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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Ezekiel 38

 

 

Verses 1-23

Ezekiel 38:2 Son of Prayer of Manasseh , set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Ezekiel 38:2 — "set thy face against Gog" - Word Study on "Gog" - Gesenius says the Hebrew name "Gog "gowg" ( גֹּוג) (H 1463) refers to the "prince of the land of Magog," but this word appears to be used in Revelation 20:8 as the name of a place and not a proper name. BDB suggests that it means "mountain," and was "the prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, and Magog." PTW says the name means, "high, mountain."

Revelation 20:8, "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

Comments- Perry Stone suggests that Gog is a demonic angel that rules over the north country rather than a people group or a man. He bases this conclusion upon two observations. First, the description given to it in this verse called "chief prince" is also used of Michael the archangel in Daniel 10:13. His second basis is the fact that Gog comes back onto the prophetic scene at the end of the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ Jesus in Revelation 20:8. 31]

31] Perry Stone, interviewed by Benny Hinn, This is Your Day, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Daniel 10:13, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

Revelation 20:8, "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

Ezekiel 38:2 — "the land of Magog" - Word Study on "Magog" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Magog" "maw-gogue" ( מָגֹוג) (H 4031) means, "the land of Gog," and refers to "the mountainous region between Cappadocia and Media and habitation of the descendants of Magog, son of Japheth and grandson of Noah."

Comments- Magog is referred to in the genealogies of Genesis and 1Chronicles as the son of Japheth, the son of Noah ( Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5). This group of people are also mentioned in the end-time prophecies of Ezekiel and of Revelation ( Ezekiel 38:2-3; Ezekiel 39:6, Revelation 20:8).

Genesis 10:2, "The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."

1 Chronicles 1:5, "The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."

Ezekiel 38:2-3, "Son of Prayer of Manasseh , set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:"

Ezekiel 39:6, "And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD."

Revelation 20:8, "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

Josephus tells us the Magogites were the Scythians (Antiquities 161). Smith believes these are the Scythians. A. H. Sayce says they refer to the people of Lydia of West Asia Minor. 32]

32] A. H. Sayce writes, "…the Heb. name corresponds with that of the Lydian king who is called Gyges by the Greeks, and Gugu in the cuneiform inscriptions. Gyges was the first king of W. Asia Minor who became known to the Assyrians, and consequently his name may perhaps have become a title applied by them to the subsequent kings of that part of the world." (Hastings Bible Dictionary, "Gog")

Ezekiel 38:2Word Study on "Meshech" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Meschech" "meh"-shek" ( מֶשֶׁךְ) (H 4902) means, "drawing out."

Comments- Scholars believe that Meschech was located in the area of Armenia (Histories of Herodotus 394). 33] One popular view associates the ancient name Meshech with modern-day Moscow. 34] The ISBE says Meshech is associated with Tubal in ancient writings:

33] Herodotus writes, "The Matienians, Saspires, and Alarodians were taxed at two hundred talents; this was the eighteenth division. From the Moschians, Tibarenians, Macronians, Mosyncecians, and Marsians, three hundred talents were demanded; this was the nineteenth division." See Herodotus, The Histories of Herodotus, trans. Henry Cary (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1899), 190.

34] Mark Ruthven and Thab Griess, The Prophecy that is Shaping History: New Research on Ezekiel's Vision of the End (Longwood, Florida: Xulon Press, 2003), 40, 100; An article in Wikipedia says, "According to one legend, found in 17th c. Russian sources (eg. Timothy Kamenevich-Rvovski), Moscow (Moskva) was founded by King Mosokh son of Japheth (i.e. Meshech), and was named for him and his wife, Kva. In this legend, they are also said to have had a Song of Solomon , Ya, and daughter, Vuza, who gave their names to the nearby Yauza river." (See "Meshech," Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia (San Francisco, California: Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.) [on-line]; accessed 26 September 2009; available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meshech; Internet.)

