The resurrection of the Antichrist will help him secure the cooperation of several different groups to secretly attack Jerusalem. It’s not surprising, because they will be in awe of his apparent power. While fear will be a motivating factor, it’s likely that some of these invaders will genuinely hate Jewish ownership of Israel. Without question, it won’t hurt that the Antichrist is going to show favor to anyone who rejects the holy covenant. Similarly, other participants in this invasion will desire to take plunder from Israel. Despite their various motivations, the Antichrist will lead a massive, multi-national force against Israel.
Who is involved in the Ezekiel 38 invasion?
Overall, there are eight listed participants in this invasion. God named the people groups that would take part, with one exception, not the specific geographic locations. This is important, because some of these people groups have moved since Ezekiel’s day, and this prophecy is going to be fulfilled at the time of the end. What matters is where these people groups are today, not where they were in Ezekiel’s day. In fact, assuming that God was giving the geographic location of the participants by way of where these people groups were during Ezekiel’s time creates serious problems.
For example, at the time of Ezekiel, Meshech was in Cappadocia and Tubal was in Tabal, both areas which were in modern-day Turkey.1 Meshech and Tubal are considered major players in the Antichrist’s invasion of Israel. Here’s the catch: Tarshish was in Cilicia at this point, another place that was in modern-day Turkey.2 Well, they’re spectators during this coming attack. Tarshish will helplessly ask “Have you come to capture spoil?” How could certain parts of modern-day Turkey be deeply involved in this invasion, while other parts are defenseless observers? Simply put, that doesn’t make any sense. Since Ezekiel’s day, many people groups have settled in Asia Minor. Modern-day Turkey used to be home to several people groups, but it is currently dominated by the Turks. Interestingly, the Turks will definitely participate in the invasion of Israel. They will be represented by Togarmah, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The first listed participants in the invasion of Israel are Magog, Meshech and Tubal. The Antichrist will be of Magog, and the ruler of Meshech and Tubal. These three people groups have strong links to Russia.3 While the Russian Antichrist will lead his homeland to invade Israel, he’ll be joined by Persia. Unlike the other participants that will take part in this Israeli invasion, Persia is not the name of a people group. It’s another name for the modern nation of Iran. So, Russia will be joined by Iran, but that’s not all. Cush will also be involved.
Cush was a son of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. Fun fact, the Horn of Africa is home to several Cushitic languages, named after the biblical figure Cush. Unsurprisingly, Cush is commonly associated with the largest country in the Horn of Africa, modern Ethiopia, and some English translations of the Bible even substitute Ethiopia for Cush.4 In addition to Cush, Put will take up arms against Jerusalem. Like Cush, Put was a son of Ham. Put’s descendants mainly wound up in Libya, but they also spread throughout North African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali.5
Additionally, Gomer will join the Antichrist’s campaign. Gomer was a son of Japheth, and his descendants mainly settled in modern France.6 Gaul, one of the historic names for France, is a reflection of Gomer’s people having settled there. One of Gomer’s sons, Togarmah, will be the final participant in the Antichrist’s invasion. Interestingly, the Antichrist will come from the far north, and so will Togarmah. This makes sense, because Togarmah is commonly associated with the Turkic peoples in modern Turkey, Azerbaijan and some of the “Stan” countries in Central Asia, like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.7 While Turkey and Azerbaijan aren’t that far north of Israel, the “Stan” countries of Central Asia are. I mean, Kazakhstan borders Russia, and that’s the Antichrist’s homeland.
In summary, while it’s difficult to be completely certain, some of the finest research shows that the Antichrist’s coalition will include his native Russia, along with Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, much of Northwest Africa, France, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the Turkic “Stan” countries of Central Asia. That’s a massive military force, and it’s possible that other nations will be involved. Regardless, when this large fighting force invades, there will be a few interested observers.
Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish were historically located very close to Israel, and during this invasion, they will helplessly ask “Have you come to capture spoil?” Sheba and Dedan were sons of Raamah, who was a son of Cush. There’s some debate, but it seems likely that Sheba and Dedan eventually settled in the Arabian Peninsula, probably in the area of modern Saudi Arabia and Yemen.8 On the other hand, Tarshish was a son of Javan, who was a son of Japheth. The descendants of Tarshish were originally in Asia Minor, modern Turkey, but they eventually settled along many Mediterranean coasts, like Greece and southern Italy.9
Now, it seems odd that France is going to fight alongside the Antichrist, but Greece and Italy won’t. After all, France, Italy and Greece are going to be a part of the ten kingdom coalition out of the geographic area of the Roman Empire. Yet, although the ten kingdoms will be politically united, they will also be divided on certain issues. In light of this, it’s not surprising that when the Antichrist takes over, he’ll have to replace three kings. That said, how do we know France, Italy and Greece will be a part of the ten kingdom coalition?
For starters, the Roman Empire dominated the Mediterranean Sea, including the coasts of North Africa and the Middle East, along with most of Western Europe. The Antichrist will defeat many countries in North Africa and the Middle East after rising in Syria, and a condition of their peace agreement with him is recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Since the ten kingdoms will be to the west of Israel, and they’ll be powerful enough to stop the Antichrist in his first attempt to invade Israel, they will come from Western Europe.
For whatever reason, modern France, where Gomer’s descendants mainly settled, will join the Antichrist. It will be the beginning of the Antichrist’s political rise among the ten kingdoms. No doubt, Italy and Greece will be members of this ten kingdom coalition. Obviously, the ten kingdoms come out of ancient Rome, and Italy was the center of the Roman Empire. Of course, the Roman Empire also controlled nearby Greece, and the Antichrist will rise out of the Seleucid Kingdom of the Greek Empire. In John’s vision, he noticed that the Antichrist’s empire had the body of a leopard, and in Daniel’s vision this was a symbol which represented Greece. Given these Greek connections, it’s hard to imagine Greece being left out.
What about the other seven kingdoms? They will be nations in Western Europe that were once controlled by the Roman Empire, but anything beyond that is an educated guess at best. Currently, the most likely candidates are Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. These modern nations were partially or completely ruled by the Roman Empire, and they probably would join an alliance with France, Italy and Greece. Still, it’s difficult to be completely sure about the identity of these kingdoms. Even so, the ten kingdoms won’t be a very impressive group. It’s nothing personal Western Europe; the ten kingdoms will start out as puppets of Babylon the Great and they will become puppets of the Antichrist.
Finally, what will Israel be like right before this secret invasion? There will be good news, and bad news. The good news is, Israel will be in good economic shape. The bad news is, that will make them a target of the Antichrist. Sadly, they will be living with a false sense of security because of the seven-year covenant they made with the Antichrist. Caught off-guard, this invasion will desolate the Temple and begin the Great Tribulation. The war that lasts until the end will have started, only to be finished at the Battle of Armageddon. Before that, however, there will be plenty of other battles.
1 Hodge, B. The Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2013), p. 170-175
2 Ibid, p. 119, 165, 168
3 Ibid, p. 160-165, 170-175, 180
4 Ibid, p. 124-128, 181
5 Ibid, p. 128-129, 182
6 Ibid, p. 149-151, 179
7 Ibid, p. 157-160, 180
8 Ibid, p. 126-127, 181
9 Ibid, p. 165, 168, 180