The seven-month search and burial (Ezek 39:12-39:16)

“‘The house of Israel

Shall spend

Seven months

Burying them,

In order to cleanse

The land.

All the people

Of the land

Shall bury them.

It will bring them honor

On the day

That I show my glory.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘They will set apart men

To pass through

The land continually.

They will bury

Any invaders who remain

On the face of the land.

It will then be cleansed.

They will make their search.

For seven months.

As the searchers

Pass through the land,

Anyone who sees

A human bone

Shall set up

A sign by it,

Until the buriers

Have buried it

In the Valley of Hamon-gog.

A city Hamonah

Is there also.

Thus,

They shall cleanse

The land.”

The house of Israel was to spend 7 months burying the men with Gog, so that they could cleanse the land of Israel and its people. These grave diggers would gain honor on the day when Yahweh was going to show his glory. These body searchers would be set apart to pass through the land continually. They would bury any remains they found. Anyone who saw a human bone was to set up a sign by it, until these buriers buried them in the Valley of Hamon-gog or the city Hamonah, next to it. Thus, the land would be cleansed by removing these dead bodies in 7 months.

The destruction of Magog (Ezek 39:6-39:6)

“I will send fire

On Magog,

On those who live securely

In the coastlands.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

For no apparent reason, Yahweh set a fire in Magog, the homeland of Gog. Why he also sent fire to the coastland towns was not clear. The main reason given was that they would know that he was Yahweh God.

 

Yahweh’s counter attack against Gog (Ezek 38:21-38:23)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘I will summon

The sword

Against Gog.

In all my mountains,

The swords of all

Will be

Against their comrades.

I will enter my judgment

On him

With pestilence,

With bloodshed.

I will pour down

Torrential rains,

Hailstones,

Fire,

Sulfur,

Upon him,

With his troops,

With the many people

That are with him.

Thus,

I will show

My greatness,

My holiness.

I will make myself known

In the eyes

Of many nations.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that he was going to summon swords against Gog in the mountains, as fellow soldiers would be against each other with their swords. Yahweh was going to render his judgment, so that there would be pestilence and bloodshed. He was going to hit them with all kinds of natural disasters. Yahweh was going to pour down on Gog, his troops, and anyone with him, torrential rains, hailstones, fire, and sulfur or the famous brimstones. Thus, he would show his greatness and holiness. When all the various nations and countries would see this, then they would know that Yahweh was their God.

Yahweh will be angry when Gog attacks Israel (Ezek 38:18-38:19)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘On that day,

When Gog comes

Against the land

Of Israel,

My wrath

Will be aroused.

In my jealousy,

In my blazing wrath,

I declare.

‘On that day

There shall be

A great shaking

In the land

Of Israel.’”

The mood of Yahweh changed as Gog actually attacked Israel. Up to this point, Yahweh had been egging Gog on to attack Israel. But now, there was a complete reversal. On the day of the attack, Yahweh would be angry and jealous, as his wrath would be aroused. There would be a great tumult in Israel. Let us see what happens next.

Yahweh speaks (Ezek 38:17-38:17)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Are you he

Of whom I spoke

In former days?

My servants,

The prophets of Israel,

In those days,

Prophesied for years

That I would bring you

Against them.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, asked the question whether the attack of Gog would fulfill a prophesy of the old prophets of Israel. These former prophets often spoke of an attack on Israel. There already had been the Assyrian attack on Samaria and the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem. Was this attack different? In both the other cases, the Israelites lost.

The attack of Gog (Ezek 38:15-38:16)

“‘Come from your place!

Come out

Of the uttermost parts

Of the north!

You!

Many people

With you!

All of them

Will be riding on horses,

With a great multitude,

With a mighty army.

You will come up

Against my people

Israel,

Like a cloud

Covering the earth.

In the latter days,

I will bring you

Against my land.

Thus,

The nations

May know me,

When through you,

O Gog!

I vindicate

My holiness

Before their eyes.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, exhorted Gog to attack Israel. Gog was to come out of his home in the far north, along with many people. His whole army would be riding on horses. They would come up against Yahweh’s people Israel. Gog would be like a cloud covering the earth with a great army. This was going to happen later. Yahweh wanted Gog to fight against Israel, so that all the various nations and countries would know about Yahweh. He was going to vindicate his holiness in front of everyone.

The idea of an attack (Ezek 38:14-38:14)

“Therefore,

Son of man!

Prophesy!

Say to Gog!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On that day,

When my people Israel

Are living securely,

You will rouse yourself.’”

Yahweh once again wanted Ezekiel to prophesize to Gog, but I am not sure how Ezekiel and Gog would connect. When the Israelites had returned to live securely on their land, Gog should rouse himself to plan an attack on them. It seemed like Yahweh wanted Gog to attack Israel.

The spoils of plunder (Ezek 38:13-38:13)

“Sheba,

Dedan,

The merchants of Tarshish,

With all its young warriors,

Will say to you.

‘Have you come

To seize spoil?

Have you assembled

Your troops

To carry off plunder?

Do you want

To carry away

Silver,

Gold,

Cattle,

With other goods?

Do you want

To seize

Great spoil?’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, now suddenly has the trading partners of Tyre from Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish, as found in chapter 27, show up in here. They realized that there would be a lot of things to plunder in Israel and Jerusalem. Tarshish had both merchants and warriors to gather up things. They wanted to know if Gog was there to plunder Israel? Would he take away its silver, gold, cattle, and other precious items? Would there be a great amount of stuff to take?

The evil scheme of Gog (Ezek 38:10-38:10)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On that day,

Thoughts will come

Into your mind.

You will devise

An evil scheme.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told Gog that on that day a thought would come to him. He would devise an evil scheme. Whether Gog knew that Yahweh was influencing him of not is certainly not clear.

Gog and his allies will advance on the unsuspecting land (Ezek 38:8-38:9)

“After many days,

You shall be mustered.

In the latter years,

You shall go

Against a land

Restored

From the war.

This is a land

Where people

Were gathered

From many nations

On the mountains

Of Israel.

This land

Had long laid waste.

Its people were

Brought out

From the nations.

They now live securely,

All of them.

You shall advance,

Coming on,

Like a storm.

You shall be

Like a cloud

Covering the land.

It will be you,

With all your troops.

Many people shall be

With you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was trying to tell Gog that after many days, he should gather or muster up his troops to prepare for a battle to come years later. They were going to fight against a land that had been restored from a war situation. These people had been gathered from many countries to go to this former wasteland of Israel. Now, however, they were living securely and peacefully. Yet Gog and his troops should advance on them like a storm or a cloud covering the land. Gog should bring all his large army of troops with him.