Horses in Ezekiel 38
In Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and Magog, all the armies ride upon horses.
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:” [Ezek. 38:14-15]
In prophecy, horses are symbolic of people with no understanding. David wrote: “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” [Psa. 32:9]
“Riding on horses” is a feature common to several prophecies about the great spiritual conflict in the day of the Lord. Horses are mentioned in Joel 2:4, Zech. 12 & 14; Rev. 9:9; 9:12-21; and Rev. 19:18. Jesus Christ rides upon a white horse as he makes war in Rev. 19:11-16. The armies of those who follow him ride upon white horses.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.” [Rev. 19:11-16]
Horses in heaven are metaphorical, and their colour is symbolic.
Zechariah said the house of Judah is as the Lord’s “goodly horse” in the battle:
“Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.” [Zech. 10:3]
The house of Judah represents the Church. Jesus said, “salvation is of the Jews.” [John 4:22] And Paul said, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” [Rom. 2:28-29]
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.” [Zech. 12:3-4]
Because of the judgment of Gog and Magog, the heathen come to know God.
“And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” [Ezek. 38:16]
The land is a symbol of God’s revelations, as shown in Jacob’s dream at Bethel, of a ladder reaching to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. God stood above it, and promised to give Jacob the land, which in the centuries following was the place where many revelations given to God’s people. [Gen. 28]
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” [Gen. 28:12-14]
The conflict of Gog and Magog is about the interpretation of prophecy. The invaders come against “the prophets of Israel.”
“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?” [Ezek. 38:17]
The prophets of Israel include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jesus Christ, the prophet who was promised in the law of Moses. Peter said to the Jews:
“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” [Acts 3:18-23]
Dispensationalists who wrongly insert a huge gap in the 70 weeks of Daniel, and separate the 70th week from the previous two sections, moving it thousands of years into the future, and misinterpret many other prophecies, and who reject the definition of Israel given by the apostles, [Acts 3:22-23; Rom. 2:28-29; Eph. 2:11-13; Phil. 3:3] are doubtless among the hordes of Gog and Magog.