Ezekiel 38

 

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   38:1

Ezek. 38:1   And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

בֶּן־אָדָם שִׂים פָּנֶיךָ אֶל־גֹּוג אֶרֶץ הַמָּגֹוג נְשִׂיא רֹאשׁ מֶשֶׁךְ וְתֻבָל וְהִנָּבֵא עָלָיו׃   38:2

Ezek. 38:2   “Human, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

We are told who Gog is here, but the names Gog and Magog, the former first mentioned here, the latter first mentioned in Gene. 10:2, are steeped in mystery.  Numerous explanations and projections about them have been proposed, but none of them is certain.  As for Meshech and Tubal, see Ezek. 27:13.

וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי אֵלֶיךָ גֹּוג נְשִׂיא רֹאשׁ מֶשֶׁךְ וְתֻבָל׃   38:3

Ezek. 38:3   and you shall say, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  Behold, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,

שֹׁובַבְתִּיךָ וְנָתַתִּי חַחִים בִּלְחָיֶיךָ וְהֹוצֵאתִי אֹותְךָ וְאֶת־כָּל־חֵילֶךָ סוּסִים וּפָרָשִׁים לְבֻשֵׁי מִכְלֹול   38:4

 כֻּלָּם קָהָל רָב צִנָּה וּמָגֵן תֹּפְשֵׂי חֲרָבֹות כֻּלָּם׃

Ezek. 38:4   and I will turn you back and set hooks in your jaws and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, dressers of perfection all of them, a great company of buckler and shield, wielders of swords all of them,

פָּרַס כּוּשׁ וּפוּט אִתָּם כֻּלָּם מָגֵן וְכֹובָע׃   38:5

Ezek. 38:5   Persia, Cush, and Put with them, each of them shielded and helmeted,

גֹּמֶר וְכָל־אֲגַפֶּיהָ בֵּית תֹּוגַרְמָה יַרְכְּתֵי צָפֹון וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲגַפָּיו עַמִּים רַבִּים אִתָּךְ׃   38:6

Ezek. 38:6   Gomer and all its hordes, the house of Togarmah of the extreme parts of the north and, with all its hordes, numerous peoples, with you.’

Gomer is also first mentioned in Gene. 10:2, along with Magog and the other sons of Japheth, and Togarmah is a grandson of Japheth, first mentioned in Gene. 10:3.

הִכֹּן וְהָכֵן לְךָ אַתָּה וְכָל־קְהָלֶךָ הַנִּקְהָלִים עָלֶיךָ וְהָיִיתָ לָהֶם לְמִשְׁמָר׃   38:7

Ezek. 38:7   ‘Be prepared, and ready yourself, you with all your hordes assembled by you, that you would be for a guard regarding them!’

מִיָּמִים רַבִּים תִּפָּקֵד בְּאַחֲרִית הַשָּׁנִים תָּבֹוא אֶל־אֶרֶץ מְשֹׁובֶבֶת מֵחֶרֶב מְקֻבֶּצֶת מֵעַמִּים רַבִּים עַל   38:8 הָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־הָיוּ לְחָרְבָּה תָּמִיד וְהִיא מֵעַמִּים הוּצָאָה וְיָשְׁבוּ לָבֶטַח כֻּלָּם׃

Ezek. 38:8   ‘After many days you shall be mustered, at the end of years you shall come against a land returned from the sword gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel that had been for a continuous wasteland, but it has been brought forth out of the peoples, that all of them would dwell in safety.’

The land mentioned here is Israel.

עָלִיתָ כַּשֹּׁאָה תָבֹוא כֶּעָןָן לְכַסֹּות הָאָרֶץ תִּהְיֶה אַתָּה וְכָל־אֲגַפֶּיךָ וְעַמִּים רַבִּים אֹותָךְ׃   38:9

Ezek. 38:9   ‘And you shall rise up, you shall come like a devastation; you shall be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes and many peoples with you.’

כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וְהָיָה בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יַעֲלוּ דְבָרִים עַל־לְבָבֶךָ וְחָשַׁבְתָּ מַחֲשֶׁבֶת רָעָה׃   38:10

Ezek. 38:10   ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  And it shall be on that day things will arise on your mind and you will devise an evil plan,

וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶעֱלֶה עַל־אֶרֶץ פְּרָזֹות אָבֹוא הַשֹּׁקְטִים יֹשְׁבֵי לָבֶטַח כֻּלָּם יֹשְׁבִים בְּאֵין חֹומָה וּבְרִיחַ   38:11                      וּדְלָתַיִם אֵין לָהֶם׃

Ezek. 38:11   and you will say, ‘I will rise up against the land of unwalled villages; I will come upon those at peace, dwellers in safety all of them, dwelling without a wall, and there is no fortress or gates for them,’

The Hebrew phrase xj;b,l' ybev.y (the eighth and ninth words), translated as dwellers in safety, is mistranslated both by me and everyone else.  It appears to be an idiom whose translation and meaning have been lost to us.  But the prevailing assumption is that the numerous translations are not far from the true meaning.  The same is true for a similar expression in the next verse, which is translated as dwellers at the center.

לִשְׁלֹל שָׁלָל וְלָבֹז בַּז לְהָשִׁיב יָדְךָ עַל־חֳרָבֹות נֹושָׁבֹת וְאֶל־עַם מְאֻסָּף מִגֹּויִם עֹשֶׂה מִקְנֶה וְקִנְיָן   38:12     יֹשְׁבֵי עַל־טַבּוּר הָאָרֶץ׃

Ezek. 38:12   taking the prey and plundering the spoil, turning your hand against inhabited wastelands and against a people gathered from the nations, producing cattle and goods, dwelling at the center of the world.’

