Gog of Magog and the Great Earthquake


Joel Richardson

In several previous articles, I’ve set forth various reasons why we should recognize “Gog” of Ezekiel 38,39 to be one and the same with the Antichrist/Beast of other antichristic prophecies. I have also addressed and dispelled some of the most common arguments against this view. In this article, I will detail yet another significant reason why Gog must be the Antichrist and why the Battle of Gog of Magog can only conclude at the return of Jesus.

Among the many events that conclude the Battle of Gog and Magog, one major event is “a great earthquake” in the land of Israel. The earthquake will be so great that all creatures and mankind “who are on the face of the earth” will tremble in fear:

It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel… there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. —Ezekiel 38:18-20

Many seem to miss the fact that this earthquake will result in the mountains of Israel being “thrown down”. Beyond this, “every wall will fall to the ground”. We’ll come back to this issue of the mountains and walls collapsing, but first, let’s briefly consider a few other significant Biblical passages that also speak of:

1.) A massive eschatological invasion of Israel
2.) A divine deliverance
3.) A massive earthquake that brings the invasion to an end

In Isaiah 29, the LORD warns Jerusalem, called here “Ariel”, that He will bring armies against her:

Yet I will besiege Ariel; she will mourn and lament, she will be to me like an altar hearth. I will encamp against you all around; I will encircle you with towers and set up my siege works against you. —Isaiah 29:2-3

But though it is the LORD Himself who brings these armies against Ariel, He also promises to destroy them with both a personal visit, as well as with a mighty earthquake:

But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night…. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion. —Isaiah 29:5-8

In another famous end time passage, we see the same pattern again repeated. The LORD promises to gather the surrounding gentile nations against Jerusalem. And once again, he responds with a personal visit and a great earthquake.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it… Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. —Zechariah 14:2-5

So we see that the themes of invading hordes, a corresponding great earthquake and a divine deliverance of the people of Israel are commonly repeated themes among these passages that speak of the return of Jesus. It might be quite logical then, to assume that because Ezekiel’s oracle perfectly mirrors all of these elements, it is also speaking of the return of Jesus. Many argue however, that Ezekiel’s invasion, the mighty earthquake, and the accompanying deliverance, precede these other passages by several years.

But here is where the popular view runs into yet another insurmountable problem. For as we have already seen, the great earthquake of Ezekiel’s oracle results in all of the mountains in Israel being thrown down. But if this is the case, then how can it be that in the middle of the tribulation, Jesus warns the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea to flee to the mountains:

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. —Matthew 24:15-16

How can Jesus tell people to flee to mountains which, according to the popular view, no longer even exist? If Ezekiel’s prophecy is to have happened a few, or even several years prior, resulting in the mountains of Israel all falling down, how can Jesus still be speaking of near-by mountains, and telling his people to flee to them? For students of the Scriptures who take the words of the Bible literally, there are really only two options; either Ezekiel’s earthquake comes sometime after the middle of the tribulation, or Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about. I’m going with Ezekiel’s earthquake taking place at the conclusion of the tribulation.

But as much as this causes an insurmountable mountain of a problem for the popular view which tries to cast Gog and Antichrist as two different characters, there is yet another powerful passage in the Book of Revelation which speaks of the final conclusion of the Great Tribulation. Once again, there is the gathering of the gentiles, there is a great earthquake which results in the cities of the earth being destroyed, as well as the mountains being removed:

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed… Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. —Revelation 16:16-20

In the following chart, consider the dramatic similarities between Ezekiel’s oracle and John’s description of the Battle of Armageddon:

Now, consider the following timelines, where the popular view is contrasted with what I refer to as “the consistent view”:

The Popular View

In the timeline above, the Battle of Gog of Magog concludes either just before or just after the beginning of the final seven years. The problem with this view should be clear. At the conclusion of the Battle of Gog of Magog, there is a massive earthquake whereby all of the mountains will be “thrown down” or “fall down”. If this is the case, how then could Jesus warn the inhabitants of Jerusalem, several years later, to flee to the mountains? This would be impossible. And how could another earthquake level the mountains a second time during the “great earthquake” that takes place at the return of Jesus? Obviously, the popular view has an insurmountable contradiction with Scripture on this point.

The Consistent View

Now consider the alternative consistent view. Here, we see that because Gog of Magog and the Battle of Armageddon are seen as concluding at the same time, at the return of Jesus, there is no contradiction concerning the mountains being leveled. Neither is there any contradiction with the commandment of Jesus to flee to the mountains at the mid-point of the tribulation.