"It is thought that the ‘Tibareni and Moschi' of the classical writers refer to the same people. Doubtless they appear in the annals of Assyria as enemies of that country under the names Tabali and Mushki--the latter the descendants of Meshech and the former those of Tubal to whom the term ‘Tibareni' may refer in the clause above. This juxtaposition of names is in harmony with practically every appearance of the word in Scripture." 35]

35] Henry Wallace, "Meshech, Mesech," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Ezekiel 38:2Word Study on "Tubal" - Gesenius says the Hebrew name "Tubal" "too-bal" ( תֻּבַל) (H 8422) refers to "the Tibareni, a nation of Asia Minor."

Comments- Scholars note that there is a city in Russia called "Tobolsk," which is a major city located on the Tobal River. 36]

36] Mark Ruthven and Thab Griess, The Prophecy that is Shaping History: New Research on Ezekiel's Vision of the End (Longwood, Florida: Xulon Press, 2003), 12, 101.

Ezekiel 38:2Comments- Scholars are generally agreed that Gog and the land of Magog mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2 refer to modern-day Russia. We find in the book of Genesis that Magog, Meshech and Tubal were three of the seven sons of Japheth, the son of Noah.

Genesis 10:2, "The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras."

According to The Book of Jubilees the sons of Japheth migrated to the north after the flood.

"And in the sixth year 1567 A.M.] thereof, she bare him Song of Solomon , and he called his name Peleg; for in the days when he was born the children of Noah began to divide the earth amongst themselves: for this reason he called his name Peleg. And they divided (it) secretly amongst themselves, and told it to Noah. And it came to pass in the beginning of the thirty-third jubilee 1569 A.M.] that they divided the earth into three parts, for Shem and Ham and Japheth, according to the inheritance of each, in the first year in the first week, when one of us who had been sent, was with them. And he called his sons, and they drew nigh to him, they and their children, and he divided the earth into the lots, which his three sons were to take in possession, and they reached forth their hands, and took the writing out of the bosom of Noah, their father. And there came forth on the writing as Shem"s lot the middle of the earth which he should take as an inheritance for himself and for his sons for the generations of eternity, from the middle of the mountain range of Rafa, from the mouth of the water from the river Tina, and his portion goes towards the west through the midst of this river, and it extends till it reaches the water of the abysses, out of which this river goes forth and pours its waters into the sea Me"at, and this river flows into the great sea. And all that is towards the north is Japheth"s, and all that is towards the south belongs to Shem." (The Book of Jubilees 88-13)

Note a more detailed description of the land of Japheth that lay to the north of the Middle East recorded in The Book of Jubilees.

"And for Japheth came forth the third portion beyond the river Tina to the north of the outflow of its waters, and it extends north-easterly to the whole region of Gog, and to all the country east thereof. And it extends northerly to the north, and it extends to the mountains of Qelt towards the north, and towards the sea of Ma"uk, and it goes forth to the east of Gadir as far as the region of the waters of the sea. And it extends until it approaches the west of Fara and it returns towards "Aferag, and it extends easterly to the waters of the sea of Me"at. And it extends to the region of the river Tina in a north-easterly direction until it approaches the boundary of its waters towards the mountain Rafa, and it turns round towards the north. This is the land which came forth for Japheth and his sons as the portion of his inheritance which he should possess for himself and his sons, for their generations for ever; five great islands, and a great land in the north. But it is cold, and the land of Ham is hot, and the land of Shem is neither hot nor cold, but it is of blended cold and heat." (The Book of Jubilees 825-30)

In a further detailed description of the land to the north, we read in The Book of Jubilees that Noah placing a curse upon any of his sons that attempted to seize the inheritance of another, saying that God would destroy these intruders with the sword and with fire. This type of destruction is exactly the way Ezekiel describes that manner in which God will destroys Gog and his allies when they come against the nation of Israel (see Ezekiel 38:18-22).

