Ezekiel 39: The Aftermath of the Gog and Magog Attack
UPDATED 29 November 2020
9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God. 11 “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord God. 14 “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land.” ’ (Ezekiel 39)
Many believe that this attack will happen soon after the Rapture, which will occur in the latter days, just before the seven-year tribulation begins, because it takes Israel seven years to decontaminate the land. The coalition is foretold to attack Israel from the north in a bid to destroy it during the earth's "last days," commonly known as the "war of Gog and Magog.
Convergence of Events: Gog and Magog Alliance Against Israel (Ezekiel 38 and 39)
On Wednesday 25 November 2020, I posted this article on a Christian forum after catching up with my daily morning devotion in the evening! I usually follow a daily schedule of bible reading from the Old and New Testament including Psalms and Proverbs. My scheduled reading was on Ezekiel 39 and no matter how times I've read this (a lot), I still see another aspect of how things are falling into place prophetically.
This chapter is a continuation of Ezekiel chapter 38 of the destruction of Gog, which is both repeated, but covers the aftermath of the war which includes an account of the burning of his weapons of war, which will last seven years in burning, during which time there will be no need of the use of wood, Ezekiel 39:9, and of the burial of him, and many of his army; the place where, and the time that will be taken up in doing this, even seven months, are observed, Ezekiel 39:11, and every feathered fowl and beast of the field are called upon to feed on the flesh of those that are left unburied, Ezekiel 39:17.
The prophetic description in Ezekiel 38–39 of the invasion of “Gog, of the land of Magog” are well-known prophecies and the subject of much debate among Christians and religious Jews, it is a subject that I have covered extensively. Current world events are beginning to increasingly resemble the 2,500-year-old bible prophecy made by Ezekiel in chapters 38-39.
Ezekiel foresaw the rise of Russia, Turkey, Persia (Iran) in alliance with their allies and Gomer, depending on the interpretation, could be Germany, while others say it refers to part of the geographical territory in modern Turkey. According to the prophecy in question, "many peoples with you" who will attack along "the mountains of Israel" implies that other countries will be involved in the Russian alliance: Sudanese, Ethiopian and Libyan coalition, and who border on the mountains of Israel. This includes Lebanon, Syria and possibly Jordan as well.
Russia, Israel and the Middle East
Soviet influence in the Middle East reached its height in the 1960s and 1970s, when Soviet-Russia falsely warned its Arab allies of an imminent Israeli attack, which started the 1967 Six Day War. In response to the false report, Egypt, the largest Arab state with a population of 31 million, massed troops on its border with Israel and imposed a naval blockade of Israel’s southern port, an act of war. In the lead-up to the war, the Soviets then provided significant economic aid and weaponry to arm Egypt and the Arab nations.
The Soviet Union had played a central role in escalating tension in the Middle East and had falsely accused Israel of massing forces on the Syrian border. For the first time, Moscow sent much of its Black Sea fleet into the Mediterranean and backed up the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, when he blocked Israeli shipping in the Red Sea and demanded the removal of the United Nations force from Sinai.
In memoirs published recently, Nikita Khrushchev said the USSR's military command persuaded its political leadership to support these steps, knowing they were aimed at starting a war to destroy Israel.
Mr Khripunkov's account confirms how near the Soviets came to implementation of a "contingency plan". An officer of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) later told a senior American analyst that the defence minister, Andrei Grechko, and his team wanted to "provide the progressive Arabs with a unique and historic achievement - the destruction of Israel" for which "they would remain eternally beholden to Moscow". Though the Soviets were confident of the Arabs' capability to defeat Israel, the contingency plan was prepared. How Six Day war almost led to Armageddon
In the wake of an air attack by the Syrians on the first day of the war, Israel dealt a shattering blow to the Syrian air force. Hostilities continued in the days that followed, and on fifth day of the war, the Israelis mustered enough forces to remove the Syrian threat from the Golan Heights. This difficult operation was completed the following day, bringing the active phase of the war to a close.
The Israeli military was outnumbered on all fronts and in all services. The very fact that Israel survived was a miracle; “that we not merely survived, but won a decisive victory, infinitely more miraculous.” Just as God promised the Jews, when facing the Egyptians in the book of Exodus, and again in 1967, the God of Israel eternal promise remains true to His Word that "The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you."
Following Israel’s victory, the USSR brought pressure to bear on Israel to withdraw from the territories it had captured and even cut off relations with Israel a second time, while continuing to arm the Arab states.
After the Six-Day War, there was no serious diplomatic efforts to resolve the issues at the heart of the Arab–Israeli conflict. In September 1967, the Arab states formulated the "three nos" policy, barring peace, recognition or negotiations with Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser believed that only military initiative would compel Israel or the international community to facilitate a full Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, and hostilities soon resumed along the Suez Canal. After the war, a series of antisemitic purges began in Communist countries.
The March 1969-August 1970 Israeli-Egyptian War of Attrition, often overlooked episode in history, when Soviet Union pilots and SAM system crews fought the Israeli pilots and was a direct result of Israel’s resounding military victory and the capture of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Sinai Peninsula. Hostilities continued until August 1970 and ended with a ceasefire and the frontiers remaining the same as when the war began.
Russia and the Syrian War
Today, Russia is operating in the Middle East through traditional hard power strategies, supplying arms and equipment in support of regional hard-liners and pursue its own national or imperial geopolitical interest.
Since 2010, we have been witnessing extraordinary events in the Middle East with the rise of Arab Spring, when ordinary people marched the streets of several Middle Eastern countries in open rebellion against their governments. The anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions spread across much of the Arab world. The wave of initial revolutions and protests faded by mid-2012, as many Arab Spring demonstrations met with violent responses from authorities, as well as from pro-government militias, counter-demonstrators, and the military.
