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|Gog and Magog
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Gog and Magog
Revelation 20:8–10 describes a final, complete, and definitive fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy regarding Gog and his antagonistic forces. The names of Gog and Magog are employed as a collective term for every foe of God and His faithful people. The culmination depicts the last judgment of God when Satan, described in the book of Revelation as the archenemy of God (Rev 12:7– 12), and all his allies are destroyed.
Let's take a look at the first appearance of this prophecy in the Bible.After the tragic fall of Jerusalem in 587/586 B.C., the exilic prophet Ezekiel presents in his book a unique prophecy concerning Gog from the land of Magog (Ezek 38–39) that has stirred a bewildering number of different interpretations. His enigmatic prediction is certainly one of the most challenging texts of Scripture.
The prophecy about Gog and Magog in the Bible
The prophecy about Gog and Magog is mentioned only once in the Old Testament— Ezek 38–39; and this terminology is also directly employed once in the New Testament, namely, in Rev 20:8–9. Who are Gog and Magog? Hal Lindsey, for example, claim that Gog refers to Russia. There are many other speculations, as well. In order for us to determine the identity of Gog and Magog let's take a closer look at Ezekiel 38-39.
Ezekiel 38:17 is the key verse of the prophecy: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Are you [Gog] not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them.’” This statement affirms that God through his prophets spoke about Gog in former days. This means that God spoke in the past about him in a general sense, because nowhere else in the Old Testament is a direct prophecy about Gog mentioned. The name Gog appears only one other time (1 Chr 5:4), but it is in a genealogy and not in a prophecy.
We need, therefore, to look for the main concepts of Ezekiel’s prophecy that can also be detected in previous biblical prophecies, and thus the connections can be established among them. The most common concepts of many prophets and biblical writers are the topics of war and of enemies from the north. Ezekiel emphasizes that the enemy will come from the north (38:6,15; 39:2). “North” is the symbol of the antigodly power because God reigns from the north (seePs 48:2; Isa 14:13; Job 37:22). Eichrodt explains that “a declaration made by Yahweh himself to Gog” provides evidence that God has long since forewarned the people of his coming. This shows that the enemy from the north, who play so large a part in Jeremiah’s first prophecies but whom Jeremiah himself in ch. 19 interprets as meaning Babylon.
The statement, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says,” appears seven times in Ezekiel 38–39 (38:3,10,14,17; 39:1,17,25), thus dividing these two chapters into seven parts. After the introduction (Ezek 38:1–2), come the following sections: (1) presentation of Gog and his allies (38:3–9); (2) Gog’s pride and plot (38:10–13); (3) Gog coming against Israel (38:14–16); (4) destruction of Gog’s forces by God’s judgment (38:17–23); (5) destruction and burial of Gog and his allies (39:1–16); (6a) Gog’s confederation at Yahweh’s sacrificial feast (39:17–22); (6b) Israel in exile for their sins (39:23–24); (7) restoration of the fortunes of Israel after captivity (39:25–29).12 Thus, the prophecy ends with the event which is to happen first—the exodus from Babylonian captivity, because this prophecy will be fulfilled only when Israel returns to their land and their yoke of captivity ends.
The Content of the Message
The leading message of Ezekiel’s prophecy is transparent: in the future (38:8,16), Gog will launch from the far north (38:6,15; 39:2) his antagonistic campaign with his allies (38:2–8) against Israel after the Jews have returned from the Assyrian-Babylonian captivity (38:8,12; 39:23,25,27,28) and are living securely in their land (38:8,14; 39:26). Then the divine judgment (38:18–22; 39:2–6,17–20) will destroy Gog and his confederacy upon the mountains of Israel (39:4,15); thus Israel (39:7,22,28) and all nations will know that Yahweh is God (38:16,23; 39:6b,7,13b,21,28) and His holiness will be vindicated (38:16b,23; 39:7,27).
