All the people of the land will bury them. Ezekiel 39:11-16

I was hoping to get through Ezekiel 39 with this post, but that is not going to happen. Having finished, for the moment with what I apparently needed to say, I discovered I only made it through verse 16.

I find it difficult to merely throw something on paper and then just walk away; the reasons for this come out of a face to face understanding that it is a rarity to find someone who actually has a grasp on what this Bible, we hold so dear, actually says. And, when you do find someone who has knowledge in the Word, you typically walk away from them thinking they should be a prosecuting attorney, not a Bible teacher (I am saying this because I have had that experience, on multiple occasions.) I cannot simply let you walk away from a Bible study I am involved with, without understanding how and why a piece of information works or not.

All passages are from the NASB unless specified otherwise.

The last time I looked at Ezekiel 39, I ended on verse 10 where we find Israel gathering up weapons, which they use for firewood for the next seven years. This is hugely significant for two reasons.

  • While Gog is not declared to be Islamic we do know that he is considered to be an aspect of the Scythians. However, they are all descendants of Noah, out of Japheth, and Reuben’s family tribe which was left out of the inheritance. The family of Reuben dispersed to the North and South, and there were known familial relations between the Scythians and Egyptians. When trying to determine who we might be dealing with, such as an Islamic influence the most telling of all the clues come from the integration of Persians/Assyrians into the Scythians, but then, why not, for they were all kin in the long run. Gog/the Scythians have one determined purpose, and that is to wipe Israel and the descendants of Jacob off the map.

  • The second immense thing to note is the period, seven-years. Why is this important? Because there is an association with the seven-year period known as the time of God’s wrath. Now, you have to ask yourself when does this take place? Since we have no exact timing, we can intelligently speculate.

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB)

The “it” is the catching away of the church. The description shows us that almost immediately the “man of lawlessness” is revealed. Since he comes with a peace treaty that he signs with many (Israel is not specifically mentioned when these agreements are mentioned, and so it is inappropriate to think this treaty is for Israel’s benefit.), we know that the armies of Gog lost. We know this because Israel is gathering the enemies weapons, and, as we will see, taking six months to bury the dead. This war was an overwhelming defeat, but not because of any direct intervention by Israel; this was God’s war.

In the Revelation chapter 4 verse 1, the sentence begins with, “After these things.” The question I hear most, although unintelligently, is what things. The practical and intelligent answer is the close of the church age, this Gog/Magog war, the advent of the “man of lawlessness”, and the onset of the seven-years of God’s wrath.

Applying some practical and logical thought to the scenario would put the Gog/Magog war shortly before the man of lawlessness steps to the forefront and puts forth a peace treaty (peace treaties are rarely necessary with times of relative peace such as Israel has now.) This ugliness can all happen within days, before or after. A few days does not seem to matter in God’s timing, but one thing is sure, all stops will be pulled out, and God’s wrath will begin with the removal of the church.

All the people of the land will bury them.

Ezekiel 39:11 “On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the Valley of Hamon-Gog.”

  • on that day.”

    There are several events associated with the phrase, “on that day.” Many carry a definite link to the wrath of God, and, there are associations with His coming for the church. But, the most dramatic is the day Jesus comes back as the messiah for which Israel has been looking. What is the logical link here? The answer that makes the most sense is when God begins to pour out His wrath upon the earth.

  • I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by.”

    The land of Canaan. Megiddo sits about the center.

    Based upon information on a trade routes map, one of those routes ran from Damascus around Megiddo and South down the coast.

    East of the sea is unclear, but because the valley will obstruct travelers, a likely candidate is the area of southern Galilee that leads toward the Dead Sea (called the Valley of Jezreel in Joshua 17:16 Joshua 17:16). [Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary]

  • So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the Valley of Hamon-Gog.”

    I have 30 translations on my computer, and all of them say Gog will be buried there. However, a commentator says, this is no more Gog than it is Antiochus, but his commanders and generals. While that may be, Gog seems to be silenced.

    To say this is no more Gog than it is Antiochus falls on deaf ears unless you are familiar with the information given to Daniel in chapter 11 of that book. In chapter 10 of Daniel, we are introduced to an angel; we assume to be Gabriel. Gabriel gives Daniel such a precise history of future events that many believe it was written after the fact. One of those characters, Antiochus Epiphanes, becomes the forerunner of the Antichrist and presumably Gog, in this case. The point being, Antiochus is long since dead by the time these events come, so there is some sarcasm involved in the comment.

    Fascinating how at the end of the thousand-year reign, Gog is once again called upon to lead an uncountable number in a battle against the Holy City Jerusalem. Question: Entering into the millennial reign how long will people live? The answer is, until they die – barring the criminal actions of others. Old age, it seems, will be along the lines of 900 years once again. This should make your head hurt, as there will be those living on the earth that will never die. This Gog/Magog war happens at the beginning of the seven-year time of wrath, and, in that war, Gog is killed. Obviously, he is not one of those who lives through the 1000 year reign, and yet, once again, Gog and all those with him will be killed by flames.

