The Russian Chapters of Ezekiel: Final
Aug 29, 2006
In reading Ezekiel 38, it appears that the prophet blended two prophecies into one, as so often happens in Scripture. In this case it seems that Zionism (i.e., immigrating to Palestine) does not completely explain all of the prophecy, particularly in verses 8 and 9:
" (8) After many days you will be summoned [paqad, "to visit with friendly or hostile intent; summoned for judgment"]; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword; whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste [khorbah, "drought; desolate"]; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. (9) And you will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops [aggaf, "cover, heap, crowd"], and many peoples with you."
Verse 8 first tells us that these people are "summoned" (NASB). The King James says "you shall be visited." This idea of visitation can be either for good or for judgment. Exodus 4:31 uses the term in a positive sense, where God had finally sent Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt. The NASB says "they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel." The KJV is more literal, saying, "they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel."
On the negative side, the word means that God's visit was to investigate the evidence of sin for the purpose of judgment. Thus, Lev. 18:25 says,
"For the land has become defiled; therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants."
So this word conveys the idea of a judge summoning an accused suspect, questioning him, and testing the evidence for the purpose of determing guilt or innocence.
In Ezekiel 38:6, we see that the invaders of Beth-Togarmah ("House of Togarmah"), along with their allies, are to be "summoned" or "visited" by God. We are given the impression that their invasion is actually the response to God's summons for the purpose of judgment.
They are summoned to invade "the land that is restored from the sword." The "land" is put for the people of the land. The people had been under divine judgment at one time, but then were "gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel." The word "mountains" can be literal, of course, but the word is also used to indicate a kingdom or a nation, as in Isaiah 2:3 and Micah 4:2.
In my view, I believe that this has a dual fulfillment. In part, the House of Togarmah has invaded the land of Palestine itself and the literal mountains of the land of Israel. Yet verse 8 seems to take this prophecy to a new level. Togarmah is said to invade the kingdoms (nations) of Israel.
Ezekiel understood who Israel was, for their dispersion into the land of Assyria was recent history. In fact, he was a prophet to the house of Israel, as we read in Ez. 3:15,
"Then I came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them."
In verse 4, the Lord told the prophet, "Son of man, go to the House of Israel and speak My words to them." The House of Israel had been exiled in the land of Assyria about a century before Ezekiel's time. He was sent from Palestine to Assyria to give them the Word of the Lord. Part of this word was to prophesy their latter end, after the time of their captivity had come to an end.
Thus, in Ezekiel 38, the prophet was telling the exiles of the House of Israel what would happen to them in the latter days. The time of their captivity was 2,520 years (a period of seven "times") as the law specified (Lev. 26:24). Israel began to be deported by the Assyrians in 745 B.C., and their capital city of Samaria was conquered in 721 B.C.
When we calculate 2,520 years later, we come to 1776 to 1800 A.D. In 1776 a new nation was born with a motto, "Out of many, One" (e pluribus unum). In 1800 its new capital city was built, Washington D.C., precisely 2,520 years after Samaria had been destroyed by the Assyrians.
I know that the United States is not the entire fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy, of course, but it seems to provide the primary benchmark for the timing of its fulfillment. The House of Togarmah was to invade, or be summoned, to the land "whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains (nations, states) of Israel."
Ezekiel 38:8 describes this land as "a continual waste" (NASB) or "always waste" (KJV). The Hebrew word is khorbah, which means a dry or desolate place, with relatively few people living there. I do not mean to ignore the native American population that was here, nor excuse the genocide and broken treaties that occurred so often, but it is estimated that there were between 500,000 and 2,000,000 people living in North America when the first Pilgrims landed in New England.
For the amount of territory, this was a very sparsely populated continent. Hence, Ezekiel describes it in this way. Ezekiel continues, saying in verse 8, "but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them."
He was obviously speaking to the exiles of the House of Israel about their own future. No doubt Ezekiel was familiar with the promise given to King David at the height of the Kingdom of Israel in 2 Samuel 7:10,
"I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly."
God was not speaking of the old land of Israel, since the wicked certainly did uproot them. Israel was uprooted to Assyria, and Judah was uprooted and brought to Babylon. Thus, the old land does not fit the description of the land promised to King David in the future. Ultimately, of course, the promise has to do with the heavenly country which Abraham sought (Heb. 11:14-16). But the exiles of Israel have also received an interim inheritance at the end of their 2,520 years of judgment.
Yet Ezekiel 38:8 prophesies that the House of Togarmah would be summoned to that same land for divine judgment. Why? Why there? The law makes it clear that as long as God's people were obedient to Him, God would preserve them in safety. But if they were disobedient, then God would bring foreigners to judge them. So if Togarmah was to come to this new land, it means that these regathered Israelite exiles were being disobedient to God.
That is the story of America, and this is the secret behind God's judgment upon us. We were brought into captivity in 1914 when President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act. It was Mystery Babylon being set up over us, and God used the House of Togarmah and its allies to do it.
The captivity serves a dual purpose. First, it judged America for its sin, for they have come "like a storm" and "like a cloud covering the land;" and secondly, it will judge Togarmah after America repents. Most people did not recognize this captivity, because it was a "secret" (i.e., a "mystery" Babylon). Part of its hidden nature was the fact that it did not conquer by armed troops dressed in uniforms. It was a conquest by immigration.
This is why America has little choice but to support the Zionist enterprise in Palestine. We ourselves are in captivity to the same Togarmah that has conquered Palestine. May the world forgive us for our sin.
This is the final part of a series titled "The Russian Chapters of Ezekiel." To view all parts, click the link below.