Ezekiel 38 and 39
Donnie's Teaching Notes
EZEKIEL’S END-TIMES PROPHECY AGAINST GOG
Donnie’s Teaching Notes
Last updated 7.7.07
(The following are my study notes BEFORE Joel Richardson published his bestseller “Mideast Beast” in 2012. I believe this is an important reminder as teachers, we should be students of the Word, keep an open mind on some of our prophecy positions, and keep up-to-date on difficult topics that are being addressed by scholarly writers and Bible teachers.)
Ezekiel was a prophet who ministered to the nation Israel during the Babylonian captivity (606-536 B.C.). Ezekiel 36 reveals God’s prophetic plan for the nation Israel. It begins with the promise of restoration to her land, immediately prior the last days.
Ezekiel 36:23-24 (NIV)
23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
24 "'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
The fulfillment of this prophecy began to occur on May 14, 1948, when Israel became a nation again.
Ezekiel 37 foresees another event prior to Israel’s spiritual rebirth. “The vision of dry bones,” explains how God’s people would miraculously come together and be re-gathered to their homeland from among the nations of the world where they had been scattered.
Ezekiel 37:11-12 (NIV)
11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'
12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
God’s covenant people have been regathered as a nation and the world witnessed Israel taking full control of Jerusalem during the Six Day War on June 5, 1967.
Ezekiel 38 & 39 is a prophecy that occurs after the re-gathering of the nation. The prophet foretells of an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations under the leadership of a man called “Gog.” “Gog is probably more of a title, like “Czar” or “President” than a person. This prophecy concerning Gog and the nation Israel is one of the most dramatic predictions in the Bible.
The first few verses of Ezekiel 38 identified specific geographic regions/nations the Antichrist will ultimately conquer. From these areas, we see the make-up of the invading nations of his final end-times empire.
Gog, probably a reference to the Antichrist, is a powerful leader from the north of Israel. If so, Ezekiel identifies the Antichrist as “Gog from Magog” the prince of Rosh, Meschech and Tubal. While the Antichrist’s identity has been withheld from the church, this passage seems to associate him with Russia. Ezekiel informs us, though the specific timing is not revealed, that Gog and his confederacy of nations will eventually advance and storm the nation Israel. This attack on Israel unleashes God’s hot anger and fiery wrath.
The fact of the future invasion is clear. The timing of the invasion is unclear. Will it occur before Daniel’s 70th week begins? Will it occur during the middle of Daniel’s 70th week? Or is this a description of the greatest battle of all time, the Battle of Armageddon which will occur at the end of Daniel’s 70th? Many good end-times scholars have differing opinions. I believe that Ezekiel is describing the rise of the Antichrist’s military machine during the end-times and how he consolidates, not only his ten-nation coalition, but how it expands to include other nations of the world, concluding with the final battle of Armageddon.
ANTICHRIST’S RISE TO POWER – THE BEGINNINGS OF THE EMPIRE
Ezekiel 38:1-2 The word of the Lord came to me: 2"Son of man (a reference to Ezekiel), set your face against Gog (a leader, the Antichrist?), of the land of Magog (Russia, the area located between the Black and Caspian Seas), the chief prince of Meshech (The northern region of Ancient Assyria, but some identify this with Moscow, in western Russia) and Tubal; (Located southeast of the Black Sea, but some associate Tubal with Tobolsk in eastern Russia. These three areas, Magog, Meshech and Tubal were named after grandsons of Noah (see Gen 10) and settled in these northern areas from Israel. The idea seems to be that Gog has conquered and has become the ruler of 3 nations, Magog, Meshech and Tubal. It may be from these 3 nations that the Antichrist will rise to power. (See Dan 7:23, Rev 13:1-3). Exactly which specific country that he will originate from is unclear and not revealed.) prophesy against him (Gog, the ruler of Magog, Meshech & Tubal – Antichrist).
