The Eschatological War with Gog

Ezekiel 38–39 (selections)

Biblical Period

Chapter 38

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him 3and say: Thus said the Lord God: Lo, I am coming to deal with you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal! 4I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed in splendor, a vast assembly, all of them with bucklers and shields, wielding swords. [ . . . ]

10Thus said the Lord God: On that day, a thought will occur to you, and you will conceive a wicked design. 11You will say, “I will invade a land of open towns, I will fall upon a tranquil people living secure, all of them living in unwalled towns and lacking bars and gates, 12in order to take spoil and seize plunder”—to turn your hand against repopulated wastes, and against a people gathered from among nations, acquiring livestock and possessions, living at the center of the earth. [ . . . ]

14Therefore prophesy, O mortal, and say to Gog: Thus said the Lord God: Surely, on that day, when My people Israel are living secure, you will take note, 15and you will come from your home in the farthest north, you and many peoples with you—all of them mounted on horses, a vast horde, a mighty army—16and you will advance upon My people Israel, like a cloud covering the earth. This shall happen on that distant day: I will bring you to My land, that the nations may know Me when, before their eyes, I manifest My holiness through you, O Gog! [ . . . ]

18On that day, when Gog sets foot on the soil of Israel—declares the Lord God—My raging anger shall flare up. 19For I have decreed in My indignation and in My blazing wrath: On that day, a terrible earthquake shall befall the land of Israel. 20The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that move on the ground, and every human being on earth shall quake before Me. Mountains shall be overthrown, cliffs shall topple, and every wall shall crumble to the ground. 21I will then summon the sword against him throughout My mountains—declares the Lord God—and every man’s sword shall be turned against his brother. 22I will punish him with pestilence and with bloodshed; and I will pour torrential rain, hailstones, and sulfurous fire upon him and his hordes and the many peoples with him. 23Thus will I manifest My greatness and My holiness, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations. And they shall know that I am the Lord.

Chapter 39

1And you, O mortal, prophesy against Gog and say: Thus said the Lord God: I am going to deal with you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal! [ . . . ] 4You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your battalions and the peoples who are with you; and I will give you as food to carrion birds of every sort and to the beasts of the field, 5as you lie in the open field. For I have spoken—declares the Lord God. [ . . . ] 7I will make My holy name known among My people Israel, and never again will I let My holy name be profaned. And the nations shall know that I the Lord am holy in Israel. [ . . . ]

22From that time on, the House of Israel shall know that I the Lord am their God. 23And the nations shall know that the House of Israel were exiled only for their iniquity, because they trespassed against Me, so that I hid My face from them and delivered them into the hands of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. 24When I hid My face from them, I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions.

25Assuredly, thus said the Lord God: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and take the whole House of Israel back in love; and I will be zealous for My holy name. 26They will beara their shame and all their trespasses that they committed against Me, when they dwell in their land secure and untroubled, 27when I have brought them back from among the peoples and gathered them out of the lands of their enemies and have manifested My holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28They shall know that I the Lord am their God when, having exiled them among the nations, I gather them back into their land and leave none of them behind. 29I will never again hide My face from them, for I will pour out My spirit upon the House of Israel—declares the Lord God.


Change of diacritical point yields “forget.”


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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