The aftermath of the Arab Spring resulted in large-scale conflicts that included the Syrian Civil War; the rise of ISIL, insurgency in Iraq and the following civil war; the Egyptian Crisis, coup, and subsequent unrest and insurgency; the Libyan Civil War; and the Yemeni Crisis and following civil war. The regimes that lacked major oil wealth and hereditary succession arrangements had regime change.
The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Syrian government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for Assad's removal were violently suppressed.
On 30 September 2015, at an official request by the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, the Russian Aerospace Forces began a sustained campaign of air strikes against both ISIL and the anti-Assad rebel groups. Initially, the raids were conducted solely by Russian aircraft stationed in the Khmeimim Russian base in Syria. “Russia plans to expand its Hmeymim Air Base in Syria to ensure that its operations run smoothly and to enhance its security by adding extra aprons, building barracks and a hospital, as well as assigning extra space for large transport aircraft, etc., an unnamed source in the Russian Defense Ministry told Izvestiya 11 August 2016. The plan first surfaced in late 2015, but its implementation was postponed until the "status of the object was determined," the source added, providing specific details on Hmeymim's future.”
The military intervention in the Syrian civil war was only the first phase of Russia’s more expansive move into the Middle East, one whose consequences would reach well beyond Syria. The initial deployment of Russian aircraft to the Hmeimim Air Base in September 2015 was followed by the deployment of advanced S-300 and S-400 air defense systems later that year, ostensibly prompted by the shoot down of the Russian aircraft by Turkish aircraft in November 2015.14 Though the air defense systems provided Russian aircraft operating over Syria with an additional edge over potential adversaries, the S-400’s 400-kilometer range extended the Russian military’s ability to see and shoot at airborne targets over most of Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, parts of Turkey, Israel, and Jordan. With the deployment of these air defense weapons, as well as antiship cruise missiles, the Russian military acquired a potent anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) capability over the Levant and eastern Mediterranean.15 Any other military operating there would have to coordinate its actions with Russian commanders. After a long absence, Russia was back as a military power to be reckoned with in the Middle East. Russia in the Middle East: Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Carnegie Endowment
In October 2015, despite multiple top-ranking casualties incurred by the Iranian forces advising fighters in Syria, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah offensive targeting rebels in Aleppo went ahead. Interestingly, in January, Iran and Russia signed a joint military cooperation agreement.
According to Putin’s official statements before the campaign, its primary aim was to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS); the main goal was to pave the way for peace talks by defeating “international terrorism.” Russia’s military involvement marked a serious escalation of its military presence. It deployed 28 combat aircraft to its base in Syria and in addition to the 150,000 Russian troops Russia’s president Vladimir Putin sent to Syria, Putin put together a coalition of countries, including Syria, Iran, Iraq and, more recently China, to fight against ISIS in Syria and neutralize their meteoric rise to power. Iran is an opponent of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as “ISIS", "Islamic State", and "Daish".
Between 2015 and 2018, the Democratic Union Party (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG), greatly expanded their zone of control in Syria’s north east, far beyond the majority-Kurdish areas they have governed since 2012. Harnessing air and special forces support from the U.S., the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized from the Islamic State (ISIS) nearly all the territory the jihadists had controlled east of the Euphrates river, including Syria’s most significant oil fields. On 17 January 2018, a speech by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Syria policy rolled out in early 2018 centred on a U.S. intention to remain indefinitely in areas it helped the Kurdish-led SDF take from ISIS in northern and eastern Syria. The YPG/PYD’s competitors is Turkey.
In 2017, U.S.-backed forces said Sunday they had captured Syria’s largest oil field from Islamic State militants who had held it since 2014 and used it as a major source of revenue. The Syrian Democratic Forces seized the al-Omar oil field while regime forces were advancing toward it. Both sides are racing to capture as much territory as possible from Islamic State in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
The Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what are now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) – retains deep organisational, personal and ideological links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which continues a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state; Turkey, the U.S. and European Union (EU) designate it a terrorist organisation but its not that simple:
Let’s be very clear if it was not for the PKK, then the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is supported by the US in fighting ISIS in Syria, would never have been as successful as they are. It was the PKK that led the defense of Kobane, sparking the US decision to beginning arming and later training Kurdish forces. The US and the Coalition know very well that the Kurds in Syria consider themselves as part of the Kurdish freedom movement led by Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK. (Ocalan is currently imprisoned in Turkey). Ocalan was based in Syria for many years, and during this period he met and organized tens of thousands of youth who now are part of the SDF and its main component, the YPG armed forces. The majority of the Kurds in Syria are as supportive to Ocalan as the Kurds of Turkey, because they had ongoing frequent contacts with Ocalan and his senior advisers, among them the three men now on the US reward list. It is true the PKK and the PYD/YPG are two different organizations, but let’s not forget they have a single leader – Ocalan. YPG is not PKK but Ocalan is leader of both by Kamal Chomani for The Jerusalem Post. Kamal Chomani is a Kurdish journalist who focuses on Kurdish political issues.
For the US, Turkey sold itself as a key to security in northern Syria and a potential partner against Iran. Even though Turkey’s actual policy has been to encourage the US to enter into dialogue with Tehran, and even though Turkey hosts Hamas, the US sees Turkey as a historic key to the Middle East. Turkish soft power, through government-chartered English-language media, and funding of academics and lobbying, has helped Ankara as well.
All this got the US and Turkey to work closely to fight the PKK, sharing intelligence from drones and getting the US to put a bounty on the heads of PKK members. From the US view, this is fighting terrorism, although it begs the question of why the US isn’t concerned that Hamas terrorists are hosted in Turkey. How can one fight one terrorist group and host another? But the key to understanding this is simply that the US and EU think they need Turkey more than Turkey needs them. The anti-Kurdish lobby: Why Western policymakers often betray Kurds - Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
In March 2019, the US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria declared military victory over IS. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) (a group largely made up of Kurdish fighters) gained control of the town Baghuz, which was the final stronghold of ISIS.
