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Chapter 38

First Prophecy Against Gog. The word of the Lord came to me:[a] Son of man, turn your face against Gog[b] of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.(A) Say: Thus says the Lord God: See! I am coming against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with all your army, horses and riders, all well armed, a great company, all of them with bucklers and shields, carrying swords: (B)Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all with shields and helmets; Gomer and all its troops, Beth-togarmah from the recesses of Zaphon and all its troops—many nations will accompany you. Prepare and get ready, you and the company mobilized for you, but in my service. After many days you will be called to battle; in the last years you will invade a land that has survived the sword—a people gathered from many nations back to the long-deserted mountains of Israel, brought forth from the nations to dwell securely.(C) You shall come up like a sudden storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and the many nations with you.(D)

10 Thus says the Lord God: On that day thoughts shall cross your mind, and you shall devise an evil plan. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of open villages and attack a peaceful people who live in security—all of them living without city walls, bars, or gates”—(E) 12 in order to plunder and pillage, turning your hand against resettled ruins, against a people gathered from the nations, a people whose concern is cattle and goods, dwelling at the center[c] of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish and all its “young lions” shall ask you: “Have you come here to plunder? Have you summoned your army for pillage, to carry off silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to seize much plunder?”(F)

Second Prophecy Against Gog. 14 Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: Thus says the Lord God: On that day, when my people Israel dwell securely, will you not take action, 15 leaving your base in the recesses of Zaphon,[d] you and many nations with you, all mounted on horses, a great company, a mighty army?(G) 16 You shall rise up over my people Israel like a cloud covering the land. In those last days, I will let you invade my land so that the nations acknowledge me, when in their sight I show my holiness through you, Gog.

17 Thus says the Lord God: About you I spoke in earlier times through my servants, the prophets of Israel, who prophesied at that time that I would let you invade them. 18 But on that day, the day Gog invades the land of Israel—oracle of the Lord God—my fury will flare up in my anger, 19 and in my jealousy, with fiery wrath, I swear on that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.(H) 20 Before me will tremble the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, the beasts of the field and everything that crawls on the ground, and everyone on the face of the earth. Mountains will be overturned, terraces will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground.(I) 21 Against him I will summon every terror—oracle of the Lord God; every man’s sword will be raised against his brother.(J) 22 I will execute judgment on him: disease and bloodshed; flooding rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone, I will rain down on him, on his troops and on the many nations with him.(K) 23 And so I will show my greatness and holiness and make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.(L)

Chapter 39

Third Prophecy Against Gog. You, son of man, prophesy against Gog, saying: Thus says the Lord God: Here I am, Gog, coming at you, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, even though I urged you on and brought you up from the recesses of Zaphon and let you attack the mountains of Israel.(M) Then I will strike the bow from your left hand and make the arrows drop from your right. Upon the mountains of Israel you shall fall, you and all your troops and the peoples with you. I will give you as food to birds of prey of every kind and to wild beasts to be eaten. In the open field you shall fall, for I have spoken—oracle of the Lord God.(N)

I will send fire against Magog and against those who live securely on the seacoast, and they will know that I am the Lord.(O) I will reveal my holy name among my people Israel, and I will never again allow my holy name to be defiled. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.(P) Yes, it is coming! It shall happen—oracle of the Lord God. This is the day I decreed.

Everyone living in the cities of Israel shall go out and set fire to the weapons, buckler and shield, bows and arrows, clubs and spears; for seven years they shall make fires with them.(Q) 10 They will not need to bring in wood from the fields or cut down trees in the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons, plundering those who plundered them, pillaging those who pillaged them—oracle of the Lord God.

11 On that day I will give Gog a place for his tomb in Israel, the Valley of Abarim,[e] east of the sea. It will block the way of travelers. There Gog shall be buried with all his horde; it shall be called “Valley of Hamon-Gog.”(R) 12 For seven months the house of Israel shall bury them in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land shall take part in the burials, making a name for themselves on the day I am glorified—oracle of the Lord God. 14 Men shall be permanently assigned to pass through the land, burying those who lie unburied in order to cleanse the land. For seven months they shall keep searching. 15 When these pass through the land and see a human bone, they must set up a marker beside it, until the gravediggers bury it in the Valley of Hamon-Gog. 16 Also the name of the city is Hamonah. Thus the land will be cleansed.

17 As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God: Say to birds of every kind and to every wild beast: “Assemble! Come from all sides for the sacrifice I am making for you, a great slaughter on the mountains of Israel. You shall eat flesh and drink blood! 18 You shall eat the flesh of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth: rams, lambs, and goats, bulls and fatlings from Bashan, all of them.(S) 19 From the sacrifice I slaughtered for you, you shall eat fat until you are sated and drink blood until you are drunk. 20 At my table you shall be sated with horse and rider, with warrior and soldier of every kind—oracle of the Lord God.

Footnotes

  1. 38:1–39:20 These three oracles against Gog (38:2–13; 14–23; 39:1–20) describe a mythic attack of God against a final enemy of his people sometime in the future. Like the oracles against the nations, their purpose is to strengthen Israel’s hope in God, since they end with God’s triumph on behalf of the people.
  2. 38:2 Gog: the name is symbolic, probably derived from Gyges, king of Lydia. The gloss Magog may be an Akkadian expression, mat-Gog, “the land of Gog.” Meshech and Tubal, as well as Gomer and Beth-togarmah (v. 6), were countries around the Black Sea, the northernmost countries known to the Israelites. The north was the traditional direction from which invasion was expected; cf. Jer 1:13–15.
  3. 38:12 Center: lit., “navel.” Many ancient peoples spoke of their own homelands as “the navel,” that is, the center of the earth.
  4. 38:15 Zaphon: cf. note on Jb 37:22.
  5. 39:11 The Valley of Abarim: in the Abarim mountains, east of the Jordan. “Abarim” plays on the word ’oberim, “travelers.” Hamon-Gog: “the horde of Gog.”

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