While the study will be focused on Ezekiel 39, I saw such strong similarities to Ezekiel 38 that I felt I needed to quickly probe Ezekiel 38 once again.
And the Word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief ruler of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him. And say, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief ruler of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. And I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed most perfectly, a great assembly with buckler and shield, all of them swordsmen; Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his bands; the house of Togarmah from the recesses of the north, and all his bands; and many peoples with you. Ezekiel 38:1-6 MKJV)
One would assume some time has passed as God is desirous of emphasizing once again, His burning passion against the embodiment of this entity called Gog, and, we can hardly miss what seems like a desire to destroy these people. At the same time, there is the need to use them. Everything is a tool for God's purpose; fortunately for us, His purpose is good.
It seems odd, especially after doing a book study on The Shack by William Paul Young, that I could even consider saying that God wants to destroy people. This certain destruction against the armies of Gog is another of those instances where you find what looks like as an angry God, determined to wipe people off the earth. What we have to remember is that people have choices. Assume for a minute that the followers of Gog are all vicious Mongol remnants. Bred with a childhood training that teaches them to hate, while enjoying the philosophy that what's yours is mine and what is mine belongs to me as well; it would seem that their options for a positive, loving role model are limited. Whether they are in a sense sacrificed is not our problem, and God then has the position of looking at the heart and finding the good; something that we are all capable of. Right there, I said it, good is something we are all capable of; but do we do the good? How is it that we are capable, given the tragic backgrounds many experience? Because that same tree that brought this death, in the form of separation from God, also brought the knowledge of evil. When we read about the incident, we perceive the phrase, “the knowledge of good and evil.” Is it possible that Adam did not know good? Not hardly, he was created in the image of God who made him. That means that he was the exacting image of the nature and character of that God. Now the logical path is considered the life Adam lived before his decision to do things his way, and take and eat the fruit that he just watched his woman eat. This decision, with the corresponding action, was a choice; a somewhat convoluted one, but none-the-less a choice.
As I opened this blog, I used the word entity to describe Gog, why would I do that? If “he” is the dominant leader of a varied group of people (consider in your research the Scythians,) then as I understand this, Gog will die only to rally, once again, an uncountable number at the end of the thousand-year reign. That would give Gog a lifespan of approximately four thousand years, or he is resurrected specifically to fight, once again, against God at the end of time.
Since it is not logical to assume this “man” is resurrected, then we must be dealing with a demon/fallen angel who is embodied in some human at the moment. I am sure many of you find this concept far reaching and unusual, if so, then what do you do with information like the clues we are given, as a statue, explained by Daniel, is made from metals but defined as empires. Those same empires are in time represented by a goat; a ram; a bear; a leopard; a lion, and an eagle. This imagery is eventually combined into a seven headed beast with one body. Ten horns come out of one of the heads and then an eleventh. One of the heads (an empire) sustains what seems to the world to be a mortal wound. Do you find anything unusual about this imagery?
Ezekiel 39 – verses 1-6
"And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 39:1-2 NASB)
While prophesying against Gog is an integral aspect of Ezekiel 38, the thing that catches my attention is the words, “ set your face against Gog.” Chapter 38 gives us a rather detailed list of those involved, but what does this simple word “set” mean?
śiym - Set is a verb meaning to appoint, to bring, to call, to put, to change, to charge, to commit, to consider, to convey, to determine.
Considering how Ezekiel 39 begins, the context for Ezekiel 38:2 where it says, "set your face against Gog," implies that Ezekiel is to consider and charge Gog. It would be foolish to think that a captive of Babylon would have the ear of a chief ruler.
What difference would it make if Gog heard, or did not hear these words?
None, whatsoever; for God is not asking them to repent, nor is he interested in their opinion. He, God, through his prophet, says, “So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against you.”
Interesting contrast. How did God approach Nineveh?
Jonah 1:2 CJB "Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and proclaim to it that their wickedness has come to my attention."
However, Jonah did not do that; instead, he tried to escape this call upon him by taking a boat going the opposite direction. He never told the men what his mission was supposed to be; he merely told them that their troubles were because of his inaction in disobeying God's voice. They followed Jonah's advice and threw him into the sea. It is not until Jonah is vomited upon the shore by the fish, followed by a long journey, of which he is now one day's journey into the rather large city, that he begins to proclaim,
Jonah 3:4 LITV And Jonah began to enter a day's journey into the city. And he cried out and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overturned!
This message to Nineveh came with no offers of mercy should they repent, and yet, there, as we can see in verse nine, mercy, because of their actions comes.
It is possible that this thought entered the mind of their king through the Holy Spirit, as the likelihood of some interaction with the prophet Joel is not probable. Here is what the king of the Ninevehites said,
Jonah 3:9 CJB Who knows? Maybe God will change his mind, relent and turn from his fierce anger; and then we won't perish."
How odd. It is certainly not word for word, but the intent is understood.
Joel 2:12-14 NASB "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13) And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. 14) Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?
King David, caught with the result of his rendezvous with Bathsheba, said,
2 Samuel 12:21-23 NASB Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food." 22) He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' 23) "But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
When it came to Israel's rejection the Psalmist tells us,
Psalms 106:43-46 NASB Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. 44) Nevertheless, He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; 45) And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness. 46) He also made them objects of compassion In the presence of all their captors.
Would, or could God's hand of mercy be extended to even someone like Gog? Absolutely.
As we saw with Nineveh, mercy took some action on their part. Now, mind you, the mercy, was only temporary as the nation eventually returned to its old ways and was in time destroyed completely. Archaeology proves this out, and the remains of Nineveh were found just outside of Mosul Iraq in the form of several mounds.
