It is quite amazing how many cultures have End-of-Days scenarios. The idea seems as old as man himself. Now, even today, as the West becomes increasingly agnostic, thanks in part to to science and technology, there is a growing fascination with the same topic, evident by how much the entertainment industry is focused on it. It doesn’t seem to be a question of if there will be an End-of-Days, but of when, and how.
It is often called the “Apocalypse,” from the Greek which means “a disclosure of knowledge,” i.e. a lifting of the veil or revelation. This is because it is supposed to lead to an intense revelation of God, at which point evil will be banished from Creation. As the spiritual veil between man and God is lifted, atheism and agnosticism will become beliefs of the past.
Another commonly used name is “Armageddon,” which comes from the word “Megiddo,” the name of a city in Israel. The gentile belief is that the final battle of history between good and evil will begin there.
Judaism, however, has no such tradition, and refers to the final battle of history in the words of the prophets: “The War of Gog and Magog.” Who is Gog and Magog? It is a historical mystery, one that will only be resolved once the war has actually occurred.
Though Magog is mentioned in the Bible as one of the early descendants of Noah, the identity of his descendants is not known with certainty. This is especially so since nations since then have moved around, conquered one another, and intermarried.
The name “Gog” does not appear anywhere in the Bible itself, and therefore remains an even greater mystery and has been subject to much speculation. The bottom line according to the Talmud, though, is that Gog and Magog will be enemies of the Jewish people who will march against the Jewish people, and specifically Jerusalem.
According to Jewish tradition, there are actually meant to be three such battles. According to Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan (1838–1933), otherwise known as the great and venerable sage, the “Chofetz Chaim,” two such wars have already occurred. They were World War I and World War II. The first, he himself lived through, whereas as the second he correctly predicted. It is the third and final one for which the Jewish people, and apparently history, wait.
Given the current direction of history, neither may have to wait much longer. In fact, many feel that the final War of Gog and Magog has already started, especially since 9/11, and is occurring in phases. Predictions abound regarding what the final phase will be like, and when it will begin in earnest.
The question is: is there anything that can be done to prepare for it? It may be inevitable, but is it also an an important, and perhaps even a final opportunity for personal accomplishment? This is where The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Armageddon begins.