Queen Esther, Gog and the End Of Days

While sometimes treated as merely an amusing Kid’s Church story, a Jewish perspective on the book of Esther reveals remarkable links to Gog, Magog and the End of Days. 

A World Empire and a Wicked Ruler

During the days of Queen Esther, Haman the Agagite rose to prominence becoming second only to the King of the vast Persian empire stretching from India across the Middle East and down to Ethiopia.

Haman means ‘magnificent’, and Agag means “exalted”, and this wicked man certainly thought of himself as being someone particularly grand. It was commanded that everyone should bow to Haman, yet Mordechai the Jew refused. The reason is that the word to ‘bow’ in this context means to prostrate oneself in veneration, just like one would before the presence of God. Being a faithful follower of the God of Israel, Mordechai refused to bow – incensing Haman. As the story goes, Haman’s fury drove him to seek the annihilation of not only Mordechai, but of all the Jewish people.

While Haman’s plans were ultimately foiled, is that the end of the story? Or is the book of Esther prophetic of the End Times? Will the End Times see another figure arise who – like Haman -demands worship? And are there more links between these two wicked men?

Agag and Gog

A significant link between Haman and the End Times is in the Bible’s identification of him as an Agagite. Agag was once the king of Amalek and this name comes from the very same Hebrew root as the name Gog. 

Gog draws his fame from the yet unfulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel  chapters 38-39, that paint him as the grand leader of a massive end time coalition of nations against Israel. Gog’s gigantic northern army crushes down on Israel until God finally intervenes, destroying Gog and revealing His glory to the nations and to Israel. 

While many Bible teachers zero in on the specific nations mentioned in Gog’s coalition, differentiating this war from other End Time conflicts, a Hebraic view brings out a different perspective. The word “Gog and Magog” in Hebrew has the numerical value ‘70’ which points to the Biblical 70 nations of mankind. In this view, the Gog and Magog war coalition against Israel will include not just a handful of nations, but rather represent a world-wide gathering against the Jewish nation. 

In Rabbinic teaching, Gog is therefore viewed as the ultimate evil end time figure that will arise prior to the Messiah destroying him and setting up His kingdom. Does this view bear up against what we know of End Time events, and if so how does it further link Haman and Gog in the End Times? 

Gog before or after the Tribulation

Bible teachers generally label the final 7 years of human history before Jesus sets up His kingdom as the Tribulation. During this time the world will witness the rise of the antichrist and a breakout of intense persecution of the followers of the God of Israel – Jew and Christian alike. 

However, many Bible prophecy teachers distinctly separate these events from the prophecy of Gog and Magog, placing the war of Gog and Magog as happening before the Tribulation. In popular teaching it is thought that the Gog and Magog war will result in the destruction of a Russian / Islamic coalition of nations, leaving a power vacuum for the antichrist emerging out of Europe. However, a closer look at the events of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel may prove otherwise. 

Firstly, Ezekiel describes Gog as the one foretold by the prophets of Israel (Ezek. 38:17). This is curious as no other prophet directly mentions Gog by name. However, if Gog is simply another title for the final evil ruler of the End of Days who comes against Israel, then yes, he was predicted in great detail by the prophets of Israel. 

Bible teacher Joel Richardson points us further to three key End Time markers at the end of the Gog and Magog war which can ONLY refer to the time after the final defeat of the antichrist. Firstly, God’s name will no longer be profaned as a result of this war (Ezek. 39:7). If the Gog/Magog war occurs immediately before the Tribulation, then it occurs right before the most blasphemous time in human history! Further, it says that then the nations “will know that I am the Lord” (v 7) and Israel will have God’s spirit poured out on them (v 28). Israel and the nations coming to faith in Jesus right before the Tribulation doesn’t make sense. However, if Gog and the antichrist are one and the same, then it is logical that his defeat will lead to God’s name no longer being blasphemed and Israel and the Nations knowing that the LORD is God. 

Finally, as God judges Gog, Ezekiel describes the earth shaking at His presence (Ezek. 38:20) and goes on to describe God from then on as the “Holy One IN Israel” (Ezek. 39:7). This reveals that when God judges Gog, He will be physically present among Israel, speaking of His glorious return. 

What are the similarities between Haman and the antichrist/gog? 

Both think of themselves highly and demand worship.

Both become enraged and turn on the Jewish people.

Both lead a large coalition of nations against Israel seeking their annihilation and their plunder.

In both cases it looks hopeless for Israel, until God intervenes.

At the end of the story of Haman, many gentiles converted to follow the God of Israel. Similarly, at the demise of the antichrist the nations will see and know that the Lord is God. 

The story of Esther tells us of an amazing divine turn around from sorrow to great joy that came to the Jewish people, and so it will be for God’s faithful ones in the final defeat of the antichrist.  And as Mordechai and Esther ended up co-reigning with the king, so in that day the saints will rule and reign with Jesus in His kingdom. 

As Purim is remembered year by year with great joy in the Jewish community, let us remember and look forward with joyful anticipation to the coming of our Lord!

For more about the End Times from a Jewish perspective, see Enoch Lavender’s new book “The Jubilee Discover the End Time Mystery” available via Amazon and other retailers.