Home > Radical Islam, Theology and Eschatology, Wars and Rumors of War > The Land Of Unwalled Villages – How Can Ezekiel 38 Be Fulfilled In The Near-Term?

The Land Of Unwalled Villages – How Can Ezekiel 38 Be Fulfilled In The Near-Term?


Many MidnightWatcher visitors are already familiar with my perspective of Gog-Magog, but there are other views. Here is Brother Jack Smith’s interpretation, author of “Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist” …

By Jack Smith
When the Pieces Fit …

Climbing the wall to attend prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, July 26, 2013. Photo by Oren Ziv

Climbing the wall to attend prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, July 26, 2013. Photo by Oren Ziv

Ezekiel 38 is to Bible prophecy what Christ is to Christianity. Without it’s conditions satisfied, the end cannot be near.  Ezekiel 38 prophesies of a “Gog” (interpreted by yours truly to be Russia) who will lead an alliance of nations/groups (which includes Iran, Ezekiel 38:5-6 NASB) to attack Israel in the end-times. Some interpreters (myself included) see Israel as initially overrun; but in the end, Gog is “turned around” (Ezekiel 38:4) and ultimately defeated, along with his alliance. Gog and his alliance are destroyed by God through a great earthquake (Ezekiel 38:19-20) which leads to Gog and his forces turning their swords against one another. Ezekiel 38:21-22.

For most students of Bible prophecy, the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 in the modern-day seems imminent — even without the recent declaration by Sunni Salafi-jihadist al-Bagdadi of his establishment of the Islamic caliphate. (Not since 1924 has Islam been united under one leader (“caliph” or “sultan”) and one Muslim community. In 1924, Kemal Ataturk, president of Turkey and the sultan of the languishing Ottoman Empire renounced the sultanate and disbanded the Islamic empire in favor of a secular state. (Read more.) One example of the imminence of the tribulation is recent international pressure placed upon Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians in the formation of a two-state solution. At times in the peace process, it appeared as if the entire world was aligned against the Israelis, a condition bringing to mind several end-time prophecies about Israel: Zechariah 14:2Zechariah 13:8-9Revelation 11:2.

Yet, in spite of the seeming immanence of the tribulation, there is a major impediment to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 in the modern-day:

Ezekiel 38:10-11 (NASB) ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, 11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,

Since when has Israel been a “land of unwalled villages. … [a people] at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars of gates.”? Either we have misinterpreted the “signs of the times” and the immanence of the tribulation or we have misinterpreted Ezekiel 38 because both cannot be true.

Israel has a long history of conflict with its Arab neighbors. As a nation, Israel was established on May 21, 1948 by action of the United Nations after almost 1900 years of homelessness, i.e., without a land to call its own or a nation/state to identify itself. With the defeat and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD and then again in 132 AD (Bar Kokba Revolt), Jews have literally been scattered throughout the world. Jerusalem was a forbidden city to Jews at the conclusion of the Bar Kokba Revolt in 136 AD, except under threat of death. After World War 2 and Hitler’s extermination of 6,000,000 Jews, the sympathies of the non-Muslim world leaders in the United Nations worked to bring about Israel’s being recognized as a nation and state; but Israel’s Muslim neighbors rejected the U N resolution, and the Arab – Israeli War ensued. In 1949, the Armistice Agreement between Israel and her Arab neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, Syria) drew boundary lines negotiated between the parties by the U.N., and thereafter known as the “Green Line.”1 These lines established in 1949 held until the 1967 Six Day War when Israel gained territories from Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. These lands are considered occupied lands by most of the International community. To this day, war still exists between Israel and her Arab neighbors but with ebbs and flows in its intensity. At no time since the time of Christ could we say that Israel has been “living securely and without walls, bars or gates” nor does it appear to be a remote possibility in our life times.

Let me give you evidence of modern-day walls in Israel. In recent years, Israel’s citizens have been victimized by Palestinian suicide bombers using themselves as human torches in crowded bazaars, buses, etc.  In April, 2000, to protect its citizens, Israel began the erection of a “security/barrier wall,” along its borders with the Palestinian West Bank. Upon completion, the security barrier’s total length will be approximately 430 miles; almost “90% of the length of this barrier will be a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on-average 60 metres (200 ft) wide exclusion area, and 10% of the barrier [will be] a 26′ tall concrete wall.”2 According to statistics published by the Israeli government, between the year 2000 and July 2003, when the “first continuous segment” of the barrier was built, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. However, from August 2003 to the end of 2006, only 12 attacks were carried out, killing 64 Israelis and wounding 445.3 The wall divides the land of many Palestinian families. This is particularly the case for Palestinians living in rural areas, the primary occupation of which is farming.

