What Nations will be Involved in the Military Attack Against Israel Predicted in Ezekiel 38?

By: The John Ankerberg Show

In Ezekiel 38, God foretold that in the latter days, there would be a major military attack against the tiny State of Israel in the homeland once Israel would be restored. And God indicated that military attack would be comprised of the armies of six nations as they were known back in Ezekiel’s day. Five of those nations are named by God in Ezekiel 38:5,6.
In verse 5 the first nation was Persia. Now, that’s what it was known as in Ezekiel’s day, but modern-day Persia is the nation of Iran. Some 2500 years ago through this prophecy, God was saying that in the end times Iran would be sending military forces against Israel in the Middle East. You know what happened to Iran little more than 20 years ago when radical Muslim forces overthrew the Shah of Iran and they’ve been dominating the nation of Iran ever since. That radical Muslim government of Iran has publicly declared more than once that its ultimate goal is the annihilation of Israel from the Middle East.


The second nation named in verse 5 is Ethiopia. Now that again is what that nation was known as in Ezekiel’s day, but I must point out that the nation known as Ethiopia back in Ezekiel’s day is not the same nation that we know as Ethiopia today. The nation known as Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day is the nation that we know today as the Sudan. Sudan right now, again, is dominated and ruled by a radical Muslim government that hates Israel with a passion and wants to see it destroyed.


The third nation named in verse 5 is Libya. Libya is located due west of Egypt in North Africa. And you know what’s been going on in Libya in recent years under the leadership of Mu’ammar Qaddafi. Qaddafi is very anti-West, anti-American, but even more strongly anti-Israel. He would like to see Israel destroyed from the Middle East.


The fourth nation named in verse 6 was Gomer. In Ezekiel’s day, Gomer was a tribal group of people who were located in the central part of what you and I know today as the nation of Turkey.


And then, the fifth nation named, verse 6, was “the house of Togarmah of the north quarters.” In Ezekiel’s day Togarmah was another tribal group of people who were located in the eastern part of what you and I know today as the nation of Turkey. Now, you’re probably aware of the fact that since the end of World War II that Turkey, although it’s a Muslim nation, has had basically a secular government that has allied itself with the Western nations of the world. Turkey since the end of World War II has been a member of NATO. But that is now radically changing. Not to long ago, a radical Muslim party in Turkey won by election control of the government of the capital city of the nation of Turkey, and when they won that election they publicly stated, “Our next goal is to gain control of the national government of Turkey.” One of the spokesmen for that radical Muslim party said, “When we do that, we’re going to change our relationship with NATO. We’re going to establish an Islamic NATO and an Islamic common market.” And it looks very much as if Turkey, in the not too distant future, is going to come under complete domination by a radical Muslim element and then it, too, will turn against the nation of Israel and want to see it annihilated from the face of planet earth.


It’s interesting to note that every one of these nations named here in Ezekiel 38:5,6 today are Islamic nations. Therefore, God some 2500 years ago through this prophecy was indicating that in the end times Israel will have very serious problems with the Islamic nations of the world.


Now, there is a sixth nation named here in Ezekiel 38, and interestingly this one is singled out as the leader of this future military attack against Israel. God gives several identification marks of that leader. Let me deal with two of them. First, the name of the leader. In Ezekiel 38:2, God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog.” The land of Magog in Ezekiel’s day was located in between the Black and Caspian Seas in the southern part of what we have known historically as Russia or the Soviet Union.


A second identification mark is the geographical location of this leader. Verse 14 of Chapter 38: “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, in that day when my people of Israel dwell safely shall you not know it? And you shall come from your place out of the north parts [literally out of the remotest parts of the north] you and many people with you, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army, and you shall come up against my people of Israel as a cloud to cover the land. It shall be in the latter days.’” Notice, God says this attack against Israel will be in the latter days, but He is saying the leader of this attack will come from the remotest parts of the north.

Now, keep in mind, Ezekiel was a Hebrew prophet and therefore, when he would refer to geographical locations, he would refer to them from the vantage point of his homeland of Israel. And so he’s saying here that the leader of this attack against Israel will come from the remotest parts directly north of Israel. If you were to lay hold of a good world atlas, place one finger on the tiny state of Israel in the Middle East and then move that finger straight north and go as far north as you can and still be in land mass, you would end up in the heartland of what we have known historically as Russia or the Soviet Union. Both of these identification marks seem to be pointing the same direction, namely, that Russia is going to lead this invasion against Israel in the future Tribulation and that Russia will be allied with several Islamic nations who hate Israel with a passion.


Why will Russia lead this attack against Israel? One reason is anti-Semitism. For centuries Russia has been notorious for hatred and persecution and massacring of Jews living in that land. And now that Communism at least for a while has lost its grip on the government of Russia, anti-Semitism has been permitted to raise its ugly head again and there’s an organization there in Russia called Pamyat that sees the ultimate purpose of its existence as that of eliminating every Jew from the land of Russia. And so persecution has begun to break out against the Jews again.


But there is another reason why Russia will lead this attack against Israel. According to the British intelligence service, here is the current thinking of the disgruntled officers of the Russian military. They are saying that in spite of what has happened to Russia since it began to fall apart at the seams, Russia can still have Super-power status in the world if it will ally itself with the Islamic nations of the world against Israel. And God, some 2500 years ago through Ezekiel 38 was foretelling that is precisely what is going to happen in world history.


Written for The John Ankerberg Show By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©1996.