The conclusion is simple. Ezekiel was simply speaking of the same invasion, great earthquake and divine intervention that all of the other prophets were speaking of. Divorcing Ezekiel’s prophesied invasion from Isaiah’s, Zechariah’s and John the Apostle’s prophesied invasion simply cannot be reconciled with Scripture.

  • David777
    Posted at 22:08h, 18 September

    Dear Joel ! I thank God for your blessed writings.
    Keep up the good work, you make it allmost too easy to understand for us people on the ground 🙂
    Many blessings from Norway !

  • Marcus Dorsey
    Posted at 00:50h, 19 September

    Bingo. So simple. Thanks again Joel, and Happy belated Rosh Hashanah!

  • Jeffrey Goodman
    Posted at 03:49h, 19 September

    Please let the geological side of me (Engineers Degree in Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines 1964) give you a little help. Earthquakes can be caused by faults in the earth or by cosmic impacts. Fault generated earthquakes can’t get over 10.0 in magnitude on the Richter Scale. The energy released by fault generated earthquakes can in no way take down mountains. On the other hand impact generated earthquakes can cause 12- 14 magnitude earthquakes which can take down mountains on the earth. For example an impact from a six mile in diameter comet such as the one that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs could trigger an earthquake over 100,000 times as great as 1906 San Francisco quake. A big impact once even blew the top half of Mars off (called the weird terrain). So in Ezekiel 38:19-22 when there will be great shaking and the mountains are thrown down;
    “} and in Revelation 16:18-20 when there is a great earthquake such as never seen since men were on the earth, and the cities of the nations fell, and then every island fled away and the mountains were not found, an impact caused earthquake is being referred to. Simple physics looking at the level of energy required should make this clear.
    Only a very large cosmic impact that penetrates the earth’s crust could heat the earth’s mantle high enough to cause crustal melting and in turn cause the islands to flee away and the mountains to melt. The day of the Lord will involve the heavens and the earth and the works being burned up with fervent heat as we look for new heavens and a new earth (II Peter 3:10-13). God promised to shake the heavens and the Earth once more (Hebrew 12:26). This would take a cosmic impact large enough to also move the earth like a cottage and cause it to reel to and fro like a drunkard in that day when the Lord punishes the Kings of the earth (Isaiah 24:19-21).
    You also refer to “great hailstones” which also indicates that a cosmic impact is the cause of the events being referred to. The fact is that 100 pound hailstones are “literal.” We even have pictures of them. One hundred pound hailstones are not a product of meteorological conditions, but a product of cometary activity. In November of 2010 NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft took photos of a 20-mile wide ice cloud around Comet Hartley 2 and this cloud was “glistening with chunks of ice and snow, some of them as large as a basketball.” NASA said “this is a genuinely new phenomenon,” but not for those who read the Bible. A hailstone weighing nearly 100 pounds would represent a sphere somewhat larger than a basketball. A comet on a close fly-by or a comet coming in to hit the earth with this cloud arriving first would produce a bombardment involving 100 pound hailstones. See The NASA News Release about this called “COMET SNOWSTORM ENGULFS HARTLEY 2” and it can be read online at:
    also see Data from Comet Hartley Continues to Support the Bible
    Also Ezekiel 38:22 says God will rain upon Gog and those with him pestilence, great hailstones, fire and brimstone. In scripture the combination of great hailstones and fire is a phrase that indicates cosmic impact. Also in the Sumerian and Babylonian literature. “fire and brimstone” was typically associated with comet impacts. Some scientists believe that comets can carry pestilence causing bacteria.
    A chart that illustrates how The Battle of Gog and Magog and the Battle of Armageddon is one in the same war that occurs at the end of the tribulation can be found at: http://www.newscientificevidenceforgod.com/2012/03/chartthe-war-of-gog-and-magog-and.html#links
    Please understand that I am not trying to get on your case. Instead I admire how close you are getting and I am only trying to give you more info to work with. If you are not interested, this is OK. Again if you want more detailed info on these things just let me know and I will get an ebook or book off to you.

  • liz au
    Posted at 07:32h, 19 September

    Came across your website today researching gog and magog. Your research and writing seems to make sense.
    Thank you!

  • Ian Willis
    Posted at 14:17h, 19 September

    Awsome, it all fits hand in glove, finally i can grasp Revelation, Daniel and current events. Thanks for shareing and passing your revelation knowledge!

  • Perry Brown
    Posted at 16:45h, 19 September


    Your information is very interesting.


  • David
    Posted at 20:36h, 19 September


    Question for you!