The truth seems to be that this entity called Gog would have found another victim to carry out the plans ultimately designed by God. Just like we see in Ezekiel 38 where it says,
Ezekiel 38:4 CJB “I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out ..”
We find a similar description in Ezekiel 39:
Ezekiel 39:2 CJB I will turn you around, lead you on and bring you from the far reaches of the north against the mountains of Isra'el.
In talking about Gog in Ezekiel 38, we established that this person is the chief prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Here in chapter 39, this point is still held before us.
Ezekiel 39:1 NASB "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;
The prophecy against Gog takes on much greater complexity when we understand the land mass that Gog has under his control. Perhaps our knowledge of how far the descendants of Noah extended will help us better understand Ezekiel 39:2 – 5. Gog is the leader of the unified group originally known as the Scythians. This group includes: The Medes, Persians, all descendants of Noah, and extended Northeast into China; South into Egypt, and West into Europe. It included the lineage of Attila the Hun. The Scythians were well known for their savagery; their skills as horsemen, and for their mounted warfare archery skills.
One thing to note, there is nothing that forces us to focus exclusively on the leaders of Russia, or Turkey, as they are all descendants of the Scythians. However, there is that one aspect that tends to hang us up, “from the remotest parts of the North.” With the understanding that the descendants of Noah - the Scythians, were far reaching into the North, then this can be just about anyone, including an Iranian.
Ezekiel 39:2-5 NASB and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3) "I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. 4) "You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. 5) "You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD.
Specific actions to be taken by God:
- “I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the North and bring you against the mountains of Israel.”
- “I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand.”
- “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you;”
- “I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.”
- “You will fall on the open field;”
Each one of these aspects could be examined alone, but the motivation and intent are God's alone and this is made clear in Ezekiel 38:16.
Ezekiel 38:16 LITV And you shall come up on My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It shall be in the after days, and I will bring you against My land so that the nations may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes, Gog.
The idea of sanctification is to be set aside for God's usage, and, has everything to do with God causing the nations to recognize Him. Note how it says, “when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”
Other problems we struggle with: We never consider Gog as merely a tool, especially if it has pain and death involved with it. And, we never seem to see that all life is in God's hands and it is His to use as He wishes. All those with Gog, it seems, die, but not without purpose, and in this case, they demonstrate, by their death, God's power.
Many associate what is about to come with Psalm 83, while others try to explain that this group of nations is a separate war entirely. As I see it, we are in the last minutes before God pours out His wrath upon the earth. Sorry, but yes, He uses people like Gog to help carry out that wrath. I cannot imagine how there would be time for two extensive attacks against Israel in the next few days. Especially when one of the attacks has a massive fire storm that falls upon the coastlands as well as the mountains of Israel – taking out thousands upon thousands of combatants. With the possible exception of Psalm 83, I do not see that Bible supports an attack on Israeli by anyone other than Gog in the last moments before the judgment of God comes against the earth.
Psalms 83:2-5 NASB For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. 3) They make shrewd plans against Your people and conspire together against Your treasured ones. 4) They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more." 5) For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You, they make a covenant:
Psalms 83:6-8 gives us a list of the players involved: Edom; the Ishmaelites, Moab; the Hagrites; Gebal; Ammon; Amalek; Philistia; the inhabitants of Tyre, and Assyria also has joined with them - ten nations. Because the word through Ezekiel refers to the multitudes with Gog, it 's hard to narrow the nations down to ten. Whether this fits the bill for a new war against Israel or not seems irrelevant when we have such a definitive word against Gog.
Ezekiel 39:6 NASB "And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.
If God is talking about the area in the map (as seen above), an area that indicates the world known to the ancient Hebrews. The coastlands then could be limited to: The Caspian Sea; The Black Sea; The Persian Gulf; The Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf as we now know it. All of these have ample coastlands and could easily fit the bill and would not include places like England or the United States of America. Do not get the impression that I am saying Britain and the USA will be excluded from problems; to the contrary, we will be neck deep in them. There have been far too many prophecies indicating that the US for one, will be the target of a nuclear attack, from multiple sources. England is so far into the Muslim transition that they are barely breathing as a free land.
Note how it says, “those who inhabit the coastlands in safety. If Ezekiel 38:11 is a clue as to what this means, it tends to focus on Israel alone as Israel is the land described.
Usage of the word safety can also imply an arrogance. You might see them being so bold as to say, look at us and good we have it.
Ezekiel 38:10-11 NASB 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, 11) and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,
Since Israel is God's chosen we don't have to look far to understand who might be involved. In doing a quick mental check, there is minimal land along the coasts of the Mediterranean where I can find peace. Most nations, thanks to warfare, have little that looks like walls. Gaza, to the South, has no peace, and countries around the Persian Gulf are in a constant state of flux due to their belief systems. Nations that surround the Black Sea, or the Caspian Sea, are lesser known to me, although there is the awareness of what we call civil wars. Some of these nations have been battling with Russia for sovereignty. Most of us have seen enough of Russia's actions to know that when they move against you, you typically lose.
The word safety is the Hebrew word beṭaḥ: A masculine noun or adjective meaning security. As a noun, it primarily means security or calm assurance. As an adjective, it means assurance or confidence. It is primarily a positive term: to dwell in safety because of God's protection. This last aspect of the description, as stated in the Word Study Dictionary, tends to limit the protection to those that God is protecting. However, the implications of the passage lend themselves to those who are operating in conjunction with Gog. Does this mean there will be an active participation in warfare? Not necessarily, as so much of war happens in offices and banks. Do the math. The Rothschild family has financed every war, both sides, since the world has been deemed modern. With that in mind, try to imagine the ways to participate in a war and never fire a shot. If you can, then you have imagined the beast of Revelation.