|Exekiel chs. 31 to 35|
The Book of Ezekiel
Chapters 36 to 40
The following notes concern the identities of non-Israelite peoples and future events. We specialize in the identification of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and take responsibility for the veracity of whatever we say concerning them. Regarding other matters our opinions are not necessarily better than anybody elses. We can however look at the sources and make suggestions that students of the Bible and our subscribers in general may find useful. Remember, the great philosopher, Maimonides, emphasized (as did others before and after him) that in order to get to the truth one has to be prepared to make mistakes from time to time.
[Ezekiel 38:1] AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME, SAYING,
[Ezekiel 38:2] SON OF MAN, SET THY FACE AGAINST GOG, THE LAND OF MAGOG, THE CHIEF PRINCE OF MESHECH AND TUBAL, AND PROPHESY AGAINST HIM, : GOG: Maybe the name of a leader and that is how the verses incline but it may also be the name of a nation. There was a country named Gog mentioned in Tibetan records. It appears to have been somewhere in the region of Mongolia. There was also a province named Gogarene in Iberia (Georgia) in the Caucasus Mountains. Maybe the future leader of the heathen hordes will come from the Land of Gog?
Gog was also an ancestral figure in the Tribe of Reuben (1-Chronicles 5:4).
In some early Christian sources (usually Germanic but also others, re John Mandeville) Gog and Magog were identified with the Lost Ten Tribes. Both were considered the ultimate arch-enemies.
See "Red Jews - or 'The Lost Ten Tribes?'"
Some say that Gog and Magog refers to Mongolian peoples in general. Such nations would include Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Northern China.
THE CHIEF PRINCE OF MESHECH: In Hebrew the word translated as "THE CHIEF PRINCE" is "Rosh" (literally meaning here "the head of") Meshech, i.e. the Leader of Mesheck but the word "Rosh" was also understood as a word in its own right. Some Christian(?) Commentators understood the word "Rosh" to hint at Russia.
Leon Poliakov, "The Aryan Myth" (1971, 1974), p.113: <<In Greek the translation of the Hebrew word rosh (= head, principal, chief) became a name, that of an eighth son of Japheth, in whom the Byzantines were anxious to discern the ancestor of the Russians. The Russians for their part were able to make use of another paronym because russyi means blond in Russian. The Russians believed that the future Emperor of the Universe would come from a blond nation which [in their opinion] could only be Russia.
Ivan the Terrible (1540s) considered himself and the Russian nobility to be not Russian but German. 19th century genealogists considered 90% of the Russian nobility to be of non-Slav origin, mostly western and the rest from the East.
There is a Struggle in the Russian soul between East and West.
The "Moschi" in ancient times dwelt in northern Syria and present day Turkey. The Moschi are identified with the Phrygians of old. They later moved to Russia and gave name to such places as Moscow, Moskva River and the Mescheryak people in Eastern Russia.
In Classical (Jewish and related) sources Tubal is sometimes identified with Spain. Maybe the Basques are from Tubal? The Basques, linguistically, are linked to peoples from the Caucasus Mountains. Tubal was also to be found in Tabali. The Tibareni people were associated with the Moschi in North Eastern Turkey in Ancient times. Tbilisi, and the Tobo River are found in the Russian area.
In general it is possible to identify the above mentioned nations with the forces of Russia and Asia.
Poliakov ("The Aryan Myth" chapter six) repots that originally the Russians considered themselves descendants of a certain "Dajdbog" which vaguely sounds similar to Gog and Magog. The "Caucasian" Russians and the Mongolian Peoples had much in common. Genghis Khan in 1240 became the first real Tsar of All the Russias and is so designated in the earliest writings. He supported the Russian Church which in turn became a foundation of Mongol domination over Russia (1240-1480). The Totalitarian and collectivist tendencies of Russian peoples existed long before Communism. From the structure of the expression, "GOG THE LAND OF MAGOG, ROSH [THE HEAD OF] MESHECH AND TUBAL" it sounds as if one entity of united bodies is being spoken of.
[Ezekiel 38:3] AND SAY, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; BEHOLD, I AM AGAINST THEE, O GOG, THE CHIEF PRINCE OF MESHECH AND TUBAL:
[Ezekiel 38:4] AND I WILL TURN THEE BACK, AND PUT HOOKS INTO THY JAWS, AND I WILL BRING THEE FORTH, AND ALL THINE ARMY, HORSES AND HORSEMEN, ALL OF THEM CLOTHED WITH ALL SORTS OF ARMOUR, EVEN A GREAT COMPANY WITH BUCKLERS AND SHIELDS, ALL OF THEM HANDLING SWORDS:
The Prophets prophesied in terms of their own times. The intention can be vehicles in general. Ambiguity of Hebrew terms was divinely inspired and can deliberately lend itself to varying interpretations of equal possible validity.
[Ezekiel 38:5] PERSIA, ETHIOPIA, AND LIBYA WITH THEM; ALL OF THEM WITH SHIELD AND HELMET:
In Hebrew Cushwhich term could also be applied to several lands including Central Asia, Pakistan-Afghanistan, and India. In Hebrew it says Put. Why this is translated as LibyaI do not know.
[Ezekiel 38:6] GOMER, AND ALL HIS BANDS; THE HOUSE OF TOGARMAH OF THE NORTH QUARTERS, AND ALL HIS BANDS: AND MANY PEOPLE WITH THEE.