How is it possible that the circumstances of modern-day Israel can fulfill Ezekiel 38, since instead of having unwalled villages, it has walled villages for some 430 miles?

It’s all about perspective. Ezekiel 38:10 states, “Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come in your mind and you will devise an evil plan,”.  The text itself alerts us that the thoughts come into the mind of the leader of the Gogian alliance, i.e., Gog, who devises an evil plan to accomplish his sinister purpose. The thoughts are not from the mind of God but from this leader. God is simply describing what the leader is thinking and planning to do. These are the leader’s thoughts not the Lord’s. Let me give you an illustration from Jesus himself:

Matthew 9:3-7 (NASB) And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk ‘?  “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins “– then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” And he got up and went home.

The thoughts of the Pharisees were that Jesus was a blasphemer but their thoughts were wrong.  Jesus simply stated what the Pharisees were thinking. He said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?”

From my view, the same thing is happening in Ezekiel 38:10-11. The leader (Gog) is having thoughts and God is stating the thoughts of this leader. God even states the hidden purpose of this leader – it is an evil purpose. To this leader, Israel lives in a secure area, a land of unwalled villages, at rest, and to this leader this is not the way it should be. This leader is an enemy of Israel. This does not make the leader’s statement a true condition of Israel’s circumstances but only his viewpoint of Israel’s circumstances as viewed by Israel’s enemy.

The Wall around Qalqiliya. A twenty-five foot high concrete cage cuts residents off from their agricultural land, necessary for their survival, and prevents you from traveling even 5 minutes out of the City. A single gate, open at the whims of the occupying army, controls 100,000 residents.

The Wall around Qalqiliya. A twenty-five foot high concrete cage cuts residents off from their agricultural land, necessary for their survival, and prevents you from traveling even 5 minutes out of the City. A single gate, open at the whims of the occupying army, controls 100,000 residents.

Let me make it clearer to see. Suppose we read Ezekiel 38:10-11 from the viewpoint of a Palestinian farmer living in the West Bank on the other side of the 430′ security barrier that divides his family’s farm which has been in his family for generations. To him, Israel has no walls because the walls are on his property, i.e., the West Bank, not Israel. Do you think he would call that wall a “security wall”?  To put it another way, to him, Israel is living in a land of unwalled villages because the walls are on his land, not Israel’s. Or suppose we read the words of Ezekiel 38:10-11 from the perspective of a Muslim living in Turkey whose heirs were living in Palestine, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, and were displaced from their homeland when Israel was given their land in 1948 by the United Nations (as defined by the Green Line border). And now, this same person and his family wishes to claim his “right of return” to his land but he cannot because Israel occupies it and does not honor his “right to return”? To him, Israel has stolen his land and does not belong on it. Do you think he would look at the wall the same way that an Israeli would, or God would, in point of fact? The land in question belongs to Israel through the promise of God and His covenant many centuries prior; but certainly, to the Palestinian living on the land in 1948 (or later) that is not their perspective. In fact, the same wall that Israel refers to as a “security wall,” Palestinians refer to as the “apartheid wall” or the Berlin Wall. At many points along the wall, Palestinians have written words describing their anger, hatred, and desire to end the existence of Israel, the covenant people of Israel. Most Palestinians and most Arabs believe Israel has stolen the land from them either in 1948 when Israel was given their land through resolution of the United Nations or in the 1967 Six Days War when Israel defeated most of its Arab neighbors and thereby became occupiers of their land. Palestinians observe “Nakba Day” (meaning “Day of Catastrophe”) on May 15 of every year (the day is celebrated based on the Gregorian calendar not the Muslim calendar since the United Nations declared Israel a state using the Gregorian calendar) because the day marks the exodus of Palestinians from their lands in 1948.4

If one does a Google search using the words “Palestinian land stolen by Israel” the list is almost endless of articles written from the perspective of Palestinians, Jordanians, Gazans, all stating the same thing. Here is the one that popped up for me: Jordan Valley – Stolen Land: Israel Destroys Schools, Prohibits Construction, Water or Electricity Connections. Here is another that details the economic impact of the wall upon Palestinians: Arrested Development: The Long Term Impact of Israel’s Separation Barrier in the West Bank.

