In Ezekiel Chapter 38 we discovered who the nations are that will attack Israel. The invasion will be led by Turkey. This invasion will have been engineered by the Lord to bring Israel back to Himself and to display His glory, holiness, righteousness and justice to a rebellious world. While He will use the armies of Islam to attack Israel, once He has used them for His purposes He will get rid of them. This has been God’s Biblical pattern for His people Israel. Whenever Israel turned away from Him to idolatry and disobedience to his laws and commands He sent pagan nations against them. However, when they repented and turned back to Him He got rid of their enemies and that big time! The prophet Joel declared that this invading army described in Ezekiel chapter 38 were likened to ‘locusts.’ It is God’s army sent against the Israelites but Israel as a nation will be delivered. Israel’s shame and disgrace will be wiped away forever! (Joel 2:25-27) In this chapter we will see what happens to the armies of Gog the Antichrist and what follows after the Messiah has returned, defeated them in battle, and inaugurated His Millennial Messianic Kingdom on earth. Now let’s look at this chapter…
Ezekiel Chapter 39
(Vs.1-2) “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
Once again God singles out Gog the Antichrist who is the chief prince over Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, all provinces located in modern day Turkey. We see this alliance forming with the ascendency of the man from Turkey expanding his agenda to resurrect the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate. Already Turkey has become a threat to the stability of the middle-East and to the moderate Arab nations that are opposed to his increasing dominance in the whole region. Added to this while Turkey is Sunni and Iran is Shiite we know that they will become allies with a common goal namely to eradicate Israel as a nation and establish an Islamic empire throughout the whole of the Middle-East that stretches into the European continent.
We are also told that God is against them and He will deal with them when the time comes for Him to display His power and sovereignty to the nations of the world. The specific aim of this army is to invade Israel and especially the conquest of Jerusalem and the supposed sight of the Temple Mount for the cause of Islam. When this army invades Israel the city of Jerusalem will be conquered and divided. (Zechariah 14:2) After three and a half years of the occupation God will step into the situation to defend and to deliver Israel. As the prophet Isaiah writes; “For this is what the LORD has said to me: “Like a lion roaring or a young lion over its prey—and though a band of shepherds is called out against it, it is not terrified by their shouting or subdued by their clamour—so the LORD of Hosts will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and its heights. Like birds hovering overhead, so the LORD of Hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will shield it and deliver it; He will pass over it and preserve it.” (Isaiah 31:4-5) Now let’s read on…
(Vs.3-5) “I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. “You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD.
In Ezekiel’s time bows and arrows were the weapons of war. As we saw in the last study that when you compare Ezekiel’s description of this army with that of the apostle John he describes in the Book of Revelation we can see a modern day army with modern day weapons converging on Israel. Missiles may well be the ‘arrows’ and the missile launchers the ‘bows’ Of course we must be careful reading into any Biblical text what is not plainly stated in the text itself, however, in light of other texts compared with each other there can be a validity to an interpretation. Today we see the Iron Dome in Israel hitting and detonating incoming missiles from Israel’s enemies. Also we see the rapid development of laser technology in the arms race. God uses human weapons in the hands of His people even though He is more than capable Himself of destroying Israel’s enemies without any human intervention. In the six-day war there were recorded reports of actual miraculous deeds of power that took place when Israel was doing battle with their enemies. These deeds could not be explained away other than it was supernatural intervention by God’s angels.
We know from God’s Word that when Israel comes under attack in the last days that the divinely designated prince Michael the Archangel will arise to protect God’s people. (Daniel 12:1) Through His unseen messengers God will strike down this invading army causing their weapons of destruction to fail. God will the call on the birds of prey to assemble for a great feast on the carcases of the enemy who will be laying everywhere, piled up outside of Jerusalem as far as the eye can see. (Matthew 24:28) (Revelation 19:17-18) As it has been said “Man proposes but God disposes.” Once God has spoken nothing on earth in the heavens or under the earth in the realm of departed spirits will be able to stop it from happening. The armies of Gog the Islamic Antichrist are all marked by God for destruction. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.6) “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.