"And Japheth also divided the land of his inheritance amongst his sons. And the first portion came forth for Gomer to the east from the north side to the river Tina; and in the north there came forth for Magog all the inner portions of the north until it reaches to the sea of Me"at. And for Madai came forth as his portion that he should posses from the west of his two brothers to the islands, and to the coasts of the islands. And for Javan came forth the fourth portion every island and the islands which are towards the border of Lud. And for Tubal there came forth the fifth portion in the midst of the tongue which approaches towards the border of the portion of Lud to the second tongue, to the region beyond the second tongue unto the third tongue. And for Meshech came forth the sixth portion, all the region beyond the third tongue till it approaches the east of Gadir. And for Tiras there came forth the seventh portion, four great islands in the midst of the sea, which reach to the portion of Ham [and the islands of Kamaturi came out by lot for the sons of Arpachshad as his inheritance]. And thus the sons of Noah divided unto their sons in the presence of Noah their father, and he bound them all by an oath, imprecating a curse on every one that sought to seize the portion which had not fallen (to him) by his lot. And they all said, ‘So be it; so be it.' for themselves and their sons for ever throughout their generations till the day of judgment, on which the Lord God shall judge them with a sword and with fire for all the unclean wickedness of their errors, wherewith they have filled the earth with transgression and uncleanness and fornication and sin." (The Book of Jubilees 97-15)

Ezekiel 38:2-3 declares that a prince by the name of Gog who lives in the land of Magog will rule over his brothers Meshech and Tubal at this time in prophetic history.

Regarding the other three sons of Japheth who are not listed in this coalition of armies that comes, scholars believe that they have identified them. The ISBE says Javan is considered by scholars as being identical with the name "Ion," who was the father of the Ionians. These were the ancestors of the region of Greece. 37] Tiras refers to Tarshish, the Thracians (Thrakes) or the Tursenioi, a race of Pelasgian pirates, "who left many traces of their ancient power in the islands and coasts of the Aegean, and who were doubtless identical with the Etruscans of Italy." 38] Madai refers to the Medes. 39] These three areas are considered to be land to the north of the Middle East and was part of the inheritance of the sons of Japheth. Gomer, the seventh son of Japheth, is referred to in Ezekiel 38:6. His descendents are believed to be a reference to a barbaric horde of Aryans who in the seventh century B.C. left southern Russia and poured through the Caucasus into western Asia.

37] David Francis Roberts, "Javan," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

38] Horace J. Wolf, "Tiras," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

39] W. St. Clair Tisdall, "Madai," and "Medes," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Ezekiel 38:5Word Study on "Persia" - The Hebrew name "Persia" "paw-ras" ( פָּרַס) (H 6539) is of uncertain origin. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Persia 27, Persian 1." Strong says it may be derived from ( פְּרַס) (6537), which means, "to split, divide."

Comments- Persia is better understood as a reference to the Persian Empire. BDB says, "Persia proper was bounded on the west by Susiana or Elam, on the north by Media, on the south by the Persian Gulf and on the east by Carmania Persian"; however, the territory that the Persian empire controlled "encompassed the territory from India on the east to Egypt and Thrace on the west, and included, besides portions of Europe and Africa, the whole of western Asia between the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian and the Jaxartes on the north, the Arabian desert, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean on the south."

Ezekiel 38:5Word Study on "Ethiopia" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Ethiopia," or "Cush," "kuwsh" ( כּוּשׁ) (H 3568), means, "black." The Enhanced Strong says this word is found 30 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "Ethiopia 19, Cush 8, Ethiopians 3."

Comments- The BDB says that Ethiopia refers to "the son of Ham and grandson of Noah and the progenitor of the southernmost peoples located in Africa," and "the land occupied by the descendants of Cush was located around the southern parts of the Nile (Ethiopia)." John Hagee says Ethiopia refers to the Sinai Peninsula. 40]

40] John Hagee, John Hagee Today (San Antonio, Texas: John Hagee Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), 24November 2008, television program.

Ezekiel 38:5Word Study on "Libya" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Libya" "puwt" ( פּוּט) (H 6316) means, "a bow." BDB says that it refers to "a nation and people of north Africa, probably Libya." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 7 times in the Old Testament, bring translated in the KJV as "Put 2, Phut 2, Libyan 2, Libya 1." Smith says, "It is applied by the Greek and Roman writers to the African continent, generally, however, excluding Egypt."

