A senior Iranian official threatened Israel but revised his threat from seven minutes until total obliteration, to half an hour. This raised the question of precisely how long the War of Gog and Magog will last.
It was reported in Mehr news on Monday that Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, threatened Israel with retaliation that would entirely destroy the country.
“If the U.S. attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” Zolnour said on Monday, according to Mehr.
This is not the first time Zolnour has threatened Israel and if anything, he gives Israel slightly more leeway than he did in his previous threats. In 2017, Zolnour threatened the U.S. and then expanded his threat to include Israel.
The US army’s fifth fleet is “all within the range of Iran’s missile systems and they will be razed to the ground if the enemy makes a mistake,” Zonour said. Doubling down on Karimpour’s threat, he added, “And only 7 minutes are needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv.”
Iran is over 1,100 miles from Israel. Intercontinental ballistic missiles travel at approximately 3.5 miles per second. Based on these figures, a nuclear-capable ICBM from Iran would arrive in Israel 5-7 minutes after being fired. In this case, Zolnour’s threat of destroying Israel in half an hour seems realistic. Of course, this is only true if Israel does not utilize its robust anti-missile capabilities.
There seems to be a prophetic basis for the War of Gog and Magog having such short fuse.
At eventide, lo, terror! By morning, it is no more. Such is the lot of our despoilers,The portion of them that plunder us. Isaiah 17:14
In the Book of Zechariah, the end-of-days conflict is described in a manner that includes aspects that could be construed as sickness resulting from a nuclear blast.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the nations who besieged Jerusalem; his flesh will waste away while he still stands on his feet; his eyes will waste away in their sockets, and his tongue shall waste away in his mouth.” Zechariah 14:12
A tradition from the Vilna Gaon (a prominent 18th century Torah authority) teaches that the war of Gog and Magog will last 12 minutes. According to a 20th-century interpretation, “A third of the world will die, a third will suffer from plague and a third will survive.”
This 18th-century prophecy of a 12-minute war was surprising, as it came several hundred years before the advent of nuclear weapons. Conventional wars necessarily last much longer and such a quick war was inconceivable at the time.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, prefaced his comments by thanking the Iranians for giving Israel an additional 23 minutes.
“The type of war we are discussing is a multinational conflict of extreme proportions in the Middle East which focuses on Israel,” Rabbi Winston said to Breaking Israel News. “This clearly fulfills the requirements of Gog and Magog meaning that it could possibly be the war preceding the arrival of the Messiah. But we will recognize it as the War of Gog and Magog by its unprecedented and unexpected aspects. As it is, everything moves much faster now than it ever has before. A large-scale war will be inhumanly quick.”
“Evil is very tricky and the greater the evil, the slyer it is,” Rabbi Winston noted, citing the countless military innovations the Nazis utilized in WWII. “The divine plan unfolds in unconventional ways. This is why when a prophecy finally materializes, it still comes as a surprise. That is because everything is a test. The plan is known but Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) wants to know which side you are on.”
This most recent threat comes at a time when relations between the U.S. and Iran are tense indeed. Less than two weeks ago, President Trump ordered strikes on Iranian military targets in response to Iranian attacks on Iran shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone cruising in international airspace. The U.S. has also blamed Iran for several attacks against oil tankers in the region.
Also on Monday, Iran announced that they had exceeded the limit of low-enriched uranium permitted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, signed under President Obama in 2015 and rejected by President Trump.
Relations between Israel and Iran have also been on edge with the IDF carrying out airstrikes against Iranian military bases.
Israel is making practical preparations in response to the Iranian threat.
“It should be taken into account that mistaken calculations by the [Iranian] regime … are liable to bring about a shift from the ‘gray zone’ to the ‘red zone’ — that is, a military conflagration,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said at an international security forum.
“We must be prepared for this, and thus, the State of Israel continues to devote itself to building up its military might for the event that it will have to respond to escalation scenarios,” he said.