Isa 9.2-7 has a major prophecy about the Messiah, and we are establishing the fact that it is also a Sukkot passage. We have learned that verses 4-5 relate to the war with Gog and Magog. Isa 9.6 contains a traditional messianic passage where it says, “For child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Now, keep that in mind as we move on, and we will come back to that verse.
In Isa 9.7 it says, “There will be no end to the increase of his government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom. To establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Now, the word “increase” in v 7 is the Hebrew word “L’Marbeh” and in Hebrew the “M” is the letter “mem.” But, it is written in a final form. The letter mem can be written open or closed. The closed form is only used at the end of a word, but here the closed form is written at the beginning of the word. As Yeshua said in Matt 5.18, everything in the Hebrew letters means something, this means something. The Rabbi’s said that this indicates the “final” mem pointed to the fact that God wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah and Sennacherib Gog (Sanh 94a of the Talmud). Now, this is a midrash. God never intended to make Hezekiah the Messiah, but it was an explanation to explain the closed mem at the beginning of “L’Marabeh (increase).” But, it has some other interesting concepts.
Hezekiah was a picture of the Messiah, and he was a good king. But, we do have a midrash that says Hezekiah equals the Messiah and Sennacherib Gog. That is an important concept to remember, especially relating this chapter to the Assyrians, around the their defeat in Tishri, around Sukkot.
Now, let’s go to Ezek 38.1-17. When you read this portion, remember that this was the haftorah for the Intermediate (Chol ha Moed) Sabbath of Sukkot. Now, what we want you to see is verse 17 where it says, “Thus says the Lord God, “Are you the one of whom I spoke in the former days through my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for years that I would bring you against them?” Now you can read all of the Tanach and not find another reference to Gog and Magog, and yet the Lord just said he has been prophesying about them for years. There is a reference in Revelation, but that ins;t until the end of the Atid Lavo (Messianic Kingdom) and certainly not what he is referencing here.
So, if the prophets prophesied about Gog and Magog for years at the time of Ezekiel, where are the prophecies? They are not under the name “Gog and Magog” so they must be under the name of someone else. Part of Ezekiel 39 is also a part of the haftorah for the Intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot. In Ezekiel 39.2-6 we read about how Magog is invaded and their defeat by fire. Then, back in the land of Israel, the people make fuel out of the weapons left behind by Gog/Magog. Now, Ezek 39.22 is outside of the Haftorah reading for Sukkot, but it is important because it says that all of Israel will be saved at the defeat of Gog/Magog. That means that they believe in Yeshua as the Messiah and they will never turn away again.
In the Talmud, they identified the Assyrian’s as being Gog and Magog. This same conclusion was reached by H.A. Ironside of Moody Bible Institute in his work on the Prophets. A book called “Everyman’s Talmud” by A. Cohen says that Gog was Sennacherib and Magog was Assyria. We have already discussed that Isa 9.4 and the “rod” is related to Isa 10.5, 24 and Micah 5.1. These prophecies concern the Assyrians and so do the verses surrounding them, but it will have a future fulfillment as well.
Isa 9 is talking about Israel celebrating because their enemy has been defeated. We have been told in Ezek 39.9-10 that Israel will burn the weapons of Gog/Magog for fuel. Isa 9.5 says the same thing. Isa 8.6-7 says that Assyria will come like a storm, a “river” or army, overflowing everything. This means they will be winning and defeating everyone in their path. The Assyrians won all the battles but they lost the war. Overnight, 185,000 soldiers were killed by the hand of the an Angel of the Lord. It is believed that this “messenger” (angel) was a rat because a plague broke out and hit them suddenly, according to Josephus. Angel means messenger and it was the tool God used. There are more parallels between Gog and Magog and Assyrians.
Now, we have already shown you in the book “Ezekiel” by Artscroll, on page 580, that it says that the victory over Gog and Magog will occur in Tishri, the same month as Sukkot. Tishri 1 is Rosh ha Shannah, Tishri 10 is Yom Kippur and Tishri 15-21 is Sukkot, with Hoshanna Rabbah (meaning the “great salvation”) being the 21st. Tishri 22 is Shemini Atzeret, called the “Eighth Day” or concluding day. We have four themes with Sukkot now, and we have already mentioned three others. They are “light”, “joy”, “harvest” and now we have a victory over an enemy who God has intervened against.
Where else in the Tanach did the Lord mention Gog and Magog, but not by name? In Num 24.20-24, we have a major prophecy. It says, “And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, ‘Amalek was the first of the nations (to come against Israel) but his end shall be destruction (Amalek a type of Ha Satan and the false messiah).’ And he looked at the Kenite (lived among Israel-Judges 9.4; 1 Chr 2.55) and took up his discourse and said, ‘Your dwelling place is enduring, and your nest is set in the cliffs. Nevertheless Kain (Canaan) shall be consumed, how long shall Asshur (Assyria) keep you captive?’ And he took up his discourse and said, ‘Alas, who can live except God has ordained it? But ships shall come from Kittim (this has been identified as Rome in the Jewish writings, a type of Europe prophetically) and they shall afflict Asshur (Europe will fight Russia and will defeat her in Ezek 39.1-6) and will afflict Eber (Israel-the false messiah will defeat Russia, and then afflict Israel the last three and a half years of the Birth-pains) so he (the false messiah) also shall come to destruction (2 Thes 2.8).” So, what we have here is that Asshur is Assyria, and ultimately Assyria is a picture of Russia. Kain is Canaan, Kittim is Rome (Dan 11.30) and Eber means “Ivrit” or Hebrew. So we have a prophecy contained in the Tanach that refers to the destruction of Gog and Magog (Assyria/Russia). We have another prophecy in Micah 5.5-6 where it says, “And this One (Messiah) will be peace when the Assyrian (Russia) invades our land, when he tramples on our citadels. Then we (Israel) will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men (Dan 7 says that a kingdom will arise, and this is revived Rome out of Europe. It will have ten rulers at first, plus the false messiah equaling eleven leaders of men. Three are plucked up and fall away, leaving seven rulers, plus the false messiah, for eight leaders of men-Rev 17.11-12). And they (the false messiah/seven leaders) will shepherd the land of Assyria (attack and rule over, defeat-Ezek 39.6) with the sword, the land of Nimrod (the founder of Asshur) at its entrances (borders), and he (God) will deliver us from the Assyrian (Ezek 39.22) when he attacks our land and when he tramples our territory.” There are many other verses in the Tanach that point to what the Lord was saying in Ezek 38.17, but these are just a few.
So, what do we have is Gog and Magog are defeated right before Sukkot in Tishri. The false messiah and Europe invades Magog because they are weak and defeats what is left (they have been fighting a conventional war for three years). Things that many would never have thought possible now will be happening very quickly in the Birth-pains. Things will “shift” and we can even see this today because look at how the world has changed since 9/11. We don’t have an idea who the false messiah is, but we can get an idea about who the false prophet will be because there are things to look for but we will save that for Part 36 and pick up with what to look for in the false prophet. We are laying some foundation for the concept of tying the Messiah into Sukkot. After that is done, we are going to go much deeper and talk about why we think that Yeshua was born at the festival of Sukkot. This is a very important concept so we are going to develop it out.