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Ezekiel 38:14-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; 16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
Gog will intend to eliminate Israel due to greed. But, God will use that desire as an opportunity to confront that act of evil. Gog will not be a mindless pawn of God, but one who will imagine personal glory in defeating God. But the judgment of Gog will be an act that God will turn to His Glory. Divine purposes will always override human motives. In Habakkuk 1:5-11, a similar message is stated about the Babylonian invasion.
Habakkuk 1:5-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
God’s First Answer
5 Look at the nations and observe—
be utterly astounded!
For something is taking place in your days
that you will not believe
when you hear about it.
6 Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter, impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
7 They are fierce and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards
and more fierce than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.
9 All of them come to do violence;
their faces are set in determination.
They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty; their strength is their god.
Commentary: Ezekiel 38:14-16
14. Gog represents the force (Anti-Christ, or group) that will attack Israel during the seven-year tribulation. ( verses 1-2).
14 Israel is living safely in their land because of the peace treaty that was made between the Jews and Anti-Christ during the tribulation. (Daniel 9:27).
15. RIDING ON HORSES. These could be actual horses used in war, if tribulation judgements (seals, trumpets, bowls) in Rev 6-16 have dealt drastic blows to industries producing war vehicles and weaponry. Or, some sea horses and weapons here (39:3,9) being used symbolically to represent “meaning’ which would be easy to grasp in Ezekiel’s days, but which would be fulfilled in the future time with different war forms suitable to that time. (The peace treaty between the Anti-Christ and Israel is broken by the Anti-Christ).
16, THAT THE NATIONS MAY KNOW ME. The phrase, frequent in Ezekiel, is part of the theme to glorify God and show His sovereign power.
17. ARE YOU HE? This refers to the general references to this time and the participants (Joel 3:9-17; Amos 5:11-12; Zephaniah 3:8). Even Daniel (Dan 2:41-44) referred to this time at least three decades prior to Ezek 38. The nature of the question presupposes that the previous generalities are now being particularized in the person of Gog
Note: The Battle of Armageddon takes place at the end of the tribulation. The Battle of God and Magog takes place at the end of the Millennium after Satan has been released. Both of these battles are part of Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Note: Compare implements of war and implements of peace, as they relate to the times of Tribulation and Millennial peace.
Joel 2:1-2 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand—
2 a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains. A great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like; neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
Joel 3:1-10 American Standard Version (ASV)
1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment upon them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations: and they have parted my land,
3 and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
4 Yea, and what are ye to me, O Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head.
5 Forasmuch as ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly precious things,
6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem unto the sons of the Grecians, that ye may remove them far from their border;
7 behold, I will stir them up out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head;
8 and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the men of Sheba, to a nation far off: for Jehovah hath spoken it.
9 Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare war; stir up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
(vs 10: implements of war; tribulation; plowshares into swords)
Let’s consider the words of the Gaithers led song, “Blow The Trumpet In Zion,” as it relates to 2:1.
Blow The Trumpet In Zion
Isaiah 2:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Future House of God
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
(vs 4: implements of peace; millennium; swords into plowshares)
Let’s consider the Paul Wilbur led song, “Come Let Us Go Up,” as it relates to Isaiah 2:3.
Come Let Us Go Up