Somehow I ended up in Ezekiel last week. I don’t really read the old Testament. It can be hard to understand. But, as I read about about the battle of Gog and Magog, I couldn’t help but take notice with all that’s going on right now in the world. I wanted to understand it so I began doing some research. I hoped “Come Follow Me” would be covering this mext year, but as I skipped ahead, I didn’t see anything. So, I did a little more digging and came across the Old Testament Institute Student Manual.
It was interesting (understatment) to learn that Gog and Magog can actually refer to two battles, which, as I read, came to understand that these two wars will be the most notable events in time.
The following is taken from this section of the student manual:
(27-24) Ezekiel 38–39. The Battle of Gog and MagogProphecies of the Restoration (Ezekiel 25–48)
The following from Elder Bruce R. McConkie sums up the events of the battle of Armageddon:
“Our Lord is to come again in the midst of the battle of Armageddon, or in other words during the course of the great war between Israel and Gog and Magog. At the Second Coming all nations of the earth are to be engaged in battle, and the fighting is to be in progress in the area of Jerusalem and Armageddon. (Zech. 11; 12; 13; Rev. 16:14–21.) The prophecies do not name the modern nations which will be fighting for and against Israel, but the designation Gog and Magog is given to the combination of nations which are seeking to overthrow and destroy the remnant of the Lord’s chosen seed.
“The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel record considerable prophetic detail relative to this great war. It should be noted that it is to take place ‘in the latter years’; that it will be fought in the ‘mountains of Israel’ against those who have been gathered to the land of their ancient inheritance; that the land of Israel shall be relatively unprotected, a ‘land of unwalled villages’; that Gog and Magog shall come ‘out of the north parts’ in such numbers as ‘to cover the land’ as a cloud; that the Lord will then come, and all men shall shake at his presence; that there will be such an earthquake as has never before been known, which will throw down the mountains; that there will be pestilence, blood, fire, and brimstone descend upon the armies; that the forces of Gog and Magog will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel; that the Supper of the Great God shall then take place as the beasts and fowls eat the flesh and drink the blood of the fallen ones (Rev. 19:17–18; D. & C. 29:18–21); and that the house of Israel will be seven months burying the dead and seven years burning the discarded weapons of war.
“In the light of all this and much more that is prophetically foretold about the final great battles in the holy land, is it any wonder that those who are scripturally informed and spiritually enlightened watch world events with great interest as troubles continue to foment in Palestine, Egypt, and the Near East?” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 324–25.)
That the battle before the Millennium, which is known as the battle of Armageddon, makes reference to Gog and Magog may at first be confusing since the last great battle at the end of the Millennium is called the battle of Gog and Magog by John (see Revelation 20:7–9). But the names “Gog” and “Magog” are used for both battles because they symbolize an alliance of great, evil power. President Joseph Fielding Smith clarified this point as follows: “Before the coming of Christ, the great war, sometimes called Armageddon, will take place as spoken of by Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Another war of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:45.)
Obviously the battle seen by Ezekiel will be one of the greatest events of the world’s history, and so it is not surprising that the prophets speak of it again and again. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, and John the Revelator all speak of it in some detail, and it is mentioned in several places in latter-day scripture. (See Enrichment I.)
(27-25) Ezekiel 38:1–2. Gog and MagogProphecies of the Restoration (Ezekiel 25–48)
The terms Gog and Magog are often joined together, as, for example, in the phrase the “battle of Gog and Magog” (see Revelation 20:8). Thus, many people assume the terms refer to two people by those names. Ezekiel 38:1–2shows clearly, however, that Gog is a name of a person and Magog the land from which he comes. Technically, “Gog of Magog” is the correct way to say it. Over the centuries, however, the names have come to mean the combination of nations that will fight against Israel in the last days. (See Notes and Commentary on Ezekiel 38–39.)