This was a major moment in the fight against ISIS. At the group's most powerful, they controlled 34,000 square miles of land - approximately the size of the UK - stretching across Syria and Iraq.
The Center for Global Policy, a think tank in Washington, summaries Russia’s relationship with Turkey as a result of the Syrian war:
In October 2019, Turkey invaded territories east of the Euphrates Region, triggering a Russian advance into the area and offering an opportunity. Russia has made use of its prior knowledge of this area’s history, social fabric, and habits, as well as the intricacies of the tribal system, rolling out social, military, and economic plans to consolidate Russian influence. Russia was helped by historic goodwill among locals, particularly Kurds, generated by 40 years of steady cultural exchange, including admitting thousands of Syrian students into Soviet (and later Russian) universities.
The Russians have benefited from arrangements with Turkey regarding the general area east of the Euphrates Region, specifically in the northern countryside of Hasakah, which has increased Russian influence including among fighting groups. The Russian military also exploited the U.S. withdrawal after the Turkish incursion, quickly occupying military bases vacated by U.S. troops and landing helicopters onsite to prevent U.S. strikes on infrastructure and runways in particular.
Syria has long been a key Russian ally and client in the Middle East. The relationship dates back to Soviet times, when the regime of President Hafez al-Assad allowed the Soviet Union to open a naval supply depot in the city of Tartus. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the crumbling of its military, the Tartus base came to be seen as one of the Russian Federation’s key strategic assets, its only facility in the Eastern Mediterranean and one of only a handful of Russian bases on foreign soil. This relationship formed a key part of Soviet policy in the Arab world and Russia’s ambition in the Middle East is two-fold.
According to a March 2007 brief entitled Russia's New Middle Eastern Policy: Back to Bismarck? by Ariel Cohen (Institute for Contemporary Affairs):
Syria ... was supplying Hizbullah with Russian weapons. In 2006, Israeli forces found evidence of the Russian-made Kornet-E and Metis-M anti-tank systems in Hizbullah's possession in southern Lebanon. The Russian response to accusations that it was supplying terrorist groups with weapons was an announcement, in February 2007, that Russia's military will conduct inspections of Syrian weapons storage facilities with the goal of preventing the weapons from reaching unintended customers. Predictably, such developments placed considerable strain on the already-deteriorating relations between Russia and Israel... For several years Russia has been attempting to engage in military cooperation with both Israel and Syria. However, the levels of cooperation with the two states are inversely related and an escalation of arms sales to Syria can only damage the relationship with Israel. Russian-Syrian military cooperation has gone through numerous stages: high levels of cooperation during the Soviet era, which was virtually halted until 2005, and now Russia's attempt to balance its relationship with both Israel and Syria. However, Russia's recent eastward leanings might indicate that Moscow is prepared to enter a new stage in its military cooperation with Syria, even if this is to the detriment of its relationship with Israel.
Furthermore, Russia’s military presence in Syria also serves long-term objectives related to its own expansionary military doctrine. In 2017, Russia and Syria signed an agreement on the Russian naval base near the port of Tartus and has allocated $500 million to modernize the port. The document assumes the presence of Russian ships in the Syrian port for a period of 49 years.
Though Israel has in the past had warm relations with Turkey and even Iran, Syria's objective “since the establishment of Israel in 1948 has been the destruction of the Jewish State; however, the IDF has defeated the Syrian army in every major military engagement. Syria subsequently preferred to confront Israel indirectly by supporting the Iranian-backed terrorists from Hezbollah in Lebanon”.
The significance of the Arab Spring is the raging war in Syria and the involvement of Russia, Iran and Turkey at Israel’s northern border. Russia is DIRECTLY north of Israel and Syria too is on Israel’s northern border, and to the northeast.
Israel's Strategic Borders
In the days of Moses, it had been located in the land inherited by the half-tribe of Manasseh (Deuteronomy 3:13; Joshua 13:29–31). It was set apart for the Levites as “a city of refuge for one accused of murder” (Joshua 21:27; see also Numbers 35) and Israel needs to possess it today to protect its people and land, it is their land.
The place “Golan”, meaning “their captivity: their rejoicing” in Hebrew, is mentioned in the Bible as one of the “refuge cities” in a region called Bashan (Deut 4:43; Josh 20:8; 1 Chron 6:71). Bashan was located in land settled by the half tribe of Manasseh situated east of the Jordan River and Sea of Galilee.
Throughout the Old Testament, the Golan was the focus of a power struggle between the Kings of Israel and the Aramaeans (Syrians) who were based near modern-day Damascus.
The territory of the Golan Heights was removed from the bounds of the British Mandate and, in effect, from the bounds of the northern border of the future State of Israel. The Golan Heights were part of Syria until 1967, when Israel captured most of the area in the Six Day War, Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981.
Iran is constantly trying to approach the Israeli border on the Golan Heights, and the area has already seen cross-border rocket attacks which were organised by the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
In April 2019, President Trump gave US recognition to Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited a settlement in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Golan Heights, making him the first US secretary of state to visit such locations on an official visit to Israel. “You can’t stand here and stare out at what’s across the border and deny the central thing that President Donald Trump recognized, what the previous presidents have refused to do,” Pompeo said, referring to Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area last year. He condemned what he described as calls from “the salons in Europe and in the elite institutions in America,” for Israel to return the Golan to Syria, which the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed. “Imagine with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad in control of this place, the risk of the harm to the West and to Israel,” Pompeo said.
The Golan Heights were used in June 1948 by Syrian forces who invaded Israel when Arab states launched an attack in objection to the creation of the State of Israel.
The territory was used again against Israel in the Six Day War of 1967 when Israel first took the territory in defence, after being attacked. It was used again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War by Arab states, with Israel miraculously pushing back the onslaught against all odds.