Habakkuk the prophet spoke concerning God’s awesome firepower when he wrote; “God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendour covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power. Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him.” (Habakkuk 3:3-5) Teman and Mt Paran today are located in Saudi Arabia the heart of the Islamic world. Here in this prophecy from Habakkuk we are told that God’s firepower strikes with lightning speed. We will see this when God sends down fire upon the kingdom of the Antichrist located in Turkey, being part of the resurrected Turkish Ottoman Empire. Added to this we are also told that those who are living securely in the coastlands will not escape this fiery indignation of the Lord. They will have been watching from the sidelines and not even lifting a finger to support Israel, hence, they will not escape.
While these bystanders may not be actively attacking Israel they are culpable because they have done nothing to help Israel in its extremity. God takes this very seriously. Those who refuse to help Israel and just watch from the sidelines as it were are just as guilty as those who attack Israel. Those “who inhabit the coastlands in safety” can also be translated as “among them that dwell carelessly in the isles.” These may well be those places that belong to the Turkish dominions; not only the habitants of the Continent shall be consumed, but those that dwell in islands, and think themselves safe and secure, and so live carelessly; or such who live on the sea coasts. Scripture calls such places isles; and may intend those who dwell near the Black and Caspian seas.
The islands or coastlands can also be translated as “the peoples across the seas” the whole of Ezekiel’s distant world. This fiery wrath of God is part and parcel of the Day of the Lord and when this happens the nations of the world will sit up and take notice. Many nations dwelling at ease will burn and among them may well be Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages or provinces. (Ezekiel 38:13) who saw what was going on and chose to remain indifferent to Israel’s plight. These include Saudi Arabia and most likely the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea and possibly some European nations. This fiery judgement will be a wake-up call to the nations of the world that it does not pay to mess with Israel!
(Vs.7-8) “My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord GOD. “That is the day of which I have spoken.”
God is jealous for His name because His name represents His character. To misuse or malign His name perverts others from seeing who He really is. God’s name is Holy, signifying that He is set apart from all sin and evil and wickedness and must punish sin and rebellion. (Habakkuk 1:13) He is a just God and a judge who judges fairly and without impartiality. (Genesis 18:25) There is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:11) He is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of faith and that pleases Him. (Hebrews 11:6) There is no doubt His wrath is coming, not only to Gog the Antichrist and those nations who follow him, but it is also coming to the world. This is why we must be born again by the Spirit through faith in the Messiah our Lord Jesus and washed in His atoning blood from all unrighteousness. (John 3:3) (Ephesians 1:7) (1 John 1:7-9) It is only the redeeming and atoning blood of the Messiah that will protect those who believe in the Lord Jesus from the coming wrath. (Romans 5:9) (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9)
This complete annihilation of Gog and his armies on the Mountains of Israel will see millions of bodies littering the ground with their weapons also destroyed and that by fire from the very palm of God’s hand wherein lies the hiding place of His power. We are told that the blood of Israel’s enemies will flow for around 180 miles and as high as the horses bridle. (Revelation 14:20) Following the return of the Lord Jesus it is going to take some time for the surviving remnant of Israel to clean up the remains of Gog’s armies. And so we read…
(Vs.9-10) “Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them. They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them,” declares the Lord GOD.
The weapons it seems are combustible and will be burned and it is going to be used by the Israelis for seven years meaning they will not have to use the wood from the trees in Israel for firewood and the vegetation of the land will be renewed. Added to this there will be spoil for the Jews to take. What the spoil is we are not told. The number seven in the Bible represents a perfect and completed work of God such as we see in the seven days of creation or when the Israelites marched around Jericho for seven days and then seven times on the seventh day. And so we read…
(Vs.11) “On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog.
The Valley of Hamon-gog literally means “Valley of the multitudes of Gog.” It is located east of the Dead Sea and it will be impassable because of the many buried there. People living in Israel will avoid passing through this region as the fear of the Lord will be on them. There will be many corpses to be buried even after the birds of the air and the beasts of the field have gorged themselves on the dead corpses.
(Vs.12-16) “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself,” declares the Lord GOD. They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man’s bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land.”
