I believe that the great battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 are the details for the battle described in Seal Two of the Seven-Sealed Scroll of the Book of Revelation. This seal is opened by Jesus Christ and given in the verses:
Revelation 6:3 And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come.
Revelation 6:4 And another [horse] came forth, a red horse: and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (all verses from ASV 1901)
In the Book of Revelation, chapter six, Jesus opens the Seven Seal Scroll and the Tribulation begins. Seal One represents Antichrist attacking and conquering The Leopard, which consists of the nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Note that although these five nations hate Israel, only one, Jordan, is briefly mentioned in the following Ezekiel passages, so the battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 would have to occur after Antichrist conquers those five nations at the beginning of the Tribulation. Details of Antichrist's conquering the "leopard" in seal one are described in the articles: Daniel: The Four Beasts out of the Sea and The Burden of Egypt.
Ezekiel, chapter 38 and 39, prophesy that several Muslim nations around Israel will join in an alliance to attempt to attack and destroy it. These nations include Turkey, Libya, Sudan, Iran and several of the Muslin nations just south of Russia. Jordan is mentioned, but it will be the Palestinians that currently reside in Jordan that will be among the nations that attack Israel. All these Muslim nations will be lead by a charismatic man we will describe later called Gog.
Israel will become rich
There is currently exploration for oil and gas being done by Energy companies in Israel and in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Israel. These energy resources will soon be found and exploited by the nation of Israel. This energy will be much easier to tap and to transport to Europe and the USA than from other nations in the Mideast. It will also be much safer to transport than from say Saudi Arabia or Iraq. Israel will sell the energy at lower prices than other countries will sell energy for and hence become exceedingly rich because of this and the economy of the world will boom for awhile because of the lowered energy costs. Israel will use some of the vast wealth from the sale of energy to improve the infrastructure of the country and with proving fresh water and improving agriculture and the raising of cattle and other animals. Israel will provide good salaries for those workers in that country, including non-Jews. Israel will import all sorts of goods and the citizens will enjoy a very comfortable life (See Ezekiel 38:12 below).
Antichrist makes a seven year treaty between Israel and many nations around it
Daniel 9:27 And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations [shall come] one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall [wrath] be poured out upon the desolate.
Daniel predicts that some sort of peace settlement or treaty will be mandated by Antichrist between Israel and perhaps many or all of the Muslim countries in the Mid-East. This treaty will be drawn up and enforced by the Antichrist at the very beginning of the Tribulation. A part of this treaty will stipulate that Israel will be protected from her enemies around her by Antichrist. As a consequence of this treaty, all weapons including conventional and nuclear weapons will be removed by Antichrist from the land of Israel. In Ezekiel 38:11 shown below, the cities of Israel will need no soldiers and protection of any kind. Perhaps Antichrist will stipulate in the seven year treaty that he will make his own troops and weapons available via rapid deployment forces should they be necessary for Israel's protection.
At mid-Tribulation, Antichrist will take over Israel and even expect to be worshiped in a reconstructed Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. A detailed description of this event is beyond the scope of this article, but we'll give a brief description.
Tribulation Temple. Will it be part of the seven year treaty that Antichrist will make sure that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt where animal sacrifices can be made to God? The temple that Antichrist will desecrate at mid-Tribulation? If I am understanding making sacrifices to God, they can only take place at a temple that resides on the temple mount, the mount in Jerusalem where two Muslim temples now reside. Here are two verses in the Old Testament that mention the location for animal sacrifices:
Deuteronomy 16:2 And thou shalt sacrifice the passover unto Jehovah thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Jehovah shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.
2 Chronicles 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Jehovah filled the house.
The first temple that had animal sacrifices was the transportable Temple that Moses built during the Exodus years. It moved around to several places during the Israelis 40 years in the desert. When Israel conquered Canaan, sacrifices were still being held in the Temple Moses built.
