When I write I know that there will be those who have not, nor will not open their bibles or pursue my previous blogs, and therefore, I give you all, a little lead into the story. I also wanted to reiterate that I have friends that encourage me, as they tell me, you make the Bible understandable. In thinking about that aspect, I merely write the way I talk; mind you I clean up the language a bit and grammar check extensively. Perhaps this is my way of apologizing if this seems like I am going to slowly. It is, after all, how I learn.
Gog was a descendant of Reuben. Now, since NO ONE (with two exceptions) escaped death, then we can understand that this original person or entity (regarding a people group,) has long since died. It is possible, because it frequently happened throughout history, that someone else now has the name Gog. But TODAY, it is possible that we are dealing with a people group or nation filled with descendants of Gog, that have the same oppressive mentality. In trying to find background information on Gog I see a strong association with the Scythians – violent, nomadic, horseman, who excelled at mounted attacks. Ezekiel may, or may not, have known any of this, and therefore makes the prophecy ever more appropriate.
When we last saw Gog, he decided that he would “go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.” [Ezekiel 38:11,12.]
I suspect that many see Gog has having a preeminent role in world leadership, but verse 13 makes it sound as though not everybody is on board with his plans. If this is the Muslim world, it is obvious, from scripture, that not everyone agrees with Gog’s leadership.
Ezekiel 38:13 NASB “,Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'”‘
Sheba and Dedan, it seems, were within Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is the same town to which the Prophet Jonah tried to flee. I could not find Tarshish on any of my maps, and several commentators agreed that Tarshish, based upon information that is no longer accessible, was on the coast of Spain.
There are many ways to take this statement, “Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder,” as those talking could be aligned with Gog, greedy, or in disagreement.
Matthew Henry conveys a similar idea.
“Sheba and Dedan, the Arabians and the Edomites, and the merchants of Tarshish, of Tyre and Sidon and other maritime cities, they and their young lions that are greedy of spoil and live upon it, shall say, Hast thou come to take the spoil of this land?” Yes, he has; and therefore they wish him success. Or perhaps they envy him or grudge it to him. “Hast thou come for riches who art thyself so rich already?” Or, knowing that God was on Israel’s side, they thus ridicule his attempts, foreseeing that they would be baffled and that he would be disappointed of the prey he promised himself. Or, if he comes to take the prey, they will come and join with him, and add to his forces.”
Whatever verse 13 means, it seems the Lord directly moves on, as he again tells Ezekiel to prophesy. In spite of what Dr. David Reagan thinks, the Lord considers Israel land that is NOW living securely.
Ezekiel 38:14,15 NET. “Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: ‘This is what the sovereign LORD says: On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will take notice 15) and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army.
We have already, in my previous post, discussed Gog. We know he is a leader, but of what country or nation?
Ezekiel 38:2 ISV “Son of Man, turn your attention toward Gog, from the land of Magog, the chief noble of Meshech, and Tubal. Prophesy this against him:
Meshech and Magog are in the region of land that some call the “stan” nations. This region of the world is currently under Turkish control, and it lies in the southern regions between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Russia, for a period, retained control over these nations but eventually relinquished their public grasp. Wiser men would tell you to keep your eyes on Recep Erdoğan, the “leader” of Turkey.
“all of them riding on horses.”
I did an internet search to find out what nations still have mounted equestrian Calvary units. It turns out that India has one of the largest. After that comes Chile and then Germany (Strangely, under the leadership of Angela Merkel, Germany seems to be giving itself over entirely to Islamic rule.) None of these seem to fit the requirements of a mounted equestrian group that would potentially come from the north in such mass numbers.
The word for mounted soldiers is Calvary. However, that can mean almost any form of mobilized units anymore.
So, the truth is, I have no clear idea how Ezekiel 38:15 is going to play out. However, we may have to keep a closer eye on India, and perhaps Germany now.
Ezekiel 38:16 ISV “You’ll come up to invade my people Israel like a storm cloud to cover the land. In the last days, Gog, I’ll bring you up to invade my land so that the world will learn to know me when I show them how holy I am before their very eyes.”
