The following entry is part of a commentary on Ezekiel 36-39, which is fictionalized in my book, The Last Aliyah – Book 1 of The Time of Jacob’s Trouble trilogy.
Ezekiel 38:4 – And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts [of armour, even] a great company [with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
The phrase “put hooks into thy jaws” is speaking of God forcibly leading the Coalition and turning them around against their will. The Assyrians and Babylonians used to put large hooks into the jaws of their prisoners and lead them where they did not want to go: out of their land. Here, God is saying that He will do the same to them.
How could this literally be fulfilled today: Russia being forced to attack Israel against her will? The most logical way is by Russia being entangled in a set of treaties or economic conditions that forces Russia to be pulled down into the Middle East. Or, they could have an energy crisis in which they need to take over the oil of the Middle East to save their revenues.
Russia has been the primary military supplier of weapons to the Israel-hating nations of the Middle East, especially Syria and Iran. Russia also is currently building nuclear plants in Iran, against the wishes of the rest of the world. Perhaps if Israel attacks one of these nations like Iran or Syria, Russia will be forced to launch a massive attack against them.
In the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Russia was the primary war planner/supporter of Syria, and was going to send in their own forces if President Nixon hadn’t responded so strongly and quickly come to Israel’s defense. With the two superpowers in a quiet stand-off, the situation rapidly de-escalated and Israel finished the war with her enemies.
Russia also has a number of treaties with Iran to keep the southern “break-away” republics to their south in check, in exchange for providing complete military protection of Iran during future military conflicts/wars.
Russia is heavily dependent upon natural gas and oil exports to other nations for her revenue. If the oil market suddenly tanks and the price of oil drastically drops, Russia will feel the economic pinch very quickly and may also be “forced” to intervene.