Rabbi Shternbuch: We Have Begun Messianic Times

NOTE: None of the interpretations below tallies with the evidence of history and archaeology that points to Gog and Magog being historical types that portend future actors:

Gog in history was the king of Lydia in Asia Minor.

“The erroneous belief that Russia is Magog can be traced back to a small group of 18th and 19th century theologians who wrote long before the primary evidence from the ancient Assyrian records was discovered, translated and made available to the public. Instead, they based their assertions on secondary sources, historical works written over 500 years after the time of Ezekiel, and to make matters worse some of these sources had come to be purposefully altered. These altered references include statements attributed to the first century AD Jewish historian Josephus, and first century AD Roman historian Pliny.”

You wonder if these discredited interpretations that surface in popular newspapers have something to do with the intelligence agencies of different countries stirring up the masses to support violent confrontations…

Lydia was the home of the Etruscans who emigrated to Italy and came to dominate Roman culture. The last Roman king, before Rome became a republic, was Etruscan.

So, Gyges of Lydia (Gog of Magog) is best seen as a historical type of a future ruler of the world, in the style of Rome.

Therefore, it’s plausible to argue that Gog = One World Government, or the New World Order, which is the popular name on conspiracy and right-wing sites for the corporate and financial powers behind NATO and the European Union.

Gog is not Russia at all.

Update 2: Here is a more complex interpretation, which considers Ar Rum (Rome) to be the one-world government. That suggests that the current dialectics in play (West versus East, US versus Russia;  Secular vs Orthodox) are working toward a more complex end.

Update 1: An Islamic interpretation of Gog and Magog. It doesn’t identify Russia with Gog and Magog, but identifies it with militant Zionism.

In this version, the subversion of the Ukraine was effected by Soros and Co. (corporate or economic annexation). Russia is instead identified with the defense of Christianity and with “Rum” (Rome) in the Quran.

Russia,  in this version, is seen as the defender of orthodox Christianity, which is seen as the true heir to the church of Rome. The inference is that the Vatican, having succumbed to materialism, atheism, and statism, is now allied with the enemies of the true church.

“Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prophesied that Muslims will make an alliance with Rum in Akhir al-Zam?n, and it appears to me that Tatar Muslims now have a historic role to play in the fulfillment of that prophesy.”

I suppose the Muslim allies of Gog must be Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brunei, and similar states.

ORIGINAL POST

From Haaretz.com, some Apocalyptic thinking:

“Of course, if Gog is Putin, then we all know who the natural candidate for the Antichrist is. But let’s put that aside for now. In any case, there is a nuclear confrontation (“I will start a fire in the land of Magog and along all the seacoasts where people live undisturbed, and everyone will know that I am the Lord) and then a massive seven-month cleanup and a mass burial, somewhere in Jordan, it seems.

If you’re a Christian, the fun is just beginning: An army of “200 million” men will come from the East, according the Book of Revelations, and there’s only one country that can raise such an army. Then, in quick succession but in a sequence that is disputed by scholars, the End Times really get going: Armageddon, Desolation, Tribulation, Rapture, Redemption, the Second Coming – the works.

Jews, by the way, make do with just the war of Gog and Magog, after which messianic days are here and “swords are beaten into ploughshares” etc. Nonetheless, Christians aren’t the only ones who are getting excited about the standoff in Eastern Europe. According to a report catching fire over the weekend in the haredi press in Israel, the Gaon Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch told his disciples this week that the times of the Messiah are upon us. And who is the source for his amazing analysis? None other than one of the top Jewish sages of all time, the Vilna Gaon himself, the Gra, “the genius of Vilnius”, the famously harsh critic of Hasidic Judaism.

According to said Shternbuch, he is privy to a closely guarded secret handed down from the 18th Century Vilna Gaon through generations of revered rabbis: “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”

I don’t know if Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan knows about Russian designs on Istanbul, but if I were you, I would take your Shabbat clothes to the cleaners, just in case.

Finally, from Moshiach.com: The husband tells the wife, “The Rabbi said that soon we will no longer suffer from the Cossacks, the Messiah is about to come and take us all to Israel.” The wife thinks for a while and says, “Tell the Messiah to leave us alone. Let him take the Cossacks to Israel!”

