Bible Question:

Will there be a Psalm 83 war before the Gog and Magog war described in Ezekiel?

Bible Answer:

The invasion of Israel by the nations of the world at the end of the Tribulation is described in Revelation 16:13-21; 17:10-14; 19:11-19. The purpose of this study to explain when the events described in Ezekiel 38-39 will occur. The question we are concerned with is does the Battle of Gog and Magog occur before, at or after the battle of Second Coming? That question, “Will the battle of Gog and Magog occur before Armageddon? ” is answered in this article along with the question is there war before the invasion of Gog?

Valley of Jezreel

Valley of Jezreel

Build Up Before the Battle of Armageddon

The seven year tribulation period (Daniel 9:27) that occurs after the rapture of the church will end with the second coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-16) at the battle of Armageddon (Daniel 7:23-27; 9:27; 11:40-45; Joel 3:1-17; Zephaniah 3:8-11; Zechariah 12:1-11; 14:1-8; Revelation 16:16-21). Both the Old and New Testaments tell us that the armies of the world will gather together at the end of the tribulation to destroy Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon (Joel 3:3; Zechariah 14:2 and Revelation 16:16-21; 19:17-19). But the armies of the nations of the world, the antichrist, and the false prophet will be defeated when Christ comes (Daniel 11:40-45; Revelation 19:18-21).

Daniel 11:40-45 tells us that prior to the final battle of Armageddon, there will be some preliminary battles in the land of Israel,  also called the Beautiful Land. There will be a series of conflicts between the king of the South and of the North. For an explanation of the battles visit, “The Antichirst – The Past & The Future.”  In this passage we are told the antichrist will defend himself against various nations of the world (v. 40-43).

Timeline of The Future

At the Battle of Armageddon

In Daniel 11:40-45 we are told that the antichrist will be defeated when the king of the North and other nations send their armies to defeat him. Daniel 7:25-26 describes his defeat and death with these words,

He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Daniel 7:25-26 (NASB)

This is part of the battle of Armageddon. Joel 3:2, 8-9 and Zephaniah 3:8 state that God will gather all of the armies of the world against Israel.  Zechariah 14:1-2 also tells us that God gathers nations of the world against Israel. Then in Zechariah 14:3-4, we are told the second coming of Christ will occur and He will defeat the nations of the world. These events are also described in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 19:17-19. For more information visit, “End of the Rule of Men.”

Does the “Battle of Gog and Magog” Occur Before Armageddon?

The battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 occurs at the end of the tribulation period at the Battle of Armageddon, which will occur just before the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:7-10). There are three reasons why the battle in Ezekiel 38-39 occurs during the Battle of Armageddon.

First, the description of the events of Ezekiel 38:1-39:20 is consistent with the description of the king of the North in Daniel 11:44-45 and the battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 19:15, 17-19 and Zechariah 14:2. Ezekiel 38:4-6 describes the armies that will join Gog, who is the leader of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2; 39:1). Ezekiel 38:10-19 reveals that God will “hook” Gog and drag his army to engage in battle in Israel. This agrees with Zechariah 14:2 and Revelation 19:17-19.

Ezekiel 38:16 and 39:1-6 tell us that Israel will be invaded by Gog, the prince of prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:3). Ezekiel 39:17-20 states the birds will eat the flesh of the dead soldiers. This agrees with Revelation 19:17-19.

Then Ezekiel 39:9 says Israel will spend seven years destroying the weapons of the battle and Ezekiel 39:12 says it will take seven months to bury the corpses of the dead bodies after the battle.

Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them. Ezekiel 39:9 (NASB)

For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. Ezekiel 39:12 (NASB)

A seven year period of destroying weapons which will include burying corpses (Ezekiel 39:11-14) eliminates the possibility that the battle occurs in the middle of the tribulation since the seven years period would extend past the second coming of Christ. The point is the battlefield at Hamon-gog would not be cleared in time for another battle in the same location, that is, at Armageddon.

It also eliminates the possibility the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 is the rebellion in Revelation 20:7-10, since the universe is destroyed at that time and the great white judgment occurs afterward (Revelation 20:11-15). The point is why bury anyone and destroy the weapons if the universe is going to be destroyed? Thus, we must conclude that the battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 focuses on the king of the North and the forces that join him. For more information visit, “Does the battle of Gog and Magog occur after the Second Coming?

Conflicts Prior To Armageddon

Psalm 83 is a plea for God to rescue the nation of Israel from its enemies. It does not describe events that occur in the tribulation period. Yet, it is true that God will rescue Israel from utter defeat and annihilation. In Matthew 24:3-8, we are told that the disciples had asked Christ to tell them what would be the sign of His coming. They were referring to Christ’s second coming or Christ’s return to earth. Jesus then explained that in verse 6 that rumors of war would occur and conflicts including wars would be common.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Matthew 24:4-8 (NASB)

This means that wars and conflicts will be common before the tribulation and throughout the tribulation – even as we experience today. But in the tribulation, there will be more wars and conflicts than in the past.


Matthew 24:15-28 tells us that during the tribulation wars will escalate and Jews and Christians will be murdered. But the climax every Christian will look forward to is the second coming of Christ.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-31 (NASB)

Every Christian looks forward to the kingdom that will follow. It is a kingdom of peace and righteousness.

. . . for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 (NASB)

Suggested Links:

What is the Battle of Armageddon? Which nations will be there?
Armageddon Is Coming
The Future Antichrist and the Battle of Armageddon
What are the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 signs and 7 bowls of Revelation?
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and The Tribulation
Does the rapture occur before the tribulation period?
How can we know who is the antichrist?
Does the battle of Gog and Magog occur after the Second Coming?
The Antichirst – The Past & The Future