Ezekiel 38 & 39 – Gog & Magog

Yes, it’s been some time since my last post. I could explain how I decided to switch from Slack to this blog right in the middle of this reading plan, and how I got so caught up in updating the blog that I forgot about posting, but really it was my own pride that caused this whole problem.

I did actually finish the reading, along with a few other people who stuck with it straight through to the end. I’m glad to have read all the prophets, but I miss having written something throughout. I had much to say! One person can only do so much though, so while I managed the reading, I didn’t keep up with the writing.

That’s no reason not to continue though! I may not be following the schedule anymore, but I certainly still have much to say. And so now, late on this rather pleasant open-window night while I can’t sleep, perhaps I’ll pick back up the commentary. Who knows how consistent I’ll be, but at least I’ve made known (to myself!) that I intend to work through the rest of these prophets sooner or later!

So Gog is king of Magog, eh? The reference in John’s Revelation phrases it as Gog and Magog, as if they were two of a kind: two kings, or two nations, something like that. Looking at it again now, I’m willing to grant that John’s reference could also be interpreted as a king and his land, but it seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Anyway, it seems that the whole thing is somewhat metaphorical, that Gog and his nation of Magog represent all foreign (non-Israelite) nations, and that all nations will at some point in the distant future attack Israel with total annihilation on their minds. And it seems from 38:10-23 that Israel, along with all of humankind, will again be chastened at that time! Gog and his hordes, though, will ultimately be routed by the Lord, and Israel vindicated, as described in 38:1-9 and most of chapter 39.

The odd part, to me at least, concerns the sacrificial feast of 39:17-21. The Lord shall sacrifice warriors and princes of the earth, and birds and beasts shall participate in the feast. And these participants will not only eat the fat and the flesh of the sacrifice; they will drink the blood as well! Doesn’t the Levitical law condemn human sacrifice and the drinking of blood?

And yes, I understand that God himself has the authority and the right to destroy His creatures, men though they be, and that the Levitical law hardly applies to wild birds and beasts. Still, the wording here conjures an image of an unholy orgy of blood presided over by our Lord. Perhaps this is the kind of thing John was reading when Christ granted him the Revelation, a similarly violent tale.