Several hundred years later Solomon built the first permanent temple in Jerusalem and animal sacrifices were held there until Babylon conquered Judea and took the residents to Babylon. After 70 years in Babylon the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem, Ezra built a temple and sacrifices were offered at this temple and it was constructed on the current temple mount in Jerusalem. Just before the time of Jesus, King Herod built the last Jewish temple on the temple mount and it may have been the grandest of the temples. Animal sacrifices were held there until A.D. 70. So, up to that point sacrifices were only held in the portable temple or on the temple mount in Jerusalem. So, will the Tribulation Temple be built on the mount in Jerusalem, the place of the two Muslim temples and will the Jews want to share the temple mount with the Muslim temples or will only the Tribulation temple reside on the temple mount?
Origins of the Nations that attack Israel
Here is a map that gives the locations of the various nations that were in existence in the time after Noah's flood and are described in the Book of Genesis:
Map of the Nations from Genesis by Lyman Coleman, 1854
From this map let's identify where the countries mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39 are located today:
38:1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
38:2 Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
Almighty God speaks directly to His prophet, Ezekiel. He tells him to prophesy against a future enemy of Israel and this enemy and his attempts to defeat Israel are detailed in God's message to Ezekiel. Ezekiel must be overwhelmed by the presence of God, but he is strengthened by Him and writes down this message. This is a message for us, the Christians of the last days because God wants us to know the events that will take place during the Tribulation.
The Muslim countries north of and between the Aral and Black seas so far have not been very vocal concerning the state of Israel, but that situation will change during the Tribulation. From one of those countries will arise a charismatic leader that will hate Israel and organize a holy war against Israel. He will convince the countries listed above and in subsequent verses to attack and destroy Israel. This attack will take place in the first half of the Tribulation. This man will be a self-proclaimed "Mahdi" or Messianic figure. This will be the man that Iran is looking for to appear as a Muslim "messiah".
Some writers believe that Gog of Magog will be from Russia and Meshech is the capital city of Moscow. It remains to be seen if this is true. In the time of Ezekiel writing his prophecies, 593 to 571 B.C., Moscow did not exist. Also, it remains to be seen if all of the Muslim countries mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39 would actually follow Russia into full battle against Israel; this I am not sure of. If Gog is from Moscow, then the leader will be the President of Russia. If Gog is a Muslim, I am quite certain that the Islamic nations mentioned would follow he who is the self-proclaimed "Mahdi" or Islamic messiah.
38:3 and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal:
Here is what the Psalmist says about Meshech. Its location would most likely be somewhere close to Israel and not Moscow, Russia:
Psalms 120:5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
38:4 and I will turn thee about, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords;
38:5 Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
God will allow great armies to be formed by several of the nations around Israel. When they are ready for battle, God will somehow force them to attack Israel. He will allow this idea to be placed in the mind of the leader of this group of Muslim nations. This leader, Gog, will then communicate with the leaders of the nations mentioned in this article and specify a date for the attack. Since Israel was formed as a nation in 1948 the nations around it have resented their presence in the land and want nothing more than to drive them from the land. The leader of Gog will have no problem convincing the nations around Israel to join together for an attack on Israel.
Although these nations know that Antichrist has previously defeated the nations of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq (The Burden of Egypt) and he has signed a seven year treaty promising to protect Israel, the nations led by Gog will somehow believe that they can attack and actually win a victory over Israel. They believe that Antichrist will not send in his troops to protect Israel from attack.
Persia will be modern day Iran, along with perhaps Pakistan and Afghanistan. Cush will be Sudan and perhaps other African nations south and west of Sudan. They could also include Yemen and the smaller Arabian states around the Persian gulf.
The full armor is the strong armor of tanks and other battle vehicles. The horses are the various powerful engines that drive the armored vehicles, rated in horsepower. The swords are the various non-nuclear weapons used in modern warfare. Many soldiers and support troops will be included in this great army. There could possibly be thousands or even millions of soldiers that will attack Israel.
The armament mentioned will be traditional, land-based military weapons. They will come with tanks and trucks, some jets and helicopters, artillery, ground-based rockets, grenades, rifles, pistols, machine guns and ammunition but not with nuclear weapons or chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.
38:6 Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with thee.
38:7 Be thou prepared, yea, prepare thyself, thou, and all thy companies that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
God allows the nation of Turkey (Gomer and Togarmah) to build up a large conventional army and to prepare themselves for battle with Israel. They will train intensely for various type of military operations. This will be a very large army of well equipped and well trained soldiers and support troops. They will have many types of weapons to attack Israel with.