    Not only what you just presented here do the the people who believe gog and magog is pre-tribulation can not reconcile. Neither can they reconcile Revelation 13:5-6 and Ezekiel 39:7 about God’s name being blasphemied.

    Have you ever asked any of these people who hold to the pre-trib gog-magog theory about this (Gods name being blasphemied) and what is their response?

  • bernie pasqualini
    Posted at 21:27h, 19 September

    Joel, It’s refreshing as well as encouraging to see others seeing the WORD being in continuity. Keep in touch. bernie.

  • Brendan
    Posted at 21:30h, 19 September

    It seems plain as daylight which view makes the most sense. I think we sometimes make things rather difficult when GOD meant them to be understood. Thanks for your scholarship in these matters.



  • Joel
    Posted at 21:52h, 19 September


    One brother tried to say that the text is only referring to the Jews no longer blaspheming His name. The text does not limit it however. I think that any analysis of the full passage is clear that the lack of blasphemy applies to both Jew and Gentile. In this great event, He fully reveals Himself to the whole world. The context of chapter 39 is an eschatologically climactic event.

    “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD. “My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. “Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord GOD. “That is the day of which I have spoken. —Ezekiel 39:6-8

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:23h, 19 September

    Jeffrey Goodman,

    Thank you. Fascinating info.


  • Dirk
    Posted at 22:29h, 19 September

    There is another option. 7 year tribulation begins —> /Revelation 16, First fight with Gog at the Battle of Armageddon/Psalm 83–> Return of Messiah, Revelation 20 Battle of Gog and Magog.

    There’s no denying that there is a battle with Gog and Magog AFTER the return of Messiah. But, as part of God’s cycle, Antichrist (Gog) is going to destroyed twice. Once at Armageddon (Psalm 83). Once as described in Revelation 20. Both will be capped by earthquakes/hailstones. What has happened once generally happens again and again and again. Look at the Psalm 83 nations and notice that these nations are only partially represented in Revelation 20. Why? Because they were largely destroyed in Psalm 83. THAT is why the nations don’t match up (between Psalm 83 and the nations described in Ezekiel 38). Ezekiel 38 describes the SECOND destruction of Gog. Reading it any other way and the story becomes incomprehensible.

  • Darío
    Posted at 01:34h, 20 September

    It make sense, thanks for let us be clear. I have a couple questions , how can I get any address in privacy ?

  • Chase Norman
    Posted at 22:33h, 20 September


    i read that passage (and although i too am a Joel fan when it comes to his teachings) i also wondered if mabe all this could be the “second” God of Magog attack.

  • alan cobb
    Posted at 13:49h, 21 September

    The prophet Joel (2:1-11; 3:14-16) seems to put this earthquake during the invasion of Israel (2:9-11 specifically at a time when the sun, moon are darkened along with the stars, (see Mt. 24:29-31). A time when Israel nears defeat. Numbers 10:9 describes such a scenario and instructs Israel to blow the shofar and He will delive them. Sounds like the Feast of Trumpets to me.

  • Overcomer
    Posted at 16:28h, 22 September

    I have fled from popularity to consistency:) Nice work Joel

  • Gary
    Posted at 05:58h, 23 September

    There is an island off the coast of Africa that is translated “the Palm” that forcasters indicate that it is detined to fall into the ocean.


  • Charles
    Posted at 20:47h, 23 September

    I agree with the 2nd chart; but literal mt.’s aren’t going to fall. Kingdoms(mt.’s) will, and mt.’s will shake/be moved. Or else the fleeing one’s hiding to/in the mt.’s in Mt 24 wouldn’t be safe if they were to fall. Would they still be safe if they were to shake? Hmmm…Of course the people in Rev. 6:15-17 want them to fall… figuratively. Because of such anxiety and terror.

  • Barnabas
    Posted at 15:02h, 27 September

    It seems like that the falling of the mountains is both figurative and literal. The language concerning the earth reeling to and fro like a drunkard is meant to be taken literally.

    The earth is greatly changed as we head into the Millennium. Just one example: one need only read Ezekiel’s description of the age to come to see the massive transformations which will take place in the Land of Israel.

  • Robert Morris
    Posted at 15:39h, 27 September

    What about the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD? I’ve heard that that event is what Jesus referred to when He said flee to the mountains.

  • Fr. Robert (Anglican)
    Posted at 01:30h, 05 October

    Hi Joel: I have a copy of your new book, Mideast Beast, etc. And I have been reading and enjoying it very much! I am myself a Reformed and Evangelical Anglican priest/presbyter. And I am a PD or Progressive Dispensationist (I lived and taught in Israel in the late 90s. I also fought in Gulf War 1, in my mid 40’s, I was a RMC, Royal Marine Commando (enlisted to officer for over 10 years). I am 63 late this month, and semi-retired. Keep at it mate!