Examiner.com has the Zionist Christian version of the End Times. Putin is still Gog, trying to expand Magog,  but in this version, the Messiah has some way to go.

More about the differences between Christianity, Reform Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism on the interpretation of this prophecy.

Here’s the relevant chapter – Chapter 38 in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel.

4 thoughts on “Rabbi Shternbuch: We Have Begun Messianic Times

  1. Hi Lila,

    Just a quick correction, if I may be permitted to offer one. You stated:

    “Update 1: An Islamic interpretation of Gog and Magog. It doesn’t identify Russia with Gog and Magog, but identifies it with militant Zionism”

    Slight correction: The source you cite is NOT an Islamic interpretation of Gog and Magog, but one Muslim’s personal interpretation.

    Just as it is for the Christians interpreting the Bible and imputing their understanding to “Christianity” the religion.

    Fortunately, unlike Christianity and Christians which share the same root word, the religion of Islam has separate names for what is the prescribed religion: called Islam, and its followers: called Muslims.

    In the prescribed religion itself, Chapter 18, Surah Al-Kahf, deals with this topic as allegorical, metaphorcal, and like the variables of an algebraic expression, these allegories can take on any value the beholder wishes to impute to them. Unlike the algebraic equation however, the speculative value cannot be verified, confirmed, and virtually any plausible value fits in.

    Some allegories of the Holy Qur’an are relatively easy to understand as their meaning is plain. Others, only the Author of the Holy Qur’an knows. No one knows what these latter allegories really mean for sure, they can mean anything the mind fancies, which is why, from the time of advent of Islam, varying interpretations of these allegories have abounded and been imputed as “Islamic” interpretations.

    Those with nothing better to do in every era have wasted both their and their flock’s time pursuing what the Good Book itself describes as “mutashabihat”, meaning, allegorical, and not knowable for sure.

    The Good Book itself categorizes its own verses in two types: a) foundational verses each of which have a unique categorical meaning requiring no interpretation. And b) allegorical verses whose understanding and interpretation requires a different protocol for understanding them, with the acquired understanding always being, at best, subjective, and in some cases not achieveable by ordinary peoples. This is specified in verse 3:7 of the Holy Qur;an (and it is incidently examined in my book Hijacking the Holy Qur’an and Its Religion Islam, as a bizarre paradox – why have statements which no ordinary mortal may know and understand?).

    My take on all this gibberish of Apocalyptic Last Days Eschathology, for any religion and every religion which prescribes Apocalypse, pestilence, and other evils, is generally this: ( excerpted from http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/04/god-is-running-theworld-let-him-run-it.html ):

    Quote:

    On the other side of the spectrum from the ‘secular humanists’, we have the many good and kindly peoples, drowning in a surfeit of faith from ear to ear, simply “waiting for Allah” thinking it is the “Last Days of Gog and Magog” that no mortals may withstand. For, it is argued before them, an “indestructible power” the almighty creator hath himself calculatingly fashioned to fulfill his own (murderous) prophesies in order to finally rain divine justice upon the Earth – right after he hath rained phosphorous bombs upon children, women, men, the elderly, and destroyed their innocent civilizations at the very hands of his own “indestructible” hectoring hegemons to bring all that planned divine justice to fruition! What an idiotic and cruel god whose imagination only extends from genesis to genocide in order to fashion creation. And while that is merely immanent, far more grotesque is the idiotic imbecilic mass of followers who malign their own Almighty Creator whom they daily aver to believe in, Who repeatedly describes Itself in the very Book Muslims hold most sacred as “the Beneficent, the Merciful”! How can both be true simultaneously – unless it is a Zeus like fickle-minded god who enjoys games of cruel self-indulgence at the expense of his creation? Therefore, the former must stand rejected by the sheer force of argument, unless some people choose to believe in Zeus for their spiritual ascendance! —- Read More in The Achilles heel of Pakistan – Its Intellectuals ( http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-achilles-heel-of-pakistan.html )

    The above passage refers to Imran Hossein’s book in which he speculates what Surah Al-Kahf may be referring to. That is his own opinion. And he is welcome to it. That book I have read completely. As far as I am concerned, it is gibberish — but many Muslims, like Christians and Jews, are fascinated by this subject and continually seek signs that the Last Days are at hand. Muslim history, like Christian history, is full of savants believing in such apocalyptic eschathology.

