1. At the beginning of this chapter, who is Ezekiel prophesying against?
Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: “(1) And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, (3) And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:1-3).
- The translation in the KJV makes this a little less than clear. The ASV translates this: “Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (38:2-3 ASV). The NKJV states: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (38:2-3 NKJV).
- Strong’s says this of Gog: “of uncertain derivation; Gog, the name of an Israelite, also of some northern nation: — Gog. AV (10) - Gog 10; Gog = ‘mountain’ a Reubenite, son of Shemaiahthe prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and Magog” (Strong’s # 1463).
- A person named Gog was a descendant of Shemaiah (I Chronicles 5:4).
- Magog, Meshech, and Tubal were descendants of Japheth (Genesis 10:2 and I Chronicles 1:5).
- We’ll be talking about these people through chapter thirty-nine. Gog and Magog are symbolically referenced in John’s vision (Revelation 20:8).
- Having the Lord as an adversary is a scary thing (I Samuel 2:10, Psalms 21:8-9, Psalms 37:20, Psalms 92:9, Psalms 145:20, Nahum 1:1-3, and Romans 1:18-2:11).
2. What did the Lord tell Gog and all his company to be prepared for?
For he and his armies to be turned back: “(4) And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: (5) Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: (6) Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (7) Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them” (Ezekiel 38:4-7).
- The Lord was going to decide where Gog and his armies were going as the imagery of the hooks in the jaws and being turned back established (Isaiah 37:21-29).
- The Lord sometimes sent the armies of the heathen up against others (Judges 2:14, II Kings 24:1-2, and Ezekiel 11:9).
- What we will find however, is that God is actually delivering Gog into the hands of Israel as He has done against others in the past (Leviticus 26:7-8, Joshua 23:1-11, Judges 7:1-23, and Judges 11:32).
- He wanted them battle ready. There is some humor to this (Psalms 2:1-4 and Psalms 37:7-13).
3. When did God say that Gog would come up against the mountains of Israel?
They were going to come up against the mountains of Israel in the latter years, after Israel was restored from being laid waste: “(8) After many days thou shalt be visited: in the 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 been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. (9) Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ezekiel 38:8-9).
- It is interested to think of the “latter years” or “latter days” as is referenced elsewhere (Deuteronomy 4:21-31, Deuteronomy 31:29, Jeremiah 23:20, and Hosea 3:3-5). These are in the years to come after the seventy years of captivity (Daniel 2:28 and Daniel 10:14).
- Yet, they are accomplished in days before the law of Christ (Matthew 5:17-18).
- The days after Israel had be gather back from the sword and from among the nations (Jeremiah 32:36-39).
- God says that Gog will come upon His people like a storm. Who is Israel’s refuge in a storm (Psalms 91:1-10)?
4. At the same time Gog was going to come up against the mountains of Israel, what evil thought was going to come into his mind?
To take the villages that weren’t secure: “(10) Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: (11) And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, (12) 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. (13) Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all 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, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil” (Ezekiel 38:10-13)?
- To further prove this prophesy, the Lord speaks to the state of thought Gog will have (Isaiah 42:9, Isaiah 44:7-8, and Isaiah 46:9-10).
- An evil thought [plan] (Psalms 36:1-4 and Micah 2:1).
- Gog’s plan was to spoil defenseless villages that thought they had rest about them (Proverbs 3:29-30).
- Spoiler alert! God wasn’t having this happen to His people (Zechariah 2:4-5).
- Gog’s thinking was to take from those whom weren’t prepared to defend themselves. It’s wrong to prey on the defenseless (Psalms 12:5 and Proverbs 22:22-23).
5. Who was behind Gog invading Israel?
The Lord: “(14) Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? (15) And 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: (16) And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be 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 38:14-16).
- At this time, Israel is safe (Zechariah 14:1-21).
- Gog was going to come with horses, a great company, and a mighty army. What’s that matter (Zechariah 12:1-5)?
- God was going to bring them up against Israel, not to destroy Israel, but to be destroyed by Israel (Ezekiel 39:1-7).
6. What question did the Lord pose and then not answer?
“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” (Ezekiel 38:17)?
- I am not sure what this question is to mean. It may refer to prophesies of Daniel (Daniel 11:1-12:13) or something else. The references given in Zechariah might fit too (Zechariah 14:1-21).
7. What was going to come up in the face of the Lord when Gog came up against the land of Israel?
His fury: “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” (Ezekiel 38:18).
- A particular Psalm is a good commentary on this as well as the rest of the chapter (Psalms 18:1-50).
8. What was the Lord going to do in His jealousy?
Cause a great shaking in Israel. Bring the sword against Gog throughout all the mountains of Israel. Cause them to turn on themselves: “(19) 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; (20) So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the 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, and every wall shall fall to the ground. (21) 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. (22) And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and 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. (23) 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 38:19-23).
- God in His jealousy (Isaiah 42:13-15 and Zephaniah 3:8).
- Fear abounding (Nahum 1:1-6).
- Swords turned on their own brothers (Haggai 2:20-22).
- Pleading through the sword (Jeremiah 25:31).
- With pestilence and the sword is a pattern we’ve seen before (Ezekiel 7:15).
- Natural disasters and fire from above (Psalms 11:5-6, Isaiah 28:1-2, and Luke 17:29).
- This and what we learn in the next chapter, is very similar to what happened to Assyria in the past as we looked at earlier [question 2; Isaiah 37:21-38] (II Kings 18:17-19:26 [In particular, notice II Kings 19:32-37]).