"GOMER": Germany, Europe. Germany is also identified elsewhere with Canaan, with Assyria, and with Edom. These identifications are not necessarily contradictory since most peoples are a mixture with different elements dominating according to changes of circumstance.
"THE HOUSE OF TOGARMAH": Usually taken to mean Turkey or Turkish peoples.
[Ezekiel 38:7] BE THOU PREPARED, AND PREPARE FOR THYSELF, THOU, AND ALL THY COMPANY THAT ARE ASSEMBLED UNTO THEE, AND BE THOU A GUARD UNTO THEM.
[Ezekiel 38:8] AFTER MANY DAYS THOU SHALT BE VISITED: IN THE LATTER YEARS THOU SHALT COME INTO THE LAND THAT IS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE SWORD, AND IS GATHERED OUT OF MANY PEOPLE, AGAINST THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, WHICH HAVE BEEN ALWAYS WASTE: BUT IT IS BROUGHT FORTH OUT OF THE NATIONS, AND THEY SHALL DWELL SAFELY ALL OF THEM.
According to the simple meaning all this is happening AFTER Judah and the Lost Ten Tribes have re-united and have divided the Land of Greater Israel between the tribes and are dwelling safely.
[Ezekiel 38:9] THOU SHALT ASCEND AND COME LIKE A STORM, THOU SHALT BE LIKE A CLOUD TO COVER THE LAND, THOU, AND ALL THY BANDS, AND MANY PEOPLE WITH THEE.
[Ezekiel 38:10] THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; IT SHALL ALSO COME TO PASS, THAT AT THE SAME TIME SHALL THINGS COME INTO THY MIND, AND THOU SHALT THINK AN EVIL THOUGHT:
[Ezekiel 38:11] AND THOU SHALT SAY, I WILL GO UP TO THE LAND OF UNWALLED VILLAGES; I WILL GO TO THEM THAT ARE AT REST, THAT DWELL SAFELY, ALL OF THEM DWELLING WITHOUT WALLS, AND HAVING NEITHER BARS NOR GATES,
[Ezekiel 38:12] TO TAKE A SPOIL, AND TO TAKE A PREY; TO TURN THINE HAND UPON THE DESOLATE PLACES THAT ARE NOW INHABITED, AND UPON THE PEOPLE THAT ARE GATHERED OUT OF THE NATIONS, WHICH HAVE GOTTEN CATTLE AND GOODS, THAT DWELL IN THE MIDST OF THE LAND.
[Ezekiel 38:13] SHEBA, AND DEDAN, AND THE MERCHANTS OF TARSHISH, WITH ALL THE YOUNG LIONS THEREOF, SHALL SAY UNTO THEE, ART THOU COME TO TAKE A SPOIL? HAST THOU GATHERED THY COMPANY TO TAKE A PREY? TO CARRY AWAY SILVER AND GOLD, TO TAKE AWAY CATTLE AND GOODS, TO TAKE A GREAT SPOIL?
Spain, South America, Italy. Japan" Closing in for the kill to carry away whatever will be left of the spoils.
[Ezekiel 38:14] THEREFORE, SON OF MAN, PROPHESY AND SAY UNTO GOG, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; IN THAT DAY WHEN MY PEOPLE OF ISRAEL DWELLETH SAFELY, SHALT THOU NOT KNOW IT"
[Ezekiel 38:15] AND THOU SHALT COME FROM THY PLACE OUT OF THE NORTH PARTS, THOU, AND MANY PEOPLE WITH THEE, ALL OF THEM RIDING UPON HORSES, A GREAT COMPANY, AND A MIGHTY ARMY:
Hordes of German, Slavic, and Asiatic peoples will come pouring down out of the north in an attempt to conquer the Land of restored Israel in which the Twelve Tribes are dwelling. The Ishmaelites (Arabs) and Edomites (parts of Europe) will already have been defeated and placated. What will cause this fantastic movement of peoples of Gog and Magog" It is impossible to know. Does the Land of restored Israel include only the geographical regions between the Nile and the Euphrates or may it not also entail the present regions occupied by these people that will be revitalized, cured of their sicknesses and restored to their original blessed potential?
Could it be that there will occur climatic changes, ecological disasters, and/or manmade calamities of nuclear or chemical origin? The possibilities are endless.
For some reason predatory hordes of heathens will come up against Israel to disinherit her and attempt to destroy her and take what is hers. Do not seek logic everywhere. The USA, Britain, and the Jews are hated everywhere for no apparent reason. On the contrary they have done more good to others than anyone else ever has. Nevertheless many foreigners hate and despise them fanatically and spitefully. Maybe their very goodness and susceptibility to the rights and feelings of others is taken as weakness? Who knows if not in the darkest regions of our psychology we seek a victim or a culprit to blame for our own failings? Sometimes this task is fulfilled by our parents, or our spouse, or a friend and mentor, or somebody else who indeed may not be entirely innocent. On a national level the Israelite nations may be resented precisely because they are innately better and blessed. Man for man, foreigners often feel immensely superior to us and cannot understand why we appear on a national level to have more than they and to tell them what to do. [And what makes it worse is that they really often do need telling.] The message of Brit-Am is that by Israelite nations supporting each other and the State of Israel (and vice-versa) they are not doing anybody any favors, rather they are helping themselves. In a sense this is an unending war of light against darkness and those who have been called to partake of the task of goodness are warriors.
