Wednesday, August 14. Ezekiel 37 – 39

Who is this mystery ruler called “Gog” in chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine – and where is his nation “Magog?”

We don’t really know.  Meshek and Tubal were provinces in Asia Minor so perhaps it refers to the Scythians, a people who lived in northern Iran, southern Russia and eastern Turkey.

We can’t, however, be sure.

Don’t you find it interesting that Ezekiel mentions a nation and ruler here NOT mentioned anywhere else in the Old Testament?  Isaiah has a section in his book where he mentions God’s condemnation of the nations (chapters 13-24). Jeremiah has a similar section in his book (chapters 45 – 51).  Ezekiel has a section like that here (chapters 25 – 32).  It is interesting that while Isaiah and Jeremiah both mention Babylon (Jeremiah devotes over 100 verses to her downfall), Ezekiel leaves Babylon out.  Could Magog be a symbolic name for “Babylon?”

But why not just say “Babylon?”

Because it’s not really Babylon, but a nation like Babylon, one that exalts itself against God and His people, that takes advantage of them and is cruel to them.  It speaks of a time to come when God’s people are so oppressed that God steps in and brings it all to an end – brings the nations to an end.  Afterward, He exalts His people and a new age of blessing heretofore unseen is ushered in (seen in Ezekiel 40 and following).

If we take this view, then chapters 38-39 do not speak of a nation, but of a time – a time near the end.  This language is repeated in the book of Revelation with a reference to Magog (Revelation 20), just as God brings earthly history to an end and the new heaven and earth is ushered in.  It is the time foretold by God’s “servants the prophets” (compare Ezekiel 38:17 and Revelation 10:7) and about to be foretold by Ezekiel in the following chapters.  Ezekiel has moved to talk about the end of time.