Q. I have a question about Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s nuclear threats against Israel. The chapters of Ezekiel 38 and 39 appear to indicate that the Moslem Coalition and Russia invade the Jewish nation by way of assembling an army. Are nuclear weapons the same as a gathering army? If this nuclear threat prophetically pertains to this invasion then how can Israel’s enemies plunder a land that is victimized by such a holocaust?
A. Assembling an army is not a reference to a nuclear attack. But there do seem to be indications of a nuclear exchange connected with the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39. One of the places most often cited is Ezekiel 39:6 where God says, “I will send fire on Magog and those who live in safety in the coast lands and they will know that I am the Lord.” Magog is widely thought to be a reference to Russia, and the coast lands are thought to refer to Europe. (The word safety is the same one used in Ezekiel 38:8 and implies a perception of safety, bordering on carelessness, rather than the real thing.) If so this could indicate the use of airborne nuclear weapons such as guided missiles against targets in Russia and Europe, but not Israel.
Another reference is Ezekiel 39: 12-16 where the after battle clean up describes procedures remarkably similar to the way a modern army would clean up a contaminated battlefield. This suggests low power tactical nuclear weapons may be used against Israel’s attackers. If so then the damage to Israel would be confined to the actual battlefield rather than being a general destruction.
In Ezekiel 38:13 nations on the sidelines suggest the plunder of Israel as a motivation for the battle. But since the battle ends in the enemy’s defeat there will be no plunder. In any case there’s no indication that Israel would suffer a massive nuclear attack from Iran or anybody else in the Battle of Ezekiel 38.