An Evil Plan, Part 1

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” – ‘to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.’” Ezekiel 38:10-12.

Writing some 2500 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel reveals to us that after many days, in the latter years the leader of Russia, a man entitled Gog will have evil thoughts arise in his mind and he will devise an evil plan to plunder Israel.

A place he calls, “…a land of unwalled villages…a peaceful people, who dwell safely.”

The land of unwalled villages may be a reference to the kibbutzim, which fit the unwalled village description well enough.

As of January 2020 there were 270 kibbutzim with about 126,000 inhabitants. The kibbutzim, which means “gathering, clustering”, are collective communities that are not just farms as you might think, but some are also manufacturing centers, all of which make up nine percent of Israel’s industrial, and forty percent of their agricultural output. A kibbutz has no walls.

“…I will go to a peaceful people”, Israel has fought wars, but they were all to preserve their own right to exist.

These are not claim jumping warmongers, as the media is so fond of making them; they are under almost daily rocket attacks and terrorists bombings and many of the new apartments and houses for sale in Israel actually have built in bomb shelters.

“…who dwell safely”, this same statement is made later on in Ezekiel 38:14b, “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?”

Many expositors have made the mistake of thinking that these statements were a reference to Israel being physically safe via a treaty of some sort or perhaps because the Muslims have been cowed into living peacefully with Israel; things that are probably nearly impossible.

But the wording according to Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum does not necessarily mean that. The Hebrew root word translated “safely” here and “securely” in the New American Standard Version is batach, which should actually be translated “security” with the meaning of security not due to peace but rather security because of a reliance in their own strength.

There is another possible angle to this and it is referred to here in Ezekiel 38:8. It is the security the Jews have because they are, “…those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people…they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”

In Deuteronomy chapter 28 God pronounced blessings and curses on the Israelites, blessings if they followed Him and kept His commandments, curses if they abandoned Him for worthless idols. The following is one of those curses which promises them that He would remove them from their land.

“And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life.” Deuteronomy 28:65-66.

Over the centuries the Jews have been persecuted in whatever country they have lived in. It is not just Germany that has tried to oppress or exterminate them; Russia, Muslim countries, Eastern Europe, Italy, Spain, anti-Semitism is almost universal and getting worse.

Think of the feeling of security being in your own country with fellow countrymen of the same ethnic or social group; never to be robbed of your home or belongings because you are a Jew.

Think of what it would be like to walk down the street and not have people make comments or have to worry about a policeman harassing you for nothing.

Think of being able to sign a contract or buy a home in a location you like without being denied because you are a Jew. Think of knowing that this will not change.

It is this stability that would give a sense of security too. Personally, I feel secure living in the United States because I feel protected by the rights given me in the U.S. Constitution (which is now under attack and being ignored). I think I know a little of how they must feel.

In case you have wondered why the Jew is so hated remember that the Messiah Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, father of Israel.

There is another simple answer; Israel has the promise of God that they as a nation will exist forever.

“Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart from before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘Then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35-37.

It is the goal of Satan to cause God’s promise to fail, or to cause any of His promises to fail, if he could do that, then God has failed.

It is for this reason and because they are a witness to the rest of the world that God is very real and keeps His promises, that the Jews must be utterly extinguished from off the earth.

“Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’” Ezekiel 38:13.

The first two names may just as well be handled together because their location is obscure. Both names are mentioned together five times in the Old Testament; once as the descendants of Ham in Genesis 10:7, and once as the descendants of Abraham through his second wife Keturah, Genesis 25:1-3.

According to the lexicon, Sheba means, “seven, or an oath”, and Dedan means, “low country”.

Also, according to the same lexicon, both are places in south Arabia. If this is true, the countries corresponding to this area may be Yemen to the south of Saudi Arabia, bordering the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea; Oman, to the southeast of Saudi Arabia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; the United Arab Emirate and Qatar, east of Saudi Arabia and bordering the Persian Gulf.

Sheba and Dedan are very difficult to place for certain because another location that has been suggested is north Arabia, which is probably due to the fact that Abraham gave all of his wealth to Isaac, because he was the son God promised him.

But he also gave gifts to his other sons and sent them eastward, to the country of the east, see Genesis 25:1-11. Saudi Arabia is to the east of Israel. Abraham is father to the Arabs too.

Tarshish means, “yellow jasper”, he was a son of Javan, father of the Greeks and descendant of Japheth whose sons populated most of Europe, see Genesis 10:1-5.

Many expositors believe that the Tarshish referred to here is Spain or North Africa because they may have been the early settlers in those places.

However it is well known that these areas were Phoenician settlements, who were not sons of Tarshish but descendants of Ham.

The theory here is that the descendants of Tarshish may have established these locations and then left for one reason or another and moved to England.

Or they may simply have gone to England first, which is what many others think that Tarshish is a reference to.

The reason this is of any consequence is that the verse states, “…the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions”; the young lions are all the nations which came out of England, Spain, or North Africa.

There are no settlements to come out of North Africa, so we can dispense with that.

If it is Spain, her young lions would be Central and South America, with the exception of Brazil. While these are rich nations, they are still third world countries and hardly what you might call, “…the merchants of Tarshish”.

Spain was indeed once a world power but her greed and inhumane enslavement of the natives of South America and the murderous Spanish Inquisition which lasted nearly into the nineteen hundreds has completely decimated her right to be honored in history.

If Tarshish is England which at one time had such a world empire that they could boast that “the sun never set on the Union Jack (the British flag)”; then her young lions would be the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and perhaps others aligned with England.

Since these are countries which are rich and have a great deal to do with world commerce; they, perhaps would fit the description given in Ezekiel best.

Well, we have spent the last nine or so paragraphs discussing places that no one can pinpoint exactly; but it is important to realize two things that these locations are within a very small radius – Arabia and England or Spain.

And that the world is a library if one knows the language or is willing to work hard to dig up facts about anything in history.

The exact answer as to who Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish are will come when it happens, but at least we can know what to look for and where to look.

The important thing is not to let current events (which can change overnight) dictate how you interpret prophecy.

The question asked by Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish is of importance, “Have you come to take plunder? …to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?”

This weak sister protest is all that is done because they have no desire to risk their comfort and riches to help a nation that they do not like anyway.

However there is an underlying question within this protest, “Will you take plunder, will you take silver and gold, great spoils, will you stop when you are finished with Israel?”

Now that is the question, will you stop? Nevertheless, no one lifts a finger to help Israel.

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘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, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”’” Ezekiel 38:14-16.

“…you will come from your place out of the far north”, while this is not best evidence, it is a good confirmation that the country God is speaking about is Russia. Find a map of Europe with Russia and Israel on it, then take your finger put it on Israel, then move your finger straight up north. You will find that Moscow is directly north and slightly east of Jerusalem.

To be exact, in degrees, minutes, and seconds; Moscow is E 37 deg. 37’ 2.1714”, and Jerusalem is E 35 deg. 12’ 49.398”, with the entire country of Israel being directly under Russia.

God’s purpose in allowing the invasion is also given in this passage,

“…I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:16b.

This verse in the King James Version is actually easier to understand in this case, “…that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.”

So God is saying that He will be hallowed, or sanctified, which means set apart as the holy God, from all other gods or religions. This will become most apparent to the people of Israel because right now they are gathered there in unbelief.

An Evil Plan, Part 1 taken from updated on 10-7-15, reposted on 2-8-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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