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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 38

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-23



Verses 1-23:

Verses 1, 2 recount the Lord’s commission for Ezekiel to make a specific prophecy of Divine judgment against Gog. He is or was known as "The prince (or ruler) of Magog," the territory of his reign, located in northern Europe, believed to be the area of Russia today. Gog is the "prince, ruler," and Magog is the, land over which he reigns. In connection with this read also Zechariah 12:1-4; Zechariah 14:1-9; Matthew 24:14-30; Revelation 14:14-20; Revelation 19:17-21.

Verse 3 further directs Ezekiel to prophesy that the Lord God is against Gog the chief prince or administrative ruler of Meshech (which is Moscow) and Tubal (which is Tobolsk or Leningrad today), 2 Kings 19:28; Isaiah 37:29; Ezekiel 32:26. Russia and her northern satellite powers in Europe have been the most haughty and cruel of Israel’s persecutors in these latter days. This is in harmony with both Divine justice, and with the covenants, that destruction should fall on them at the end time, Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 30:3. The entire prophecy alludes to: 1) The day of Jehovah, as described Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 19:2) The battle of Armageddon, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 19:3) The final revolt of the nations, Revelation 20:7-9.

Verse 4 asserts that the Lord will turn Gog and his armies back, by means of hooks in his jaws, as a wild beast is led about when he makes an assault on the people of God, returned to Jerusalem and their land. It will be much as foreshadowed by the Lord’s judgment upon Sennacherib, as described, Ezekiel 23:12; Ezekiel 29:4; 2 Kings 19:28. Satan shall deceive and lead them to assault the fortress of God’s chosen people, restored to their land, to his own destruction, Revelation 2:7-8.

Verses 5 names tree nations involved in this prophetic end time battle array: 1) Persia, the lands of Iran and Iraq today, and 2) Ethopia, of northern Africa, and 3) Lybia, or Phut of north Africa, the farthest countries south from where Ezekiel lived and prophesied in Babylon.

Verse 6 identifies Israel’s foes as a band of many, also coming from Gomer of the German and Celtic area, and Togarmah, the Armenians of the Caucasus area, of the Baltic south of Iberia, and the Slovacs also to the north of the land of Israel, Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; See also Genesis 10:3; 1 Chronicles 1:6; Ezekiel 27:14; Daniel 11:40.

Verse 7 charges them, with a note of irony and sarcasm, to be prepared, armed to the hilt, with all the masses they have assembled, that they may perish together, Isaiah 8:9. They are called upon to be a guard or security over each other, if they can. But let it be understood that none can stand against the will and word of God, when just judgment falls on those at enmity with Him; For they shall perish together.

Verse 8 describes the invasion and assault of the enemies of God, the northern gentile nations, as they swoop down upon Israel, who has returned from dispersion, through all the earth, and settled in her own land and in Jerusalem, in safety, as in ancient times, Deuteronomy 4:10; Isaiah 29:6; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 28:26; Ezekiel 34:25-26; Jeremiah 33:16. But the evil out of the north will roll down.

Verse 9 addresses the confederacy of the north, prophesying that they shall ascend with their many armed bands, come over the mountain ranges north of Israel, out of eastern Europe especially, like a storm cloud filled with lightning and thunder, to overrun Israel, with hopes of loot and gain of the plunder of her destruction, Isaiah 28:2; Jeremiah 4:13; Joel 2:2.

Verse 10 declares that at that time certain things, (evil thoughts) of greed and covetousness will come into, literally penetrate, to control their minds to evil actions, Genesis 6:5. Or they would conceive mischievous purposes.

Verse 11 discloses the evil imaginations, premeditated intentions of profit, by destruction of the people and property of Israel, that entered or shall enter the hearts of the Gentile kingdoms of the north. They imagine that it will be a "cake-walk," Pike stealing or taking children’s cookies, to swoop down on Israel at peace in her rebuilt and unwalled cities and villages without bars and gates. They recall that Antiochus, a type of the antichrist, took Jerusalem without a blow. So why should they not do likewise, they reason, Jg 18;7, 27; Jeremiah 49:31; Zechariah 2:4-5.

