Is Ezekiel 39:17-29 descriptive of what happens during and after the battle of Armageddon?


Email Received:

I believe that Ezek. 39:17 begins the battle of Armageddon. Ezek. 39:16 is the end of the prophecy of Gog and Magog where their bones are buried in the valley of Hamongog. The reason for the war of Gog and Magog is Ezek. 38:23: "I will be known in the eyes of many nations" whereas the reason for the battle of Armageddon is Ezek. 39:22: "Israel shall know that I AM the LORD their God from that day forward." You must separate Ezek. 39:17-29 from the preceding prophecy. In Armageddon, Rev 19:21, these people being destroyed are destroyed by "the sword which proceeds out of His mouth." In Ezek. 38:22: "I will plead against him with pestilence and blood; I will rain upon him...rain, fire and brimstone." These are two different prophecies. Ezek. 39:16 ends the prophecy of Gog with "thus shall they cleanse the land," ending the prophecy, and beginning a new prophecy in Ez 39:17 with "thus saith the Lord GOD," which is the assembling for Armageddon.


Tedís Response:

You seem to be implying that the war of Gog/Magog will demonstrate God's greatness and holiness in the sight of many nations (Ezek. 38:23). Yet, in Ezek. 39:21 (which you believe is an Armageddon passage), it states, "I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them."

Furthermore, you also seem to be implying that it is the battle of Armageddon which will cause Israel to know that the Lord is their God. Yet, the beginning of Ezek. 38:7, which you (and I) believe is a Gog/Magog passage, states, "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel." Later in that same verse, it also states that "the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel." In fact, everyone will know that Jesus/God is the Holy One of Israel when He returns, at the end of the 70th Week, to destroy the Gog/Magog armies, which will be attacking Jerusalem.

The birds and wild animals will be assembled to eat the flesh and blood of armies (Ezek. 39:17-20), which you contend are the Antichrist's armies at the battle of Armageddon. However, look at 39:4, which clearly is a Gog/Magog passage: "On the mountains of Israel you [Gog] will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you [Gog] as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals." In actuality, the birds and wild animals will gather together to eat the slain of both the armies of Gog/Magog (Ezek. 39:17-20; Rev. 19:17,18) and, thirty days later, the armies of the Antichrist/beast (Rev. 19:21).

Gog and his armies will fall "on the mountains of Israel" (Ezek. 39:4), which is the same as the sacrifice "on the mountains of Israel" (39:17). On the contrary, the Antichrist/beast will fall on the plains of Megiddo, not on the mountains of Israel. There is no compelling reason to attempt to force everything after Ezek. 39:16 to have anything at all to do with the battle of Armageddon. Rather, all of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 are descriptive of the attack by the Gog/Magog armies on Israel and their destruction.

Now, just because the Antichrist/beast and his armies are destroyed by the "sword" does not mean that Gog and his armies will not also be destroyed by the "sword" (which I believe they WILL). In fact, Ezek. 38:21 indicates that they will: "I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD." Here, again, is the same mention of the "mountains" on which Gog and his armies will die (39:4,17).

An important distinction needs to be made. Gog and the Magog armies will attack and devastate, specifically, the land of Israel (Ezek. 38:16,17, 39:2). This will make God/Jesus very angry, and He will intervene (38:18), by returning from heaven to annihilate the attackers. The sword that He will summon against Gog (38:21) is equivalent to the sword used to strike down the nations (Rev. 19:15)óthat is, the armies of the nations, under the leadership of Gog.

On the other hand, the Antichrist/beast, along with the kings of the earth and their armies, later will gather at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). They will plan to come against, specifically, the Lamb, Jesus (17:14)ówho also is the Rider on a white horse (19:11,19,21)ónot against Israel. Therefore, Gog and the Magog armies will attack Israel; whereas, the Antichrist and his armies will assemble at Armageddon and plan to come against Jesus, who already will have made His second advent (bodily descent) back into the world. The common belief, by many Christians, that the battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the Antichrist will occur immediately when Jesus returns back to earth is incorrect. Rather, it is the assault of the Gog/Magog armies on Israel/Jerusalem that Jesus will return to stop.

When Jesus returns to earth, He will destroy the Gog/Magog armies in the bloody winepress of His wrath. He will sit on His throne in Jerusalem, having begun to rule and reign. And He will pour out the bowl judgments upon the kingdom of the Antichrist/beast (e.g., Rev. 16:10). The following will take place chronologically, with no break in sequence, as Jesus returns to earth, and continuing for 30 days thereafter:

  1. Rev. 14:14-20 (second advent + secondary rapture + winepress massacre),
  2. Rev. 15:1-8 (preparation for bowl judgments), and
  3. Rev. 16:1-21 (seven bowl judgments).
Chapters 15 and 16 will be part of the extensions to the 70th Week. The bowl judgments will last for 30 days (1,290 days of Dan. 12:11 minus 1,260 days of Rev. 11:3, 12:6 = 30 days).

Knowing that Jesus has returned to earth, is enthroned as King in Jerusalem, and is pouring out the plagues of the bowl judgments upon him, the Antichrist/beast will be enraged and will assemble his armies in the plains of Megiddo, planning to go and dethrone Jesus. But Jesus will slaughter the armies with the same sword (out of his mouth) that He used to destroy the Magog armies. The slaughter will not happen in Jerusalem; it will take place in the plains of Megiddo. Presumably, Jesus will ride out on the same white horse, on which He descended from heaven 30 days prior, and kill them.

Rev. 19:11-18 summarizes the return of Jesus back to earth, riding His white horse, to destroy Gog and the Magog armies. This "winepress" (19:15) slaughter, where Jesus' robe will be bloodied (19:13), is equivalent to the winepress massacre of Isa. 63:1-6, Joel 3:12,13, and Rev. 14:19,20.

Then (at some point after this), the Antichrist/beast, along with the kings of the earth and their armies, will gather (at Armageddon) to make war against Jesus, the Rider on the white horse (Rev. 19:19). Jesus will destroy all of them; the beast and false prophet will be tossed into the lake of fire; and the birds and wild animals, who previously feasted on the slain Gog/Magog armies, also will devour the dead of the Antichrist's armies.

The main points of all of this are explained in my email response to someone else here:

When does the Gog/Magog battle, described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, occur?
My commentary differentiating the winepress of Gog/Magog from the battle of Armageddon is here:
The Final Battles


Return to Email Questions and Tedís Responses

Go to Tedís Bible Commentaries and Other Links

View the New International Version of the Bible

Go to Tedís Homepage