The prophets in the Old Testament often seemed to speaking against nation, but they were actually speaking to the spiritual powers that controlled them. So when Jeremiah warned of an evil nation coming against Jerusalem, he was actually warning of an invasion by a swarm of evil spirits.
Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” says the Lord. “It is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say (Jer 5:15).Moses had given a similar warning in his record of the covenant with God.
The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favour to the young (Deut 28:49).The Hebrew word for nation is “goy”. It is comes from the word for “back”, in the sense of a body. It is often a translated as nation, but the same word is also used for a swarm of locusts or a herd of animals. It can also point to a swarm of evil spirits.
These attackers are ancient. They have been around forever. They speak to each other in a way that the Israelites cannot understand. The Babylonians had not been around forever. Their language is not totally different from Hebrew. However, the evil spirits that controlled the Babylonian army had been around since the fall. They spoke a spiritual language, which the Israelites did not understand. These spirits were extremely evil with no respect for the elderly or the young.
These evil spirits have a quiver full of arrows that is an open grave (Jer 5:16). This links to the flaming arrows of the evil one that the shield of faith can quench (Eph 6:16). Their evil arrows come from the grave of hell. These spirits would bring an invading army, but the real attack came from the spiritual invaders.
When Ezekiel says that Gog, Meshach, Persia, Put and Tubal will be gathering against Israel, he is referring to a spiritual army led by the spiritual kings associated with these nations (Ez 38:3-5). Armies of many nations will gather, but they only represent they real spiritual hordes, who are much more dangerous.
War is always a spiritual attack, so it is the spiritual invaders that must be defeated, not the military forces. The latter are just a vehicle that the spiritual forces are using to be carried into the territory. God’s people must wage war against the spiritual powers of evil, not the people that they are using to make their attack. The key to defence is keeping the spiritual powers of evil out of the territory.