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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 38: The Lord's great victory over Gog & the nations


[Preliminary Comments: This and the next chapter, together form one prophecy that starts here in verse 1 but note the seven times there is that dividing declaration or emphasis, “This is what the sovereign Lord says”. The prophecy flows on and is difficult to divide up and so the divisions we have used tend to be somewhat arbitrary, simply to enable us to observe shorter passages. The two chapters reveal a plan of the Lord to stir up a godless people to come into the Promised Land, against the people of Israel, but they will come to receive God's judgement on their obvious hostility to God's people and the Lord Himself.]



v.1,2 A word against another ruler


v.1 The word of the Lord came to me:

v.2  ‘Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him


[Notes: Commentators have never reached agreement as to who this refers to. Rather than join in or even summarise the possibilities, we will simply suggest that this passage refers to a godless leader who God will stir up to come to judgment.]



v.3-6 The Lord will draw him and a number of other godless nations into conflict


v.3  and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.

v.I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army – your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.

v.5  Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,

v.6  also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops – the many nations with you.


[Notes: It is very specific [v.4] that God will draw this leader, his army, and other friendly armies, to come to the place of His choosing.]



v.7-9 There is coming a time when they will rise against Israel


v.7  ‘“Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.

v.8  After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.

v.9  You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.


[Notes: They will rise up at some future time to come against Israel.]



v.10-13 Thoughts of invasion will inspire him to act


v.10 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: on that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme.

v.11  You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without walls and without gates and bars.

v.12  I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the centre of the land.'

v.13  Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?'”


[Notes: They will find ideas rising in their minds that this is a land just waiting to be plundered.]



v.14-16 They will come upon Israel, who are living at peace, and attack them


v.14  ‘Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: in that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it?

v.15  You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.

v.16  You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.


[Notes: Israel being at peace, will not therefore be the cause of these hordes to come, beyond the fact that they are the people of God.]



v.17,18 This has been spoken of prophetically before


v.17  ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: you are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them.

v.18  This is what will happen in that day: when Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord.


[Notes: Various words had spoken of invaders from the north and although we usually tend to associate them with the Babylonians, the Lord says that word goes beyond them.]



v.19-23 When you are in the land and earthquake will occur and you will die


v.19  In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

v.20  The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

v.21  I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man's sword will be against his brother.

v.22  I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulphur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him.

v.23  And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”


[Notes: The invasion of Israel will be accompanied by an earthquake that throws their armies into chaos and they will turn on one another. There will also be other accompanying judgments to bring them down.]



Continue to Chapter 39