10. Ezekiel Chapter 39, Gog, prince of Rosh, Part II

Introduction to Ezekiel Chapter 39 

The battle of Gog (the chief prince of Rosh) and Magog and its aftermath continues in Ezekiel chapter 39. Important details are given here to help us understand the context of this conflict.  Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 lay the ground work to understanding how Israel makes the transition to having “knowledge” of God.  In Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48, we see a blessed obedient nation, receiving the blessings of the Glory of the Lord, who is dwelling in the midst of His people.

In Ezekiel chapters 33 through 39, we see a people still in transition who have the promise of blessings but have not yet received them.

      The event which leads to Israel’s salvation is Israel’s conflict with the nations.  Throughout Ezekiel 38 and 39, one of the chief aims of the conflict is for the nations to come to the “knowledge” of the one true God.  When the nations are waged in conflict against Israel, and they lose, they will be forced to give God the glory.  Some events have already happened such as the establishment of Israel as a nation. The gathering of a small group of people (Jews) from throughout the world after a long period of desolation and putting them back into the lands of their ancestors is an amazing event.  Even more amazing is that the event was written about 2500 years before it occurred. Through this conflict, Israel and the nations will be forced to examine current events in light of Bible prophecy, even though they are reluctant to do so.  The nations will be forced to come to terms with the God of Israel in the last-days, as events are fulfilled just as Ezekiel foretold.

      This transformation is accomplished in a period known as the “Tribulation” or Daniel’s 70th Week. This tribulation period lasts for seven years and follows the events of chapters 38 and 39.  This period is referenced in chapter 39 but the details are more fully covered in Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew and Revelation.  In these books, scripture fills in the details of what takes place in the world following the defeat of Gog and his alliance of nations. Here, we see exactly what happens and what Israel needs to do to have the “everlasting covenant” promised by God in Ezekiel. 

      What caused the second temple to be destroyed and Israel to be cast out of the land in A.D. 70?  Daniel links the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem to the “Messiah (being) cut off”.   

25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah (Christ) shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:25-26 

Jesus also warned of what was to follow after He was rejected by the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.  Like Daniel, Jesus warned that the temple would be destroyed, followed by a period of persecution which would lead to a time of tribulation unlike any other in history.  Jesus also proclaimed that Israel’s only hope would be to recognize Him as Messiah. He proclaimed that He would not return until this happened. 

37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  38 "See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' "  Matthew 23:37-39 

The event not revealed in Ezekiel, but revealed elsewhere in the Bible is Israel’s need to turn to the Lord God who was rejected as Israel’s Messiah when he came the first time.  Only when Israel repents for their rejection of the Good Shepherd of Ezekiel 34, will the Good Shepherd return.  This Good Shepard is Jesus Christ, the rejected Messiah (John 10:11,14), who returns in glory and power to His people, Israel, in the “latter years” and in the “latter days” (Ezekiel 38:8,16).  

11 'For thus says the Lord God: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 "As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 "And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.  Ezekiel 34;11-13   

Judgment on Gog

Ezekiel 39

1 "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; 2 "and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 "Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 "You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 "You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken," says the Lord God. 6 "And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. 

Son of man:  Ezekiel is called to testify against Gog, the leader of this alliance of nations.  Ezekiel summarizes the prophecies in chapter 38 in the first six verses, he also gives us additional details about this battle and how it affects more than just Gog and his allies.

Prophecy against Gog: Clearly Gog is the leader or prince of this confederacy of nations which come against Israel. The Hebrew word for prince is ayXn Nasiy', which means prince, captain or leader.  Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the leader of this alliance.  If this event is near at hand could Putin be Gog?  He very well could be the leader of this alliance of nations.  However, we really won’t know until the actual event takes place, but it is always fun to speculate!

I will turn thee back: God Himself is involved in this battle in two ways.  He causes Gog to come down from the far north and then when Gog comes, the God of Israel turns him around.  God demonstrates His omnipresence to the nations through the miraculous events leading to the defeat of Gog.   These events can be summarized as follows:

1. Israel is created as a nation after many years of desolation and being captive in other nations.

2. Gog creates an alliance of powerful nations that come against the newly created nation

3. Israel seems defenseless, a nation without walls

4. God supernaturally defeats the alliance

5. God receives the glory as the nations look to the prophets who foretold of the defeat.


You shall fall:  According to Ezekiel, the armies will actually reach as far as the mountains of Israel, and there they will fall.  The weapons are described here as bow and arrows which God literally knocks out of the hands of the alliance via an earthquake, pestilence, hailstones and rain. God supernaturally fights on Israel’s behalf against the nations.  This battle is not limited to the battlefields of Israel; this battle will be worldwide. 

Weapons in both the right and left hands are included in the description.  The bow in the left hand is the engine to power the arrows in the right hand, both the missiles and their delivery systems will be destroyed.  Today in Israel the anti-missile system (ABM) is called the Arrow ABM System developed in Israel to intercept missiles aimed at this country.  