[Ezekiel 38:16] AND THOU SHALT COME UP AGAINST MY PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, AS A CLOUD TO COVER THE LAND; IT SHALL BE IN THE LATTER DAYS, AND I WILL BRING THEE AGAINST MY LAND, THAT THE HEATHEN MAY KNOW ME, WHEN I SHALL BE SANCTIFIED IN THEE, O GOG, BEFORE THEIR EYES.
[Ezekiel 38:17] THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; ART THOU HE OF WHOM I HAVE SPOKEN IN OLD TIME BY MY SERVANTS THE PROPHETS OF ISRAEL, WHICH PROPHESIED IN THOSE DAYS MANY YEARS THAT I WOULD BRING THEE AGAINST THEM"
[Ezekiel 38:18] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS AT THE SAME TIME WHEN GOG SHALL COME AGAINST THE LAND OF ISRAEL, SAITH THE LORD GOD, THAT MY FURY SHALL COME UP IN MY FACE.
[Ezekiel 38:19] FOR IN MY JEALOUSY AND IN THE FIRE OF MY WRATH HAVE I SPOKEN, SURELY IN THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE A GREAT SHAKING IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL;
[Ezekiel 38:20] SO THAT THE FISHES OF THE SEA, AND THE FOWLS OF THE HEAVEN, AND THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD, AND ALL CREEPING THINGS THAT CREEP UPON THE EARTH, AND ALL THE MEN THAT ARE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, SHALL SHAKE AT MY PRESENCE, AND THE MOUNTAINS SHALL BE THROWN DOWN, AND THE STEEP PLACES SHALL FALL, AND EVERY WALL SHALL FALL TO THE GROUND.
[Ezekiel 38:21] AND I WILL CALL FOR A SWORD AGAINST HIM THROUGHOUT ALL MY MOUNTAINS, SAITH THE LORD GOD: EVERY MAN'S SWORD SHALL BE AGAINST HIS BROTHER.
The heathen hordes will fall out with each other and begin to exterminate one another. This is to be expected.
[Ezekiel 38:22] AND I WILL PLEAD AGAINST HIM WITH PESTILENCE AND WITH BLOOD; AND I WILL RAIN UPON HIM, AND UPON HIS BANDS, AND UPON THE MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE WITH HIM, AN OVERFLOWING RAIN, AND GREAT HAILSTONES, FIRE, AND BRIMSTONE.
[Ezekiel 38:23] THUS WILL I MAGNIFY MYSELF, AND SANCTIFY MYSELF; AND I WILL BE KNOWN IN THE EYES OF MANY NATIONS, AND THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD. :
The heathen will know and we should not forget. Forgetfulness happens to all of us sometimes. Sickness, depression, disappointment sometimes can cause us to distance ourselves from the Almighty. Nevertheless He is always with us and we can return to Him.
[Ezekiel 39:1] THEREFORE, THOU SON OF MAN, PROPHESY AGAINST GOG, AND SAY, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; BEHOLD, I AM AGAINST THEE, O GOG, THE CHIEF PRINCE OF MESHECH AND TUBAL:
For the identifications of these peoples see our commentary to the previous chapter.
[Ezekiel 39:2] AND I WILL TURN THEE BACK, AND LEAVE BUT THE SIXTH PART OF THEE, AND WILL CAUSE THEE TO COME UP FROM THE NORTH PARTS, AND WILL BRING THEE UPON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL:
<<AND LEAVE BUT THE SIXTH PART OF THEE: Only 1/6 (14-15%) of these peoples will remain. The Hebrew however says, "veSheshaytecha" which is an unusual form and some commentators say has another meaning such as, gather in.
[Ezekiel 39:3] AND I WILL SMITE THY BOW OUT OF THY LEFT HAND, AND WILL CAUSE THINE ARROWS TO FALL OUT OF THY RIGHT HAND.
The prophets spoke in terms that were actualities in their own time and transposed them to the future.
[Ezekiel 39:4] THOU SHALT FALL UPON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, THOU, AND ALL THY BANDS, AND THE PEOPLE THAT IS WITH THEE: I WILL GIVE THEE UNTO THE RAVENOUS BIRDS OF EVERY SORT, AND TO THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD TO BE DEVOURED.
<<ALL THY BANDS: In Hebrew, Agapechah, all your flanks, all those come up alongside of you, who are with you protecting your sides.
<<AND THE PEOPLE THAT IS WITH THEE: in Hebrew it says, amim, i.e. peoples in the plural. All the nations that join up with Gog will suffer the same fate of destruction.
[Ezekiel 39:5] THOU SHALT FALL UPON THE OPEN FIELD: FOR I HAVE SPOKEN IT, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
[Ezekiel 39:6] AND I WILL SEND A FIRE ON MAGOG, AND AMONG THEM THAT DWELL CARELESSLY IN THE ISLES: AND THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD.
<<IN THE ISLES: Japanese"
[Ezekiel 39:7] SO WILL I MAKE MY HOLY NAME KNOWN IN THE MIDST OF MY PEOPLE ISRAEL; AND I WILL NOT LET THEM POLLUTE MY HOLY NAME ANY MORE: AND THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, THE HOLY ONE IN ISRAEL.
