Q. It is a fact that the battle that brings Russia’s invasion of Israel to an end results in the destruction of “all men of war,” Ezekiel 39:20. This ought to make it obvious that the battle described in Ezekiel 38:21-22 and 39:1-6 is the very same battle commonly referred to as “Armageddon.” Compare Isaiah 34:1-6, 63:1-6, Revelation 14:19-20, 16:12-16, and 19:11-21. It is quite plain that “all men of war” are destroyed in this same battle in which the Lord destroys Russia and her allies, Ezekiel 39:20.
If this battle should then occur before the Tribulation, as some teach, or even right after the beginning of the Tribulation, as others teach, then who would fight during the Tribulation? Remember, “all men of war” are destroyed in this battle. I take this to mean that every human being who has “war” in their heart will be destroyed from among men. Who then would fight during the Tribulation if “all men of war” have already been wiped out when the Lord destroys Russia and her allies? Well…??? What do you think Jack? Is this right?
A. I think you’ve misunderstood the intent of the phrase “all men of war.” Notice how Ezek 39:20 lists the participants, horses, chariots, mighty men, all men of war … This is the prophet’s way of describing the classifications of warriors. It was typical in Biblical times to distinguish special fighting forces, such as the Kings bodyguards, from ordinary soldiers by calling them mighty men. 2 Sam 23 lists David’s mighty men as an example. All men of war means the rest of the soldiers.
In modern language we might say “special forces” for mighty men, and “soldiers of every kind” for all men of war. It was not the intent of the passage to say that all men of war on Earth would be destroyed in Ezekiel’s Battle, but soldiers of every kind who took part in it.
As you know, I believe that Ezekiel’s battle has to precede Daniel’s 70th week because it serves as Israel’s wake up call, and reinstates their covenant relationship with God. This creates the desire for a Temple that’s lacking today.