A recent meeting in Tehran, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei was so fraught with end of days implications that “Ezekiel 38” trended on Twitter.
Putin in Tehran
Putin’s trip to Iran closely followed Biden’s tour of the Middle East, in which the US President met with Arab leaders who were deeply concerned about Iran’s growing nuclear program. The president’s tour met with mixed results as his requests for increased oil production went unanswered.
Russia’s talks in Tehran were centered around the interests of the three countries over Syria. Russia and Iran are also united in being targeted by US sanctions. Both countries, isolated from trade with the West, will benefit from this arrangement. Putin recently claimed that trade between the two countries was up 81% from last year to a record $3.3 billion. This economic cooperation comes despite the two countries actually being competitors in the energy market.
Perhaps most significantly was a recent announcement by Iran that the US currency has been replaced with the Russian ruble in Iran-Russia business, with future plans to do so in their dealings with other countries.
Though uneasy allies, Iran and Russia complement each other militarily. In January 2021, Iran, China, and Russia held their third joint naval exercise, the third joint exercise of the three countries, in the northern Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area. Iran recently announced it would begin providing Russia with drones for its military in Ukraine. It has signed an agreement to supply aircraft parts and equipment to Russia and service Russian aircraft. Russia is also involved in the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to revive the Iran deal, as Russia will be building much of Iran’s increased atomic infrastructure.
Any alliance between the three countries will be conditional, as Iran and Turkey have regional aspirations that conflict.
The growing alliance under Russia garnered a wave of attention on the internet, and the terms “Ezekiel 38” and “Gog and Magog” trended on Twitter.
Magog is growing, Ezekiel 38 is trending, and a pretrib rapture is still widely taught.
Perilous times. https://t.co/yPblLW7Ccb
— Friend in the west (@friendinthewest) July 20, 2022
“The US is rotten on the inside right now, so it can’t stand up to Gog.”
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days writer, and lecturer, were unsurprised that Christian commentators were quick to note the connection between the political developments and the Biblical prophecies of the pre-Messiah Gog and Magog War.
“According to the Zohar, in the War of Gog and Magog, Ishmael, that is to say, the Arabs will go to war against Esau, the West, and defeat them. The first conflict on the Gog and Magog Agenda is a war between Esau and Ishmael. When that is finished, Ishmael will then go to war against Israel.”
“America now is the pinnacle of Esau, of Edom. Rome didn’t fall because of outside threats. First, Rome became rotten from the inside. This is what is happening to the US now. For the last 70 years, America has been the world’s policeman, and they still are somewhat.”
Ezekiel 38 is about to be fulfilled. pic.twitter.com/bsmMV3Ng6g
— Daniel Kendagor (@KendagorDaniel) July 20, 2022
“You can be sure that the number one topic of conversation between Russia and Iran is how to get rid of America. And America is oblivious to this because they are so focused on their own issues of the day, somewhat oblivious to the dangers that lurk on the outside, in so many ways just like Rome in its time.”
“When evil wants to take over the world, the first thing it has to do is get rid of the police. The evil alliance of Gog and Magog will first come for Esau, that is to say, the US, and then it will come for Israel. And the US is rotting on the inside now, so it can’t—won’t—stand up to Gog and Magog.”
“Even though the War of Gog and Magog will be focused on Israel, God has a special place in his heart for righteous gentiles,” Rabbi Winston said. “God rewards every little good that anyone does in this world. When you are on the same page as Hashem, when you trust in Him and put your faith in the God of the Torah, He protects you.”
He cited the Book of Jonah, which is read on Yom Kippur.
“Why is it read on Yom Kippur?” Rabbi Winston asked. “Jonah went to preach to the non-Jews of Nineveh. What we see is that they listened to Him and repented. We even see that the non-Jews in the ship with Jonah repented and, when they returned to port, offered a sacrifice to Hashem.”
“Jonah knew that when confronted with the truth, the non-Jews of Nineveh would repent, even if it was on a superficial level, and God would save them. And Jonah knew that this would incriminate and embarrass the Jewish people because many of them would not repent after a similar warning. Rather than embarrass the Jews, he ran away from prophecy.”
“The War of Gog and Magog will be against Israel, and that will be the test that shows where everyone stands. That is why the whole world is focused on Israel; we are on the cusp of the third and final War of Gog and Magog, and everyone is showing where they stand.”
Russia at the head of Gog and Magog
One interpretation of the Bible has Russia at the head of the multi-national army of the pre-Messiah War of Gog and Magog. Rabbi Haim Shvili, a 20th-century Jewish mystic, wrote a book of predictions concerning the Messiah in 1935. Remarkably, Rabbi Shvili understands the prophet Ezekiel to foresee the War of Gog and Magog as being launched by a Russian-led coalition.
O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2
Rabbi Shvili understood the Hebrew word in the verse for ‘chief’ is Rosh. Rabbi Shivli used this verse to identify Russia as the leader of the Gog and Magog coalition. The rabbi emphasized that Gog is referred to as the “land of the North,” and Russia is the northernmost country in Europe. He also identified “Meshech” and “Tubal” as the Balkan states, which are ruled by Russia. Rabbi Shvili predicted that the Russian-led coalition would be opposed by a coalition of comparable size, comprising soldiers from all 70 nations.
China also has a connection with Magog. The Mongolian Empire once included sections of Russia, China, and North Korea. The Chinese and all the minority groups living in China are of the Mongoloid race, which stems from Noah’s son Japheth. Etymologists have conjectured that the name Mongol is derived from the name Magog.