“You’ll come up to invade my people Israel like a storm cloud to cover the land.”
This may seem simplistic, but consider how storm clouds come; some are tall and ominous, and can bring lightning, hail, and tornadoes; while others, bringing rain can be scattered and welcome after a hot dry season – that will not be the case here; and then, there are those that cover the sky from end to end – these remove the bright light from the day, bring rain, and often destruction. The descriptive we given through Ezekiel has no good in it; and, like the destructive storms, you know many are going to get hurt.
“Gog, I’ll bring you up to invade my land so that the world will learn to know me when I show them how holy I am before their very eyes.”
I have come to realize that nothing happens outside of God’s will. That includes the good and the bad. Do I understand the bad and appreciate it, hardly, but I must accept and understand that God does. In this case, we are told that God intends to show the world that He is Holy, through His actions He is about to take with Gog and his armies.
One last thing I want you to think about. Since Gog can be a person or a people group from the region of Turkey, then let’s assume this is the Turkish leader leading the attack. Since we all know he is a Muslim, then we can presume that the majority of those who follow Gog into battle are Muslims as well. If all Muslims believe in this created god Allah, and, everything they understand from the Quran is in opposition to God, then wouldn’t God killing practically all of them on the mountains of Israel, just make sense. It is the manner in which God kills them should garner the most attention, and, have the potential to restore God to the place of honor He deserves. (The reality of this, is that there will be no significant restoration of God’s honor in the mind of the Muslim, nor the world in general. However, it is going to happen.)
Again, the message is repeated. Keep in mind that prophesy to the Jewish mind is repeated patterns, and so God does just that.
Ezekiel 38:17 NET. ” ‘This is what the sovereign LORD says: Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them?
“…of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them?”
I tried to find the names of the prophets “who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them.” But in direct reference to Gog, there is only one mention of that name prior to Ezekiel’s prophesy, and that is found 1 Chronicles 5:4. Everything else is in reference to the utter destruction of large groups such as Moab, the Assyrians, the sons of Sheth, and the Amalekites.
Lacking a direct reference to Gog, Psalm 110:5-6 is one.
Isaiah 34 sounds very much like the complete destruction of a fighting force
Isaiah 34:2-6 NET. For the LORD is angry at all the nations and furious with all their armies. He will annihilate them and slaughter them. 3) Their slain will be left unburied, their corpses will stink; the hills will soak up their blood. 4) All the stars in the sky will fade away, the sky will roll up like a scroll; all its stars will wither, like a leaf withers and falls from a vine or a fig withers and falls from a tree. 5) He says, “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. Look, it now descends on Edom, on the people I will annihilate in judgment.” 6) The LORD’s sword is dripping with blood, it is covered with fat; it drips with the blood of young rams and goats and is covered with the fat of rams’ kidneys. For the LORD is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah, a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom.
Ezekiel ends much like the grand finale at a fireworks show, with repeated themes and impressive descriptives that include the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all who live on the face of the earth, shaking at the presence of the Lord.
Ezekiel 38:18-23 NET. On that day, when Gog invades the land of Israel, declares the sovereign LORD, my rage will mount up in my anger. 19) In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I declare that on that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20) The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground, and all people who live on the face of the earth will shake at my presence. The mountains will topple, the cliffs will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21) I will call for a sword to attack Gog on all my mountains, declares the sovereign LORD; every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22) I will judge him with plague and bloodshed. I will rain down on him, his troops and the many peoples who are with him a torrential downpour, hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23) I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’
When He says, “every man’s sword will be against his brother,” it sounds very much like a description of Ismael’s descendants.
Genesis 16:11-12 NASB The angel of the LORD said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. 12) “He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”
I find myself looking at videos that demonstrate justice being served, and maybe that is why this statement, “I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations,” appeals to me, because I grow weary of my God being attacked; and, I grow weary of those following after Christ being slaughtered in the name of some imaginary god. I, like David, cry out,
Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. Psalms 35:17 NASB
And not only my soul Lord, but the souls of all those who call upon your name.