The judgment will not only be at the battle scene, but also upon the nations who sent the troops.
How Israel is Affected:
Isaiah 17 – In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. (Isaiah 17:4 ESV)
While God arises to protect Israel, and they will be definitively victorious, it seems that Israel may experience some losses and destruction.
Reference to “That Day”:
Isaiah 17 – “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade” (Isaiah 17:4 ESV)
Isaiah 17 – “In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:7)
Isaiah 17 – “In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth.” (Isaiah 17:9 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – “…on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger.” (Ezekiel 38:18 ESV)
Ezekiel 38 – “On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 38:19)
Ezekiel 39 – “That is the day of which I have spoken.” (Ezekiel 39:8 ESV)
Ezekiel 39 – “On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel.” (Ezekiel 39:11 ESV)
“That Day”, as referred to in Scripture, is almost always a reference to the Day of the Lord. In Ezekiel 39, God further clarifies that this is exactly “the day of which I have spoken” – the great and terrible Day of the Lord.
Isaiah 13 describes the Day of the Lord in a broad sweep, and has it beginning thus:
Listen, a noise on the mountains,
like that of a great multitude!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
like nations massing together!
The Lord Almighty is mustering
an army for war.
They come from faraway lands,
from the ends of the heavens—
the Lord and the weapons of his wrath—
to destroy the whole country.
Wail, for the day of the Lord is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
Because of this, all hands will go limp,
every heart will melt with fear.
Terror will seize them,
pain and anguish will grip them;
they will writhe like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at each other,
their faces aflame.
“That Day” begins when God Himself musters an army for war on the mountains of Israel.
Will the prophetic wars of Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39 occur simultaneously? Will they follow one rapidly after another? Will they inaugerate the Day of the Lord and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble? It seems from a scripture analysis that these are all good possibilities. The stage is set for anytime fulfillment.
Target Israel: The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17
Target Israel: Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83
Target Israel: Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39
God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come
Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!