Ezekiel 38:5 — "all of them with shield and helmet" - Comments- Note how well prepared for battle this army will be.

Ezekiel 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Ezekiel 38:6Word Study on "Gomer" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Gomer" "go"-mer" ( גֹּמֶר) (H 1586) means, "complete." The ISBE says that Gomer is believed to be a reference to "a barbaric horde of Aryans who in the seventh century B.C. left Southern Russia and poured through the Caucasus into Western Asia." 41] BDB says Gomer was "the progenitor of the early Cimmerians and other branches of the Celtic family."

41] George Ricker Berry, "Gomer," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Ezekiel 38:6Word Study on "bands…bands" - Strong says the Hebrew word "bands" "ag-gawf" ( אֲגַף) (H 102) means, "wings (of an army), crowds (of troops)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 7 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "bands 7."

Ezekiel 38:6 — "Gomer, and all his bands" - Comments- Gomer was one of the seven sons of Japheth, the son of Noah. This also was a northern tribe that joins itself with Gog, its brother and the prince of Magog.

Ezekiel 38:6Word Study on "Togarmah" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Togarmah" "to-gar-maw" ( תֹּגַרְמָה) (H 8425) means, "thou wilt break her." Togarmah was the son of Gomer and grandson of Japhath. BDB says these descendents dwelt in the area of Armenia, since we can see the letters "armah" within the name. There are only four references to this name in the Old Testament, the other three being:

Genesis 10:3, "And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah."

1 Chronicles 1:6, "And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah."

Ezekiel 27:14, "They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules."

Ezekiel 38:6, "Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee."

Ezekiel 38:6Comments- John Hagee says that Gomer is Germany, and Togarmah is Turkey. This passage tells us that they will ally with Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya ( Ezekiel 38:5), with Russia being their commander ( Ezekiel 38:7). 42]

42] John Hagee, John Hagee Today (San Antonio, Texas: John Hagee Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), 24November 2008, television program.

Ezekiel 38:7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

Ezekiel 38:7Comments- Today, Russia is emerging as the "commander" of the Islamic nations that are gathering against Israel.

Ezekiel 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

Ezekiel 38:8Comments- Ezekiel 38:8 tells us that the restoration of the nation of Israel will precede the Battle of Gog and Magog. Israel's restoration in 1948 takes place "after many days" and "in the latter days," a period two and a half thousand years after this prophecy. Israel will be "brought back from the sword," a reference to the Hitler's genocide against the Jews during WWII. The new Israel is nation that has been "gathered out of many people." This land, which was destroyed by the Babylonians and Romans , laid waste for centuries, has now been "brought fourth out of the nations," referring to the fact that Jews have gathered in Israel from many nations. These great armies of the north will gather during a time when Israel appears to "dwell safely all of them." During this season of Israel's restoration, the battle of Gog and Magog will take place, which is popularly believed to be during the time of the Great Tribulation period that immediately precedes the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ.

Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

Ezekiel 38:13Word Study on "Sheba" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Sheba" "sheb-aw" ( שְׁבָא) (H 7614) means, "seven" or "an oath or covenant," occurring 23times in the Old Testament, bring translated in the KJV as "Sheba 23." However, there are five different individuals by this name in the Old Testament.

Comments- In the Table of Nations ( Genesis 10:1-32) there are two individuals named Sheba listed in this genealogy as the sons of Noah. The first Sheba was the son of Raamah the son of Cush who was the son of Ham ( Ezekiel 10:7). The second individual named Sheba ( Genesis 10:28) was the son of Joktan son of Eber who was a descendant of Shem. Some scholars, such as Gesenius, suggest that Sheba the Hamite of Ezekiel 10:7 is twice identified with his brother Dedan (see Ezekiel 38:13) in an effort to make him a distinct individual from Sheba the Shemite of Genesis 10:28. Gesenius suggests that Sheba the Hamite lived in northern Arabia "near the Persian Gulf and near the mouth of the Euphrates," while Sheba the Shemite would be a reference to the country of Sheba in southern Arabia.