The burial will take seven months and all of the Israelis who can participate will be involved in the burial. This will be pleasing to God as He sees His faithful remnant cleansing the land from defilement, the physical cleansing signifying the inner cleansing through the blood of the Messiah, the fountain opened in Jerusalem for sin and uncleanliness. (Zechariah 13:1) What a day of celebration it will be for the surviving Jewish people. What recompense to their enemies who had persecuted them and for their ancestors who had suffered at the hands of the pagan nations for several thousand years. Added to this they will know God’s approval but most of all they will have their Messiah reigning from Jerusalem and this will be the joy and delight of their hearts.
Men will also be employed, not necessarily Jews, to pass through the land systematically burying those left on the ground unburied and the end result will be the complete cleansing of the Land of Israel. After this anyone who happens to pass through the burial site will set up a marker where they see a bone protruding from the ground. The marker will show those burying the corpses where a corpse has not been properly buried. This whole cemetery will be called the City of Hamonah. The name itself signifies a place of turbulence and rebellion which has characterised Jerusalem.
(Vs. 17-20) “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, “Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,” declares the Lord GOD.”
When the dust of battle settles over the land of Israel Go will call for all kinds of birds and the beasts in the fields to come to the great supper He has arranged for them. They will gorge themselves on the flesh of the dead armies of Gog the Antichrist. We see this same situation in the Book of Revelation after the Lord Jesus has destroyed the armies of the Antichrist and sent him and the false prophet into the lake of fire.
John writes; “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:17-21)
Isaiah the prophet also describes this same sacrifice and clearly it is related to the armies of Islam. God said to the prophet Isaiah; “For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. Wild oxen will also fall with them And young bulls with strong ones; Thus their land will be soaked with blood, And their dust become greasy with fat. For the Lord has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion. It’s (Edom) streams will be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into brimstone, And its land will become burning pitch. (the oil reserves under the ground in Saudia Arabia) It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; None will pass through it forever and ever.” (Isaiah 34:5-10)
Edom today, sweeps from Southern Jordan into Saudi Arabia. The town of Bozrah is located in southern Jordan and the gateway into Saudi Arabia. We are told in Ezekiel chapter twenty five that Edom includes Teman and Dedan and today these are located in Saudi Arabia. (Ezekiel 25:12-14) The context is also God’s wrath poured out upon Edom.
The prophet Zechariah tells us that the fire from God out of heaven unleashed upon the armies of the Antichrist will be so hot that the very flesh will rot and the eyes will melt in their eye sockets and their tongues will also rot in their mouths. This well describes the kind of thermonuclear heat by which God will judge Gog’s armies. It will mean a huge ‘roast dinner’ for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Confusion among these armies will run riot as they see the fiery destruction turning them to ‘toast’ even while they are still standing. (Zechariah 14:12-13) They say that when the nuclear bombs were exploded over Nagasaki and Hiroshima in japan in 1945 that the eyes of multitudes literally melted in their sockets.
Such will be the fate of all who have followed Gog the Antichrist. God has judged this army because of its treatment of His people Israel. (Joel 3:1-3) After this the Messiah our Lord Jesus will inaugurate His Millennial reign from Jerusalem. After this we are told what will happen in the Millennial Kingdom. God Himself speaks through the prophet on this matter…
(Vs.21) “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.”
In that day, after the Messiah has destroyed all opposition and the armies of Gog the Antichrist the Lord Jesus will set His glory and splendour among the nations for “the law (The Torah) will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3) The nations that have survived will be subjugated under the reign of the Messiah and none will dare even to think about rebelling because the Messiah will rule the nations with a Rod of Iron. (Revelation 12:5) Ultimately the nations will be blessed and sustained by Him and policed by the glorified saints (Jews and gentiles being one flock under one shepherd) co-reigning with Him. (Revelation 2:27; 5:10)
(Vs.22” “And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.”
It is going to take the invasion of Gog the Antichrist to bring about Israel’s repentance and return to the Lord. The nation is to pass through the purifying fire of the Time of the Great Trouble for Israel. We are told that two thirds will perish in the land of Israel under the despotic rule of Gog but that a third will be preserved to enter into the Millennial Kingdom. After having been refined as silver and tested as gold, the faithful remnant in Israel will call on the name of the Lord. As God says; “They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.” (Zechariah 13:8-9) Israel as a nation will go into the Time of Great Tribulation but be saved out of it at the end and the Messiah will be their King. (Jeremiah 30:1-10) As the prophet Habakkuk writes; “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
(Vs.23-24) “The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.”