** PLEASE NOTE: This article was written in 1996, we encourage readers to keep that in mind when reading, because the current events referred to in the article are no longer current. There is a lot to learn from the article, and we hope it furthers your understanding of Ezekiel 38.


  1. Cheryl Johnson on October 8, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    This was very interested I enjoyed reading it

  2. Annette on October 24, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    The church needs to wake up…stop the comprise and complacency…preacher need to preach about the end days right now…so they will be ready for the rapture!

    • Doug on August 5, 2021 at 3:29 pm


  3. FRED Dixon. on December 13, 2020 at 11:20 am


    • joanette d Thies on January 12, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Do you think we will be raptured out before this takes place, thank you

      • JA Show Staff on January 13, 2021 at 8:59 am

        Prophecy experts are undecided whether the war described in Ezekiel 38 will take place before or after the rapture. It will most likely take place after the rapture, however, due to the following: 1) Israel will be at a time of peace, something that is not currently true and 2) the judgments listed at the end of Ezekiel 38 more closely match other events that will take place during the tribulation period following the rapture.

  4. Storm on March 6, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    There is no mention of a ” rapture” in the bible.

    • Mitchell on March 8, 2021 at 11:39 pm

      The word rapture does not occur in the Bible. The term comes from a Latin word “harpazo” meaning “a carrying off, a transport, or a snatching away.” The concept of the “carrying off” or the rapture of the church is clearly taught in Scripture.The rapture of the church is the event in which God “snatches away” all believers from the earth in order to make way for His righteous judgment to be poured out on the earth during the tribulation period. The rapture is described primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50–54. God will resurrect all believers who have died, give them glorified bodies, and take them from the earth, along with all living believers, who will also be given glorified bodies at that time. “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17).

      The rapture will involve an instantaneous transformation of our bodies to fit us for eternity. “We know that when he [Christ] appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). The rapture is to be distinguished from the second coming. At the rapture, the Lord comes “in the clouds” to meet us “in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). At the second coming, the Lord descends all the way to the earth to stand on the Mount of Olives, resulting in a great earthquake followed by a defeat of God’s enemies (Zechariah 14:3–4).

      The doctrine of the rapture was not taught in the Old Testament, which is why Paul calls it a “mystery” now revealed: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52).

      The rapture of the church is a glorious event we should all be longing for. We will finally be free from sin. We will be in God’s presence forever. There is far too much debate over the meaning and scope of the rapture. This is not God’s intent. Rather, the rapture should be a comforting doctrine full of hope; God wants us to “encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

      • Gene Booker on April 25, 2021 at 7:10 pm

        The western church has lost its focus on the 1st resurrection of which the rapture is a small group. Matt 24:29-31 tells us that Jesus will return for the elect after the tribulation. The elect in Revelation are not 1/3 remnant Israel nor apostate Israel but those who keep the commands of God and have the testimony of Jesus, loving not their lives unto death. Daniels 70th week ends 2520 days after the confirming of the covenant. That leaves 75 days, Daniel 12, for all these things to be completed. The elect include the body of Christ. Jesus isnt returning for part of His body or bride more than once. There is only 1 resurrection unto life, Jesus is the first fruit of it.

        • Parker on May 27, 2021 at 2:13 am

          Matthew 24 isn’t written to the church. Why would Jesus return FOR His elect while also returning TO His elect?

          Read the whole book of Matthew again, but from the perspective that it’s written to the Jews who were being invited to be a part of the kingdom, which was being delayed because the Jewish people had failed to recognize their Messiah. If you read it as if it’s a narrative for the church it makes no sense.

      • Amoy on June 14, 2021 at 6:31 am

        Yes it does! We will be be caught up In the air , people have been raptured , Enoch and Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying

      • Amoy on June 14, 2021 at 6:44 am

        Not true ! Enoch and Elijah were taken up to heaven without dying. That rapture ! no where in the bible purgatory is written but it’s written , once to die and after this the judgement, abd it’s nkt by works so one one can boast it by faith band grace so no I r can boast , salvation is a gift , ,and to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord .
        Read the bible don’t listen to others interruption . DIY!

      • Jane olson on September 22, 2021 at 3:15 am

        I have studied the Bible and do not find a “Rapture” anywhere. All the verses used in Your explanation have context that you ignore. You try to weave together verses that do not go together. Do you think you are so special that you will be spared the terror to come? Over the ages, mIllions of godly men & women have faced horrible persecution, died from torture and terrible means…..you are no more special to Jesus than these precious souls. Get ready, stop focusing on a story developed during contemporary time. God wants us to be prepared to face horrible persecution, but he promises to be with us and in the end and give us life and in abundance.
        The rapture was a concept made up by a man in the late 1800’s Darby I believe.
        We won’t all die the second death because we will rein on earth for 1,000 years with our Lord. You are trying to put a square peg in a round hole. We are to work to get as many people saved during the tribulation as we still have time to do so. God said, look up for your redemption drawers near.

  5. Meg on March 26, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Putin (Russia) just shook hands with Iran and Syria –Ezekiel 38 war–those three are in prophecy! Buckle up folks

  6. Eric B on April 15, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Iran is now at 60% uranium levels working towards 90%. Enough to make a nuclear bomb. Which is being funded by Biden and Obama as well as Russia and China. China has completely surrounded Taiwan with their military just waiting to see if the USA will do anything to protect Taiwan. Russia is standing along the border of the Ukraine with 80,000 military troops. USA military is being removed from Pakistan immediately. No military presence now in middle east. Wake up people! Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Or will you meet Him as your Judge?

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