Regarding this south Arabian country of Sheba, the Old Testament refers to the queen of Sheba ( 1 Kings 10:1-13, 1 Chronicles 9:1-12), which scholars recognize as a country in southern Arabia from whom come the Sabaens. These people are referred to as traders in gold and spices who inhabited a land remote from Palestine ( Psalm 72:15, Isaiah 60:6, Jeremiah 6:20, Ezekiel 27:22). Jesus referred to the queen of Sheba as the queen of the south ( Matthew 12:42). Joel refers to the Sabeans as "a people afar off" who will purchase the Israelites as slaves. In Job 1:15 the Sabeans fell upon Job's possessions and took them. The ISBE says the Arab genealogists tell us that "Saba is represented as the great-grandson of Qachtan (= Joktan) and ancestor of all the South-Arabian tribes. He is the father of Chimyar and Kahlan. He is said to have been named Saba because he was the first to take prisoners (shabhah) in war. He founded the capital of Saba and built its citadel Marib (Mariaba), famous for its mighty barrage." 43] Its capital was Marib, located in modern day Yemen. 44] The ISBE says we can also find the names of other brothers to Sheba the Shemite in southern Arabia, giving the modern example of the name Hazarmaveth = Hadhramaut ( Genesis 10:26) in this region. 45]

43] Thomas Hunter Weir, "Sheba," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

44] David J. A. Clines, Job 1-20 , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 17, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), 31.

45] Thomas Hunter Weir, "Sheba," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Ezekiel 38:13Word Study on "Dedan" - BDB says the Hebrew name "Dedan" "ded-awn" ( דְּדָן) (H 1719) means, "low country." He was the brother of Sheba and the son of Raamah the son of Cush who was the son of Ham. This name is mentioned fifteen times in the Old Testament in reference to two different individuals.

Comments- A reference to this people in Isaiah 21:13 called them inhabitants of Arabia who traveled in caravans. This is one reason why some scholars suggest that Dedan's brother Sheba the Hamite ( Genesis 10:7) is identical with Sheba the Shemite ( Genesis 10:28), since Sheba the Shemite clearly inhabited southern Arabia. Gesenius says this name can still be identified on the island of Daden, "an island of the Persian Gulf." This individual is not to be confused with Dedan the son of Jokshan and grandson of Abraham and Keturah who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Edom.

Ezekiel 38:13 — "with all the young lions thereof" - Comments- John Hagee says that "Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish" refer to Europe. He teaches that the young lions are a reference to England and the U.S.A. He explains that the emblem of the U.K. is the lion. Therefore, the phrase "young lions" would be a reference to all those nations who have come forth out of the U.K, which includes the U.S.A. 46] However, it may also refer to the Middle Eastern nations that have descended from the nations of Sheba and Dedan of Arabia.

46] John Hagee, John Hagee Today (San Antonio, Texas: John Hagee Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), 24November 2008, television program.

Ezekiel 38:10-13Comments- Gog's Reason for Waging War Against Israel Is Economic Gain - Ezekiel 38:10-13 tells us that the reason Gog (modern Russia) and its allies wage war against the restored nation of Israel is for economic gain. The economy of the Middle East is driven by oil. It would make sense for Russia to see this war as an opportunity to gain its position as the leading world power by controlling the Middle East. It would please the Arabs to destroy the Jews and recover their land. It would give Russia favor among the Arabs and their oil reserves. It is oil that brings much wealth and prosperity to a nation. Without oil, a nation remains deprived of most luxuries.

Ezekiel 38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

Ezekiel 38:20Comments - Ezekiel 38:20 follows the same division of the animal kingdom that is presented in the Creation Story ( Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3). This verse also presents these divisions (fish, birds, beasts, creeping things, man) in the same order as they are presented in the Creation Story.

Ezekiel 38:19-20Comments - The Great Earthquake - Ezekiel 38:19-20 describes a great earthquake that shakes the entire earth and its inhabitants, an event that is used to destroy the invading armies encamped against the Revelation -born nation of Israel. The book of Revelation refers to a great earthquake at the battle of Armageddon ( Revelation 16:16; Revelation 16:18).