The psalmist wrote; “If I regard sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” Sin always cuts one off from fellowship with God. While Israel were, and still are, God’s covenant people He will refuse to hear their pleas if they are harbouring unconfessed and un-renounced sin and enslaved to idolatry. God has been gracious to Israel time and time again down through their long and troubled history. Right now Israel are back in the land but their hearts as a nation are far from the Lord and they are aliens and strangers to their own covenants of promise revealed in the Old Testament and affirmed in the New Testament. When you consider the terrible slaughter that occurred for the Jewish people at the hands of their pagan enemies we see what happens when the Torah is violated and God’s Words cast aside. Deuteronomy chapter 28 lists the blessings and the curses attached to the covenant and the curses far outweigh the blessings,
Why has Israel suffered so much? because sin is a terrible thing to God and it was our sin that caused God’s eternal and only begotten Son to step out from the portals of Heaven, to be found as a man when the Word of God himself became flesh and tabernacled among us. (John 1:1; 15) Time and time again through Israel’s history God raised up His prophets to warn Israel, to preach repentance and the blessings that came from repentance, but they killed and stoned the prophets. (Matthew 23:34) When God sent his Son they also killed Him. Having said this let us not blame the Jews for the death of their Messiah our Lord Jesus because it was the sin of us all that caused the Lord Jesus to hang on the cross. (Hebrews 2:9) Anyone who is rejecting the Lord Jesus is under the curse of the law and is enslaved to sin and destined for judgement, for Hades (Hell) and ultimately for the lake of fire forever.
When the Lord Jesus died on the cross He broke that curse by becoming that curse in our place, (Galatians 3:13) He was the sinless one dying in the place of the sinful ones that He might bring us to God because we have all sinned and missed it big time! (1 Peter 3:18) (2 Corinthians 5:21) Only through the atoning blood of the Messiah can there be redemption, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His undeserved and unmerited favour bestowed upon us when we repent and believe in Him to save us. (Ephesians 1:7) This applies to all men both Jews and Gentiles alike. (Romans 3:23)
As Isaiah writes; “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Whenever a Jew or a Gentile repent and believe in the Messiah our Lord Jesus for salvation the curse and power of sin and the sentence of the law is broken over their life. The Blood of Jesus cleanses them from all unrighteousness and sets them apart to God. They are now saved to serve. (1 John 1:7-9) (Romans 10:9-10) (1 Peter 3:15) Israel as a nation by and large are still separated from their Messiah and God is going to arrange things in such a way that they will turn back to Him in desperation. At that time the Lord Jesus will reveal himself to them and their tears of repentance and joy will be seen and heard in all of the cities of Israel but especially at Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:10-14) On that day the fountain of the Messiah’s blood will be applied to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity. (Zechariah 13:1) And so we read…
(Vs.25:27-29) “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD.”
When the Messiah comes back all the Jews still living will be saved. Not one Israeli remaining alive will be lost. As the Apostle Paul writes; “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins…for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:25-27, 29) After this restoration every Jew alive will be zealous for the Lord with boundless energy and zeal and with an unbridled passion for their Messiah who has bled and died for their salvation. In the euphoria of their new found Messiah and their salvation they will soon forget their former disgrace and treachery against the Lord as they bask in His mercy and favour and abundance beyond anything they can think or ask. They will dwell securely in the Land of Israel from the wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River as their everlasting possession from God’s unlimited bounty and favour upon them. (Genesis 15:17-19; 17:8)
In that day no one will make them afraid. Many will return from exile as there will have been another exile that occurred during the reign of Gog the Antichrist. (Zechariah 14:1-2) As they are re-established as the chief among the nations the prophet Zechariah writes; “And many peoples and strong nations will come to seek the LORD of Hosts in Jerusalem and to plead before the LORD.” This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue will tightly grasp the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. ” (Zechariah 8:22-23)
Every Jew still alive on earth will return to Israel. Not one Jew will be left in the nations. God himself will no longer hide his face from them because He will have poured out His Spirit on them. They, along with the Body of the Messiah the faithful Assembly (Church), will co-reign together with the Messiah Himself our Lord Jesus. His glory of His presence will spread throughout the whole earth for all men to see. In that day the Messiah will be fully glorified in His people. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)