In an extended oracle about final judgment, Ezekiel began by mentioning three places not particularly familiar to us today: Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. Named after their founding ancestors, these names were first referenced in Genesis 10:2, “The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.” Our best guess is that these lands were in Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey. We have no clear understanding of who “Gog, of the land of Magog” was, is, or will be. The name “Gog” means “mountain.” This “chief prince” set himself up as a towering figure over many people groups, but the Lord reminded His people that only Jehovah could ever truly be the King over all.
Gog and his host of allied nations would one day be judged by the real King of kings. The places noted so long ago in Ezekiel 38 include the current nations of Ethiopia, Libya, Iran, and even Russia. If the armies of all those surrounding people groups were not enough to frighten Israel, the Almighty also spoke of a far larger alliance under Gog. “The uttermost parts of the north” comprised of “many peoples” would be under this one leader. In addition, other trading partners would be associated with Gog. A fair summary of these verses would rightly conclude that every power from everywhere all over the earth would turn against the chosen people of God who would be residing “in the land that is restored from war.”
Fear would be a very understandable reaction to such an impressive alliance of nations. As always, the Lord’s Word was given to produce a better response than terror brought on by well-armed adversaries. Jehovah always calls His children to faith.
God was well aware of this host of enemies. The plan of the Almighty would be accomplished through them. “In the latter days I will bring” all these nations “against My land, that the nations may know Me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate My holiness before their eyes.” The Lord would bring overwhelming trouble upon His covenant people, not to destroy His elect, but to deliver His ultimate sanction against those who had persecuted His children. “On that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, My wrath will be roused in My anger.”
During the years of Judah’s exile in Babylon, Ezekiel looked forward to a time that Peter called “the last days” that would begin with the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:17 and 2 Peter 3:3). The New Covenant era will one day reach a grand finale. On that day “the mountains shall be thrown down” against Gog and all who are in league with him. (See also Revelation 20:8.) The return of the Lord of the church at a time known only to the Almighty will then bring about the prophesy contained in Ezekiel 38:23, “So I will show My greatness and My holiness and make Myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
O God of Glory, what will become of this present world in the Day of Your Son’s return? There is no hope in the strength of men. When You go out against those who have persecuted Your people, they will not be able to survive. All the evil schemes of powerful people will come to nothing. We will be so perfectly secure in Your Son in that Day! No one will be able to answer You when You bring Your just judgments upon the world. You will vindicate Your holiness before the eyes of all men. Though many presume that Your Son will never come in judgment, You have promised His return and have spoken clearly about the sword that is coming against the earth. In His first coming, Your Son did not come to judge the world, but to save it. One day He will return again to judge both the living and the dead.