Revelation 16:16, "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

Revelation 16:18, "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."

Ezekiel 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Ezekiel 38:22Comments - Ezekiel 38:22 refers to a great rain of hail upon the armies, a description also found in Revelation 16:21.

Revelation 16:21, "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Ezekiel 38:18-22Comments- Three Methods of Destruction - Ezekiel 38:18-22 describes three ways in which God will fight against Gog and its allies. He will bring a great earthquake upon the land ( Ezekiel 38:19-20), then He will bring confusion so that every man will turn his sword against his brother ( Ezekiel 38:21), followed with a great rain of fire, hail, and brimstones ( Ezekiel 38:22). This seems to describe the period of the Great Tribulation Period.

It is interesting to note a comment in The Book of Jubilees (), which gives the description of the allotment of Japhath, the son of Noah, which lay to the North. We read that Noah ended this allotment by placing a curse upon any of his sons that attempts to seize the inheritance of another. This curse that Noah pronounced was that God would destroy them with the sword and with fire, which is exactly the way Ezekiel describes that manner in which God destroys Gog and his allies in Ezekiel 38:18-22.


Verses 1-29

The Battle against Gog and its Allies - Ezekiel 38:1 to Ezekiel 39:28 tells us of the second of three end-time prophetic events that will usher Israel back into the forefront of world history. Within the context of the three major events that bring Israel back into full restoration with the Lord ( Ezekiel 37-48), the great battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 must be a great and final battle in which all nations are placed in subjection to the God of Israel. It cannot be a battle that leads to further battles, for after this event Israel will fight no more wars. The Battle of Armageddon is popularly understood to take place at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period when Jesus Christ will return a second time and fight Israel's enemies with the Word of His mouth and set up His thousand-year reign from the holy city Jerusalem. The passage of Scripture in Ezekiel 38:1 to Ezekiel 39:29 describes Israel's great and final battle with Russia, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia. It may be the same event described in Revelation 16:16-21; Revelation 19:11-21 in which we have a description of an event popularly called the Battle of Armageddon, a term taken from Revelation 16:16, a battle that scholars believe will be fought in the plain of Megiddo. However, Gog and Magog are again gathered for battle against Israel after the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ on earth ( Revelation 20:7-9), an event that may be referenced in Ezekiel 38-39 as well because Old Testament prophecies often merge more than one future event into a single prophecy.

We learn from these two chapters of Ezekiel that the nations that make up modern day Russia will lead in this battle, and will be joined by the modern day countries of Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya ( Ezekiel 38:2-7). The land of Ethiopia may refer to the nations of northern Africa, or even Arabia. The restoration of the nation of Israel will precede the Battle of Armageddon ( Ezekiel 38:8-9). It will take place during the "latter years" ( Ezekiel 38:8-9). Bible scholars believe that this refers to the time of the Great Tribulation period that immediately precedes the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ. We also learn from these two chapters that Gog will gather against Israel during a time of apparent peace when the Jews seem to be living safely ( Ezekiel 38:10-13). Some scholars believe that this refers to the first three and a half years of the Tribulation Period when the Antichrist will enter into a covenant of peace with Israel, before breaking it by defiling the sacred Temple in Jerusalem in the midst of the Tribulation ( Daniel 9:27). When God fights against Gog and his allies He will do so in three ways ( Ezekiel 38:18-22). He will bring a great earthquake upon the land ( Ezekiel 38:19-20), then He will bring confusion so that every man will turn his sword against his brother ( Ezekiel 38:21), followed with a great rain of fire, hail and brimstones ( Ezekiel 38:22). This seems to describe the period of the Great Tribulation Period. We read how there will be slain all but one sixth of the armies ( Ezekiel 39:2) and those carcasses will become a feast for the birds and beasts of the field ( Ezekiel 39:4). This feast is very likely described in Revelation 19:17-19.

 


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Ezekiel 38:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/ezekiel-38.html. 2013.

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