    Interestingly, for the religion of Islam, almost all apocalyptic eschathology which is imputed to Islam is not to be found in the pages of the Holy Qur’an itself, but in outside books written by the hand of man.

    Ability to reason outside the boundaries of faith has never been a strong suite for Muslims, or any people imbued with faith.
    Some call it indoctrination. Others call it belief.

    It may surprise one to discover that much of what one ends up believing as faith is in fact written by the hand of man.

    As a Muslim who likes to think, I distinguish between what is in the Holy Qur’an itself, and what is in other Muslim books.

    I call what is in the Holy Qur’an as the religion of Islam given by the Author of the Holy Qur’an. What is not in the Holy Qur’an but passes as Islam, I call it the religion of Muslims given by the authors of those books.

    As for faith, well, faith is subjective anyway.

    Even atheists have faith.

    Only the all-left-brained Mr. Spock of Star-Trek has no faith.

    All humans who possess some measure right-half brain in non-zero quantity have faith.

    Dogmatic religions are merely different points on that axis of faith.

    Which is why many people end up beleiving anything which passes as faith, no matter how illogical, non-sequitorish, and irrational. And it is empirically observed that anything which induces complacency, or the spirit of la mission civilisatrice, is the path most taken by the followers of any religion, including the religion of the New World Order, Secular Humanism. For Muslims, it is typically to Wait for Allah as God is runnning the world!

    As such, in my opinion, all this Last Days stories which you have noted, are the invention of tyrants and their apprentices to ensure that during any epoch, the masses do nothing to interdict the dystopia that is thrust upon the peoples by the rulers in the name of religion, leaving the public mind brimming with hope and expectations of the Last days as the panacea for their ills and dehumanization.

    My 0.02 anyway. I could be wrong of course.

    Thanks,

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  2. @Zahir,

    Yes – thank you for the correction. I saw the Hosein interpretation reproduced widely on Muslim sites, so I assumed he was giving a generally accepted interpretation of the Muslim “last times.”

    I enjoy apocalyptic ruminations, although it’s from the point of view of what the globalists are up to, as I noted above:

    “You wonder if these discredited interpretations that surface in popular newspapers have something to do with the intelligence agencies of different countries stirring up the masses to support violent confrontations…”

    However, I think it’s equally incorrect to dismiss prophetic literature as rubbish. In the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as in Hinduism, prophecy is an integral part of the teaching.

    “No man may know” is not the same as “No man may wonder” or “No man may interpret.”

    People study the writings of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce for predictions of the future; they comb the works of Jules Verne for artistic predictions.

    Nothing wrong with it.
    Nor is it indoctrination. I certainly reserve judgment about a number of things said either by true believers or skeptics – but that’s the point – I reserve judgment. I don’t take it as infallible nor do I dismiss it entirely.

    But, for my purposes, since this is a HUGE part of the push to war, I fail to see how I can fairly ignore it altogether.

    The New World Order is Kabbalistic – at least, in the imagery it uses.

  3. Hi Lila,

    If I might suggest: 1) There is prediction, based on trend and trajectory, as well as the exercise of imagination and anticipation of singularity points. This is to the credit of man.

    2) Then there is prophecy. This is to the credit of Mephistopheles and its apprentices.

    The difference, in my view at least, is that the latter makes altering the outcome of the “prophecy” impossible. It is a prophecy after all — especially if it is in divine books — so how can it be altered without falsifying the claims to divine origin and hence its infallible correctness?

    I invite you, in return to your invitation to study: “People study the writings of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce for predictions of the future; they comb the works of Jules Verne for artistic predictions.”, which I have done plenty and continue to do so, to actually critically examine what is considered in the divine books of man as “prophecy”.

    If you can cite one instance, just one, which empowers man to change his condition today, I will be much informed. And that’s the point of these fatalistic, apocalyptical prophecies.