I will send fire: God promises to send fire on the land of Magog and the nations.  Israel will not suffer the terror alone; the whole world will also suffer the terror of Gog’s alliance. 

on Magog:  God’s fire will fall on Magog.  This fire could be from missiles or it could be completely supernatural in nature.  In this war Gog is taken by surprise, advancing as far as the mountains of Israel before God’s judgment falls.

live in security:  The nations at first think they are immune from this battle but this changes when fire also falls on the lands who think they are living in security.  The Hebrew word used here is xtb Betach, meaning safely or carelessly, as if the battle or events on the mountains of Israel have no effect on them. However, these nations will also feel the effects of this conflict.

in the coastlands: The coastlands refer to the distant lands, the farthest reaches. The lands which seem immune to the conflicts in Israel could be a reference to the United States, Japan, China or other nations.  All these nations are distant from Israel and are also known as coastlands or isles. 

They shall know:  This conflict will make the name of the Lord God known to the nations.  The coastlands, the nations living in security, and Magog will know the Lord.  Ezekiel’s word will be a testimony to the nations and Israel in those days. 

Why Gog was judged 

7 "So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 "Surely it is coming, and it shall be done," says the Lord God. "This is the day of which I have spoken. 

I will: God will reveal Himself to Israel and the nations.

Midst of my people:  Prior to this event, according to Ezekiel, the name of God will not be well known. After this event, the Battle of Gog, God will make His name known in the midst of His people.  Israel, seeking to know their God, could very well begin or complete the third temple as a result of the Islamic threat being removed when Gog and his allies are defeated.  Today, Israel is largely a secular state with a religious orthodox minority.  There is no overwhelming desire to rebuild the temple in Israel; it is mainly a very vocal minority that wants this to happen.

Nations shall know:  God confronts the relativistic, secular world by declaring the nations or Goim will have knowledge of Him.  The events of this war will cause the whole world to look to the God of Israel.  This will place Israel and its relationship with God at the heart of this worldwide event. 

This is the day:  This event will standout as a turning point in the world, the whole earth will be forced to deal with the Lord.  This day will signal the start of the end-times, as Israel will be free to begin its work on the third temple now that the Islamic threat is removed. Secondly, people in the nations will now look to the God of Israel and the amazing events of Ezekiel 38 and 39.  

Israel after Gog is judged 

9 "Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 "They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them," says the Lord God. 11 "It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. 12 "For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 "Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified," says the Lord God. 14 "They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 "The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man's bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog.16 "The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land." ' 

Then: This is what occurs after the defeat of Gog. What happens to all the equipment and armament left behind by this army?  What happens to all the dead bodies?  This is important to know because it gives us the context of events.  According to Daniel, the resurrection takes place immediately following the tribulation period.  Jesus also tells us, “Immediately after the tribulation” the Son of Man returns. 

1 "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2

Ezekiel is telling us these events are not the end of the matter, but are the beginning of the end.  The periods specifically mentioned here are seven years and later, seven months.

set on fire:  During this period of time, Israel will set the weapons on fire. This does not necessarily mean that Israel uses the weapons for fuel; they could smelt the metal of the tanks, arms and equipment of the army for constructing homes and other building material.

burn the weapons:  From Ezekiel’s perspective the melting of metal would be burning the metal.

seven-years: There is a period of time following the defeat of Gog in which Israel will make fire with the weapons of the defeated armies; this will last for seven years.  This corresponds exactly with Daniel’s 70th week; this seven year period informs us the battle of Gog is outside of Daniel’s 70th week.  How long outside we don’t know; it could be months or even years. However, the defeat of Gog is a catalyst to the events which take place in the tribulation (See below).

not take wood: Rather than use wood, they will use the metal and equipment left behind for fuel and building material. Wood is not only used for fuel, but to also build things.

because:  As Israel was in Egypt in the days of Moses when the Egyptians gave them gifts (plunder) which they later used on their journey (Exodus 3:22), could it be inferred here that Israel had a past dealing with Gog?  From Ezekiel 38-39, we see Gog never had a chance to plunder Israel.  But, we are told that Israel will “plunder those who plundered them”.  This is verification that Russia is being referred to here as each of the nations referenced in the invasion had some sort of dealing with Israel while they were captives of those nations.  Jeremiah refers to Israel being called out of the “North Country”, the equivalent of Israel being called out of Egypt.

7 For thus says the Lord: "Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, 'O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!' 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. 9 They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn. Jeremiah 31:7-9 

Gog a burial place: The dead of Magog will have a burial place east of the Dead Sea in a valley which will later be called Hamon Gog. This is where the armies of Gog will gather against Israel. 

east of the sea: This is in current day Jordan.  Could these armies have been coming to give support to the Arab nations?  In the past, Russia has threatened to attack Israel if they went too far in their response to Syria and Egypt.  Could this be just such an occasion?

Seven months:  The dead are gathered for seven months; could this be the amount of time before the tribulation? 

They will gain renown:  The whole world will be watching these events unfold.  Israel, in the end-times, will be the focus of the earth. Those in Israel will literally acquire a “name for themselves”.  The Hebrew word used here is ~X Shem, which means name or reputation.  

