What’s the Rosh? – Spears, Swords and Nuclear Bombs


So, now that we have the dealt with the grammatical and etymological errors some have used in promoting a certain interpretation of this passage and discovered that it is simply unwarranted and illogical, it is time to discuss the actual battle described in the passage in question.

For the sake of brevity I will place a majority of the points in a bullet format for ease of reference.

  • Ezekiel uses the names of nations that were real and historical, but that do not exist today.

This is troubling because the use of the names of the actual nations and the fact that Ezekiel is given this prophecy to give as a warning to those actual nation depicts a much more “contemporary” fulfillment. This prophecy is directed at some nations and the actual leaders of those nations. Those nations named no longer exist along with those that allied those nations.

Also mentioned are the tribes. These tribes also no longer exist. Cities and areas are mentioned that longer exist.


  • Ezekiel describes a a style of warfare that is assuredly ancient.

Some have argued that Ezekiel was describing a modern, by our standards, battle. This battle is complete with nuclear weapons, jet fighters, tanks and missiles. Yet the passage itself is very “ancient” in it’s description. One would assume if Ezekiel was describing a battle set thousands of years into the future, visualizing today’s modern weaponry, that he would have used much greater imagery, complete with possibly odd language to describe what he saw.You would suspect to read about horses made of iron, steel birds that flew great distances and landed with the violence of lightening strikes and falling hailstone that destroyed entire villages.

But he doesn’t. His words are plain and contemporary for his time.

Eze 38:4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.

Eze 38:15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.

Eze 39:9 ” ‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up-the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel.

Not exactly the modest of warfare weaponry! Clubs, spears and shield? These instruments could be used for burning so were obviously made of wood as the following verse plainly states.

This is no modern battle described, especially if one wants to lay claim to a literal interpretive method!

  • The invasion from the North

It is often argued that the description of the invasion is from the north and that obviously must refer to a Russian lead attack as Russia is directly north of Israel. But what do we make of these other invasion descriptions found in the Old Testament and the nations described?

  • Babylon

Jer 1:14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land.

Jer 4:6 Raise a standard toward Zion,flee for safety, stay not,for I bring disaster from the north, and great destruction.

Jer 6:10 Thus says the LORD: “Behold, a people is coming from the north country,a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.

Jer 10:22 A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!- a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation,a lair of jackals.

  • Persia

Isa 41:25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name;he shall trample on rulers as on mortar,as the potter treads clay.

Jer 50:41 “Behold, a people comes from the north; a mighty nation and many kingsare stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.

  • Assyria

Zeph 2:13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria,and he will make Nineveh a desolation,a dry waste like the desert.

In none of those instances can one stake the claim the nation attacking was actually from the north. The truth of the matter is that nearly all attacks against Israel came from the north directionally speaking. The easiest way to travel to attack Israel would be from the North. As noted all the great enemies of Israel were from the East or West but their attacks all came from the North.

This is also true in several instances in Ezekiel. There are several mentions of nation from the North attaching even though the nation of origin came from the East or West. In some case it could be said that the nation in question was from the Northeast, but the attack would come from the east and then heading south from the north for the actual attack.

This is all to say that the Biblical imagery coincides well with the rest of Israel’s attackers in that the attack would come from the North. The closest nation from a northern proximity to ever attack Israel would have been Rome, from across the Mediterranean Sea.

So, what are the different interpretive options and how does this relate to the book of Revelation? That will be dealt with in the next post.


2 Responses to “What’s the Rosh? – Spears, Swords and Nuclear Bombs”

  1. 1 Yeshua the Lord of Glory

    Hi David

    Great post…Good information.
    I just wanted to mention that on Saturday i got a copy of Kim Riddlebarger’s book “A case for Amillennialism ” I started reading it on Sunday.I lost interest though around page 47 :-P.I guess what we ACTUALLY believe does not fit into a neat little box.I also got a copy of the ESV and some Gospel tracts,really good ones too…They only lean in HIS direction 🙂 … Still waiting for Gentry’s,Sproul and Demar’s books to arrive…

  1. 1 Revelation 20: Four Views of Gog and Magog « Pursuing Truth at 2909 (Minneapolis)

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