  • “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. “Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself,” declares the Lord GOD. “They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months, they will make a search. “As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man’s bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. “And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land.”‘ Ezekiel 39:12-16 NASB)

    Listening to Chuck Missler, the founder of Koinonia House, teaching on this subject, he describes these dead as most likely irradiated from nuclear attack. That assessment seems odd when this is God’s war and according to scripture, He has a proven track record with non-nuclear methods. One of those methods is brimstone – burning, encapsulated, sulfur. Now, if God chose to use men and their nuclear armaments for His purposes – something He has done before, would the outcome be the same? Certainly, but most everything on the battlefield would be irradiated, reducing the probabilities that people would pick up weapons to burn.

    Let’s assume they are irradiated. What then are the procedures? Our government has them posted and here they are.

Field Morgue Procedures

    • Conduct radiation survey of each body coming into field morgue using a radiation survey meter and probe (see above) sweeping 1 inch away from the body surface
      • Decedents with measurable levels of contamination
        • <100 millirems/hour: may be processed in field morgue
          • Remove and safely store radioactive shrapnel ASAP
          • Conduct forensic examination and victim identification
          • Decontaminate decedent prior to release of body
        • >100 millirems/hour: move to a refrigeration unit
          • Storage of bodies reading >100 mrem/hr will help ensure safety of morgue staff
          • Refrigerator should be at least 30 feet away from work area
          • Radiation Safety Officer or health physicist will help determine how long to store the body based on rate of decay of fission products
      • Release decedents with internal contamination to funeral home
        • Label body with dose rate, distance of probe, date & time

I only added this to demonstrate that some cautions must be taken. Based on what we now know and that the Israelis have to mark the area where a dead body lies, and the fact that the area must be cleansed opens the door to possible nuclear contamination.

Aren’t we forgetting something; these are Jewish considerations and it requires some Jewish understanding on our part.

A website concerned with Jewish traditions tells us,

Jewish custom insists on prompt burial as a matter of respect for the dead, a consideration of particular relevance in hot climates. According to one Kabbalistic source, burial refreshes the soul of the deceased, and only after burial will it be admitted to God’s presence (Midrash ha-Ne’lam to Ruth; cf. Zohar, Ex. 151a).

Since there may be minimal concern about most of these dead ending up in God’s presence, promptness may not be the primary motivation. Civility, however, may be the overriding factor.

The following aspect is one that was presented to us as we encountered the death of Christ in scripture.

The precedents set by the prompt burials of Sarah (Gen. 23) and of Rachel (Gen. 35:19) are reinforced by the Torah’s express command that even the body of a man who had been hanged shall not remain upon the tree all night, but “thou shalt surely bury him the same day” (Deut. 21:23).

The next paragraph asserts that there is a high priest in place, and that is not the case at present; however one will be seated when the Temple gets rebuilt; and, the presence of a temple may play a role in this process.

The Talmud (BK 81a) states that speedy burial of a corpse found unattended (met mitzvah) was one of the ten enactments ordained by Joshua at the conquest of Canaan and is incumbent even on the high priest who was otherwise forbidden to become unclean through contact with the dead (Nazir 7:1). Josephus records that it is forbidden to let a corpse lie unburied (Apion, 2:211), and consideration for the dead is one of the central features of Tobit (2:8).

While all this gives us possible explanations as to why Israel buries the dead for seven months. Neither possibility can be excluded, however, one theory takes precedence when you add this aspect of scripture into the mix.

and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself,” declares the Lord GOD.”

Why is this important? Because we seem to forget that God didn’t simply put everything on hold as Israel goes about burying dead enemies. This entire scenario has taken place either, mere days before the catching away of the church and the leader who personifies the Antichrist stepping forward proffers a peace treaty; or, it is moments or days after the rapture.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

This line of demarcation – the rapture, reveals the man of lawlessness, and ushers in God’s wrath, an aspect of which is against Israel for their rejection.

Subject to God’s wrath, you might think there is no hope for Israel.

Here is where you have to set aside your religious hats and consider the God of mercy.

I tell people that the Great White Throne, the seat of final judgment, only shows up in two places in scripture: Revelation 20 and Matthew 25. Those that think they understand what they call the sheep and goat judgment we find in Matthew 25 will argue vehemently against this possibility. Both examples carry the same results with two exceptions:

  • Revelation 20 tells us that He calls forth the dead; while Matthew 25 says that the nations are called to Him.

  • Matthew showed us a separation of people, calling them sheep (followers) and the others are designated as goats (non-followers.) In the Revelation, we are merely told about those whose names are not written in the books (the book of life is included.) Matthew’s account did not exclude the books but focuses on those found in the book of life.

  • In both instances there is a final destination for those found lacking, but Matthew gives us one extra piece of information: Those now allowed into the kingdom, lacking all the whoop-la that religion demands have, according to the judge’s explanation, merely performed some act of kindness, such as giving someone a drink of water. Jesus tells them that they were giving that drink to Him.

Is it possible that the nation of Israel in burying the enemies dead, qualifies as an act of kindness; finds some redemption; and, thereby gains entrance into the kingdom? It would seem that God has already qualified it as such.

This entry was posted in bible study, End times, Ezekiel, God's character, Gog, Islam, judgment, Prophetic, Revelation, Thoughts on scripture, wrath. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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