Over the past few weeks, several events have taken place which point to the emerging alliance of nations involved in the invasion of Jerusalem described in Ezekiel 38. First, Turkey began cozying up to Russia, even suggesting military cooperation. Turkey and Russia had been on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict and they probably still are because the Turks just invaded Syria with the backing of the United States. The Syrian regime wasn’t happy about it at all. More or less, the Turks are paranoid about the Kurds, but they know Russia calls the shots in Syria so they are looking to influence what happens when the dust finally settles. They’re hedging their bets.
Of course, the Kurds are outstanding fighters and Russia can’t afford to fight them. When Russia eventually extinguishes the opposition to Assad, their puppet ruler, odds are good the Kurds will receive some kind of autonomy. Indeed, Russia wants Syria to become a federal republic under their control, which isn’t surprising. After all, the country’s formal name is the Russian Federation.
No doubt, this wouldn’t go over well among most of Syria’s neighbors, especially major players like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Turkey doesn’t want Syrian Kurds having any autonomy, while Saudi Arabia and Israel oppose what they perceive as any expansion of Iranian influence in the region. This combined resentment could lead to the Daniel 11:22 war. Israel and a Western-backed coalition from the Middle East and North Africa will attack the Antichrist, but he’ll win (Daniel 11:21-22). Afterward, he’ll make a seven-year covenant with Israel and many nations (Daniel 9:27; 11:23). These nations will be from the Middle East and North Africa because the international recognition of Israel as a state is a key part of the Antichrist’s seven-year deal (Daniel 9:27; 11:28, 30). Most nations in the world today that haven’t recognized Israel are in the Middle East and North Africa.
To be fair, Iran is trying to help Turkey and Syria kiss and make up, so Turkey may end up sitting out any conflict against Russia. Speaking of Iran, it’s no secret that they have been helping Russia on the ground in Syria for some time. Yet, they caused quite a stir by letting Russia fly missions from their bases a few days ago. Regardless, why is any of this significant?
In the end times, the Antichrist is going to gather a large, multi-national force, and together they will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:1-9). The Lord prophesied through Daniel that “His armies shall rise up and desecrate the sanctuary fortress. They shall abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination that makes desolate” (Daniel 11:31). It’s going to be ugly.
The Antichrist will be of Magog and the ruler of Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2). Put differently, the Antichrist will be ethnically Slavic and the leader of Russia at the time of the end.1 Persia will also be a part of this coalition (Ezekiel 38:5). Unlike the other participants in this invasion, Persia isn’t the name of a people group. It’s another name for the modern nation of Iran. So, Russia will be joined by Iran in this invasion of Israel. In addition, Togarmah will participate (Ezekiel 38:6). 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.2 Apparently, Turkey and Iran will join Russia in invading Israel during the end times.
Interestingly, among the other participants is Gomer (Ezekiel 38:6). Gomer’s descendants mainly settled in modern France.3 Gaul, one of the historic names for France, is a reflection of Gomer’s people having settled there. Just recently, Nicolas Sarkozy announced he is going to run for president, which is great news for Putin because the two are very friendly. Marine Le Pen has already thrown her hat in the ring, and she has received financing from Russian banks in the past. Clearly, France is warming to Russia.
That said, the invasion of Israel won’t happen until a seven-year covenant is signed first (Daniel 9:27; 11:23). Although this covenant will happen immediately after the Daniel 11:22 war, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the most intriguing news item in the past couple of weeks: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Egyptian leader Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi is the other mediator involved in this discussion, which makes sense because Egypt and Russia will be the regional powers in the Middle East during the end times, until Russia conquers them (Daniel 11:21-27, 42).
All in all, there have been some very interesting developments lately. As the plot thickens, check out this humble blog for updates.
1 Hodge, B. The Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2013), p. 160-165, 170-175, 180.
2 Ibid, p. 157-160, 180.
3 Ibid, p. 149-151, 179.