    God Bless!
    Fr. Robert K. Darby,
    D.Phil., Th.D.

  • Fr. Robert (Anglican)
    Posted at 01:40h, 05 October

    *Make that in my early 40’s 1991, Gulf War 1. I had to do the math, 😉

  • Joel
    Posted at 16:05h, 06 October

    Hi Fr. Robert,

    Great to hear of your appreciation for the work. And great to know that you are out there. Surely this paradigm makes some good sense for those living in England and Ireland these days.


  • mark degrave
    Posted at 20:50h, 27 August

    Hold on friend, I think God showed me something today.

    It is Nato led by the Us. you may only have a few days.

    key line is..

    In short, the battle Gog and Magog is war in the latter days (Last days) when a confederacy of nations attack Israel, which has been restored in the last days. These nations, which attack Israel in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, include nations, which are Muslim and have a clear animosity to Israel. Along with these Muslims nations, a northern kingdom, called Gog and Magog, which many identify, as the land Russia, will ally itself with Muslim nations, to oppose Israel in the last days.

    Only Nato led by the Us control Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan,Qutar,Lybia,The muslim Brother Hood and the current rebels in Sryia.

    Who is Obama……I think he is gog

  • Mark
    Posted at 19:06h, 06 December

    The great earthquake will be caused by the Earth returning to its original axis giving the earth a subtropical global climate which it originally had at Adam’s time.

  • Paul
    Posted at 15:37h, 22 July

    Where are the witnesses in this timeline? We haven’t seen the witnesses yet and they must appear and be destroyed. Thanks

  • Lois Schurek
    Posted at 19:12h, 22 July

    Hi Joel. Love your work and I must say it is refreshing to see how God is using you to correct so many wrong teachings. You do it with love and compassion, being very careful not to divide, all the while standing firm on what you believe. Well Done.!!! I have one question, why is there a major battle after the 7 yrs of Great Tribulation and not at the end of the 1000 yrs? Could it look like this 7 yr Great Trib begin — Antichrist mid Trib. — the Great Trib ends with with Jesus casting satin and the false prophet into the abyss, where they are chained for 1000 years. During this millennium the Gospel is proclaimed to all the world, Peace is restored and the kingdom has come. As this period draws to a close, satin and the false prophet are loosed for a season, many follow believing the lies (could be the great falling away), the church is raptured and the wrath of God is poured out in it’s fullness. I will be at the conference held at Mark Biltz church. Would love to hear your take if possible. Lois

  • TM
    Posted at 22:06h, 11 September

    Joel and Jeff,
    Great stuff from both of you. Jeff, I really enjoyed reading the “science analysis” you provided. If I were here (I won’t be), I’d be looking for comets.

    Joel, I suppose some people maybe don’t believe these are literal mountains. It seems to me, that is their only way out on this discussion. If it says all mountains are leveled, as hard as that is to believe, I’m sure it is not impossible. Maybe the good Dr. Goodman could elaborate on this possibility.


  • TM
    Posted at 22:18h, 11 September

    If you are referring to the two witnesses pursuant to Rev 11, I don’t know what Joel believes, but I see them doing their thing in the first half of the 70th week. So I don’t see them around during the Gog War.

  • Donal
    Posted at 11:39h, 24 February

    Dear Joel,

    All earthquake in Bible prophecy should occur around area of Canaan/Levant. The term greatest earthquake is not measure in richter scale but what event the earthquake represent.

    You are correct to put Gog of Magog (GOM) and the beast are related. . GOM refer to era of islam/caliphate when rule Jerusalem and after their era end muslim are without their caliph so term change to Gog and Magog (GAM) aka the ummah. But in my opinion Eze 38-39 should be historical not futuristic since Eze 39 end part talking about Israel restoration that already happened 1948.

    Who is Gog character in Eze 38/39? Term is dual is a person also his successor. 1st Gog is 2nd caliph Umar bin khattab. He gather islamic army after successful Iraq/Syria campaign then attacking to south (Jerusalem). His action rise God angry causing Gog to fight his own people (38:21) in civil war known as 1st fitna war(656-661 AD) and there is earthquake that mark this event (Eze 38:20) which refer to Levant earthquake 658 AD.. Prophecy continue until WW-1 that end caliphate.


  • Joel
    Posted at 12:36h, 26 February

    Ezekiel 38-39 cannot be historical. It ends with all of Israel being saved.

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