Today with Iranian military having a foothold in Syria and with its proxy Hezbollah located just across Israel’s border, Israel is not going to surrender the Golan Heights, and neither should they, especially as Syria and the Iranian ayatollahs' regime calls for "resistance" to "liberate" the Golan Heights from Israel. Iran is constantly trying to approach the Israeli border on the Golan Heights, and the area has already seen cross-border rocket attacks which were organised by the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
But the notion that Moscow was in any way safeguarding Israeli interests in Syria should have been realised to be a fallacy in July 2018, at the latest, when Russia managed to neutralise Israel as a force laced with Iranian terrorists took over Deraa in southern Syria, on Israel’s northern border.
The Golan Heights / Northern border is Biblically, historically, militarily, and geopolitically significant. The escalating conflict in the Middle on Israel’s strategic borders with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan is catalyst for a future war. The fact that these countries and their alliances are uniting and are positioned northern Israel, as well as the southern border, is noteworthy. It confirms that we are in the “last days” and that the rapture can happen anytime now. Observation of current world event suggest that this invasion of Israel is imminent.
If anyone thinks that giving the Golan Heights back to Syria (after Israel captured it in the Six Day War of 1967) is the right thing to do or that it will result in peace, one only needs to understand the ultimate goal of Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah who are at the border of the Golan this very moment — total destruction of Israel.
While some applaud the coalition fighting against ISIS in Syria, others see a darker cloud gathering on Israel’s northern border. It has been suggested that Russia’s interest in assisting Syria is connected to the recent major oil find in Israel’s Golan Heights. The multi-national coalition that is currently on Israel’s northern border can rapidly turn against Israel over oil.
Sputnik News, an international news agency wholly owned and operated by the Russian government, is already claiming that the oil belongs to Syria. “The oil deposit lies in the Golan Heights, which is internationally recognized as Syrian territory but has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 war between Israel and Arab states.”
In October 2019, as part of campaign promise, Trump ordered all US troops to withdraw from the country’s north to avoid a bloody conflict between Turkey and formerly US-backed Kurdish fighters that “gets worse by the hour”, said Mark Esper, the Defense Secretary. This came as a shock to Israel as US presence in Syria has been holding a line that prevented Iran from having greater access to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and both Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Israel’s continuous conflicts with these organizations are actually proxy wars with Iran, as all three are funded by Iran, and two of the three (Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad) are of Iranian origin.
However, a fortnight after ordering a complete evacuation of US troops ahead of a Turkish incursion into north-eastern Syria, abandoning Kurdish partners in the fight against Isis, Trump changed his mind and said some forces should stay but only to “secure the oil”, stating that "I've always said that -- keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month. Keep the oil. We've secured the oil."
As I noted above, the north-eastern Syria holds vast oil fields including the Shaddadi, which has been known for its abundant oil and natural gas fields. In addition to Shaddadi, Kurdish groups have been controlling other strategic oil fields in north-eastern Syria.
According to POLITICO, an “American company has inked a contract with Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria to develop and export the region’s crude oil under a secretive deal approved by the U.S. government months after President Donald Trump announced he was leaving U.S. troops to “secure the oil,” multiple people familiar with the project told POLITICO.”
I think, though Trump’s comments is offensive and insensitive as it highlights the grab for oil by the western companies, Trump was properly persuaded, maybe by the Israelis and the US oil companies, to safeguard the Kurds’ control of the oilfields for American oil companies; but also with a view of protecting the potential of oil exploration in the Golan Heights, which again will benefit US companies. I know, from working for a multidisciplinary engineering firm, that news of new oilfields, such as this mega project, will be known long before the press releases, that was published in 2014/2015. The ‘Billions of Barrels of Israeli Oil’ Tapped in the Golan Heights could be the reason why, in 2015, Putin intervened in Syria.
Syria may soon turn its eyes on the Golan in Israel, wanting to capture it for themselves to kickstart their failing economy. Will Russia help them?
Israeli's Oil and Gas Boom
Israel is threat to these countries because of Israel’s oil, which could be why they are attacked “‘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 struggle oil and gas resources has been a conspicuous factor in many recent and past conflicts and wars.
As the Russian economy is solely based on oil revenues, it seeks to acquire more and secondly it wants to undermine US presence in the region in order to control it. For Russia, the Syrian war isn’t about Assad but about oil and the control of the Middle East. Incidentally, Syria awarded oil exploration contracts to two Russian firms.
Interestingly, as mentioned above, the “Kurds were able to seize a lot of those key oil fields in Eastern Syria” ... the “Conoco fields near Deir al-Zor, and another big gas field, the Omar gas field in Eastern Syria, are among the most lucrative resources that exist in Syria. So, it is important that, for the Kurds to have a sustainable economy, that they have access to those resources.” As Russia and Turkey are aligning, it maybe that Russia with support from the Kurd’s arch enemy (Turkey’s Erdogan), will recapture these oilfields.
In reality, it is Vladimir Putin who won - another mafioso-style president, the third and cleverest in this triumvirate of back-room dealers and opportunists. He would never be so gauche as to threaten Erdogan in the tone Trump did – he doesn’t need to. Putin’s troops are now stationed across almost all of Syria, and his jets and missile defence systems control the airspace. The US withdrawal has eliminated the last real counterbalance to Russian power in Syria. Whatever Putin offers, Erdogan literally can’t refuse.