שְׁבָא וּדְדָן וְסֹחֲרֵי תַרְשִׁישׁ וְכָל־כְּפִרֶיהָ יֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הֲלִשְׁלֹל שָׁלָל אַתָּה בָא הֲלָבֹז בַּז הִקְהַלְתָּ   38:13        קְהָלֶךָ לָשֵׂאת כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב לָקַחַת מִקְנֶה וְקִנְיָן לִשְׁלֹל שָׁלָל גָּדֹול׃

Ezek. 38:13   ‘Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its young lions shall say to you, ‘Are you coming to take the prey?  Have you assembled your company to plunder the spoil?  To carry off silver and gold?  To seize cattle and goods?  To take great spoil?’”

לָכֵן הִנָּבֵא בֶן־אָדָם וְאָמַרְתָּ לְגֹוג כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הֲלֹוא בַּיֹּום הַהוּא בְּשֶׁבֶת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל   38:14          לָבֶטַח תֵּדָע׃

Ezek. 38:14   “Therefore, prophesy, human, and you shall say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  On that day when My people, Israel, is dwelling in safety, will you not know

וּבָאתָ מִמְּקֹומְךָ מִיַּרְכְּתֵי צָפֹון אַתָּה וְעַמִּים רַבִּים אִתָּךְ רֹכְבֵי סוּסִים כֻּלָּם קָהָל גָּדֹול וְחַיִל רָב׃   38:15

Ezek. 38:15   that you would come from your place, from the extreme parts of the north, you and numerous peoples with you, riders of horses all of them, a great assembly, a mighty army,

עָלִיתָ עַל־עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל כֶּעָןָן לְכַסֹּות הָאָרֶץ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים תִּהְיֶה וַהֲבִאֹותִיךָ עַל־אַרְצִי לְמַעַן דַּעַת   38:16 הַגֹּויִם אֹתִי בְּהִקָּדְשִׁי בְךָ לְעֵינֵיהֶם גֹּוג׃

Ezek. 38:16   and rise up against My people, Israel, like a cloud covering the land -- it shall be in the end of days -- that I will have brought you against My land for the nations to know Me by My being sanctified through you for their eyes, Gog?’

כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הַאַתָּה־הוּא אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתִּי בְּיָמִים קַדְמֹונִים בְּיַד עֲבָדַי נְבִיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   38:17             הַנִּבְּאִים בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם שָׁנִים לְהָבִיא אֹתְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם׃

Ezek. 38:17   ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  Are you the one of whom I spoke in ancient days by the hand of my servants, the prophets of Israel, prophesying in the days of their years of bringing you against them?’”

The last part of this verse is translated literally, but could be somewhat unintelligible to some.  The meaning here is that the prophets had prophesied about this event whereby the Lord brings Gog and the multitude of peoples against Israel.  Allusions to this event appear in numerous prophetic chapters.

וְהָיָה בַּיֹּום הַהוּא בְּיֹום בֹּוא גֹוג עַל־אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה תַּעֲלֶה חֲמָתִי בְּאַפִּי׃   38:18

Ezek. 38:18   “That it would happen on that day, on the day of the coming of Gog against the soil of Israel, declares the Master, the Lord, ‘rage’ would rise up in My ‘nostrils,’

וּבְקִנְאָתִי בְאֵשׁ־עֶבְרָתִי דִּבַּרְתִּי אִם־לֹא בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יִהְיֶה רַעַשׁ גָּדֹול עַל אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   38:19

Ezek. 38:19   that in My ‘ardor,’ in the fire of My ‘fury,’ I spoke:  ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the ground of Israel,

וְרָעֲשׁוּ מִפָּנַי דְּגֵי הַיָּם וְעֹוף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְחַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְכָל־הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאֲדָמָה וְכֹל הָאָדָם   38:20     אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וְנֶהֶרְסוּ הֶהָרִים וְנָפְלוּ הַמַּדְרֵגֹות וְכָל־חֹומָה לָאָרֶץ תִּפֹּול׃

Ezek. 38:20   that the fish of the sea and the fowl of the skies and the beast of the field and every creeping thing creeping on the ground, and all of mankind who are upon the surface of the earth, shall shake because of Me, and the mountains shall be thrown down and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the earth.”

וְקָרָאתִי עָלָיו לְכָל־הָרַי חֶרֶב נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה חֶרֶב אִישׁ בְּאָחִיו תִּהְיֶה׃   38:21

Ezek. 38:21   “And I shall summon a sword against him in all My mountains, declares the Master, the Lord, the sword shall be of each man with his brother.”

וְנִשְׁפַּטְתִּי אִתֹּו בְּדֶבֶר וּבְדָם וְגֶשֶׁם שֹׁוטֵף וְאַבְנֵי אֶלְגָּבִישׁ אֵשׁ וְגָפְרִית אַמְטִיר עָלָיו וְעַל־אֲגַפָּיו   38:22      וְעַל־עַמִּים רַבִּים אֲשֶׁר אִתֹּו׃

Ezek. 38:22   “And I shall punish him with pestilence and with blood, and I shall send down an overflowing rain and stones of hail, fire and brimstone upon him and upon his hordes and upon the many peoples who are with him.”

וְהִתְגַּדִּלְתִּי וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתִּי וְנֹודַעְתִּי לְעֵינֵי גֹּויִם רַבִּים וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃   38:23

Ezek. 38:23   “I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself for the eyes of the many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

The events described in most of this chapter seem to relate to the end days.  We are told here that the Lord will make Himself known to everyone by the destruction of the vast army that is to come against Israel.  There will be earthquakes, fires, and smoke that blots out the host of heaven.

 

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