The great army of Joel 2
In Joel’s prophecy, God’s people are described under the figure of a plague of locusts. [vs. 25] The locust metaphor alludes to the Israelites in the wilderness. After the Exodus, Moses commissioned representatives from each tribe to survey the land that Israel was to inherit. When they returned after 40 days some of the spies gave an evil report, describing the people dwelling in the land as giants, and themselves as grasshoppers. People who have not entered the saints’ promised land are represented in Joel’s prophecy by locusts.
Ezekiel wrote of Gog and Magog:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” [Ezek. 38:8-9]
“The land brought back from the sword” seems to allude to the garden of Eden, which was guarded by an angel or a cherubim brandishing a flaming sword. [Gen. 3:24] And Eden represents the knowledge of God revealed in the Gospel and in the Scriptures.
Matthew associated notable events in the ministry of Jesus with mountains. His references to mountains are listed in the following table.
G. E. Ladd’s interpretation of the prophecy of the second woe is quoted below, accompanied by my annotations. [George Eldon Ladd. A Commentary on the Revelation of John Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1972. pp. 135-139.]
The horses of the prophecy of the 2nd woe may allude to the horses mentioned in Zechariah 12, and 14.
In Zechariah’s prophecies, the armies of those who come against Jerusalem are not killed; instead, they are smitten with “astonishment,” and with “blindness,” and other plagues. This illustrates that they are involved in warfare of a spiritual nature, not a flesh and blood conflict.