38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.
God then looks forward from the time of Ezekiel to the time of the Tribulation. The Jews have been brought back to Israel from Europe, Russia and other parts of the world. The nation of Israel began in 1948 to make use of a land that was not very deep in resources and was mainly a semi-desert with many mountains. Dwelling securely in the land of Israel will be insured by a treaty between Israel and the nations around it provided and enforced by Antichrist.
38:9 And thou shalt ascend, thou shalt come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy hordes, and many peoples with thee.
The nations mentioned above will then attack all at once the land of Israel. It will be a massive line of troops, helicopters, tanks and artillery against Israel. Much of the land of Israel will have enemy troops on its soil, ready for battle.
38:10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device:
38:11 and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates
38:12 to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn thy hand against the waste places that are [now] inhabited, and against the people that are gathered out of the nations, that have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the middle of the earth.
If nations that are belligerent against Israel look at the lack of weapons in Israel, they might think that they would be very easy to conquer; perhaps ignoring that Antichrist has agreed to protect them from any kind of attack by their enemies. These thoughts go through the mind of the leaders of those countries that might want to conquer Israel.
It's interesting that the leader, Gog, would want to take over the riches that have been accumulated by Israel since most of the leaders of the Muslim countries make fun of western materialism that goes along with having riches. He would want to defeat Israel in battle and hence take over ownership of the land of Israel, along with the wealth that would come by selling the oil and gas resources of Israel. Gog will perhaps offer to share the wealth produced by the land of Israel with those Muslim countries that accompany him in battle.
38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take the spoil? hast thou assembled thy company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take great spoil?
The troop build up in the land of Gog and those nations aligned with him will be difficult to ignore. The build up will be viewed and analyzed over cable and TV networks and over the Internet and of course by the military commanders of various nations around the world. The leader of Gog will be asked, probably from Antichrist: "Will you be attacking Israel so you can take away their things of value, including gold and valuables and animals?" Apparently the response is "yes", because the attempted conquest of Israel begins shortly after this question is asked.
38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In that day when my people Israel dwelleth securely, shalt thou not know it?
God rhetorically says to Gog, Are you really sure that you want to attack Israel? Especially since you know that Antichrist has specified in the treaty with Israel that he will protect Israel from any that attempt to attack it?
38:15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army;
The prophecy is that Gog and his armies from the north and the other Muslim nations with him will be riding on horses (tanks and other vehicles). This will be a large well-equipped and well-trained army.
38:16 and thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Gog's army will be so large, it will seem to completely cover the land of Israel once they invade it. It will be covered from the north to the south. This army is doomed to fail, because Almighty God will use this army to glorify Himself. God defeating this great army will also show that He still is Israel's god and is showing that He still loves the people of Israel.
38:17 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Art thou he of whom I spake in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days for [many] years that I would bring thee against them?
There are no verses in the Old Testament that I could find, other than in Ezekiel, that predict a monumental battle in the end-times between Gog and Israel. The Old Testament verse that does mention the name Gog is I Chronicles 5:4. For Magog: Genesis 10:2, I Chronicles 1:5 and Revelation 20:8. For Hamon-Gog: Ezekiel 39:11 and 39:15.
The person that God does prophesy about being against Israel in a major battle from His prophets is Antichrist. In the first half of the Tribulation, Antichrist protects Israel against her enemies. However, at mid-Tribulation, Antichrist turns against Israel and attempts to force Israel to worship him by setting up his image, a huge television screen, at the Temple of God. At the end of the Tribulation Antichrist brings in the battle of Armageddon and attempts to battle with Jesus Christ who is coming back to this world to rule over it. As we can well infer, Jesus destroys the troops of Antichrist that attempt to fight against Him and his defeat is detailed in Revelation, chapter 19.
38:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils.
Once Gog's army invades the land of Israel, Almighty God will be very angry and is ready to instantly destroy this great army. He can smell victory over Israel's enemies because He will be the lone fighter against these enemies.