Those inside Turkey who question Erdogan’s war are rarely let off easily. More than a hundred people, many of them Kurds, have been arrested for criticising the offensive, all of them accused of spreading terrorist propaganda. A crackdown on Kurdish politicians has been escalating since August, with seven Kurdish mayors removed from office in southeastern Turkey, and some of them detained in prison. Sezgin Tanrikulu, a heavyweight with the main secularist opposition party, is facing criminal charges for calling the assault a ‘war on Kurds’. The war on Kurds is good news for Erdogan - here’s why – The Spectator
Russia’s goals was to view Syria as an opportunity to expand its presence in the Middle East but even more broadly into the Eastern Mediterranean, which is really important to the United States and the NATO alliance. The East Mediterranean has been “an explorer’s paradise in the past decade with giant low-cost gas discoveries and “some of it is already being delivered by pipeline to Egypt and Israel, cutting their energy import bills and carbon footprints. History has largely sidelined Turkey. The way the maps of the territorial waters, continental shelves and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) are drawn means that Greece and its ally the Republic of Cyprus have the greatest access to the subsea spoils in the Aegean and huge swaths of the Levantine Sea”.
Dr. Efraim Inbar, president of Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, a conservative security think tank. He wrote about Israel’s eastern-front threats from Russia, Iran and Turkey in The Jerusalem Post.
“These gas riches are coveted by Iran’s allies (Syria and Hezbollah) as well as by Turkey and Russia,” Inbar explained, adding that “the importance of the eastern Mediterranean in international affairs has grown.”
Since the discovery, Russia and Iran have expanded their presence in the area. Russia has placed a naval base in Turkey and an air base in Syria. Iran, seeking a Shi’ite corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, plans air and naval bases on the Mediterranean coast. Inbar predicted that these moves will allow Iran to expand its power into the Balkans along the Mediterranean and then move farther into the growing Muslim communities of Europe.
Election of Biden and the Iran Nuclear Deal
In recent years US Administrations have done little to curb Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. However, with the election Trump, his policies were very popular with US allies and especially Israelis. During his term in office, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and acknowledged Israeli sovereignty on the Golan but President-elect Biden could reverse Trump’s policies including the Iranian Nuclear Deal, which has promised to rejoin.
One of the most important questions relates to US-Iranian relations and their impact on the region, with Tehran accused of intervening in several countries through various militias and political movements that it finances. Another concerns the future of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a clear message to US President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday that he would push back against American efforts to rejoin the Iran deal. “Do not return to the previous [Iran] nuclear deal,” Netanyahu said at a memorial service for first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. “We must keep to an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.”
Most leaders of the Arab world reached out to extend their congratulations to US President-elect Joe Biden, after his apparent victory over incumbent President Donald Trump.
However, one notable and conspicuous absence from those sending good wishes was Saudi Arabia. It enjoyed a close working relationship with Trump and is thought to have strongly favoured him over his Democratic Party rival. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are nervous over Biden’s decision to resurrect the Iran Nuclear Deal. The international media were reporting on a recent “historic” visit to Saudi Arabia by Netanyahu, though denied by the Saudis, that sends a “strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran.”
Jordan's King Abdullah II congratulated President-elect Biden, saying that that he hopes to cooperate on “supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and "advancing the historic partnership between Jordan and the United States in the interest of our shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity."
Those interests took something of a beating under the Trump administration; because although there remained a decent working relationship, the US president's policies - particularly a perceived bias in Israel's favour - did not go down well with ordinary Jordanians, many of whom have Palestinian origins.
Just recently, the Times of Israel reported that the“Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani on Wednesday urged the incoming Biden administration to consult with its allies in the Middle East before renegotiating a nuclear deal with Iran. Speaking in an interview with the Axios website during a visit to Israel, al-Zayani took a more cautious tone than that of Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have both urged US President-elect Joe Biden not to rejoin the 2015 deal, as Biden said he would during his campaign.”
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden advocated giving $200 million to Iran to show America's good intentions to the Islamic world. During the Iraq War, Biden was one of the most powerful voices calling for the US to cut a deal with Iran which would essentially transform post-Saddam Iraq into an Iranian satrapy.
Biden was one of the chief advocates of nuclear appeasement towards Iran, both in the years preceding his ascendance to the vice presidency under Obama and throughout Obama's nuclear talks with Iran. Those talks, of course, led to the conclusion of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that gave Iran an open path to a nuclear arsenal within a decade.
Since announcing his run for office, Biden – who was viciously critical of Trump's decision to abandon the nuclear deal – has pledged repeatedly that he will reinstate the US' commitment to the deal if elected, ensuring Iran acquires a nuclear arsenal.
Israel, the Sunnis and the return of a pro-Iran White House – Caroline Glick
Though much of Trump’s Presidency has been marred in false accusations of colluding with Russia, The New York Times published an inclusive timeline detailing how a Clinton crony, Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra, and others involved in the Uranium One deal donated tens of millions to the Clinton Foundation starting in 2006. The deal gave Uranium One, and thus Russia, access to 20 percent of the U.S. uranium market. The agreement enabled the Clintons to reap a financial windfall for their foundation and Bill personally.
According to John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill, back in 2007 Russian nuclear officials here in the United States working for Rosatom, Russia’s state-run uranium monopoly, were heavily engaged in extortion, bribery, kickbacks, and money laundering. Their mission was to do whatever it took to enable Putin to access U.S. uranium.
Russia has been trying to relieve itself of the economic slowdown it has faced ever since the West imposed sanctions on it for invading the Ukraine. To that end, Russia's state owned nuclear energy organization, Rosatom, of Uranium One stardom, has been attempting to develop nuclear cooperation with most of the countries in the Middle East. Russia apparently considers the Middle East and North Africa two of the most lucrative markets; countries in the Middle East have already expressed interest in building 90 nuclear power plants at twenty-six sites across the region by 2030…..
Russia, active during the "Iran deal" negotiations as a mediator between the E3 (Britain, Germany, France) with the United States on one side and Iran on the other, was one of the countries to gain from the Iranian nuclear deal – as was Rosatom. Russia, in 2015, signed nuclear cooperation agreements with both Iran and Jordan….