Ezekiel 38:3-4 and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses (The fully armed, mounted on horses. Russia has troops on horses as part of their military.), your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. (The prediction pictures that God will “put hooks” into the “jaws” of Antichrist and bring him into the land of Israel. However, Gog’s forces will include many other nations, allied forces of Islam)
Ezekiel 38:5-6 Persia (Persia changed its name to Iran in 1935. Persia, located to the east of Israel includes modern day Iran and possibly Iraq), Cush (Modern day area of Ethiopia and Sudan, located in Africa) and Put (Modern day Libya located in Northern Africa due west of Egypt, possibly Algeria and Tunisia) will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer (Central Asia Minor, modern day Turkey, or possibly Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria, Poland) with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah (Eastern Turkey, Europe or Western Russia around the area of the Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you (As the Antichrist rises to power in the beginning of the 70th week, we will see an amalgamation or a consolidation of nations that is without precedent. Common to all of these nations from these eight geographic regions – Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, Togarmah - is that, today, they are Islamic dominated nations and have no love for Israel. In fact, radical Islam’s supreme goal is to destroy Israel - along with Christianity- and replace God’s world order with a fundamentalist Islamic order. In the last days, nations from these geographic areas will form an alliance and attack Israel. If the ten nations of the Western European Union represent the Revived Roman Empire of Daniel 2 & 7 could it be that the entire European Union and these Muslim nations will join with the Antichrist and his powerful 10-nation empire that will invade Israel in the last days. See Zechariah 14:2 “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle.”)
GOG (ANTICHRIST) DETERMINES TO ATTACK ISRAEL
Ezekiel 38:7 " 'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days (It has been 2500 years since Ezekiel’s prophecy.) you (Antichrist) will be called to arms. In future years (Before or during Daniel’s 70th week) you (Antichrist) will invade a land that has recovered from war (Israel was re-gathered in 1948, but peace has eluded the nation. God is affirming this future invasion is certain.), whose people were gathered from many nations (Israel, whose people have been gathered from many nations) to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate (From 70 A.D. until 1948 when Israel was regathered). They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. (They live in safety and are secure due to the 7-year covenant. Antichrist will bring Israel a counterfeit peace, while allowing them to resume their sacrifices in the rebuilt temple. Antichrist will then invade Israel sometime after he signs the 7-year covenant.) 9 You (Antichrist) and all your troops and the many nations (We know from other prophecies it will include Antichrist’s 10-nation empire aligned with multiple Islamic armies) with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land. (Antichrist and his armies will be so great in number that they will cover Israel like a cloud. We know that approaching the middle of the week, Jerusalem will be surrounded by the Antichrist and his armies. See Luke 21:20.) 10" 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day (which day is unclear, but undoubtedly sometime during Daniel’s 70th week) thoughts will come into your mind and you (Antichrist) will devise an evil scheme (at this point the Antichrist will be a strong political and military strategist familiar with evil). 11 You (Antichrist) will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people (The invasion occurs when Israel is at peace) --all of them living without walls and without gates and bars (He will attack an unsuspecting people and the unwalled villages of Israel. The scene is a modern scene where walls no longer protect. Ezekiel had never seen unwalled villages, modern weapons make them irrelevant for defense. Israel will not be ready due to the false security of the 7-year covenant). 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 center of the land." (The invasion will occur when Israel is prospering as a nation. Gog will attack with the evil purpose of taking spoils.) 13 Sheba and Dedan (located in the area of Saudi Arabia along the Persian Gulf) and the merchants of Tarshish (Part of Western Europe, England, Spain?) and all her villages (perhaps referring to her offspring – USA?) will say to you, "Have you come to plunder? (Interestingly, these three geographic areas/nations – Dedan, Sheba and Tarshish who are in some fashion sitting on the sidelines - appear to question the motive of this invasion from the Islamic horde. Interestingly, Antichrist’s intentions are unknown at this point. They are asking him, “What up? What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” Apparently, the Antichrist has not yet gained control of the entire world. No one suspects his true and evil motives… Destroying Israel. Persecution of the Church. Proclaiming himself God in the rebuilt Temple. This makes me think the initial attack on Israel occurs very early in Daniel’s 70th week.) Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?"
