Q. I hope you can help me with this. It seems to be the opinion of many prophecy experts that the battle of Ezekiel 38 will take place before the tribulation begins. But, in Revelation 20 after Satan is released from his 1,000 year imprisonment, it clearly refers to Gog and Magog joining Satan in the battle against Israel. Are there two Gog-Magog battles?
A. I’m convinced there are two confrontations between Gog/Magog and the Lord. When people refer to the Battle of Gog/Magog they usually mean Ezekiel 38, which many scholars place before the Great Tribulation. I also believe it has to be there for a couple of reasons. First it protects the chronological integrity of the Book of Ezekiel, since Chapters 38 and 39 appear before Ezekiel’s 9 chapter prophecy of the Millennium. And second, I believe the battle of chapters 38-39 serves as Israel’s wake up call, bringing them back into their covenant relationship with God (Ezek 39:22). This paves the way for the commencement of Daniel’s 70th Week.
The reference in Rev. 20 is to Satan’s last effort against God and brings the Millennium to a close. As you might know I believe that Gog is a supernatural figure, perhaps the General of Satan’s army, who leads both battles. In Ezekiel 38 Magog is normally associated with the Russians. But since Rev. 20:8 says that Satan’s army will come from the four corners of Earth, Magog is more likely used there in it’s widest sense, referring to all Gentile nations.