The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel reveal vital information about what happens to certain groups and alliances before Jesus returns to set up the Kingdom of God on the earth. Who are these ancient groups of people TODAY that will eventually become a part of an alliance of nations?
Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh: The English word "Rosh" comes from the Hebrew word (Strong's Concordance #H7218) which means "head" or "chief." It means either the individual who is the chief or leader of this alliance or the nation which leads it.
Gog is identified as the prince of Meshech and Tubal. These entities have long been identified by Christian teachers as designating Russia in the modern world, and they are correct. There is much support for this designation. According to Ezekiel's prophecy Russia will lead an attack.
Persia is the region now called Iran. In ancient times, these people were known as the Medo-Persians. The word "Medes" is derived from the word for their ancestor named Madai, a son of Japheth. Japheth's other sons included Gomer, Magog, MADAI, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Ham, another one of Noah's sons, had sons himself named Put, Cush, Canaan and others. Cush's sons included Seba, Raamah and others. Raamah had sons named Dedan and Sheba (see Genesis 10).
The next ally is called Libya. The Hebrew word translated "Libya" is Phut or Put (Strong's Concordance #H6316). Phut is a nation descended from Phut, a son of Ham (Genesis 10:6), and Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible defines Phut / Libya as " . . . the region W(est) from Egypt along the African coast." This describes the region which includes Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, etc. Ezekiel's prophecy does not specifically state "all of Phut" will join Russia's alliance, so time will tell whether this region joins Russia.
The next Russian ally is labeled Gomer, who was one of the sons of Japheth (Genesis 10:2-3). The original language word for "troops" in Ezekiel 38:6 means "bands." Gomer will have an extremely large population and it will have many internal ethnic groups defined as "bands" or "troops." The nations of Japheth are found in the Oriental regions of Asia and especially in the most populous nation on earth: China.
The last major ally listed is Togarmah, who was a son of Gomer (Genesis 10:2-3). This group is described as being populous and having many ethnic groups ("bands"). It will be located in the "far north" regions of Asia and its close relationship with Gomer indicates it will be located just north of Gomer's latter-day descendants.
The other alliance
The second large global alliance, attacked by the first one led by Russia, is called Israel in God's word. It is also referred to as the "the house of Israel."
" . . . In the latter years you (the global alliance led by Russia) will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of ISRAEL . . . "
"Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people ISRAEL dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against my people ISRAEL like a cloud . . .
"For seven months the HOUSE OF ISRAEL will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land." (Ezekiel 38:8, 14-16, 39:12)
The lost tribes and Jesus
When the Parthian empire fell millions of refugees swarmed into the European continent. These refugees were known as the Saxons, Goths, etc. Many of the migrating tribes were descendants of Israelites who were taken captive out of the land of promise many years previous.
These peoples eventually formed countries known today as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to name a few.
A THIRD power bloc
Ezekiel 38 mentions another bloc of nations which is NOT part of the attacking alliance. Indeed, they OBJECT to it when it occurs:
13 The people of Sheba and Dedan and the merchants from the towns of (Tarshish) will ask you, 'Have you assembled your army and attacked in order to loot and plunder? Do you intend to get silver and gold, livestock and property, and march off with all those spoils?' (Ezekiel 38:13)
India, the largest democracy in the world, are descendants of the people of Dedan and Sheba. They increasingly are aligning themselves with the West due to the same concerns about terrorism, China and so on.
Tarshish (incorrectly translated as Spain in some Bibles), who was the son of Javan, are descendants of Japheth. Ezekiel 38 calls them "the MERCHANTS of Tarshish." The people of Japan perfectly fit the prophecies about Tarshish in the end time. They created the export-driven model of goods and services to other nations as a national policy. The father of Tarshish is Javan, a name only slightly changed to form JAPAN.
Is Japan a close ally of the West?
Japan lives near two world powers which it warred with in the past - the nations of China and Russia. These nations will not become its ally anytime soon. For its own survival it must, therefore, align itself with the other world power - the United States of America. The U.S. did not harshly rule Japan after the second world war. Rather, it allowed the nation to keep its monarchy and it treated its people with a certain amount of respect. And, more importantly, America helped lay the foundation in Japan for its economic revival.
There are two different interpretations of what verse 13 of Ezekiel 38 means.
The FIRST interpretation is that a set of Asian nations that includes Japan are allied with the modern descendants of Israel. The SECOND interpretation is that the alliance that includes Japan (Tarshish) is a neutral set of nations between two warring alliances. It seems likely Japan will be a military ally of the United States in the world's last war, even if they are not the initial targets of Russia, China and others. There is no doubt that Japan, India and other Western-type nations are fully aware that if America falls they will fall next. This end time war is called in the Gospels the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22)
The prophesies of Ezekiel show that God will intervene in mankind's last war. He will fight with and for the modern-day descendants of the tribes of Israel and their allies such as Japan. Those who oppose them with be destroyed.