38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
One possibility for this shaking is that nuclear weapons be used to attack and destroy the armies of Gog. They would then have to be launched by Antichrist. The other possibility is that Almighty God Himself will initiate a great earthquake in Israel that will be felt across the face of the whole earth. I believe that this is the event will be initiated by God because the land will be safe to travel in because in later verses Israel will send out employees of the state to remove and bury the bones of Gog's soldier after God destroys his armies. Otherwise, the radiation from nuclear weapons would make the land impossible to travel around and live in.
One point against Gog being from Russia is that if his armies are being destroyed by God, then Russia would then attempt to somehow use nuclear missiles as a defense. I can't determine via the Ezekiel verses that nuclear weapons are used by anyone involved in the battle.
38:20 so that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
Then the sea creatures and the birds and land animals will feel the immense shaking that will take place across the whole earth. Humans across the world in every country will feel the ground quake and move and be terrified. Great avalanches will fall off of every mountain range in the world, including rock and snow avalanches. Walls of protection will fall across the world. This could be the walls of buildings, and we don't know if every wall in every single country in the world will collapse or if it is only in those countries that attack Israel.
38:21 And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man's sword shall be against his brother. (See Revelation 6:4 above)
God's battle tactics will initially have the Muslim soldier fighting against another Muslim soldier. The people of Israel can just sit back and observer the killing of each of their enemies by the rifle, rocket and howitzer. I suspect the fight will be similar to when Judah was attacked by the Moabites in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. Judah's army sang praises to God and God caused Judah's enemies to slay each other. After this brief initial fighting, Almighty God will just send fire from heaven to destroy Gog's soldiers.
38:22 And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
So the armies of Gog will be destroyed and this will be done in a manner similar to the way God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in the time of Abraham and Lot. Since brimstone will be dropped from the heavens the heat will be very intense because sulfur burns at a very high temperature. God will also drop very large hailstones on Gog and his armies. This should smash the soldiers to pieces and cause much blood to flow.
38:23 And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.
Almighty God will now make Himself known via His gigantic power in battle. All the nations and peoples of the world will know for sure that God has demonstrated His ability to defeat the enemies of His people Israel. Perhaps for at least for a short amount of time the people of the world will respect God and will not be using the name of The Lord as a swear word.
A second time Almighty God commands his servant Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog.
39:1 And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal:
Does Gog have any chance to win his battle with Israel after this statement? If God is against you, you are are as good as dead; you have zero chance to win. When God repeats a promise, challenge or threat, it is absolutely certain that it will take place, with no chance of escaping His judgment.
39:2 and I will turn thee about, and will lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel;
Here God is describing the origin of Gog's army; it will be from the Muslim nations north of the Black and Aral seas and from Turkey. These are the countries that will apparently have the use of helicopters and some airplanes.
39:3 and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
Any weapons that the Army of Gog brings with them will be utterly useless. They will just not work against Israel. It will be as if they brought no weapons with them to attack Israel with. Other than initially used to kill each other with, the weapons will be useless and those soldiers of Gog will just drop their weapons. Almighty God will then send torrents of fire, brimstone and hail to destroy any of these soldiers that are left.
39:4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
Some of the army of Gog will be destroyed by God on the mountains of Israel. Perhaps this is because the helicopters and planes that Gog uses in this battle shall just not work and crash into these mountains. The raptors and other animals will then eat these soldiers as soon as they can fly to them; both on the mountains and in the open fields of Israel.
39:5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah.
Yet again God predicts the destruction of Gog and his armies. This destruction is an absolute certainty. The bodies of the soldiers will also collapse on the open valleys between the mountains of Israel.
39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.
What is the fire that God will send on Magog? There are two possibilities: nuclear weapons and fire directly from heaven such as the fire and brimstone that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with in the time of Abraham and Lot. I personally think that it will be fire and brimstone, because the nations will understand that the destruction of Gog and the coast lands will be sent by God and not by nuclear weapons sent by Antichrist.
The Hebrew word isles in this verse is more properly translated as coastlands (from the Interlinear Bible). So there will be some kind of destruction by fire sent by God upon the cities of Turkey and those nations that follow Gog into battle against Israel and several and perhaps many coastal cities in the world. These countries that have fire sent from Heaven upon their coastal cities and the rest of the world will know that God is in charge and that He is all powerful. Could the great earthquake that God sends upon the earth also make Tsunamis that crash and destroy many coastal cities of the world? (Ez. 38:19)
39:7 And my holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel.