<<I WILL NOT LET THEM POLLUTE MY HOLY NAME ANY MORE: The name of the God of Israel is on the Jewish people. When Jews suffer or the State of Israel suffers a calamity it is as if the name of the God of Israel is being defiled. Similarly nowadays even though in our public lives and values the USA, Britain, Australia, etc deny the values of the Bible in a paradoxical way in the eyes of the world these nations and their kin still represent Biblical values. When these nations are less successful than they should be or suffer disaster then it is as if Biblical values and the cause of goodness are dishonored. For all our many faults in the eyes of other peoples we represent the values and honor of the God of the Bible. When through our sins we do not succeed not only are we punished but through this punishment we incur extra guilt because we did not sanctify the name of the God of Israel that is called upon us.
<<AND THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, THE HOLY ONE IN ISRAEL: The non-Israelite nations will recognize that the God of Israel who spoke to mankind through the Bible is the One God, Creator of all, who is actively involved in the affairs of men, rewards the good and punishes the evil yet always concerns Himself with the fate of HIS people and through HIS peoples HE makes HIMSELF known. This is what the Bible says. It may not be consistent with modern notions of international equality but it is the reality of existence as the Bible tells us.
[Ezekiel 39:8] BEHOLD, IT IS COME, AND IT IS DONE, SAITH THE LORD GOD; THIS IS THE DAY WHEREOF I HAVE SPOKEN.
[Ezekiel 39:9] AND THEY THAT DWELL IN THE CITIES OF ISRAEL SHALL GO FORTH, AND SHALL SET ON FIRE AND BURN THE WEAPONS, BOTH THE SHIELDS AND THE BUCKLERS, THE BOWS AND THE ARROWS, AND THE HANDSTAVES, AND THE SPEARS, AND THEY SHALL BURN THEM WITH FIRE SEVEN YEARS:
[Ezekiel 39:10] SO THAT THEY SHALL TAKE NO WOOD OUT OF THE FIELD, NEITHER CUT DOWN ANY OUT OF THE FORESTS; FOR THEY SHALL BURN THE WEAPONS WITH FIRE: AND THEY SHALL SPOIL THOSE THAT SPOILED THEM, AND ROB THOSE THAT ROBBED THEM, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
They will not need to use the weaponry for their own defence needs since there will be no more war in the world. Industries, products, and service that were once dedicated to warfare will know be converted to productive causes,
<<AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, THAT THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOUSE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED IN THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS, AND SHALL BE EXALTED ABOVE THE HILLS; AND ALL NATIONS SHALL FLOW UNTO IT.
<< AND MANY PEOPLES SHALL GO AND SAY, COME YE, AND LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB; AND HE WILL TEACH US OF HIS WAYS, AND WE WILL WALK IN HIS PATHS: FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW, AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM.
<< AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE NATIONS, AND SHALL REBUKE MANY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNINGHOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE [Isaiah 2:2-4].
<<AND MANY NATIONS SHALL COME, AND SAY, COME, AND LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, AND TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB; AND HE WILL TEACH US OF HIS WAYS, AND WE WILL WALK IN HIS PATHS: FOR THE LAW SHALL GO FORTH OF ZION, AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM.
<<AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG MANY PEOPLE, AND REBUKE STRONG NATIONS AFAR OFF; AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNINGHOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP A SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE [Micah 4:2-3].
[Ezekiel 39:11] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THAT DAY, THAT I WILL GIVE UNTO GOG A PLACE THERE OF GRAVES IN ISRAEL, THE VALLEY OF THE PASSENGERS ON THE EAST OF THE SEA: AND IT SHALL STOP THE NOSES OF THE PASSENGERS: AND THERE SHALL THEY BURY GOG AND ALL HIS MULTITUDE: AND THEY SHALL CALL IT THE VALLEY OF HAMONGOG.
<<ON THE EAST OF THE SEA: The place of the burial of the hosts of Gog is unknown. Some say it will be on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, others say east of the Dead Sea.
<<HAMONGOG: i.e. The multitude [HAMON] of GOG.
[Ezekiel 39:12] AND SEVEN MONTHS SHALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL BE BURYING OF THEM, THAT THEY MAY CLEANSE THE LAND.
The people of Israel will engage in a national mission to bury all the dead bodies of the host of Gog. This will take seven months. Even when the seven months are over there will still remain unburied bodies scattered around and so full-time workers will be appointed to patrol the land and bring to burial any bodies they find.
[Ezekiel 39:13] YEA, ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND SHALL BURY THEM; AND IT SHALL BE TO THEM A RENOWN THE DAY THAT I SHALL BE GLORIFIED, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
[Ezekiel 39:14] AND THEY SHALL SEVER OUT MEN OF CONTINUAL EMPLOYMENT, PASSING THROUGH THE LAND TO BURY WITH THE PASSENGERS THOSE THAT REMAIN UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, TO CLEANSE IT: AFTER THE END OF SEVEN MONTHS SHALL THEY SEARCH.
<<OF CONTINUAL EMPLOYMENT: This will be their profession, to seek out corpses left over from the hosts of Gog and bury them.
[Ezekiel 39:15] AND THE PASSENGERS THAT PASS THROUGH THE LAND, WHEN ANY SEETH A MAN'S BONE, THEN SHALL HE SET UP A SIGN BY IT, TILL THE BURIERS HAVE BURIED IT IN THE VALLEY OF HAMONGOG.