    I will generalize both the Biblical and Hindu, as well as Muslim “prophecies” —- all are, virtually, as far as I have been able to ascertain, dis empowering to man, giving people the hope to live in the future in order to alleviate their present suffering and miserable lot. The Hindu Karma does, however, empower man to be good today in order to be reborn better in the future. That is not prophecy, but the dogma of karma and Hinduism. Islam’s prescription to be good today, as explained here: , is also not prophecy, but empowerment. Christianity’s prescription to give your brother your coat, to turn the other cheek, is also not prophecy, but empowerment to be better in so far as its dogma is concerned.

    Whereas, for all these, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jew, wherever the notion of prophecy occurs, show me, not be speculation and general statements to go study this and that, but by your examination here of something specific, which is empowering to man today rather than having him enjoy his complacency waiting for Allah, karma, the last days, mahdi return, Christ’s return, and the apocalypse, in the aftermath of all of which, justice will be made to prevail by divine intervention.

    As a social scientist, that drama tells me that this can only be the invention of rulers throughout the ages to neutralize hoi polloi’s dissent for their discontents by getting them to accept the present in exchange for a better future in some distant future which no one gets to see.

    As a con job on the sheepish masses imbued with faith through natural propensity and the cult of socialization into respective beliefs from birth, this selling of heaven and nirvana at the expense of accepting and acquiescing to the hell on earth remains unsurpassed!

    Both Christianity and Hinduism as religions, in their own most sacred sources, push this resignation to faith. Based on my study, and I can’t claim it to be complete, but continually evolving, I claim that it is only Islam which prescribes in its own singular scripture, the Holy Qur’an, the altering of the present forcibly as its article of faith. The religion of Islam surpasses all other religions on that scale. Which is why its subversion has been of paramount necessity. I have explained it here in a language which both left-half and right-half dominant brains can surely most easily understand:

    Islam: Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an: What does the Holy Qur’an say about Haq – Truth and Justice?

    The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s – Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an

    http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/07/islam-surah-al-asr-of-holy-quran.html

    I have read all religions as comparative study. My first introduction was Houston Smith as an undergrad. Greatly inspired by his generous treatment of all religions in his seminal work The Religions of Man, I have continued to respectfully remain interested in expanding my comprehension ever since. I even study Islam not as a my religion, but as I might study electrical engineering: examining what does its book actually prescribe? I may have missed something in other religions of similar empowerment of man to alter tyranny in the moment of the present life as the religion of Islam does. Please advise by specifics if you haven’t missed it.

    But you are right of course in that reading the crystal ball can be a fun exercise — only at dinner parties in my view.

    And you may also well be right on the uncanny divine origins of “prophecies” (in the distinction drawn above). Just that, if you are indeed right again, then I think that divinity which proclaims abhorrence, and prophecies abhorrence, is at best captured by Zeus-like mythical deity, and not a Deity Who claims to be the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Just, as the religion of Islam does. But the philosophical conception of deity is no different, and traces at least as far back as Plato and his Philosopher-king conception which is based upon it. And if the Deity is not that, then why worship it? It is only manmade, or Zeus (or aliens genetically engineering man if Zecharia Sitchin is to be believed, and many new-age babies do), but in either case only worthy of utmost contempt for inflicting abhorrence on mankind and even prophesying it, rather than guiding mankind to strive out of it.

    Surely, you might concur with this sensible rubric to examine any claims of any divine origin? It at least lends a strong rejection criterion.

    Thanks,

    Zahir Ebrahim

    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    April 1, 2014
    Followup Comment for: http://mindbodypolitic.org/2014/03/30/rabbi-shternbuch-we-have-begun-messianic-times/

  4. [second try at posting this comment]

    Hi Lila,

    If I might suggest: 1) There is prediction, based on trend and trajectory, as well as the exercise of imagination and anticipation of singularity points. This is to the credit of man.

    2) Then there is prophecy. This is to the credit of Mephistopheles and its apprentices.

    The difference, in my view at least, is that the latter makes altering the outcome of the “prophecy” impossible. It is a prophecy after all — especially if it is in divine books — so how can it be altered without falsifying the claims to divine origin and hence its infallible correctness?

