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Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 38

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-23

The Battle against Gog and its Allies Ezekiel 38:1 to Ezekiel 39:28 tells us of the second of three end-time prophetic events that will usher Israel back into the forefront of world history. Within the context of the three major events that bring Israel back into full restoration with the Lord (Ezekiel 37-48), the great battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 must be a great and final battle in which all nations are placed in subjection to the God of Israel. It cannot be a battle that leads to further battles, for after this event Israel will fight no more wars. The Battle of Armageddon is popularly understood to take place at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period when Jesus Christ will return a second time and fight Israel’s enemies with the Word of His mouth and set up His thousand-year reign from the holy city Jerusalem. The passage of Scripture in Ezekiel 38:1 to Ezekiel 39:29 describes Israel’s great and final battle with Russia, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia. It may be the same event described in Revelation 16:16-21; Revelation 19:11-21 in which we have a description of an event popularly called the Battle of Armageddon, a term taken from Revelation 16:16, a battle that scholars believe will be fought in the plain of Megiddo. However, Gog and Magog are again gathered for battle against Israel after the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:7-9), an event that may be referenced in Ezekiel 38-39 as well because Old Testament prophecies often merge more than one future event into a single prophecy.

We learn from these two chapters of Ezekiel that the nations that make up modern day Russia will lead in this battle, and will be joined by the modern day countries of Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya (Ezekiel 38:2-7). The land of Ethiopia may refer to the nations of northern Africa, or even Arabia. The restoration of the nation of Israel will precede the Battle of Armageddon (Ezekiel 38:8-9). It will take place during the “latter years” (Ezekiel 38:8-9). Bible scholars believe that this refers to the time of the Great Tribulation period that immediately precedes the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ. We also learn from these two chapters that Gog will gather against Israel during a time of apparent peace when the Jews seem to be living safely (Ezekiel 38:10-13). Some scholars believe that this refers to the first three and a half years of the Tribulation Period when the Antichrist will enter into a covenant of peace with Israel, before breaking it by defiling the sacred Temple in Jerusalem in the midst of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). When God fights against Gog and his allies He will do so in three ways (Ezekiel 38:18-22). He will bring a great earthquake upon the land (Ezekiel 38:19-20), then He will bring confusion so that every man will turn his sword against his brother (Ezekiel 38:21), followed with a great rain of fire, hail and brimstones (Ezekiel 38:22). This seems to describe the period of the Great Tribulation Period. We read how there will be slain all but one sixth of the armies (Ezekiel 39:2) and those carcasses will become a feast for the birds and beasts of the field (Ezekiel 39:4). This feast is very likely described in Revelation 19:17-19.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Ezekiel 38". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/ezekiel-38.html. 2013.
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