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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 38

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 38

Now in chapter 38:

The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief ( Ezekiel 38:1-2 )

And the word translated chief is the word Rosh. And most Bible scholars say that the Rosh translated chief should be translated in modern English, Russia, for Rosh is a reference to the modern Russia, the word chief there. So,

the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal ( Ezekiel 38:2 ),

Meshech is the ancient name for Moscow, Tubal of Tobolsk, the Russian cities.

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all of your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: [along with] Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; and all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all of his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all of his bands: and many people with thee ( Ezekiel 38:3-6 ).

So now the prophecy turns and is directed towards Magog, which is the ancient name for those people who lived in the area of the Caucasus and the mountains north of the Caucasus, which is the present day area of Russia, along with Meshech and Tubal, which people were the ancient Scythians that inhabited the area known as Russia today.

Along with Persia, which, of course, Russia, part of Russia is a part of the ancient Persia along with Iraq and Iran. Ethiopia and Libya, along with Gomer, which is Germany, but mainly eastern Germany and Poland. Along with Togarmah, which are your Balkan States: Turkey, and Yugoslavia, Romania.

Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all of your company that are assembled unto thee, and be a guard unto them. For after many days ( Ezekiel 38:7-8 )

Now here's the time of the prophecy.

After many days thou shalt be visited: in the [last] 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 always been waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them ( Ezekiel 38:8 ).

Now, God is predicting that when Israel is gathered back into the land, that there will come an invasion by these nations. Combining themselves together in a massive invasion of the land of Israel. Russia, eastern Europe, the Balkan States, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia.

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shall be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shall think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages ( Ezekiel 38:9-11 );

Or into a land that really is not able to defend itself against my great power.

I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 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. [Now at the time of the invasion] Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all of 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, and to take away the cattle and the goods, and a great spoil? ( Ezekiel 38:11-13 )

Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is England. The young lions could conceivably be the United States, Canada, Australia. Are going to object to this invasion. Now the interesting thing to me is that Saudi Arabia is one of those that objects to the invasion of Russia. Big flack recently over the sale of these AWACS to Saudi Arabia. Israel sought hard to lobby against the sale of these radar-geared planes to Saudi Arabia. I really didn't get troubled or involved in the issue because knowing the scriptures I know that when the real showdown comes, Saudi Arabia will be an ally of sorts to Israel. So Israel really doesn't need to be worried or concerned about the AWAC sale to Saudi Arabia. And if they'd only read their own Bible they'd discover that. So that there will be an objection to this invasion by, first of all, Saudi Arabia, England, and the young lions thereof, which again could conceivably be the United States.

Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog ( Ezekiel 38:14 ),

That is the chief prince of Magog.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people Israel dwells safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts ( Ezekiel 38:14-15 ),

Now take the map, look at Israel and go straight north from Jerusalem. And you find you come right on in to Russia and Moscow lies almost due north of Jerusalem. "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: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days [it's going to take place 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 ( Ezekiel 38:15-16 ).

Now let me say that there has nothing been taken place in history that can be related to these particular prophecies, so let no man tell you that these prophecies have already been fulfilled in some historic experience of the past. For there is nothing in history that can be fitted into these predictions. But the very fact that it says it's in the latter days when Israel has become a nation again and is dwelling in the land puts it in the days in which we presently live.

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? 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. 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; So that the fish of the sea, the fowls of the heaven, the beasts of the field, and all of the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all 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, every wall shall fall to the ground. 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 ( Ezekiel 38:17-21 ).

Very interesting prophecy. There will come an internal revolution in the Russian forces. Now we know that there's a lot of problems presently in some of the satellite countries of Russia. Poland, real problem; Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the prediction here is that part of the destruction will come from a civil war as men begin to turn their swords against their brothers. But then God said,

And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; 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 ( Ezekiel 38:22 )

God has wiped out enemies of Israel in the past with these same types of weapon, raining upon the enemies of Israel the fire and brimstone from heaven. You remember Joshua at the battle at Ajalon where God rained down these rocks and fire from heaven upon their enemy.

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 ( Ezekiel 38:23 ).

So a tremendous earthquake, a great shaking, civil war, or internal discord along with this heavy rain, hailstones, fire and brimstone, God will destroy this invading army. Will it involve atomic warfare? Will the United States be involved? This could only be speculation. We don't know. Could the fire and brimstone, the rain of fire and brimstone be atomic warfare? Possibly. Could it be that there will be an atomic exchange between Russia and the United States? Quite possibly. It could be that he is describing the effects of a nuclear holocaust. And it is quite possible that there will be a massive exchange of nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States. The Bible doesn't say that. That's only speculation as far as, yes, it is possible that that would take place.

I do believe that the rapture of the church is going to be taking place simultaneously with these events, as we will point out as we get into chapter 39. It would be very interesting indeed if there was a nuclear holocaust and the church was translated out of the earth during the time of the nuclear holocaust. They would surely be able to explain the disappearance of many people in a very natural way without causing, really, too much great alarm. Something to think about. The Bible doesn't say. It is only speculation and something to consider, something to think about. However it happens, by whatever means it takes place, these will be the events: a great shaking, even the mountains and the steep places being shaken, so tremendous avalanches, this heavy rain, great hailstones, the fire and the brimstone, plus the civil war. And thus, God will deal with this great invading army of Russia. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 38". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-38.html. 2014.
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