Friday, July 10, 2009

Ezekial 38

1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Gog is the name of the ruler of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. This is not the same Gog and Magog mentioned in Revelation any more than the Jezebel mentioned there is the same woman that married King Ahab of Israel. The Revelation mention is a symbol, which I will deal with when I get there.

We don’t know for sure who this is talking to. Archaeology has not positively identified him yet. We do know that Magog was a grandson of Noah and that the ancients often named a country after their founding ancestor. Magog settled somewhere in Turkey. We know that there were countries in Turkey at about the time of Ezekiel named Meshech and Tubal. Best guess is that Gog is a major ruler in what we now call Turkey in the mid 500’s – 200’s BC.

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

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:

God didn’t like him.

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

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

These countries evidently were allies of Gog. We do know that Antiochus Epiphanes and his father had these nations as allies and that they plundered Israel repeatedly. It is possible that they are the fulfillment of this chapter. It is not at all unusual for kings to be known by more than one name in history (For example, Ramses II is also known as Shishak, Sisi, and a couple of other names just in Egyptian writings. Conquered nations often come up with their own names for foreign rulers, too, to further complicate things.)

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.

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.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

Ezekial give prophecy here that God will lead a great army.

10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

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?

Gog is going to turn his attention on Palestine, which was mostly made up of unwalled villages. He will do this in order to plunder them.

Chronologicaly, Antiochus IV fits. Israel had a time of peace after her return to her homeland (chapter 37) and then was conquered by the Syrians (chapter 38?).

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

Many put this scripture still ahead of us. However it clearly says here that Israel’s enemies will come “all of them riding upon horses.” I cannot imagine any army today reverting to the use of horses. This obviously was talking about some time before mechanized warfare.

16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

Isaiah, Joel, Deuteronomy, Psalms

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

A “great shaking” was most likely political, not a literal earthquake.

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.

Again, this is most likely talking about warfare and politics. God would fight for His people in such a great way that the only sufficient way to describe it would be the symbol of a great earthquake.

21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

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.

23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

God caused Median soldiers to begin to fight each other in the time of Gideon. He promises to do this again. We do know that during the time of Antiochus IV the Macabees had many miraculous victories. They should not have been able to kick him out of the country. It was only by God’s intervention that they were successful. Also, Antiochus died from a horrid disease from God, not in battle.

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