Russia, however, seems to be finding it easy to maneuver itself in the Middle East to establish a nuclear -- and diplomatic -- monopoly in the region. It has been providing lucrative offers to the Middle Eastern countries including financial packages for the nuclear deal. This means that Russia pre-financed the nuclear cooperation by providing loans that will later be paid off by the countries to which the loan has been provided. Russia has also been ensuring nuclear safety and waste management for the countries with which it is involved and sometimes even reprocesses spent fuel, as with Iran.
Russia's Dangerous Nuclear "Diplomacy" - by Debalina Ghoshal, Gatestone Institute
Russia - Israel Relations
Russia and Israel also have strong economic and cultural ties, given the significant population of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. On 6 September 2010, Russia and Israel signed a five-year military agreement. In 2019, Russian-Israeli trade reached $5bn, bringing Israel into the cohort of Russia’s main trade partners in the region, which included selling Israeli drones to Russia in 2009, 2010 and 2015. In December 2019, Israel revealed it had an agreement with Russia not to sell arms to Ukraine and Georgia, in exchange for Russia refraining from selling arms to Iran. But in 2016, according to TASS news agency, as reported by The Diplomat, Iran and Russia were negotiating a $10 Billion Arms Deal. Viktor Ozerov, from the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, said “There’s been no such request so far, but work on such issues is in progress. If the United States and Europe fail to grant permission, then we will get back to this issue in October 2020, when the formal legal aspect of this will be gone.”
He was referring to a long-standing conventional arms embargo imposed on Iran which has expired in line with the terms of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany) together with the European Union.
In a meeting with Netanyahu in June 2016, Putin described Israel and Russia as "unconditional allies" in "efforts to counter international terrorism". The presence of a large Russian diaspora in Israel has helped forge a special bond, with more than 17% of Israel’s population being Russian-speakers. Putin said during a speech “Citizens of Russia and Israel are connected by ties of family, kinship and friendship. This is a real network, a common family, I say without exaggeration. Israel has almost 2 million Russian-speaking citizens. We consider Israel a Russian-speaking state."
The diaspora is also considered to have significant political influence in Israeli politics. Netanyahu said in the past that he cites two reasons for the warm relations between Israel and Russia: more than one million Russian-speakers live in Israel, building a “human bridge” between the two countries, and the “direct relationship” between himself and Putin. In 2018, The FT, reported that in Syria “Mr Putin has allowed Mr Netanyahu free rein to pound Iranian targets near the Israeli border, discovering a counterbalance to the larger Shia forces within Syria, where Russia backs the regime of Bashar al-Assad in an uneasy collaboration with Iran.”
Alliances - The Northern Confederacy
Currently these three nations, Russia, Iran and Turkey, are on Israel’s northern border, the same border of Ezekiel prophecies where the attack comes from. Interestingly, Germany (Gomer) has economic and trade transactions, investments and historical relationships with Russia, Turkey and Iran. Dr John Walvoord provides an excellent commentary on Russia as the King of the North and its confederacy.
As well as these alliances, North Korea and China, though not mentioned in the prophecies, are in close alliance with the trio. Israel, even after numerous concerns, raised by the Trump Administration and the Israeli Intelligence Service, has allowed Chinese companies to take over key strategic infrastructure projects. This risk is more bewildering because of the close ties between China and North Korea, further complicated by the alliance between North Korea and Iran.
The security risks are alarming. The threat that China poses to Israel’s security infrastructure should be a concern as well as the defence relationship that Israel has with the US. Of concern is the theft of intellectual property by Chinese companies which is a major point of contention between the Trump administration and Chinese government. In July 2019, the Washington Post reported that Huawei "secretly helped" North Korea to build and maintain its commercial wireless network in conjunction with Chinese state-owned enterprise Panda International Information Technology Co. Troublingly, China and Iran recently announced a 25-year deal to extend Chinese-Iranian collaboration in various fields including military and other security-related activities. China, is also forming collective alliances with Iran, Turkey and Russia as well as signing bilateral agreements.
These three nations are for the first time forming a political pact, have signed treaties and held joint military exercises:
Iran, Shiite Muslims, are a sworn enemy of Israel and have expressed on numerous times of their intention to “eliminate” the “Zionists”. Seth J. Frantzman, Middle East affairs analyst, at The Jerusalem Post, regularly publishes articles on Iran’s and Turkey’s threat to Israel and the region, particularly the Sunni nations, as Iran’s unveiled a new missile system and a new ballistic missile facility with ‘missile train’. It is why the Sunnis are forming normalisation treaties with Israel to stand against the threat that Iran and Turkey poses. I recently posted an article, on why we should be concerned about the “normalisation” agreements, and how these events could relate to the Gog and Magog alliance.
Though, Turkey and Iran, differ greatly and are from different sects of Islam, there is an “emerging warm relationship runs counter to the ideas that have been put forward by commentators, think tanks, experts and strategists that have divided the Middle East into sectarian camps of “Sunni” and “Shi’ite.”
Iran unveiled a new ballistic-missile facility this week. Key military officials, including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps head Hossein Salami, showed off the new site and its apparently unique train-mounted ballistic-missile launcher. The underground facility appears to showcase Iran’s ability to hide its missiles and then bring them out in the open to fire at enemies. Iran and its allies in the region, from Iraq to Lebanon, are also seeking to reach out to China to supplant the US role. The pro-Iranian Badr Party in Iraq, for instance, has voiced support for more work with China. Concerns that Iran has renewed work with North Korea on ballistic missiles are tied to Iran bragging about its new launchers and facilities. The ballistic missiles are the cornerstone of Iran’s indigenous military program and new threats.”
Iran’s unveiled new ballistic missile facility with ‘missile train’ - Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
The Aftermath of Gog and Magog War – Ezekiel 39
9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God.