[Ezekiel 39:16] AND ALSO THE NAME OF THE CITY SHALL BE HAMONAH. THUS SHALL THEY CLEANSE THE LAND.
Unburied bodies or human corpses that are treated with disrespect pollute the country. Likewise bad behavior does not affect only the people practicing it but also everybody else.
[Ezekiel 39:17] AND, THOU SON OF MAN, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; SPEAK UNTO EVERY FEATHERED FOWL, AND TO EVERY BEAST OF THE FIELD, ASSEMBLE YOURSELVES, AND COME; GATHER YOURSELVES ON EVERY SIDE TO MY SACRIFICE THAT I DO SACRIFICE FOR YOU, EVEN A GREAT SACRIFICE UPON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, THAT YE MAY EAT FLESH, AND DRINK BLOOD.
[Ezekiel 39:18] YE SHALL EAT THE FLESH OF THE MIGHTY, AND DRINK THE BLOOD OF THE PRINCES OF THE EARTH, OF RAMS, OF LAMBS, AND OF GOATS, OF BULLOCKS, ALL OF THEM FATLINGS OF BASHAN.
[Ezekiel 39:19] AND YE SHALL EAT FAT TILL YE BE FULL, AND DRINK BLOOD TILL YE BE DRUNKEN, OF MY SACRIFICE WHICH I HAVE SACRIFICED FOR YOU.
[Ezekiel 39:20] THUS YE SHALL BE FILLED AT MY TABLE WITH HORSES AND CHARIOTS, WITH MIGHTY MEN, AND WITH ALL MEN OF WAR, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
[Ezekiel 39:21] AND I WILL SET MY GLORY AMONG THE HEATHEN, AND ALL THE HEATHEN SHALL SEE MY JUDGMENT THAT I HAVE EXECUTED, AND MY HAND THAT I HAVE LAID UPON THEM.
[Ezekiel 39:22] SO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD FROM THAT DAY AND FORWARD.
From then on the House of Israel will know that God is their ruler and will aknowledge Him.
[Ezekiel 39:23] AND THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL WENT INTO CAPTIVITY FOR THEIR INIQUITY: BECAUSE THEY TRESPASSED AGAINST ME, THEREFORE HID I MY FACE FROM THEM, AND GAVE THEM INTO THE HAND OF THEIR ENEMIES: SO FELL THEY ALL BY THE SWORD.
<<WENT INTO CAPTIVITY FOR THEIR INIQUITY: Is this referring to the captivity of the past? Or will there be a new captivity? The disgrace and defeat of Israelite peoples is interpreted by non-Israelite nations as a justification for their not acknowledging the god of the Bible. The Moslems have some kind of belief in One God but not really in the God of the Bible.
[Ezekiel 39:24] ACCORDING TO THEIR UNCLEANNESS AND ACCORDING TO THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS HAVE I DONE UNTO THEM, AND HID MY FACE FROM THEM.
[Ezekiel 39:25] THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; NOW WILL I BRING AGAIN THE CAPTIVITY OF JACOB, AND HAVE MERCY UPON THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND WILL BE JEALOUS FOR MY HOLY NAME;
These verses appear to support the opinion of those who believe that the wars of Gog and Magog and all the final wars of the End Times described in the Bible are all referring to the same events. We understood them until now to be referring to separate events that unfold in stages. There is an opinion that Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39 are speaking of separate events and that the prophecies concerning Gog and Magog deal with three separate events. Our aim in this commentary is mainly just to obtain an overall concept of the simple meaning with some emphasis on matters that facilitate our understanding of how the Lost Ten Tribes may be identified. Maimonides says that we must believe that events predicted in Prophecy will take place since we must believe in the Bible but exactly how the matters occur will not be known until after they actually happen. The Rabbis were very critical of people making predictions and estimating dates of future events connected to the End Times. We should act according to the still quiet voice inside us.
[Ezekiel 39:26] AFTER THAT THEY HAVE BORNE THEIR SHAME, AND ALL THEIR TRESPASSES WHEREBY THEY HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST ME, WHEN THEY DWELT SAFELY IN THEIR LAND, AND NONE MADE THEM AFRAID.
[Ezekiel 39:27] WHEN I HAVE BROUGHT THEM AGAIN FROM THE PEOPLE, AND GATHERED THEM OUT OF THEIR ENEMIES' LANDS, AND AM SANCTIFIED IN THEM IN THE SIGHT OF MANY NATIONS;
[Ezekiel 39:28] THEN SHALL THEY KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD, WHICH CAUSED THEM TO BE LED INTO CAPTIVITY AMONG THE HEATHEN: BUT I HAVE GATHERED THEM UNTO THEIR OWN LAND, AND HAVE LEFT NONE OF THEM ANY MORE THERE.
[Ezekiel 39:29] NEITHER WILL I HIDE MY FACE ANY MORE FROM THEM: FOR I HAVE POURED OUT MY SPIRIT UPON THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
God will return and give HIS spirit unto us. HE will no longer hide HIS presence from us.
The Third Temple
The Brit-Am Commentary on the Tanach (Bible) is intended to go through Scripture and give a general overview while emphasizing points connected somehow or other to the Lost Ten Tribes especially regarding their present-day identity. We have reached the 40th chapter of Ezekiel which deals with the future Third Temple. This is an interesting subject deserving a complete study in its own right. If, however, we wait until we gain a better appreciation of the subject matter we may end up waiting for a long time.
