Q. When this happens the Jews will be burying bodies for seven months and burning weapons for seven years, according to scripture. Would these scriptures not indicate that this war would have to happen before the Rapture? They could not be burning weapons during the entire seven year tribulation because in the last 3 1/2 years, they will have to flee for their lives and will be under great persecution. I cannot see them taking the time to burn weapons during the Great Tribulation because God will be protecting them in Petra. So many things will be happening during the last 3 1/2 years, I just can’t see how they could burn weapons for the entire tribulation period.
A. There are two things to consider here. First, it’s only the believing remnant that will flee into the desert. Non-believing Jews will have accepted the anti-Christ and will be living under his authority in Israel until well into the Great Tribulation. Second, burning actual weapons would be very cumbersome even if enough combustible material could be collected. Many scholars believe the conversion of nuclear weaponry into sources for electricity and heat is what’s in view here, as well as unused fuel supplies left from the battle.
If the Lord’s focus on Israel means the Church has to depart (Romans 11:25), and if the Battle of Ezekiel 38 marks the return of His attention to Israel (Ezek. 39:22), then it seems to me that the Rapture will have to precede Ezekiel’s Battle.