14 "Therefore, son of man (Ezekiel), prophesy (Prophesy that this event will take place) and say to Gog (Gog seems to be one of the names of the Antichrist. Isaiah calls him both the King of Babylon [See Isaiah 14:4] and the Assyrian [see Isaiah 30:30-31], linking him to the Middle East countries of Iraq and Iran. Daniel 8 & 11 suggests he will be a ruler from Syria. Daniel 7 & 9 seems to link him to the revived Roman Empire. Taken together, he seems to be from Russia or Eastern Europe, politically connected to the modern day Middle East countries of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Exactly which specific country he will originate from is unclear. However, these are not inconsistencies in Scripture. Antichrist will arise in a land North of Israel. He will begin as a “little horn” starting small and then proceed to conquer 3 nations and ultimately consolidate a powerful 10-nation Empire.) '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? 15 You will come from your place in the far north (Antichrist will come out of the far north with many people) you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, (Riding upon horses! Go figure!!!) a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. (Antichrist will amass the greatest army of all time. Why? To destroy the nation and to do battle against Jesus at Armageddon.) In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
GOG IS ANTICHRIST
17" 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? (This is a very interesting verse and helps us determine the identity of Gog! God tells us that He spoke about Gog prior to Ezekiel, but if you search the scriptures you not find the word “Gog” mentioned. But again, Antichrist has several names in Scripture. e is He Isaiah called him “the king of Assyria” and “the king of Babylon.” Daniel called him “the little horn,” and “the king of the North.”) At that time, they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog (Antichrist) attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger (God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord, opposing Gog.) will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord.
FAST FORWARD TO ARMAGEDDON
19 In my zeal and fiery wrath (Any nation thinking of attacking Israel should heed this warning. God’s undiluted wrath occurs during 30 additional days following Daniel’s 70th week and the 7 bowl judgments, concluding with Armageddon.) I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, 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. (The most severe earthquake of all time occurs during the 7th bowl judgment see Rev 16:18-19.)
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. (Confusion in battle. Fighting among themselves.) 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. (God will supernaturally destroy the Antichrist at the end of the week. We are given a vivid description of the fiery battle of Armageddon. The magnitude of destruction will be extraordinary.) 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.'
Ezekiel 39:1-29 A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ARMAGEDDON
1 "Son of man, prophesy against Gog (Antichrist) and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north (Again, the Antichrist will originate from the far north.) and send you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand.
4 On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. (The entire invading army will be wiped out at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. God will strike down all of Antichrist’s armies.) I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. 5 You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. 6 I will send fire on Magog (In addition to wiping out the invading army, a special judgment will be visited on Russia, the homeland of the invaders.) and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, (The Americas, Australia, all the rest of the nations who have bowed the knee to Antichrist.) and they will know that I am the Lord. 7 " 'I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, (The Antichrist is called a blasphemer and will openly profane the name of Jesus.) and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. 8 It is coming! It will surely take place, (God is affirming this day of judgment is certain.), declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of. (What future day has the Lord spoken of throughout the scriptures? Surely it is the Day of the Lord and Armageddon.)
SEVEN YEARS TO BURN THE WEAPONS OF ARMAGEDDON
9 " 'Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up--the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. (Seven years of fuel for fires.) 10 They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord.
SEVEN MONTHS TO BURY THE DEAD
11 " 'On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.
12 " 'For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. (For seven months Israel will be burying the dead. Jesus reclaims the rule of the earth from Satan. He also reclaims physical possession of earth at the Battle of Armageddon. This event completes the Day of the Lord and God’s Wrath. Apparently, this event overlaps into the Millennium.) 13 All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord. 14 " 'Men will be regularly employed to cleanse the land. Some will go throughout the land and, in addition to them, others will bury those that remain on the ground. At the end of the seven months they will begin their search. 15 As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. (After seven months there will be other bodies located and buried.) 16(Also a town called Hamonah will be there.) And so they will cleanse the land.'
17 "Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: 'Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls--all of them fattened animals from Bashan. 19 At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. 20 At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,' declares the Sovereign Lord. (God invites the birds and wild animals to feast on the dead bodies and their horses. This passage parallels Rev 19:17-18 and clearly indicates Gog and Antichrist are the same person.)
21 "I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. (This Day of the Lord judgment is designed to display the power of God.) 22 From that day forward (Armageddon marks the end of punishment and the beginning of eternal restoration.) the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. (God hides his face from Israel when Gog/Antichrist surrounds and tramples Jerusalem in the middle of the week.) 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.
THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL
25"Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord." (And the glory of the Millennial Kingdom will be a reality!)