39:8 Behold, it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the Lord Jehovah; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
The people of Israel by the end of this battle will know that their deliverance and victory comes from Almighty God. They know that He has miraculously provided for their safety and deliverance. Because of this, the people of Israel will praise the name of The Lord and glorify and revere His holy name. His name will not be taken in vain, but will be honored and spoken of in reverence.
39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years;
39:10 so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those that plundered them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord Jehovah.
How could the people of Israel burn the weapons left by Gog's army on the battlefield of Israel? Can you burn a rifle or a machine gun? Well no, it's not the weapons per se, but the gasoline and diesel left in the tanks and other vehicles used by the army of Gog. This fuel could amount to perhaps millions of gallons and will last the people of Israel for seven years. The only wood that might be used by the people of Israel would be to make fences, furniture and to build houses and other buildings.
39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of them that pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop them that pass through: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land.
39:13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown in the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord Jehovah.
39:14 And they shall set apart men of continual employment, that shall pass through the land, and, with them that pass through, those that bury them that remain upon the face of the land, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
39:15 And they that pass through the land shall pass through; and when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.
39:16 And Hamonah shall also be the name of a city. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
Almighty God will provide a place to bury the bones of the soldiers of Gog after the raptors and other animals eat their bodies. This place will be a valley east of the Dead Sea and be named Hamon-gog. After the battle has completed, it will take seven months to bury all the bones and remove the destroyed tanks, rifles, clothing and other battle apparel. Israel will hire many people to search for the battle apparatus and for bones of Gog's soldiers. The bones will be respectfully buried at various places in Hamon-gog. A city named Hamonah will be built somewhere in this valley and this will be the administrative center for the cleanup of the army of Gog.
Raptors and various animals multiply and assemble
Just before the battle between Gog and Israel takes place, vultures and other raptors such as hawks, and ravens and perhaps other carnivorous animals will start to assemble in large numbers around Israel. They perhaps arrive from many countries in the Mid-east, Africa or even Asia. They will be brought there by God because during the assault by Gog upon Israel, most of his army will be destroyed by God. Perhaps millions of their bodies will lie there on Israel's mountains and God will provide flesh, blood and fat for the various raptors to eat. They will get their fill and the only remains of Gog's soldiers will be their bones. This will be God's provision for cleansing the land of Israel. The raptors will then return to their own lands. At the end of the Tribulation after the battle of Armageddon, the raptors will perhaps return and feast upon the dead bodies of God's enemies and the enemies of Israel.
39:17 And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Speak unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood.
The raptors and other animals that gathered around Israel just before this battle now can enjoy themselves in gluttony. They will feast on the dead bodies of the soldiers of Gog that will be destroyed by God. They will eat and then eat again. This feast will most likely last for weeks or even for months. When finished, the only remains of the soldiers will be their bones. Since the raptors will even eat the marrow of the bones, the bones will be scattered all over the battle scene.
39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
In the time of Joshua when Israel was sent by God to conquer Canaan, one kingdom to overcome was Bashan, an area east of the sea of Galilee. There the abundant grassland provided succulent forage for the cattle, sheep and goats raised by the Canaanites so that the various animals thrived. These animals were valuable for milk, meat and pelts. I believe that the fatlings mentioned in this verse are figurative. They don't represent animals, but represent human soldiers that are "fattened" or prepared for battle with the nation of Israel.
Back to the raptor feast:
39:19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
39:20 And ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord Jehovah.
39:21 And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
Can you imagine the scene? In a short amount of time, Almighty God destroys the army of Gog and dead bodies are lying all around. The only live beings around the battlefield are the raptors and they have a feast. They will eat until full; they will rest a while, then eat again. It's a multi-person banquet for each of the raptors.
Because the people of Israel have to do nothing to win the battle, all the peoples of the earth will know that Almighty God has conquered Israel's enemies for them. They will recognize that this is a miracle and they will recognize the immense power of God. Unfortunately for most people living in the nations of the world, recognizing that God has delivered the victory to Israel is all they do. Some of the people of the nations will recognize God's power and then place their faith in Him. This recognition will not occur for all, just for those that God calls (Doctrine of Election).
39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am Jehovah their God, from that day and forward.