11 “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord God. 14 “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land.” ’ (Ezekiel 39)
Ezekiel predicts that the weapons, armour and shields of the invading army will be plundered and used for fuel in Israel. They will mark the place where they found the remains with a sign and remove the remains to a burial site in a valley east of the Dead Sea called Hamon Gog. It literally means, the valley of the “multitudes of Gog”.
H.A Ironside writes: 'So suddenly will death claim the myriads who formed these armies that there will be no opportunity to bury their own dead. The blow will come as it were in a moment: the dead bodies will be strewn everywhere in the valley of Hamon-gog... These decayed corpses will poison the very air, and would be a source of grievous pestilence to the whole land if steps were not taken almost immediately to properly inter them: therefore, a great squad of grave-diggers will be formed whose business it will be to go throughout the entire section where Gog's army has been destroyed, and bury the bodies in order to cleanse the land. For seven months this work will continue before the last bodies will have been covered from human sight. Anyone passing through this region beholding bones or corpses will be required to set up a sign in order that the buriers may see it and so inter the body as soon as possible. In this way the land will be cleansed from its defilement and the air purified. In the meantime, birds and beasts that feed upon carrion will assist in the work of clearing away the rotting corpses. '
One of things that puzzled me about Ezekiel 39 is in relation to the “seven years” and a passage in Revelation:
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. (Revelation 12:13-14)
We know that, in the middle of the tribulation, the Antichrist was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months [3½ years] and that he was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to pursue the woman representing Israel. Israel was given the two wings of a great eagle and escapes into a wilderness, “where she hath a place prepared of God”, for a time, times and half a time (3½ years).
How do we explain that it takes “the House of Israel” seven years to cleanse the land when Israel is in hiding? It could be that not all of Israel are part of the escape. We know this because of Zechariah’s prophecy that only a third of Israel will survive the reign of the Antichrist (Zechariah 13:9). They will also hire people to go around, and find the ones they missed, so that they also may be buried (Ezekiel 39:14). We should also remember that there are non-Jews living in Israel who may take part in the clean-up process.
Some have pointed out that Russian tanks are made out of something called lignastone, a composite that burns so hot that one can actually burn a tank as fuel. Many guns and rifles, and most notably the AK-47 assault rifle so popular in third world nations, have wooden stocks.
But I think that we should consider nuclear weapons as these weapon-grade uranium and plutonium can now be converted and burn as a source of fuel, called MOX fuel.
According to World Nuclear Association:
Weapons-grade uranium and plutonium surplus to military requirements in the USA and Russia is being made available for use as civil fuel.
Weapons-grade uranium is highly enriched, to over 90% U-235 (the fissile isotope). Weapons-grade plutonium has over 93% Pu-239 and can be used, like reactor-grade plutonium, in fuel for electricity production.
Highly-enriched uranium from weapons stockpiles has been displacing some 8850 tonnes of U3O8 production from mines each year, and met about 13% to 19% of world reactor requirements through to 2013.
For more than five decades, concern has centred on the possibility that uranium intended for commercial nuclear power might be diverted for use in weapons. This gave way to a focus on the role of military uranium as a major source of fuel for commercial nuclear power….. In 1994, a US$13 billion implementing contract was signed between the US Enrichment Corporation (now USEC Inc) and Russia's Techsnabexport (Tenex) as executive agents for the US and Russian governments. USEC purchased 500 tonnes of weapons-grade HEU over 20 years to 2013, at a rate of up to 30 tonnes/year from 1999.
The following is a comment on this US situation from Dr C. Wolfe, former chairman of the Technical Advisory Panel to the Department of Energy's Plutonium Focus Area, whose task had been to advise on technology to enable the disposition of the excess plutonium: In discussion with Russia "the USA often emphasized elaborate technology schemes to immobilize the plutonium in a proliferation-resistant state. These included grouts, synthetic rock, glass and co-disposal with spent nuclear fuel. The Russians were astounded. They couldn't believe that we were willing to take this material, which we had spent billions of dollars producing, and just throw it away. Not only throw it away, but spend a lot of additional money to get rid of it. The Russians saw it for what it was: a tremendous energy resource. The US eventually came to the same conclusion and opted for converting 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium into MOX fuel to provide electrical energy for the US economy." (Aiken Standard 10/8/09) Military Warheads as a Source of Nuclear Fuel
The head of Rosatom reported to the president in September 2015: “Industrial operation has begun at a new MOX fuel (uranium-plutonium fuel) production plant, the first such plant in history. Our American partners have still not managed to finish the plant they were building. They have already spent $7.7 billion on it and, as Congress informs, they are now going to suspend the project because no one knows how much more money it will cost. We built our plant in 2.5 years at a cost of a little over $200 million, or 9.6 billion rubles. The plant is working and is now reaching industrial capacity.” Russia's Nuclear Fuel Cycle
During the cold war, the economic and military potential of the Soviet Union was strong enough to produce armaments in sufficient quantity to meet the needs not only of its own armed forces but also of many other countries. The Middle East became a major export market for Soviet arms.
Though the “cold war” is over, Russia is seeking to sell advanced military hardware to several US allies in the Middle East, potentially securing lucrative deals in the region for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia has long been the world’s second largest arms exporter after the US, with average annual income in 2012−15 reaching $14.5 billion. But over the few years, it has particularly increased its arms and nuclear weapon exports to the Middle East, part of a broader Russian strategy of re-establishing Moscow as a key player in the region.