    I invite you, in return to your invitation to study: “People study the writings of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce for predictions of the future; they comb the works of Jules Verne for artistic predictions.”, which I have done plenty and continue to do so, to actually critically examine what is considered in the divine books of man as “prophecy”.

    If you can cite one instance, just one, which empowers man to change his condition today, I will be much informed. And that’s the point of these fatalistic, apocalyptical prophecies.

    I will generalize both the Biblical and Hindu, as well as Muslim “prophecies” —- all are, virtually, as far as I have been able to ascertain, dis empowering to man, giving people the hope to live in the future in order to alleviate their present suffering and miserable lot. The Hindu Karma does, however, empower man to be good today in order to be reborn better in the future. That is not prophecy, but the dogma of karma and Hinduism. Islam’s prescription to be good today, as explained here: , is also not prophecy, but empowerment. Christianity’s prescription to give your brother your coat, to turn the other cheek, is also not prophecy, but empowerment to be better in so far as its dogma is concerned.

    Whereas, for all these, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jew, wherever the notion of prophecy occurs, show me, not be speculation and general statements to go study this and that, but by your examination here of something specific, which is empowering to man today rather than having him enjoy his complacency waiting for Allah, karma, the last days, mahdi return, Christ’s return, and the apocalypse, in the aftermath of all of which, justice will be made to prevail by divine intervention.

    As a social scientist, that drama tells me that this can only be the invention of rulers throughout the ages to neutralize hoi polloi’s dissent for their discontents by getting them to accept the present in exchange for a better future in some distant future which no one gets to see.

    As a con job on the sheepish masses imbued with faith through natural propensity and the cult of socialization into respective beliefs from birth, this selling of heaven and nirvana at the expense of accepting and acquiescing to the hell on earth remains unsurpassed!

    Both Christianity and Hinduism as religions, in their own most sacred sources, push this resignation to faith. Based on my study, and I can’t claim it to be complete, but continually evolving, I claim that it is only Islam which prescribes in its own singular scripture, the Holy Qur’an, the altering of the present forcibly as its article of faith. The religion of Islam surpasses all other religions on that scale. Which is why its subversion has been of paramount necessity. I have explained it here in a language which both left-half and right-half dominant brains can surely most easily understand:

    Islam: Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an: What does the Holy Qur’an say about Haq – Truth and Justice?

    The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s – Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an

    http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/07/islam-surah-al-asr-of-holy-quran.html

    I have read all religions as comparative study. My first introduction was Houston Smith as an undergrad. Greatly inspired by his generous treatment of all religions in his seminal work The Religions of Man, I have continued to respectfully remain interested in expanding my comprehension ever since. I even study Islam not as a my religion, but as I might study electrical engineering: examining what does its book actually prescribe? I may have missed something in other religions of similar empowerment of man to alter tyranny in the moment of the present life as the religion of Islam does. Please advise by specifics if you haven’t missed it.

    But you are right of course in that reading the crystal ball can be a fun exercise — only at dinner parties in my view.

    And you may also well be right on the uncanny divine origins of “prophecies” (in the distinction drawn above). Just that, if you are indeed right again, then I think that divinity which proclaims abhorrence, and prophecies abhorrence, is at best captured by Zeus-like mythical deity, and not a Deity Who claims to be the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Just, as the religion of Islam does. But the philosophical conception of deity is no different, and traces at least as far back as Plato and his Philosopher-king conception which is based upon it. And if the Deity is not that, then why worship it? It is only manmade, or Zeus (or aliens genetically engineering man if Zecharia Sitchin is to be believed, and many new-age babies do), but in either case only worthy of utmost contempt for inflicting abhorrence on mankind and even prophesying it, rather than guiding mankind to strive out of it.

    Surely, you might concur with this sensible rubric to examine any claims of any divine origin? It at least lends a strong rejection criterion.

    Thanks,

    Zahir Ebrahim

    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    April 1, 2014
    Followup Comment for: http://mindbodypolitic.org/2014/03/30/rabbi-shternbuch-we-have-begun-messianic-times/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.