Against Gog (Ezek 39:1-39:2)

“You!

Son of man!

Prophesy against Gog!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am against you!

O Gog!

Chief prince

Of Meshech

With Tubal!

I will turn you around!

I will drive you forward!

I will bring you up

From the remotest parts

Of the north!

I will lead you

Against the mountains

Of Israel!’”

As if one chapter were not enough, Ezekiel has another chapter about Gog.   Yahweh God, as usual, came to the prophet Ezekiel, the son of man. This time, he wanted Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog, who is now called the prince of Meshech and Tubal and not from Magog. Like in the last chapter, Gog was clearly an enemy of Yahweh. Yet Yahweh used him for his own purposes. Yahweh was going to turn Gog around and drive him forward from the remotest parts of the northern area. In fact, Yahweh was going to lead Gog against the mountains of Israel. The only possible historical basis for this Gog, might be the supposedly chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, two 7th century BCE kingdoms in Asia Minor of Turkey.

Advertisements

The restoration in Israel (Ezek 36:9-36:12)

“See now,

I am for you.

I will turn to you.

You shall be tilled.

You shall be sown.

I will multiply

Your population,

The whole house

Of Israel,

All of it.

The towns

Shall be inhabited.

The waste places

Rebuilt.

I will multiply

Human beings,

As well as animals

Among you.

They shall increase.

They shall be fruitful.

I will cause you

To be inhabited,

As in your former times.

I will do more good

To you

Than ever before.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.

I will lead people

Upon you,

My people Israel.

They shall possess you.

You shall be

Their inheritance.

No longer shall you

Bereave their children.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told the mountains of Israel that he was for them. He was going to turn their land into a place that was tilled and sown with crops. He was going to multiply the population of the whole house of Israel. The towns would be inhabited and the ruined places rebuilt. Humans and animals would multiply, as the land would be occupied again. Yahweh was going to do more good than ever before. They would know that he was Yahweh, their God. There would be new leaders in this inherited land, so that they would no longer mourn for their lost children. His land and his people would be reunited again.

The people of Israel would return home (Ezek 36:8-36:8)

“But you!

O mountains of Israel!

You shall shoot out

Your branches.

You shall yield

Your fruit

For my people,

Israel.

They shall soon

Come home.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told the mountains of Israel to shoot out from its branches. They were to get ready the yield from the fruit of its trees for his people. Why should they do this? Very simply, the people of Israel would return home soon, a common theme.

The mountains of Israel (Ezek 36:1-36:1)

“You!

Son of man!

Prophesy

To the mountains

Of Israel!

Say!

‘O mountains of Israel!

Hear

The word of Yahweh.’”

Next Yahweh, via Ezekiel, turned to the mountains of Israel. As opposed to the mountains of Edom, Mount Seir, Yahweh wanted these mountains to listen to the word of Yahweh as presented by Ezekiel.

Yahweh was going to deal with Edom (Ezek 35:11-35:13)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will deal

With you

According to the anger,

According to the envy

That you showed

Because of your hatred

Against them.

I will make myself

Known among you,

When I judge you.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have heard

All the abusive speech

That you uttered

Against the mountains

Of Israel.

Saying.

‘They are laid desolate.

They are given us

To devour.’

You magnified yourselves

Against me

With your mouth.

You multiplied

Your words

Against me.

I heard it.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to deal with Edom, Mount Seir. The Edomites, with their anger and envy. had showed their hatred against Israel. Now Yahweh was going to judge the Edomites. They would soon learn who Yahweh was. He had heard all their abusive speech against the mountains of Israel. They had said that Israel was desolate and ready to be devoured. They magnified themselves against Yahweh with their mouths. They multiplied their words against Yahweh, but he had heard them.

 

Yahweh returns them to the good pastures of Israel (Ezek 34:13-34:15)

“‘I will bring them

Out from the various people.

I will gather them

From the various countries.

I will bring them

Into their own land.

I will feed them

On the mountains

Of Israel.

They will be

By the water fountains,

In all the inhabited places

Of the country.

I will feed them

With good pasture.

The mountain heights

Of Israel

Shall be their pasture.

They shall lie down there

In good grazing land.

They shall feed

On rich pasture

On the mountains

Of Israel.

I myself

Will be the shepherd

Of my sheep.

I will make them

Lie down.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Somewhat reminiscent of Psalm 23 about the good shepherd, Yahweh, their God, said that he was going to bring all his lost sheep together from the various countries where they had been. They were going to go back to their own land. Yahweh was going to feed them on the mountains of Israel with flowing water in all the inhabited places of their country. He was going to feed them from the good pastures in the mountain heights of Israel. There they would lie down in this good grazing land. They would eat from the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. Yahweh was going to be their shepherd, the good shepherd of his sheep. He was going to make them lie down in great green pastures.

The second young lion was captured (Ezek 19:7-19:9)

“The second young lion

Ravaged

Their strongholds.

He laid waste

To their towns.

The land

Was appalled.

All who were in it

Were appalled

At the sound

Of his roaring.

The nations

Set upon him

From the provinces

All around.

They spread

Their net

Over him.

He was caught

In their pit.

With hooks,

They put him

In a cage.

They brought him

To the king of Babylon.

They brought him

Into custody.

Thus his voice

Would be heard

No more

On the mountains

Of Israel.”

This second young lion ravaged the strongholds and towns around there. The land and everybody in it were appalled at the sound of his roaring. Thus various countries from around the area set upon him. They spread out their nets over him. They caught him in a pit. They hooked him and put him into a cage. They brought him to the king of Babylon. He was now in custody so that his voice would no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel. This sounds a lot like a reference to King Zedekiah (598-587).