Gog is an individual. Whomever Gog might be, he originates from the land of Magog and leads Tubal and Meshek (some translations also include “Rosh”) as well as a consortium of other nations: Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:5–6 NKJV). And, whoever he is, he will concoct plans to “attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people,” namely, Israel (verses 11, 14, and 18 NKJV). But, irrespective of Gog’s strategies, the Lord God opposes him and will defeat him resoundingly (Ezekiel 38:4, 19–23; 39:3–5 NKJV).
Magog is a land “in the remote north,” from Israel’s perspective (Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2 NKJV). Most Bible commentators interpret “Magog” as Russia—and, indeed, Russia is directly north of Israel, extending up to the Arctic Circle. According to this viewpoint, “Rosh” refers to Russia, “Meshek” is either Moscow or the people north of the Black Sea (the area of southern Russia and Ukraine), and “Tubal,” which is consistently listed with Meshek in Scripture, is identified as a city in Siberia or a region in central Turkey.
Others interpret “Magog” as a broad term utilised in Ezekiel’s time to identify barbarians residing near the Black and Caspian Seas. Regardless of the exact locations of Magog, Tubal, and Meshek, there is no doubt that the general area encompasses parts of Russia and the former Soviet Union, and possibly some Arab countries.
So, indeed, the Bible does reference Russia, albeit not by that name, in association with the end times. Ezekiel 38—39 clearly points to a nation originating from northern Asia to invade Israel. After the Cold War, Russia lost its superpower status, leading some people to believe the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s prophecy to be unlikely. However, recent events demonstrate that Russia is regaining strength, and many consider the invasion of Ukraine as just an initial step in Russia’s plan to restore its dominance in that hemisphere. It’s also interesting to note that, during the Soviet era, Moscow was firmly aligned with several Muslim countries in opposition to Israel. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has continued to court the Muslim world.
According to the Bible, a time will come when Russia, allied with several other nations, will assemble a massive army against Israel, with an aim to plunder the Jews’ land. The nations allied with Russia for this military campaign are Persia (present-day Iran), Put (present-day Libya), Cush (present-day Sudan), Gomer (part of present-day Turkey), and Beth Togarmah (Armenia). Most of these nations are currently militant Islamic states with a declared animosity towards Israel. Ezekiel asserts that, when the attackers move against Israel, a few other nations (“Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish”) will remonstrate, as will “all her villages”—possibly colonies (Ezekiel 38:13 NKJV). Sheba and Dedan are associated with regions of northern Africa. Tarshish could be a reference to Spain (which colonised much of South America), Britain (which colonised the United States), or somewhere in eastern Africa. However, the objections to Magog’s aggression will be ignored, and the invasion will proceed.
Some commentators believe this war is one of the events leading up to the beginning of the tribulation. Others believe it will occur around the midpoint of the tribulation, as Israel will be “dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Ezekiel 38:11 NKJV)—in other words, Israel will feel secure at that time, possibly due to the covenant they have signed with the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27). Regardless, this battle is separate from the Battle of Armageddon, which occurs at the end of the tribulation.
God promises to destroy Gog’s army: “I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (Ezekiel 38:22 NKJV). The bodies of the fallen army of Magog will be buried, but the grim task will take over seven months to complete (Ezekiel 39:12, 14 NKJV). This supernatural judgement will serve to preserve Israel and turn many hearts to God: “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23 NKJV). Many will be saved during the tribulation (Revelation 7), and the fulfilment of Ezekiel 38—39 will be one method by which God will bring people to a knowledge of Himself.
There is much we don’t know for certain about Ezekiel’s prophecy, including the timing of these events. However, it’s clear that Russia will be involved and will in fact lead an end-times league of nations to seize Israel’s land. The prophet Ezekiel comforts Israel in much the same way as Moses did centuries ago: “For the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (Deuteronomy 20:4 NKJV).
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Cyber Security may serve as valuable tools in understanding the prophetic unfolding of Gog and Magog. While these methodologies cannot halt such a war — only God holds that power — they can nonetheless provide significant insights and potential forewarnings.
OSINT refers to the collection and analysis of publicly available information, from a variety of sources including media outlets, public data databases, and the Internet. In the context of Gog and Magog, analysts could employ OSINT to monitor geopolitical developments, alliances, and conflicts that align with prophetic narratives. By studying public discourse, government actions, and societal trends in Russia, the Middle East, and beyond, one could gain further insights into the timeline and mechanisms of the prophecy. It’s essential to remember, however, that while OSINT can provide an informed perspective, it doesn’t offer infallible foresight or the ability to predict divine plans with certainty.
Similarly, Cyber Security could play an instrumental role in this context, albeit from a different angle. The rise of digital warfare and cyber espionage means that key events leading up to the war of Gog and Magog could well unfold in the digital realm. A secure and vigilant approach to cyber threats would be crucial in defending against potential digital assaults related to this prophetic conflict. Monitoring cyber activities, particularly from nations identified in the prophecy, could offer further indications of escalating tensions or impending aggression.
Furthermore, Cyber Security is not just about defence, but also about maintaining the integrity of information. In an age where misinformation can spread quickly, ensuring the validity of data analysed for OSINT purposes is vital. By safeguarding our information ecosystems, we can strive for a clearer understanding of the world’s unfolding events.
Finally, it’s vital to approach all these tools with a discerning mind, balancing technological insights with spiritual wisdom. We must remember that the ultimate understanding of these prophetic events lies in the hands of the Divine. As we utilise OSINT and Cyber Security to navigate the complexities of the modern world, we should always refer back to the Bible as our primary guide, seeking wisdom and understanding through prayer and reflection.