Is the Battle of God and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39 the Same
as the One in Revelation 20?

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

The context of these two passages shows that the battles take place at different times; in fact, they are separated by at least 1,000 years. The battle foretold by Ezekiel apparently takes place in the middle of the tribulation period when every Jew on earth has returned to the Promised Land (Ez. 39:28). The battle of Gog and Magog in Revelation 20 takes place after the 1,000 years, just prior to the eternal state.


The question has been raised why both battles are called Gog and Magog. The similarity of the name, “Gog and Magog,” seems to be that this is a descriptive term speaking of an all-out attack on Israel in the land which will prove to be disastrous for the attackers. One would speak of Waterloo, which has come to be the term for any disastrous defeat, such as “Hitler met his Waterloo in Stalingrad.” This battle in the middle of the tribulation, when Russia and her confederates attack Israel, will be repeated on a much grander world-wide scale at the end of the millennium.

There are certain similarities and important differences between the two battles.


The names of both battles is identical. Both battles involved a disastrous attack on God’s people. The purpose is the same, to destroy the saints. The place is the same, an attack against Israel, especially Jerusalem.


But there are some major differences. As mentioned, the battle of Ezekiel takes place in the middle of the tribulation, the battle of Revelation 20 takes place at the end of the millennium.

Ezekiel’s battle involves Russia and her confederates. The battle in Revelation involves all Gentiles.

In Ezekiel’s battle, the attackers come from “the uttermost parts of the north,” a term used many times in the passage. In Revelation, the enemy approaches from the four corners of the earth.

The punishment in Ezekiel involves eight specific judgments; the destruction in the second battle is occasioned by fire.


  1. To demonstrate the incurable wickedness of Satan.
  2. To show that even a perfect environment will not change men’s hearts (Isaiah 53).
  3. To justify God’s eternal punishment of man.
  4. To show that universal knowledge of God is not the same as personal knowledge (Isaiah 11:9).

Individuals who accept Christ during the tribulation and are alive at the end will enter the millennium in their natural bodies. Their children and future generations will be born with a sin nature. Outward conformity to Christ’s rule will not mean that those born in the millennium will necessarily turn to Christ as Savior. Satan deceives the unsaved whose rebellious heart prompts them to join him in his revolt.

One wonders why Satan resumes his efforts to attack Christ and annihilate His people. He knows Scripture, thus he knows the outcome. His efforts illustrate the sinfulness of sin. The attack on Jerusalem demonstrates the impenitence, iniquity and incorrigibility of Satan and his depraved followers. The second battle of Gog and Magog involves the final rebellion of Satan and sinners. Martin Luther foresaw the glorious outcome with the words, “For lo, his doom is sure. . .”

© Manfred E Kober

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