17 "And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, 'Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: "Assemble yourselves and come; Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you, A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, That you may eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, Drink the blood of the princes of the earth, Of rams and lambs, Of goats and bulls, All of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 You shall eat fat till you are full, And drink blood till you are drunk, At My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you. 20 You shall be filled at My table With horses and riders, With mighty men And with all the men of war," says the Lord God. 21 "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward. 23 "The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 "According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them." ' 25 "Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. 27 'When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 'then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 'And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord God." 

And as for you:  Now, Ezekiel is told to speak to the animal world; to order them to come and feast on the remains of Gog and the alliance.  Later, in the Book of Revelation, the birds are ordered to partake of a second feast on the mountains of Israel at the end of the Tribulation when they feast on the armies of the Beast.  While the birds will be ordered supernaturally, Ezekiel is transmitting God’s command for us to hear. 

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great." Revelation 19:17-18

I will set My glory:   Out of these events, the world will behold the “Glory” of God.  It would be easy to try to explain these events in natural terms with human weapons, or with the “mighty” nations giving aid to Israel against Gog. The whole point of these events is that God get the glory, not man, for the rescue of Israel.    For this reason, its very likely America and the West are immobile in this conflict.  This could be for several reasons:

1. Politics has turned the US away from supporting Israel,

2. The rapture has occurred,

3. Financial ruin prevents them from getting involved.

 All the nations shall see My judgment:  God is the focus here, not the power of man.  The nations watch the judgment take place and in the end, people turn to the God of Israel.  This prepares people for what is coming and, as the nations prepare the world for a “one world” religion, those who see the delivery of Israel will seek the God of Israel. This will conflict with the “one world” religion and will start the persecution of the faithful; as people begin to turn toward the Lord they will be persecuted in the last-days.

Israel shall know: From this day forward, Israel will begin to be reunited with the God of Israel; however it will not be until the end of the tribulation that they will they know Jesus.  The tribulation will be a period when the nation will come to terms with the God of Israel. 

The Gentiles shall know:  The nations will also understand the connection between Israel, its unique history and its troubles prior to becoming a nation. The world will connect the dots which will lead to the God of Israel. Today the world is skeptical of Bible prophecy, attributing the re-establishment of Israel as “self-fulfilled” prophecy.  Following the events of Gog, the world will understand God has a unique relationship with this nation.

Unfaithful to Me:  The nation rejected God as in the days of Ezekiel when they worshipped the gods of Babylon and Egypt and they were judged.  In the days of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, they were also unfaithful and they were judged with the destruction of the temple, the city of Jerusalem and were scattered amongst the nations.

According to their transgressions:  Israel being scattered amongst the nations is a sign; the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple are also signs.  God judges; He does not ignore sin but gives humanity time to repent. Today it’s popular to think of God as “non-judgmental”; this is completely erroneous. God is merciful and gives nations and people time to change but He still judges. 

19 "But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 "then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.  2 Chronicles 7:19-20  

'Now I will bring back: Just as Israel was scattered for judgment, their return is through God’s restoration. When Israel is obedient they will be blessed above all the nations of the earth.  In the Millennium, the Glory of the Lord will rule from the temple in Jerusalem.  The temple becomes the House of God; the mercy seat is His throne from which He rules the nations. 

Hallowed in them:  The Holiness of God is manifested through the nation of Israel as it is separated from the other nations. Through this manifestation, these nations will then see who the “True” God is.

I shall have poured out My Spirit:  In the “latter-days” the Spirit of God falls on the nation and they finally see Jesus Christ, the rejected Messiah, as their only hope. 

9 "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  Zechariah 12:9-10 

Israel in the Tribulation 

Following the battle of Gog, Israel goes through a period of tribulation unequalled in the history of the world. In the end, the nation finally turns to Jesus Christ the Messiah.  Jesus describes this period as the Great Tribulation; Jeremiah describes it as the time of Jacob’s Trouble; Daniel describes it as a time of trouble.  Regardless of the designation, in the end Israel is delivered. This deliverance comes through Jesus Christ, the Glory of the Lord, who returns. 

21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.  Matthew 24:21-22 

1 "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.

2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2  

6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? 7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. Jeremiah 30:6-7 

Events following Gog’s defeat

 ·         Israel is victorious over the Gog alliance

·         Israel makes a false peace with the nations for seven years

·         The third temple is rebuilt,

·         Worldwide persecution of non-conforming Christians and other faiths begin (Revelation 6:9-12)

·         Two witnesses in Jerusalem bring God’s judgment on the Earth

·         After 3.5 years the agreement is broken, the Antichrist/Beast enters the temple and proclaims himself god.

·         Israel flees into the wilderness for 3.5-years

·         God pours out his wrath on the nations

·         Israel cries out to God for redemption, as the nations gather against her

·         Christ returns with the armies of Heaven, fulfilling His word.

·         Nations are judged

·         Israel, along with righteous, enter the Millennium

·         Saints rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years.