Various sources say that rebuilding the third temple requires the participation of the Lost Ten Tribes headed by Joseph and that this participation will indeed become a reality. The sources concerned however are Midrashim or commentaries of great Rabbis and while probably correct they do not have the authority of Scripture. They may (at least at a superficial level) also be contradicted by other equally valid sources. Alternately they could be fulfilled in ways we do not understand at present and may never do so. At all events let us go ahead as well as we can.
Ezekiel chapter 40 uses some terms and descriptions that most commentators do not really understand. In the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem there exist two large scale models of the Third Temple according to Ezekiel 40. They are located not far from each other. One model is found on Chabad St, and the other on the bottom floor of Yeshivat HaKotel where you go down the stairs to the Western Wall. The two models are quite different from each other and demonstrate the difficulty there is in understanding this chapter. Ezekiel gives the basic floor plan with the width and length. He appears to leave the question of height open though at one point he hints (40:14) that this future temple will be extremely tall by any standards.
Maimonides (Hilchot Bayit HaBachirah 1:4): The Temple that Solomon built was described in the Book of Kings. The Temple that is destined to be built even though it is described in the Book of Ezekiel is not clearly explained. The people of the Second Temple Period when they rebuilt the Temple in the time of Ezra built it like the Temple of Solomon with aspects of what was clear from Ezekiel".
[Ezekiel 40:1] IN THE FIVE AND TWENTIETH YEAR OF OUR CAPTIVITY, IN THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, IN THE TENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR AFTER THAT THE CITY WAS SMITTEN, IN THE SELFSAME DAY THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS UPON ME, AND BROUGHT ME THITHER.
[Ezekiel 40:2] IN THE VISIONS OF GOD BROUGHT HE ME INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL, AND SET ME UPON A VERY HIGH MOUNTAIN, BY WHICH WAS AS THE FRAME OF A CITY ON THE SOUTH.
<<INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL: Ezekiel more than the other prophets refers to both Judah and the Ten Tribes as Israel and does not always distinguish between the two.
[Ezekiel 40:3] AND HE BROUGHT ME THITHER, AND, BEHOLD, THERE WAS A MAN, WHOSE APPEARANCE WAS LIKE THE APPEARANCE OF BRASS, WITH A LINE OF FLAX IN HIS HAND, AND A MEASURING REED; AND HE STOOD IN THE GATE.
<<A MAN, WHOSE APPEARANCE WAS LIKE THE APPEARANCE OF BRASS: i.e. an angel.
[Ezekiel 40:4] AND THE MAN SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, BEHOLD WITH THINE EYES, AND HEAR WITH THINE EARS, AND SET THINE HEART UPON ALL THAT I SHALL SHEW THEE; FOR TO THE INTENT THAT I MIGHT SHEW THEM UNTO THEE ART THOU BROUGHT HITHER: DECLARE ALL THAT THOU SEEST TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
[Ezekiel 40:5] AND BEHOLD A WALL ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT, AND IN THE MAN'S HAND A MEASURING REED OF SIX CUBITS LONG BY THE CUBIT AND AN HAND BREADTH: SO HE MEASURED THE BREADTH OF THE BUILDING, ONE REED; AND THE HEIGHT, ONE REED.
[Ezekiel 40:6] THEN CAME HE UNTO THE GATE WHICH LOOKETH TOWARD THE EAST, AND WENT UP THE STAIRS THEREOF, AND MEASURED THE THRESHOLD OF THE GATE, WHICH WAS ONE REED BROAD; AND THE OTHER THRESHOLD OF THE GATE, WHICH WAS ONE REED BROAD.
[Ezekiel 40:7] AND EVERY LITTLE CHAMBER WAS ONE REED LONG, AND ONE REED BROAD; AND BETWEEN THE LITTLE CHAMBERS WERE FIVE CUBITS; AND THE THRESHOLD OF THE GATE BY THE PORCH OF THE GATE WITHIN WAS ONE REED.
[Ezekiel 40:8] HE MEASURED ALSO THE PORCH OF THE GATE WITHIN, ONE REED.
[Ezekiel 40:9] THEN MEASURED HE THE PORCH OF THE GATE, EIGHT CUBITS; AND THE POSTS THEREOF, TWO CUBITS; AND THE PORCH OF THE GATE WAS INWARD.
[Ezekiel 40:10] AND THE LITTLE CHAMBERS OF THE GATE EASTWARD WERE THREE ON THIS SIDE, AND THREE ON THAT SIDE; THEY THREE WERE OF ONE MEASURE: AND THE POSTS HAD ONE MEASURE ON THIS SIDE AND ON THAT SIDE.
[Ezekiel 40:11] AND HE MEASURED THE BREADTH OF THE ENTRY OF THE GATE, TEN CUBITS; AND THE LENGTH OF THE GATE, THIRTEEN CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:12] THE SPACE ALSO BEFORE THE LITTLE CHAMBERS WAS ONE CUBIT ON THIS SIDE, AND THE SPACE WAS ONE CUBIT ON THAT SIDE: AND THE LITTLE CHAMBERS WERE SIX CUBITS ON THIS SIDE, AND SIX CUBITS ON THAT SIDE.