Russian strategy of re-establishing Moscow as a key player in the region, is a significant concern for the international community and Israel, especially over Russia’s "oversight and regulation". “The only Middle Eastern country where Russia is not leading the pack is the United Arab Emirates, where South Korea, in its first major nuclear export deal in 2009, won a contract to build four nuclear reactors, the first of which is expected to come online in 2017.“
The Red Heifer and Ezekiel 39
If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance from the slain man to the surrounding cities. 3 And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer... (Deuteronomy 21)
The generally accepted position among Orthodox Jews is that the full order of the sacrifices will be resumed upon the building of the Temple. This belief is embedded in Orthodox Jewish prayer services. Throughout almost 1,900 years of exile, the Jewish people yearned to return to Israel, build the Third Temple in Jerusalem and restore the Temple service. Three times a day, Orthodox Jews recite the Amidah, “May the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily and in our day”, it contains the prayers for the Temple's restoration and for the resumption of sacrifices, and every day there is a recitation of the order of the day's sacrifices and the psalms the Levites would have sung that day.
Although Jewish people have always lived in the Holy Land, after the Holocaust the Jews began returning to Israel en masse. In 1948, the Jewish nation was prophetically reborn (Isaiah 66:7–8) as the State of Israel, and ever since Jews have been streaming back to the Land from all four corners of the earth.
Since 1967, there has been a movement in Israel to rebuild the Holy Temple; however, the main obstacle is that the Temple Mount is currently occupied by the Dome of the Rock. Today, many of the preparations for the Third Temple have already been completed, including the sacred worship vessels and priestly garments to be worn by the Levites in Temple services.
For many years Christians have been watching as the religious leaders of Israel search for a red heifer, but many of us seem to associate this, like the religious leaders, with the Third Temple and current priesthood that is being assembled. But none of the scriptures about the Antichrist or the Third Temple mentions the red heifer. But these religious leaders are doing this in error, which is to receive the Messiah, according to their sages in the Talmud and the current Rabbinic Judaism teachings. But we know that many of the rituals and sacrifices refer to our Lord's first coming.
The turning point for Israel religious awakening was the 1967 war, where Israel defeated their enemies against all the odds. Out of this victorious war emerged two leaders, who were energised to form two separate organisations, the Temple Institute, founded twenty years later, their goal is build the final temple and to “rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind”. The founder and head of the Temple Institute, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, served in the paratrooper brigade which liberated the Temple Mount in the Six Day War of 1967, and was one of the first soldiers to reach the Mount.
The second organisation is The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, established in 1967 its leader and founder is a former Israel Defense Forces Offer, Gershon Salomon, during the participation in the liberation of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. The Temple Mount Faithful was the first significant group to advocate the Jewish takeover of the Temple Mount. Through these organisations all that is necessary to build the Temple has been constructed including over ninety ritual items to be used in the Temple have been made, a school for group of students, certified as being from the priestly caste (kohanim), has been established to learn how to perform the Temple Service. The creation of the sacred uniform of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, and the ordinary priests, High Priest's Hoshen (breastplate) and Ephod, Tzitz, the golden crown of the High Priest and the garments for the lay priests has been completed.
The Rebirth of the Sanhedrin
On October 13, 2004, the Sanhedrin Council of the Jewish nation was reconstituted for the first time in 1,600 years. The Sanhedrin is a form of a Jewish rabbinical court. The ceremony took place in the Israeli town of Tiberias, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was the site of the council’s last meeting in the year 425 AD. Nascent means budding and Sanhedrin basically means “council.” Sanhedrin is found 22 times in the New Testament.
In 2009, The Temple Mount and Land of Israel and Faithful Movement placed two symbolic cornerstone at the Dung Gate, the southern entrance to the Jewish quarter of the walled Old City. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement and Temple Institute have created architectural drawings and layout of the Third Temple. More recently, after President Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Nascent Sanhedrin, Minted Silver Half Shekel with Images of Trump and Cyrus. More recently, they have established an international court to address legal issues relating to Israel and the land. Is there a prophetic significance?”
We know that there will be sacrifices in the Third Temple because the Antichrist "takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration is set up to be worshiped..(Daniel 12:11).
Just as the regathering of the Jewish People is fulfilment of Bible prophecy, so too is the building of the Third Holy Temple. But the Temple service can’t begin without the parah adumah (red heifer). “Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its [red heifer] blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tent of Meeting.” (Numbers 19:4)
But could there be another reason as to why the heifer is important, other than the preparation of the priesthood and the Third Temple, one that is actually specific and scriptural that relates to the end-times? Ezekiel 39 is the only scripture that mentions the heifer and cleansing the land that aligns with the prophetic end-time timeline. Could the efforts of these religious leaders / organisations instead be the catalyst for fulfilling the heifer spoken of in Ezekiel 39?
12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord God. 14 “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land. Ezekiel 39
For the Jewish people to have dead bodies around them it is to be ceremonial unclean. So, for seven months Israel is considered ceremonially unclean. Chapter 39 describes, for the first time, the actions necessary to purify the land (v. 12). So, while we may have assumed that the purification of the people would also have led the land to be purified, there is, in fact, a precondition: removal of the causes of defilement. This name may allude to the past sins that were committed in in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, a place known as a location where children were passed through fire. This name may allude to the past sins that were committed in in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, a place known as a location where children were passed through fire (Jeremiah 2:23; II Chronicles 27:3).
The impurity of a corpse is mentioned explicitly in Ezekiel 9:7, and accords with the bible's teaching that physical contact with bones, or their presence together with a person within a tent, cause the person to become ritually impure (Numbers 19).
Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away (Jeremiah 7:32-33)
The religious leaders are in a race to find a red heifer for the Temple, the same Temple that the Antichrist will desecrate but maybe God is using this initiative to be used after the Gog and Magog battle. Also, in the law of Moses/ Mosaic Law, the dead must be buried immediately because exposed corpses (or even single bones) are a source of ritual contamination to the Land (cf. Num. 19:11-22; Deut. 21:1-9). Ezekiel 36:17-21 has already connected ritual purity and divine holiness, and the text here mentions the need to “cleanse the Land” three times (verses 12, 14, 16).
“If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance from the slain man to the surrounding cities. 3 And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer..." Deuteronomy 21
Could it be that we have ignored the significance of the heifer?