Ezekiel uses three time expressions—miyyaoemˆ’m rabbˆ’m,“after many days” (38:8); b¤}ach∞rˆ’t hashshaoenˆ’m,“in the latter years” (38:8); and b¤}ach∞rˆ’t hayyaoemˆ’m, “in the latter days”/”in days to come”(38:16)— which give a general future time framework to this prophecy. These three temporal phrases do not refer directly or automatically to the end time. In Ezek 38–39 there is no specific indicator which would necessitate putting this prophecy into the apocalyptic end-time scenario just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, even though it is not excluded. Additional time framework is given in phrases like “when they live in safety”(38:8,14; 39:26), “attack on peaceful and unsuspecting people”(Ezek 38:11),31 but even these expressions are very broad in meaning.
There are five nations listed as Gog’s allies in Ezek 38:5–6: Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-Togormah, besides Meshech and Tubal already mentioned in 38:2. Thus, there are altogether seven nations in confederation whose names are derived from Gen 10:2,3,6, and Ezek 27:10,13,14.34 The number seven plays a significant role in Ezekiel, symbolizing completeness or totality, and in this specific context points to a universal conspiracy, a world plot against Israel.35 The number of enemies is described in figurative language: “You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land” (Ezek 38:9) and again: “You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land” (Ezek 38:16).
The linguistic analysis suggests Gog represents an official title, a prophetic role, based upon the Septuagint rendering of several kingly names in the OT and employed as a general name for any enemy of God’s people at the time of the composition of the Septuagint (Num 24:7;Amos 7:1); Magog is interpreted either as an artificial form (Assyrian mat gugi, land of Gog). Many believe Magog is a cipher or code for Babylon—reversing the letters of Magog and reading it as the following letter of the alphabet (J. Boehmer, L. Finkelstein, more recently A. J. Greig); Gog is identified by some with Antiochus IV Epiphanes (L. Seinecke, T. Boersma); Gog is a pseudonym for Antiochus V Eupator, reigning from 163 to162 B.C. (G. R. Berry); Gog is Mithridates VI, king of Pontus from 120 to 64 B.C. (N. Schmidt).
A. van Hoonacker suggested that the word Gog was actually derived from the Sumerian term gug, meaning “darkness”; therefore, Gog was the personification of darkness and evil because of the apocalyptic elements involved, and by consequence, Magog is the land of darkness; K. G. Kuhn and M. Rissi consider Gog’s army as demons, spirits of the dead, or mythical entities.
By Oleg Part 2 Tomorrow.
Psalm 65…Wednesday October 5th, 2011
God provides and we are bidden to be thankful for his many blessings
To you our vows will be fulfilled
O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness
O God our Savior
Our hope…You who truly care.
In the Old Testament times, vows were taken seriously and fulfilled completely. Once a vow was made it was binding Deut.23:21-23 which include promises to praise God for his answers to prayer.
How oft we feel overwhelmed by our own sins but God will forgive them all if we ask sincerely being willing to turn to so appropriate all that Christ came to make possible.
God can and will forgive and nobody is beyond redemption but through Christ we can be made clean and thus restored
Access to God and the benefits of His Kingdom which include righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost comes as we so choose to abide in Christ. Because of Jesus death on the cross, all believers today have personal access to God’s presence, everywhere and at all times
This Psalm glorifies God the Creator; reflecting the beauty of nature. Nature helps us understand something of God’s character. The Jews believed that God’s care of nature was a sign of his love and provision for them. Nature shows God’s generosity, giving us more than we need or deserve. Understanding God’s abundant generosity should make us grateful to God and generous to others
My Father has chosen me and adopted me as His child.
He brings me nigh and so establishes me in His love and care.
He fills me and so equips me and bids me to ask knowing He is there reaching out in every aspect of life we encounter.
O THAT WE WOULD OVERFLOW WITH THE ABUNDANCE HE HAS INTENDED WITH THE REALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRULY DOING A CREATIVE WORK IN OUR HEART AND LIFE
Study by Charlotte…October 2011
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