[Ezekiel 40:13] HE MEASURED THEN THE GATE FROM THE ROOF OF ONE LITTLE CHAMBER TO THE ROOF OF ANOTHER: THE BREADTH WAS FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS, DOOR AGAINST DOOR.
[Ezekiel 40:14] HE MADE ALSO POSTS OF THREESCORE CUBITS, EVEN UNTO THE POST OF THE COURT ROUND ABOUT THE GATE.
<<ALSO POSTS OF THREESCORE CUBITS: Usually understood to mean 60 cubits high which is explained to be the height of a 12 storey building. The Commentary "Daat Mikra" remarks that from an engineering point of view this concept of height makes it difficult to reconcile with the rest of the description.
[Ezekiel 40:15] AND FROM THE FACE OF THE GATE OF THE ENTRANCE UNTO THE FACE OF THE PORCH OF THE INNER GATE WERE FIFTY CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:16] AND THERE WERE NARROW WINDOWS TO THE LITTLE CHAMBERS, AND TO THEIR POSTS WITHIN THE GATE ROUND ABOUT, AND LIKEWISE TO THE ARCHES: AND WINDOWS WERE ROUND ABOUT INWARD: AND UPON EACH POST WERE PALM TREES.
[Ezekiel 40:17] THEN BROUGHT HE ME INTO THE OUTWARD COURT, AND, LO, THERE WERE CHAMBERS, AND A PAVEMENT MADE FOR THE COURT ROUND ABOUT: THIRTY CHAMBERS WERE UPON THE PAVEMENT.
[Ezekiel 40:18] AND THE PAVEMENT BY THE SIDE OF THE GATES OVER AGAINST THE LENGTH OF THE GATES WAS THE LOWER PAVEMENT.
[Ezekiel 40:19] THEN HE MEASURED THE BREADTH FROM THE FOREFRONT OF THE LOWER GATE UNTO THE FOREFRONT OF THE INNER COURT WITHOUT, AN HUNDRED CUBITS EASTWARD AND NORTHWARD.
[Ezekiel 40:20] AND THE GATE OF THE OUTWARD COURT THAT LOOKED TOWARD THE NORTH, HE MEASURED THE LENGTH THEREOF, AND THE BREADTH THEREOF.
[Ezekiel 40:21] AND THE LITTLE CHAMBERS THEREOF WERE THREE ON THIS SIDE AND THREE ON THAT SIDE; AND THE POSTS THEREOF AND THE ARCHES THEREOF WERE AFTER THE MEASURE OF THE FIRST GATE: THE LENGTH THEREOF WAS FIFTY CUBITS, AND THE BREADTH FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:22] AND THEIR WINDOWS, AND THEIR ARCHES, AND THEIR PALM TREES, WERE AFTER THE MEASURE OF THE GATE THAT LOOKETH TOWARD THE EAST; AND THEY WENT UP UNTO IT BY SEVEN STEPS; AND THE ARCHES THEREOF WERE BEFORE THEM.
[Ezekiel 40:23] AND THE GATE OF THE INNER COURT WAS OVER AGAINST THE GATE TOWARD THE NORTH, AND TOWARD THE EAST; AND HE MEASURED FROM GATE TO GATE AN HUNDRED CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:24] AFTER THAT HE BROUGHT ME TOWARD THE SOUTH, AND BEHOLD A GATE TOWARD THE SOUTH: AND HE MEASURED THE POSTS THEREOF AND THE ARCHES THEREOF ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES.
[Ezekiel 40:25] AND THERE WERE WINDOWS IN IT AND IN THE ARCHES THEREOF ROUND ABOUT, LIKE THOSE WINDOWS: THE LENGTH WAS FIFTY CUBITS, AND THE BREADTH FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:26] AND THERE WERE SEVEN STEPS TO GO UP TO IT, AND THE ARCHES THEREOF WERE BEFORE THEM: AND IT HAD PALM TREES, ONE ON THIS SIDE, AND ANOTHER ON THAT SIDE, UPON THE POSTS THEREOF.
[Ezekiel 40:27] AND THERE WAS A GATE IN THE INNER COURT TOWARD THE SOUTH: AND HE MEASURED FROM GATE TO GATE TOWARD THE SOUTH AN HUNDRED CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:28] AND HE BROUGHT ME TO THE INNER COURT BY THE SOUTH GATE: AND HE MEASURED THE SOUTH GATE ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES;
[Ezekiel 40:29] AND THE LITTLE CHAMBERS THEREOF, AND THE POSTS THEREOF, AND THE ARCHES THEREOF, ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES: AND THERE WERE WINDOWS IN IT AND IN THE ARCHES THEREOF ROUND ABOUT: IT WAS FIFTY CUBITS LONG, AND FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS BROAD.
[Ezekiel 40:30] AND THE ARCHES ROUND ABOUT WERE FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS LONG, AND FIVE CUBITS BROAD.
[Ezekiel 40:31] AND THE ARCHES THEREOF WERE TOWARD THE UTTER COURT; AND PALM TREES WERE UPON THE POSTS THEREOF: AND THE GOING UP TO IT HAD EIGHT STEPS.
[Ezekiel 40:32] AND HE BROUGHT ME INTO THE INNER COURT TOWARD THE EAST: AND HE MEASURED THE GATE ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES.
