Home > Book of Revelation, Gog & Magog, Literalism > The feast for the birds, and the Israeli-West Bank Barrier

The feast for the birds, and the Israeli-West Bank Barrier

November 2, 2011

In Ezekiel 39, the destruction of the hordes of Gog and Magog, and their burial for seven months, is followed by the great feast for the birds. Another similar prophecy in  Revelation 19 describes a similar feast where birds feed on the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses, all men, bond and free, small and great. But in Revelation 19, the feast is described before Gog and Magog are described in chapter 20. The order of the events seems to be reversed.

Many dispensationalists say that the birds of Ezekiel’s prophecy are literal birds. They suggest that they are birds of prey, such as birds of several species that may be found today in Palestine. Some have investigated the number of predatory birds of various species that frequent that area. Of course, huge numbers of birds would be needed, to devour an army that is buried over a period of seven months.

Pernis apivorus (Honey Buzzard) Lithograph wit...

Image via Wikipedia

Evangelist Gary Fisher reported that over a million raptors were observed in the area in 2005. They include the Honey Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Black Kite, and others. See: The Battle of Ezekiel 38 & 39 – Fulfilled Soon? Bill Salus included photo in a similar report. The diet of the Honey Buzzard, however, consists of the larvae of wasps; why was it included? And the Levant Sparrowhawk is quite a small bird.

The zeal of literalist prophecy expositors, who have investigated the question of whether the population of birds is enough to support their literal interpretation of Ezekiel’s prophecy, is impressive. They believe that literal birds will be invited by God to devour the corpses of the slain armies of Gog and Magog. Impressive also is their imagination, as they try to identify the slain multitude, believed to include men from Iran, Russia, Turkey, Lybia, and other Arab nations.

Some have pointed out that Egypt is not among the nations of the invaders. It is suggested that the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty provides an explanation.

In contrast to the zealous investigation of the birds, and buzzard populations, and the research into Gog and Magog’s identity, a curious missing feature of several expositions of the prophecy of Gog and Magog must be noted. I refer to their silence about the notorious West Bank Separation barrier wall and fence, now 760 km long, and up to 8 m high, complete with sniper towers.

Security Barrier between Israel and West Bank/Palestine

Joel C. Rosenberg wrote a three part series of articles on What is the war of Gog and Magog? [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.] His articles were notable for the lack of any mention in them of the Israel-West Bank Separation Barrier wall, or fence, that characterizes the land of Palestine today. Ezekiel says the armies of Gog and Magog come against “the land of unwalled villages,” but Rosenberg’s articles are written as though the wall simply does not exist! And as far as I can tell, he makes no mention of horses that accompany the armies, or their bows and arrows, and spears, and shields and bucklers, with which the invaders are armed. Is he really writing about Ezekiel’s prophecy, or merely a caricature of it? How can one write three whole articles about Ezekiel’s prophecy of the invasion of Gog and Magog, applying it the modern Jewish state, without mentioning the wall, and the discrepancy, and the enormous embarrassment it causes for dispensationalism, and the literal approach? Is ignoring the wall and the problems connected with it honest?

Jack Kelley’s site, http://gracethrufaith.com, offers several articles about Gog an Magog, where the various nations, including Russia and Iran, are supposed to invade the Jewish state. As far as I can tell from a quick scan, none discuss the presence of the Israel-West Bank Separation Barrier, and the enormous problems it presents for Jack’s interpretation!

Another article about Gog, Magog, Israel and Russia at truthnet.org omits any mention of the Israel-West Bank Separation Barrier. What’s going on? With all the zeal, and careful research that dispensationalist prophecy expositors are showing, why their conspiracy of silence on the wall? Hmm.. something smells bad here! These writers typically select only portions of Ezekiel’s prophecy, and they overlook statements that don’t fit into their interpretations. For example, they overlook the fact that Ezekiel said the invaders come against the prophets of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

No modern military force would be interested in attacking the prophets: men such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, etc. But this might be apply to prophecy expositors who misinterpret Ezekiel’s prophecies, and other prophecies, and make sensational claims about them, based on their flawed interpretations.

Again, another fact that the prophecy expositors seem to ignore is that Ezekiel says that horses and chariots are included among the things offered to the birds. Chariots, of course, would be inedible for literal birds.

Ezekiel 39:20
Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.

The lack of any mention of Egypt among the armies included in the invaders is easily explained in a spiritual interpretation. In prophecy, Egypt has a spiritual significance. It represents the world from which the believer has escaped. John showed this when he said of the two witnesses, “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” [Revelation 11:8] The crucifixion was outside Jerusalem. Thus, the territory outside the holy city is represented by Egypt and Sodom, which are both places from which God’s people were delivered. The holy city Jerusalem represents the church, and the kingdom of Christ. [Matthew 5:35]

The chariots included in the feast for the birds are symbolic, as are the birds who are invited to the supper; there is a reference to the chariots of God in Psalm 68:17.  See the following post for further information on the spiritual interpretation: The supper of the great God.