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Who Are the Nations in Ezekiel 38?

Ezekiel 38 mentions several nations that will come against Israel in a future battle. Who are these nations?

The main nations are noted in Ezekiel 38:1-6:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

Gog is noted 11 times in Ezekiel 38-39 as the leader of the invasion. Gog appears to be an individual rather than a group or nation. Nine other names are mentioned

The following nations and/or groups are listed:

  1. Magog: According to first century Jewish historian Josephus, the land of Magog was inhabited by the Scythians. The Scythians lived throughout Central Asia, indicating its identity is associated with nations today such as Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Some also include Afghanistan in this group.
  1. Rosh: Rosh is the remote part of the north (38:6, 15; 39:2). Because of this, most interpreters identify Magog as Russia, at least part of Russia, or perhaps Russia and some of the former Soviet nations connected with it.
  1. Meshek (or Meshech) and Tubal: Noted together in this passage, this area is located in part of modern-day Turkey.
  1. Persia: This is the land of modern Iran.
  1. Cush (or Ethiopia): This land, often translated as Ethiopia, is not the same as modern Ethiopia. It represented the land south of Egypt. Today, this nation is Sudan.
  1. Put: Also translated in some versions as Libya, this land is still known as Libya today.
  1. Gomer: Part of modern Turkey.
  1. Beth Togarmah: Part of modern Turkey.

As can be seen, these are all nations surrounding Israel, many of which hold strong feelings against Israel today. Though we do not know when the events of Ezekiel 38 will take place, we can identify the locations today. At some future time, God will draw these nations against Israel where Scripture predicts they will be supernaturally defeated by the Lord.

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Bio

Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.

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