Ezekiel 36,37,38, and 39 taken together have a broad brush overview with focus on Israel's return to the Land of Israel after a very long period of absence.
Ezekiel's presentation of Satan's forces opposed to God, Israel's return and subsequent invasion, and Satan's defeat at Armageddon are the subjects of the vision.
This includes the initial invasion and occupation of the Land of Israel and the ensuing warfare which consummates in the battle of Armageddon. [Ezekiel 38:7-12, 38:18-23, 39:3-6]
The description of the war parallels the same battle of Armageddon given in Revelation and includes additional details regarding God's purposes for direct intervention.
God will call for war (a sword) in the mountains of Israel in order to eliminate the forces of Gog and will send His wrath (fire) upon extended geographical areas of the Middle East and beyond to those who dwell securely in the coast lands.
The " mountains " of Israel are literal and do not represent other nations and their militaries. The symbol of a mountain can represent a dominion or a kingdom in prophecy, but these are the literal mountains of Israel .
The battle will actually involve Satan's followers fighting among themselves because of the confusion and panic caused by God's direct intervention. [Ezekiel 38:21]
God will extend His wrath to other followers of Gog who will be dwelling in the coastal areas of the Middle East and those further away from the main battle area. [Ezekiel 39:6]
Many of the details of events of the 70th week are not part of Ezekiel's vision. God's focus is directed at Satan's "initial attack" and then the vision moves to his "defeat" at Armageddon.
There will not be an immediate defeat resulting at the point of invasion as some interpret the vision. The scope of the vision does not include the events of the 70th week that will take place between the attack and the defeat.
Satan, Abaddon, and the little horn are in view in this vision. They are three separate entities, but also act as one in many prophetic presentations. Revelation, Daniel, and other Scriptures supply more details.
The little horn will be transformed by Abaddon's full possession and he will have great power and supernatural angelic abilities. Angelic beings must possess a material body in order to be visible to humans.
Satan (Gog) will move from his place out of the Land of Magog to attack the Land of Israel. The original Land of Magog was in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent and Gog's initial base of operation will begin there at the time of the end.
This area today includes parts of north eastern Syria, eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, north western Iran, and possibly parts of Armenia and Georgia.
Canaan was a descendant of Ham and his descendants inhabited the eastern Mediterranean seaboard and the coastal and central regions of Anatolia. Primary examples would be the Canaanites, Phoenicians, and Hittites.
The Land of Shinar was the location of the Sumerian culture developed by the descendants of Noah's sons Shem and Ham. Abraham was a descendant of Shem and lived in the Babylonian province of Ur.
Nimrod was a descendant of Ham through Cush and built several of the first cities in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley.
Ancient Babylon was located in the Land of Shinar which was northwest of the Persian Gulf and this area is in the southeastern portion of Iraq today.
The original Land of Magog including Mesheck, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah's settlements were all located in the region between the Land of Canaan and the Land of Shinar.
The Land of Magog was later invaded and ruled by others including Akkadian/Assyrian domination toward the end of the first millennia after the flood.
This vast land mass included the northern areas around Mount Ararat, south and west to the borders of the Canaanite civilizations, and south and east to the borders of the Sumerian civilization.
Some would have Gog (the little horn) coming from outside of the Middle East as far north as Russia, northern Europe, and even the USA. This position presents a foreign leader ruling the area. This is possible.
Many others are aligned with Gog including Gomer and Togarmah who originally inhabited the excesses of the north quarters of the Middle East. These would be Magog's brothers. [Ezekiel 38:6]
Cush, Put, and Persia are mentioned next. The reference to Persia would include those inhabiting an area east of the Zargos Mountains, and this would be Iranian territory today. [Ezekiel 38:5]
This area included both the Medes in the north (descendants of Madai) and the Persians in the south (descendants of Elam). These are mixed and still living in the area of Iran today.
The descendants of Ham were located in at least three different land areas including the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, the Land of Canaan, Egypt, and areas near Egypt in Africa.
Put was located west of Egypt, but this could also be the original location of the descendants of Put in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley before migration to Africa.
Gog and his allies will be located in the land areas originally settled by all of those included above at the time of the end. Most of the Middle East is in view.
The present inhabitants of these locations include original ancestry and others who have moved in and through the area over the centuries of the past.
There has been a complex intermixing of Middle Eastern populations and others outside of the area over the vast sweep of historical change.
This leads me to believe that the significance of identifying Gog's allies by ethnic origins has more to do with original geographical locations rather than the specific ethnic lineage of subsequent migrations.
It is possible that both are to be considered. The land area in view has been ruled by several early post flood patriarchs starting with Magog and his brothers.
Next were the major empires of Akkadian/Assyria, neo-Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, Rome, Arabia, Mongolia, the Ottoman Turks, and the British.
The first five are included in the scope of Bible prophecy which then moves to the time of the end of this present age and identifies the future rulers, but does not name them.
I do not believe that Gog's allies or their specific locations can be precisely identified at the present time and that this will be more apparent closer to the time of the end.
I will update the Truth Files if I see any movement which looks like this development, but otherwise would have to speculate on this matter for now.
The confirmation of a covenant with many by the prince that shall come at the beginning of the 70th week may identify these invaders of the Land of Israel. [Daniel 9:27]
The covenant may include a planned strategy for attacking Israel and for world domination. It could turn out to be a perversion of the Abrahamic covenant that God has with Israel.
This could be the Islamic view of the same covenant if we are close to the end of the age. I am speculating here and using the possibility as an example.
Daniel's vision of the 70 weeks of years includes a reference to the confirmation of a covenant made with "many" by the prince that shall come, or by the Prince who is cut off (the Lord).
