1. What was going to happen to Gog when he came upon the mountains of Israel?
They were going to be disarmed, fall, and be food for the birds and beasts of the field: “(1) Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: (2) And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: (3) And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. (4) Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. (5) Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:1-5).
- As we addressed in the previous chapter, God is against Gog the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:1-3).
- The Lord turning them back was also previously discussed (Ezekiel 38:4).
- I am not sure what the “sixth part” meaning is. The ASV doesn’t mention such as verse 2 is translated like this: “and I will turn thee about, and will lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel” (ASV 1901). Being turned and lead about is consistent with the hooks in the mouth (Ezekiel 38:4; cf. Isaiah 37:29).
- As previously addressed, they are coming up against the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:8).
- Instead of coming up against Israel to destroy Israel, they were going to be disarmed. The Lord showed His might in this event (II Chronicles 14:12-13, Psalms 46:8-10, and Psalms 76:1-7).
- The creatures of the earth would feast upon their carcasses as occurs when dead bodies lie in the open (I Samuel 17:46, Jeremiah 7:33, and Jeremiah 16:4). What a message (Isaiah 66:24).
2. Where was the Lord going to send a fire?
Upon Magog and those that dwelt carelessly in the isles: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 39:6).
- The language of sending a fire upon a people (Genesis 19:24, Exodus 9:23, Isaiah 10:5-16, Ezekiel 30:8, Hosea 8:14, Amos 1:1-10, and Luke 17:29).
- Those that dwelled carelessly were those that felt confidently safe and secure (Judges 18:7). Life, in general, dictates that there is never a time wherein anyone anywhere ought to think they are fully protected or safe from harm (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, Luke 12:13-21, and James 4:13-16).
3. What was the Lord making known in the midst of His people Israel?
Making His name known: “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7).
- In times past, God delivered His people to make His name known (Ezekiel 20:9-10; cf. I Samuel 12:22).
- God is greatly concerned about His name being polluted (Isaiah 48:11 and Jeremiah 34:14-20).
- Why? See: Psalms 9:10
4. What was Israel going to get to do to those that had spoiled and robbed them?
They were going to “return the favor” (so to speak): “(8) Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. (9) And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
(10) So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:8-10).
- Once the Lord declared it, it was done (Psalms 135:6, Isaiah 43:13, Isaiah 45:21, and Isaiah 46:9-11).
- The weapons of the slain would provide enough firewood to sustain for seven years! WOW. How many weapons? How much death? Why did the Lord does this (cf. Zephaniah 2:9-10)?
5. How long was the disposal of Gog’s people going to take?
Seven months: “(11) And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. (12) And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. (13) Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:11-13).
- The naming of a place of burial (Numbers 11:34).
- Burial to prevent uncleanness (Numbers 19:16 and Numbers 35:33).
- The glorification of God, renown on this day (Psalms 126:1-6).
6. Were they going to bury all of Gog’s people in one period of time?
There would be bones not buried during the seven months. Such would be identified by those passing by and then men were employed to continually burry those missed : “(14) And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. (15) And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. (16) And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land” (Ezekiel 39:14-16).
7. What message was Ezekiel told to deliver to the fowls and beasts?
That the Lord was going to feed them a sacrifice of the armed forces of Gog with all of his horses, etc.: “(17) And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. (18) Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. (19) And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. (20) Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:17-20).
- The Lord delivered the remains of His enemies to the creatures of the earth (Deuteronomy 28:15-26, Isaiah 56:9, and Jeremiah 7:30-34).
8. When the Lord set His glory among the heathen, what were they going to know about Israel?
They were going to learn why Israel went into captivity: “(21) And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. (22) So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. (23) And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. (24) According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them” (Ezekiel 39:21-24).
- Israel had behaved like the heathen (II Chronicles 36:14). They had been punished in the view of the heathen (Psalms 44:14). Now, the heathen would see God was with Israel again (Ezekiel 20:41).
- Israel too would see these things (Ezekiel 34:25-31).
- The heathen would see the just reasoning behind the punishment of Israel which would be a lesson about the judgment of the Lord (II Chronicles 7:21-22, Jeremiah 22:8-9, and Lamentations 2:15-17).
- They had to reap what they had sown (Proverbs 1:31, Proverbs 14:14, Isaiah 3:10-11, and Jeremiah 2:19).
9. After Israel had borne their shame, what was the Lord going to do?
Restore His relationship with them: “(25) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; (26) After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
(27) When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
(28) Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. (29) Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 39:25-29).
- As we enter into the end of this chapter, consider Zechariah 1:7-17 as commentary here.
- They had suffered greatly for their transgressions (Lamentations 4:6). Now the time of punishment is over (Lamentations 4:22).
- They could look forward to having nothing to fear (Isaiah 54:14).
- They would know this when God restored them to their land (Ezekiel 28:25-26).
- Sin caused a breach before God and Israel so that He did not see or hear them (Isaiah 59:1-3). That was temporary (Isaiah 54:8-10).