The Gog And Magog Fear Factor
By James Donahue
"Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
they will be for flocks which lie down, and no one will make them afraid. The fortress also will cease from Ephraim, and kingdom
from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria; they will be as the glory of the children of Israel, says the Lord of hosts." (Isaiah
As the United States builds up its forces for a military attack against Syria, and Russia is sending
its navy ships into the Mediterranean and threatening to stand in defense of the Syrian government, people are nervously wondering
if the world isn’t on the cusp of the long prophesied final world war.
From the east the Iranian government, which has been supporting the Syrian regime, is warning that
if the United States attacks Syria, it will lob missiles into Israel. Israel is building its defenses and preparing for war.
And China warns that if Russia gets involved in this conflict, its forces will back Russia.
All of this leads both Christian and Moslem followers to wonder if we are not about to launch the
great conflict involving the ancient forces of Gog and Magog, as foretold in both the Old Testament and the Quran.
The Christian text that speaks of Gog and Magog appears in the Book of Ezekiel:
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief
prince of Meshech and Tubal and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the
chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn three back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and
all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields,
all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his
bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee." Ezekiel 38:2
The Quran addresses the names in one brief verse:
"Even when Gog and Magog are let loose and they shall break forth from every elevated place. And the true purpose
shall draw nigh, then lo! The eyes of those who disbelieved shall be fixedly open: O woe to us! Surely we were in a state
of heedlessness as to this; nay, we were unjust."
Strangely, even as vague as these verses are, both Christians and Moslems in some way associate the
appearance of Gog and Magog as a signal that the world is experiencing the end of times.
But an unidentified writer for the website Understanding Islam, had an interesting perspective. He
explained that Gog and Magog in the Quran are identified as a "group of nomads" or people lacking culture who return before
the final hour to "lay havoc on mankind." This havoc will involve chaos, murder and war that "will come together with all
of humanity, forgetting their viciousness and love of conflict, surging toward their final reckoning."
However, the writer said, "such a belief lies outside of what the Quran is actually teaching, and
was borrowed from Christian thought through the Book of Revelations. The ‘apocalyptic’ mentality that plagues
most evangelical Christians has been adopted by many Muslims, leading to absolutely ridiculous interpretations recording historical
Of course Christian theologians are busy debating the significance of current events in the Middle
East, and how they are related to the prophetic messages not only in Ezekiel and Isaiah but in the Book of Revelation. Many
see a Third World War as a signal for the long awaited Second Coming of Christ so U.S. leaders who believe this story are
dangerously tempted to plunge the world into the havoc described in the Quran. Do they not see it as an easy way to fix the
problems of the world without resorting to diplomacy and hard work?
So what if they start such a war and the Jesus story turns out to be a myth. He doesn’t show
up? How do we resolve that mess?
This is extremely dangerous thinking. There is a story that former President George W. Bush, when
planning his unprovoked military attack on Iraq in 2003, tried to sell the idea to French President Jacques Chirac using biblical
prophecy. After being contacted by Bush Chirac contacted Professor Thomas Romer, an Old Testament expert at the University
of Lausanne, to ask about the legends concerning Gog and Magog.
Chirac said Bush told him that when he looked at the Middle East, he saw "Gog and Magog at work" and
the biblical prophecies unfolding."
It appears that Bush, a practicing fundamental Christian, was hoping that the two wars he launched
would help trigger events leading to the great Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming. A lot of people died and were left
maimed and homeless because of those wars, but so far, there has been no sign of any kind of intervention from the clouds.
Chirac didn’t buy into the prophecy and neither should we. It is due time for the world to turn
away from these destructive and outdated religious belief systems, and stop letting them affect world political decision making.
It would be best to follow the advice of both Jesus and Mohammad, as well as the Buddha and the many other great prophets
and teachers of the past. It was a simple message after all: give up our quest for materialism and love our neighbors.