Prophetic prognostications were hugely popular in Christian circles years ago. Bible prophecy author Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth sold 28 million copies from 1970 to 1990. He predicted a Soviet invasion of Israel leading to the war of Gog of Magog depicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
In the Jewish world, too, there are many interpreters of Bible prophecies.
One of the greatest rabbinic scholars, the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797), believed the cataclysmic war of Gog of Magog would be of very short duration, lasting a mere 12 minutes. Though living centuries before nuclear power was harnessed for use as a weapon, this Torah giant foresaw a lightning war that would have been unimaginable in his time.
Orthodox Rabbi Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz (Breaking Israel News, September 18, 2019) states that the Prophet Isaiah makes various references suggesting nuclear battles.
It is a quickly-fought war: “At evening time there is terror; and before the morning he is no more” (17:14).
People will hide in bunkers and bomb shelters: “And men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the fear of the LORD, and from the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake mightily the earth” (2:19).
A nuclear winter, with dust and smoke blocking light from the sun, follows: “For the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shine her light” (13:10).
It is a spiritual war: “For the LORD will contend with all flesh by fire and by His sword; and the slain of the LORD will be many” (66:16).
Now a prestigious study produced by a science and policy research group at Princeton University (where Albert Einstein taught) has confirmed Ezekiel’s war of Gog of Magog as a realistic scenario.
The Program on Science and Global Security used mathematical simulation programs to determine outcomes of a war between the United States and Russia.
Beginning with the plausible scenario of NATO forces threatening Russian troops, and a subsequent Russian warning shot in response, the situation escalates within just a few hours to full-scale war with over a thousand nuclear launches and resulting in 34 million deaths and 57 million injured.
In recent months, as the United States has become ever more strident in defense of Israel, so has Russia boosted its stake in Syria and its links with Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. A mistaken move in the Middle East–there have been several instances of Russian planes being shot down or Russian troops being shot at–can quickly go out of control.
While the Princeton study focused on the United States and Russia, however, it is far more conceivable that Israel and some of its menacing neighbors–Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey–could soon be involved in a catastrophic conflict.
Whether God intervenes directly, or through Israel as His agent, the prophets declare the victory is His and Israel will survive.