The covenant is to be in place for "one seven", or during the 70th week decreed for Israel. I believe that this will be some form of an alliance of the little horn and Israel's enemies. It could also be the covenant of the 70 weeks of years decreed for national Israel contained in the context of chapter 9. If so, the Lord will confirm it by executing the 70th week upon His return to complete the six objectives stated for national Israel.
The purpose of Ezekiel's invaders will be to attack and occupy the Land of Israel for themselves and for exterminating the returned remnant of Israel. Psalms 83 indicates the same confederation of Israel's direct enemies.
The statement " many are with you " in Ezekiel's vision may be the same as the covenant with "many" included in Daniel's vision of the 70 weeks of years if the confirmation is made by the prince that shall come. This will not be the case if it is the Lord's confirmation of the decree of the 70 weeks. [Ezekiel 38:4-7] [Daniel 9:27]
The confirmation of this covenant will actually last for the duration of the 70th week and will terminate at the battle of Armageddon where the little horn and his allies will be defeated.
The concept of a peace treaty made, by the prince that shall come, with Israel which is to last for seven years, only to be broken by catching the nation off guard after a shorter time period would not be a covenant that lasts for seven years. I also doubt that Israel would drop their guard or purposely maintain a less secure position because of a "false" peace agreement with their known enemies.
Ezekiel is told that the position of his nation at the time of the end will be one of security (living safely) and permanency (at rest) before the invasion takes place.
This position, or condition, could be construed to mean that the nation will be living under some sort of peace treaty. Israel has great confidence in the ability to secure the nation even during current opposition.
God will make it possible for Israel to defend themselves and maintain a national presence in the midst of their enemies against overwhelming odds in order to fulfill His plans and purposes.
Israel's existing security and confidence is self-generated. The nation possesses the third ranked overall military force in the world and they are fearless when pushed against the wall by their enemies.
God states His intentions very clearly in Ezekiel's vision. God's intervention and related actions will be to reveal Himself so that the nations will know that He is the Creator of the universe and the One and only true God. [Ezekiel 38:23, 39:25-29]
There are common threads that run throughout the Middle East today which include the religion of Islam and certain existing inhabitants who are the traditional enemies of Israel.
It is my opinion that Islam is replacement theology for Judaism and Christianity. The teachings of the religion display distinct satanic hatred for Israel and for believers in Jesus Christ.
It is also interesting to note that the area today is divided into several states which resemble the little horn's divided dominion at the time of the end.
Daniel is told that these would remain divided politically (10 kings, horns), but will be mixed in the seed of men (genetically).
Their unity will come about because of the leadership of the little horn. [Daniel 2:40-43, 7:19-23] [Revelation 17:7-17]
It is possible that these two forces, Islam and historical hatred for Israel, are the glue that will consolidate Satan's strategy at the time of the end.
If Islam is part of the process, Satan will be in good position to leverage the conditions that this religion has amplified. He may have been the instigator in 600 A.D. when Mohammed contrived Islamic monotheism.
This religion is not identified by name in the Bible although the events, actions, and behavior of the little horn and his followers described in Scripture resemble fundamental Islam today.
God's purpose of Ezekiel's vision adds to an even larger theme which includes the final destruction and dismantling of the rule of the nations. [Jeremiah 30:1-11]
He will establish the nation of Israel as the center of a literal 1,000 year long Kingdom of God through Jesus on the earth. [Revelation 19:11-15]
There will be universal recognition and acceptance of God's rightful position as Creator and Ruler of the universe as the result of His intervention.
The identity of Gog requires linking the entities of Satan, Abaddon, and the little horn as the king of the north.
Daniel and Revelation describe the actions of this same king which include his invasion, occupation, and rule of the Israel, and many other details. [Daniel 11:41, 12:1-13] [Revelation 11:2, 12:13-17]
The proper identification of Gog is essential to the correct understanding of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Gog is Satan who works through Abaddon and the little horn.
This satanic deception is the antichrist who is to come; the man of lawlessness, the destroyer, little horn, and king of the north. He will rule over the Middle East and will cause great tribulation and destruction.
Many interpret Ezekiel's war as an event of the past. Some view it as a war that is future, but separate, and precedes the battle of Armageddon.
Another view is that the war takes place 1,000 years after the battle of Armageddon and is the war of Satan (Gog) and the nations (symbolically Magog) described in Revelation 20.
Israel's future regathering for the purpose of being present in the Land of Israel at the time of the end eliminates the first position. Also, there is no record of history that fits the description of this war.
The magnitude and description of the war compared with Revelation's description of the battle of Armageddon and God's purposes described in Ezekiel eliminate the second position.
The rebellion at the end of the 1,000 year rule of Jesus is totally different than the war described in Ezekiel.
Satan (Gog) is the same after being released from the abyss where he was sent by God 1,000 years earlier just after the battle of Armageddon.
The nations (Magog) are symbolically the same....but the rebellion results in an incineration of the rebels, earth, and universe which God totally replaces with a new heaven and a new earth. [Revelation 20:9, 21:1-2]
In contrast the battle of Armageddon, which is Ezekiel's war, will result in a continuation of this present earth under the rule of Jesus for 1,000 years.
God, Jesus, and Israel are victorious in this war. Abaddon and the false prophet are destroyed forever in the lake of fire.
The little horn, human king of the north, is buried in Israel along with all of his defeated human armies and Satan is sent to the abyss. [Ezekiel 39:11-13] [Revelation 20:1-3]
The Lord Himself will defeat Satan at the battle of Armageddon. Satan (Gog) fails to halt God's plans and purposes and will ultimately be destroyed in the lake of fire.