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 38:5 – Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Persia has been a nation for thousands of years, and has only been known as “Iran” since 1935. Iran today is the biggest state sponsor of radical Islam and terrorism in the world, and has been radical and oppressive since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Ethiopia is still known by the same name and was taken over by the communists in 1984. Thousands of Jews have migrated from Ethiopia to Israel in the last several decades. Ethiopia has undergone a long civil war and famine since the communists took control of the nation, supported by the former Soviet Union.
Libya is still basically the same nation as it was 2600 years ago, and is also very Islamic. It has long been against Israel and a state-sponsor of terrorism, but they’ve been quiet lately – until the dictator of Egypt fell in 2011.
The naming of Ethiopia in the original texts is really “Cush”, who was one of the sons of Ham in Genesis 10. From Cush comes many of the black peoples of Africa, so the area of Ethiopia mentioned here may in fact be a much larger territory (perhaps all of north Africa, which is very Islamic today).