Verse 12 defines the intent and purpose of this northern army, as motivated for greed, spoil, and prey from the land and people of Israel who have regathered to their land, navel from the nations, and prospered mightily in cattle and goods. For Israel and Jerusalem are said to be set, fixed, or placed in the midst of the nations, Judges 9:37; Ezekiel 5:5. It has become the envy of the godless foes of Israel, Revelation 20:9.

Verse 13 relates that Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish, merchants of the western world, though not engaging in the battle, rejoice to share in the loot, by carrying her captured merchants of silver and gold, and cattle and goods, on her ships to other lands, Psalms 57:4; Ezekiel 19:3; Ezekiel 19:6; Ezekiel 27:22; Ezekiel 32:2; See also Jeremiah 50; Jeremiah 17; Jeremiah 51:38, Ezekiel 19; Ezekiel 3, 5; Nahum 2:11; Nahum 2:13; Zechariah 11:3.

Verse 14 charges Ezekiel to advise Gog, administrative ruler of the land of Magog, that when His people Israel dwell safely in their land, in the era of their final restoration, Gog will be ignorant of the fact that they dwell safely, under the shadow of Divine care, though their cities and villages are unwalled, Isaiah 4:1.

Verse 15 prophesies of Gog that he shall come from his place out of the north, both he and his huge army, riding upon horses, with pillage, plunder, and loot in their minds, Ezekiel 39:2. It is related that the Scythian warriors ate, drank, and slept in the saddle upon their horses.

Verse 16 declares that they shall descend upon God’s people Israel, like a dark cloud, to cover the land, in the latter days of the Gentile age. It is further declared that the Lord will bring them against His land, before the heathen, that He might be sanctified before their eyes, upon His intercession for His people against Gog, chief enemy of Israel in that day, till they know, as Pharaoh did, that He is God, Exodus 9:9; Exodus 14:4; 1 Samuel 17:45; 1 Samuel 17:47; 2 Kings 19:19; Psalms 83:17-18; See also Micah 7:15; Micah 7:17; Matthew 6:9-10.

Verse 17 affirms by rhetoric language, directed to Gog, that he is the one of whom the Lord prophetically spoke in ancient times, as cited by His servant-prophets, Numbers 24:17-24; Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 26:20-21; Jeremiah 30:23-24; Joel 3:2; Micah 5:5-6; Isaiah 14:12-14; Isaiah 59:19.

Verses 18,19 warn that when Gog descends on the land of Israel in that day, the judgmental jealously, fiery wrath, and fury of the Lord shall fall on him, to shake the whole land, Psalms 18:8; As also described Joel 3:16; Haggai 2:6-7; Matthew 24:7; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 16:18; See also Deuteronomy 29:20; Isaiah 42:13; Zechariah 1:14.

Verse 20 states that when the fiery judgment fury of the Lord is poured out against Gog, and his greed-bent hordes that descend upon Israel, there will be a mighty, physical disruption in the air, sea, and upon the land. Fishes of the sea will be disturbed by the mighty fleets, birds of the air by sound and shell, wild beasts and creeping things terrified upon the earth, and a social upheaval in all the land. Mountains shall crack and sink, walls, fortresses, and ramparts will be broken down in this end time war, Hosea 4:3; Jeremiah 4:24.

Verse 21 states that the Lord will call for a sword to be turned against Gog, so that every man’s sword shall be "turned against his brother," in Gog’s huge army, in all the mountains of the Lord in Israel. In Gog’s army the soldiers will turn to kill one another. It will be "dog-eat-dog" among them, Psalms 105:6; Hosea 9:3; Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20; 2 Chronicles 20:23.

Verses 22, 23 conclude that God will plead against Gog with the fury of nature, with bloodshed of man-against-man, in his own army, with pestilence or diseases, with deluges of rain and floods, and with hailstones, even fire and brimstone as lightning struck through all his armed bands. In this manner the Lord will defeat Gog and his hordes, and magnify Himself as Lord God of Israel, and God-over-all, to be known or recognized in all the nations, Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31. This imagery is similar to that against Sodom and Gomorrah, and judges of Egypt, Psalms 11:6.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 38". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-38.html. 1985.
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