Friday, October 17, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Wednesday

Ezekiel chapter 39

God's indictment against Gog continues. By comparing scripture with scripture I have come to the conclusion, as mentioned in the journal for chapter 38, that it is probable that this passage concerning Gog has a double-fulfillment. One of those would be the future fulfillment referenced in Revelation chapter 20. I think this chapter makes it clear, though, that this prophecy would also partially be fulfilled in the Bible Age.

For example, see verse 2 where 1/6 of the attacking army would survive the battle with Israel. This statement as translated cannot refer to the events of Revelation chapter 20 where all of the rebel forces are burnt with fire from heaven! Perhaps that part of the prophecy pertained to the defeat of Antiochus IV Epiphanes by the Jews led by Judas Maccabeus in the inter-testament period. The Persians and the others named as confederates in chapter 38 were also part of this attack on Jerusalem at that time, which isn't surprising considering the adversarial relationship some of these nations have had with Israel up to the present day.

It is worth noting that Magog, Meshech, and Tubal were descended from Noah's son, Japheth, and are therefore Caucasian while the Cush and Phut are descended from Noah's son, Ham. They correspond to Ethiopia and Libya. This means that certain European nations align with certain African nations for the purpose of troubling Israel. There really is nothing  new under the sun. Satan has found willing people to trouble Israel throughout history. The book of Revelation tells of the climax of a saga spanning many centuries!

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (This time Magog is not mentioned.)
  • God commanded the son of man to speak to the birds and beasts to tell them to assemble themselves for the great sacrifice that God would make to them of the people of Gog. (It could be that Ezekiel is the angel in Revelation 19:17 that calls the birds and beasts to the feast. "Angel" means "messenger" and it appears from this passage that Ezekiel has been assigned this task as the messenger by God.

Does God make any promises?
  • Gog would be given to the beasts and fowl to consume.
  • When God sends a fire upon Magog and those who live securely upon the isles it will be known that He is the LORD. 
  • When these things happen God would make His holy name known in Israel and they will not pollute His holy name again. The heathen would know that He is the Holy One of Israel.
  • The destruction of the Gog confederacy would be so great that the inhabitants of Israel would not need to take wood out of the field for seven years but could use the spoils of war to burn for fuel.
  • The stench of death would be so great that travelers through the valley where the battle took place would hold their noses until all the bodies could be buried over a 7 months period. The burial place would be known as Hamon-gog, meaning "the multitude of Gog."
  • A city would be erected in the valley named Hamonah (meaning "multitude"). Perhaps it is the place where those employed as grave diggers live? Just a thought. 
  • God would set His glory among the heathen. Israel would know that He is their God and the heathen would see God's judgment. 
  • The heathen would also know that it was because of Israel's iniquity that they went into captivity. (This seems to be speaking of Ezekiel's time.)
  • God promised to end the captivity of Jacob. (This was fulfilled with the return after the Babylonian captivity.)
  • God promised that He would never hide His face from them again. 

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • Jesus is the Holy One of Israel.
  • Verse 8 states that these things are done! Completed! Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The prophecies and promises are already finished in the sight of God.
  • Jesus is God as described in this chapter. He is the Judge. He is also the One that Israel needs to know and acknowledge and they will!

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • Verse 7 seems to indicate a yet-future event. God will make His holy name known in Israel and it will no longer be polluted!
  • The great battle that results in the dead covering the land seems to be future. No event up to the present can be described as such that it took 7 months for those of Israel to bury the dead lying everywhere in the valley. This seems to have a corresponding passage in Revelation 19:17-21.
  • There will be a time when God's face will never be hidden from Israel again.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)