After God's destruction of the enemies of Israel, the people of Israel will understand that almighty God has provided total victory over their enemies that want to destroy them and take over their land. He has to do this because they have no weapons to protect themselves and fight to keep their land. This victory will be like the victory Israel had over the Pharaoh of Egypt when they left to journey to the land of Canaan. The people of Israel did nothing. God provided for total victory over their enemies.
39:23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, and I hid my face from them: so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword.
39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I unto them; and I hid my face from them.
In this passage God is going back in time to the era when the separate nation of Israel was conquered and removed from the land of Samaria by the nation of Assyria in 722 B.C. and the nation of Judea was later attacked and conquered by Babylon and taken to Babylon for 70 years. This passage also alludes to 70 A.D. when the Roman armies slaughtered thousands in the nation of Judah and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Herod. After 70 A.D., most Jews were forced out of the country into other parts of Europe and the middle east (the Diaspora) and they stayed away from the land of Israel until after World War 2. After that, they were allowed to migrate back to the land of Israel and reestablish the nation of Israel in 1948. The iniquity of Israel and Judah was the worship of idols and a legalistic following of the Mosaic law as outlined in the Old Testament.
39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name.
39:26 And they shall bear their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell securely in their land, and none shall make them afraid;
39:27 when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.
39:28 And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there;
39:29 neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah.
This is a phased set of verses. As stated above, the Jews were brought back to the land of Israel and a new nation was formed in 1948. And although they have been attacked frequently by the Muslim nations around them, they at least had some freedom to protect themselves via their military, and be able to live, work and raise families. Although they were in constant threat from the nations around them, their situation was much better than it was under the regimes of Hitler in Europe and Stalin in Russia; at least they had their own military and could very successfully defend themselves. This is phase one.
Phase two will happen at the end of the Tribulation. Jesus will return as King of the Earth and save Israel from destruction by Antichrist. Jesus will then spiritually save the people of Israel and they will then recognize Him as their Messiah. Their spirits will be changed and they will serve only God after that. Each descendant of the twelve tribes of Israel, including the tribe of Ephraim will be brought to and live in peace forever in the land of Israel.
More about Gog and Magog
After the seven year Tribulation, Jesus returns as conquering victor and rules as King of the earth for one thousand years. Satan and his fallen angels will be captured and locked up in the bottomless pit during this time and will thus not be able to deceive the nations.
All of the descendants of Jacob will receive their resurrection bodies and will live forever on the earth. These bodies will be like Adam and Eve's bodies before the fall. They will not be able to sin and will live their lives in perfect obedience to God.
Those gentiles that did not receive the mark of the beast during the second half of the Tribulation will be allowed to live on the earth and marry and have children. These gentiles will still have their fallen human nature, so they will be able to sin. Since Jesus is King of the Earth, He will see that justice takes place. Those that sin will be immediately disciplined; some will die because of their rebellion.
At the end of the Millennium Kingdom of Christ, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit and allowed to deceive the various nations of the world; to reveal the evil that is in their hearts. By the end of the Millennium Kingdom there will be millions and possibly billions of gentiles that live on the earth and Satan will tell them the same lies he has told mankind since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Those gentiles that have not been saved by Jesus will believe the lies of Satan and will come together to attack Jerusalem, the place where Jesus has His throne and from where He rules the world. Here are the verses:
Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Revelation 20:8 and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Revelation 20:9 And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Note that Gog and Magog are also involved in the final battle on planet Earth. If the Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:8 are the same type of Gog and Magog as in Ezekiel 38:2, then perhaps Satan tells them the same lies that he told them just before the battle of Seal Two, of Ezekiel 38 and 39. They then hear these lies and actually believe that they can conquer Jesus Christ and His saints. Can you believe that this would be possible after they see and understand the perfect justice and control Jesus executes during the thousand year kingdom? Well, they attack Jesus at Jerusalem and are defeated by Him; they are then destroyed by fire from Heaven just like Gog and his troops were as written in Ezekiel 38 and 39. After that, Satan and his fallen angels are cast into the Lake of Fire. After this, the great white throne judgment of the unsaved will take place. Then eternity will begin with all inhabitants of the earth living in perfect righteousness and holiness.