[Ezekiel 40:33] AND THE LITTLE CHAMBERS THEREOF, AND THE POSTS THEREOF, AND THE ARCHES THEREOF, WERE ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES: AND THERE WERE WINDOWS THEREIN AND IN THE ARCHES THEREOF ROUND ABOUT: IT WAS FIFTY CUBITS LONG, AND FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS BROAD.
[Ezekiel 40:34] AND THE ARCHES THEREOF WERE TOWARD THE OUTWARD COURT; AND PALM TREES WERE UPON THE POSTS THEREOF, ON THIS SIDE, AND ON THAT SIDE: AND THE GOING UP TO IT HAD EIGHT STEPS.
[Ezekiel 40:35] AND HE BROUGHT ME TO THE NORTH GATE, AND MEASURED IT ACCORDING TO THESE MEASURES;
[Ezekiel 40:36] THE LITTLE CHAMBERS THEREOF, THE POSTS THEREOF, AND THE ARCHES THEREOF, AND THE WINDOWS TO IT ROUND ABOUT: THE LENGTH WAS FIFTY CUBITS, AND THE BREADTH FIVE AND TWENTY CUBITS.
[Ezekiel 40:37] AND THE POSTS THEREOF WERE TOWARD THE UTTER COURT; AND PALM TREES WERE UPON THE POSTS THEREOF, ON THIS SIDE, AND ON THAT SIDE: AND THE GOING UP TO IT HAD EIGHT STEPS.
[Ezekiel 40:38] AND THE CHAMBERS AND THE ENTRIES THEREOF WERE BY THE POSTS OF THE GATES, WHERE THEY WASHED THE BURNT OFFERING.
[Ezekiel 40:39] AND IN THE PORCH OF THE GATE WERE TWO TABLES ON THIS SIDE, AND TWO TABLES ON THAT SIDE, TO SLAY THEREON THE BURNT OFFERING AND THE SIN OFFERING AND THE TRESPASS OFFERING.
[Ezekiel 40:40] AND AT THE SIDE WITHOUT, AS ONE GOETH UP TO THE ENTRY OF THE NORTH GATE, WERE TWO TABLES; AND ON THE OTHER SIDE, WHICH WAS AT THE PORCH OF THE GATE, WERE TWO TABLES.
[Ezekiel 40:41] FOUR TABLES WERE ON THIS SIDE, AND FOUR TABLES ON THAT SIDE, BY THE SIDE OF THE GATE; EIGHT TABLES, WHEREUPON THEY SLEW THEIR SACRIFICES.
[Ezekiel 40:42] AND THE FOUR TABLES WERE OF HEWN STONE FOR THE BURNT OFFERING, OF A CUBIT AND AN HALF LONG, AND A CUBIT AND AN HALF BROAD, AND ONE CUBIT HIGH: WHEREUPON ALSO THEY LAID THE INSTRUMENTS WHEREWITH THEY SLEW THE BURNT OFFERING AND THE SACRIFICE.
From this it appears that (contrary to some opinions) animal sacrifice will be renewed.
[Ezekiel 40:43] AND WITHIN WERE HOOKS, AN HAND BROAD, FASTENED ROUND ABOUT: AND UPON THE TABLES WAS THE FLESH OF THE OFFERING.
[Ezekiel 40:44] AND WITHOUT THE INNER GATE WERE THE CHAMBERS OF THE SINGERS IN THE INNER COURT, WHICH WAS AT THE SIDE OF THE NORTH GATE; AND THEIR PROSPECT WAS TOWARD THE SOUTH: ONE AT THE SIDE OF THE EAST GATE HAVING THE PROSPECT TOWARD THE NORTH.
[Ezekiel 40:45] AND HE SAID UNTO ME, THIS CHAMBER, WHOSE PROSPECT IS TOWARD THE SOUTH, IS FOR THE PRIESTS, THE KEEPERS OF THE CHARGE OF THE HOUSE.
[Ezekiel 40:46] AND THE CHAMBER WHOSE PROSPECT IS TOWARD THE NORTH IS FOR THE PRIESTS, THE KEEPERS OF THE CHARGE OF THE ALTAR: THESE ARE THE SONS OF ZADOK AMONG THE SONS OF LEVI, WHICH COME NEAR TO THE LORD TO MINISTER UNTO HIM.
[Ezekiel 40:47] SO HE MEASURED THE COURT, AN HUNDRED CUBITS LONG, AND AN HUNDRED CUBITS BROAD, FOURSQUARE; AND THE ALTAR THAT WAS BEFORE THE HOUSE.
[Ezekiel 40:48] AND HE BROUGHT ME TO THE PORCH OF THE HOUSE, AND MEASURED EACH POST OF THE PORCH, FIVE CUBITS ON THIS SIDE, AND FIVE CUBITS ON THAT SIDE: AND THE BREADTH OF THE GATE WAS THREE CUBITS ON THIS SIDE, AND THREE CUBITS ON THAT SIDE.
[Ezekiel 40:49] THE LENGTH OF THE PORCH WAS TWENTY CUBITS, AND THE BREADTH ELEVEN CUBITS, AND HE BROUGHT ME BY THE STEPS WHEREBY THEY WENT UP TO IT: AND THERE WERE PILLARS BY THE POSTS, ONE ON THIS SIDE, AND ANOTHER ON THAT SIDE.
Chapters with Brit-Am Commentary:
Ezekiel 6 to 10
|Exekiel chs. 30 to 35|