With that background, now read the words of Ezekiel 38:10-11 but do so from the perspective of a Palestinian who believes Israel has stolen his land, and who has been impacted by living behind the walls, who must travel through Israeli security points to pass from one side to the other, all the while knowing that the land is his (from his perspective) and believing that the occupiers are thieves. If you are like me, you will read the words with a different understanding.

Perhaps you are thinking that the thoughts described in the text are from the perspective of the leader of the alliance not from the perspective of a Palestinian living behind the wall? Yes, I agree that is possible. But perhaps the leader (Russian) is using the plight of the Palestinians as the public assertion of why he takes up arms against Israel. And, suppose this is the reason he has been able to gather so many Muslim nations with him. Their enemy is a common foe to all Muslims, Israel. So why not use the plight of Palestinian Muslims to entice other Muslim nations to join Gog against Israel? Russia is certainly aware that there is more than one superpower in the world and it cannot make the attack against Jerusalem alone. Even Russia must have the support of the Middle East Muslimaniacs.

This conclusion is implied by his stated reason: “to capture spoil, to seize plunder, … from those who have “acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.” The implied motivation is that Israel is not entitled to what they have. They have taken it from those it really belonged to. What’s more, he is jealous that Israel is proclaimed the “center of the world” (Ezekiel 5:5) and his land is not. In reality, he cares nothing about the Palestinians. He is using them to motivate others and accomplish his evil purpose.

Some might offer Ezekiel 38:8 NASB where the prophet, under inspiration from the Spirit, states “… in the latter years you will come into the land that has been restored from the sword, … but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.” I think it is important to remember that the passage addresses itself to a particular moment in the history of the people of Israel where they “have come into the land that has been restored from the sword… and are living securely.” There are multiple references in Ezekiel 38 to a particular time and particular day, in the last days (Ezekiel 38:838:1038:1438:1638:1838:19). With the building of the wall, Israel is actually living more securely than they ever have since 1948. They are separated from the Palestinians whose entrance into their country is controlled by their own defense forces. Yes, they do have the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip and other Palestinian areas but even this is less often than the times before the wall. I suppose security to an Israeli is relative. Its not at peace but it is more secure.

What do we conclude?  The time of Ezekiel 38′s fulfillment is near-term.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack Smith

P.S. Here is a good book to check out, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist. When the revision is completed, I will be adding this as a chapter.

The “Green Line” designates the borders of Israel with her Arab neighbors. The Green Line refers to the 1949 armistice lines established between Israel and its Arab neighbors in the aftermath of the 1948 War of Independence.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip in green; Palestinian areas

The West Bank and Gaza Strip in green; Palestinian areas

  1. The war led to sovereignty of the Jewish state over 78.5% of historic Palestine, now commonly referred to as Israel inside the Green Line. Beyond the Green Line lay the Jordanian-controlled West Bank and the Egyptian-ruled Gaza Strip.  The Green Line effectively divided the holy city of Jerusalem in half, with the Israel-Jordan border running through the middle of the city, with the Old City and its holy sites on the Jordanian side. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/tags/Green%20Line-1.477795. []
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier []
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier#cite_note-IMFA1-7 []
  4. During the 1948 Palestine War, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds ofPalestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed. These refugees and their descendants number several million people today, divided between Jordan (2 million), Lebanon (427,057), Syria (477,700), the West Bank (788,108) and the Gaza Strip (1.1 million), with at least another quarter of a million internally displaced Palestinians in Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakba_Day. []
  1. Mike
    07/04/2014 at 10:14 AM

    Interesting hypothesis

    Like

  2. 07/04/2014 at 8:15 PM

    PL…EASE!!! Don’t ever repeat this misconception “…Hitler’s extermination of 6,000,000 Jews…” again!!! It has NEVER been anywhere near…6 million Jews!

    Like

    • Sharon
      07/04/2014 at 10:12 PM

      You are joking …. SURELY!

      Like

      • 07/06/2014 at 6:43 PM

        No, I’m not! Please, research “How” this misconception got started and you will learn.

        “…’nuff said!”

        Like

  3. 07/06/2014 at 2:54 PM

    The wall Ezekiel writes of applies to Israel and not the other way around or to the ‘Palestinians’, no matter how the ‘Palestinians’ think.

    Like

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