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What does the Bible say about the future?
Ezekiel 38-39 in a modern context

Putting this commentary together, I’ve written the battle of Gog of Magog in my own words in a modern setting.  My intention is, presuming this battle is in the very near future, to present a contemporary understanding of the names of countries and military equipment.  There’s other possibilities of when this might be fulfilled, for which this perspective may still be useful.  While this is speculative, I’m excited about how this brings a very ancient text alive, which is otherwise difficult to understand without significant research, and difficult to relate to with so many unfamiliar names.

I love the layers of “Jesus said, “Prophesy, “God says, “Watch out””””, which I’ve captured with indentation and color to identify the speaker.

Some of this translation is provocative, others may seem offensive, and others rather a twisting of the text.  Having gone through the process of translating biblical text, doing my best to retain the original meaning, this has brought me a huge respect for those who translate the entire Bible.  I’ve only translated from King James English into modern English but considering several other translations, including German and Portuguese.  However, it’s generally an easier job to just translate the text, than to interpret it into a different cultural setting while maintaining the original intent.  I hope you would read this alongside your favorite Bible translation you use for study.

Ezekiel 38

1Jesus came to me, saying,

2Human, turn to face the Czar, the land of Russia, the ruler of Moscow and Tobolsk, and prophesy against him, 3and say,

The Lord God says,

Watch out, I’m going to deal with you, o Czar, the ruler of Moscow and Tobolsk.  4I’m going to turn you around and put hooks into your jaws, and I’ll drag you out with all your army, with tanks and aircraft, everyone in all kinds of armor.  They’ll be a huge company with light and heavy armor, all well-armed.  5Iran, Sudan and Libya are with them, all of them with armor and helmets.  6Europeans and all their troops, Turkey from the far north and all their troops, and many people with you.  7Prepare yourself, and be ready, you and all who are with you, and take command and protection over them.  8After a long time, you’ll be conscripted.  In the latter years, you’ll come into the land that has been rebuilt after a war and has been gathered from many countries.  You’ll come against the mountains of Israel, which was a perpetual wasteland.  But its people have been brought there from the nations of the world, and all of them will live in safety.  9You’ll go up like a storm and will cover the land like a cloud, you and all your armies and many people with you.

10The Lord God says,

It’ll happen at that very time, that ideas will come into your head and you’ll invent an evil plan.  11You’ll say,

I’ll go up to the land of open villages, I’ll go to them who are at peace, all of them living without city walls and without locks or gates, 12to pillage and take captives, to attack the ruins that have been rebuilt and the people that have immigrated from around the world.  They have livestock and goods, that live in the center of the world.

13Arabia and the traders of England, with all her colonies will say to you,

Have you come to pillage?  Have you gathered this great company to seize plunder?  To take away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and lots of plunder?

14Therefore human, prophesy and say to the Czar,

The Lord God says,

In that day, when my people of Israel live securely, it’ll drive you nuts.  15You’ll come from your place in the far north, you, and many people with you, all of them riding in vehicles, a huge company, and a mighty army.  16You’ll come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud covers the land.  It’ll be in the latter days, and I’ll bring you against my land, that the world may know me, when I’ll be honored through you, o Czar, as they watch.

17The Lord God says,

You’re the one that I spoke of in ancient times by my servants, the prophets of Israel.  They prophesied way back then, that I’d make you attack them.  18It’ll happen at the very time that the Czar will attack the land of Israel, that my face will be filled with rage.

says the Lord God.

19For in my jealousy and in the fire of my anger I’ve declared that in that day there’ll be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.  20So that the fish of the sea [of Galilee], the birds of the air, the animals in the fields, and those that creep on the ground, and all people throughout the world, will tremble at my presence.  The mountains will be thrown down, the cliffs will crumble, and every wall will fall to the ground.  21I’ll declare war against him throughout all my mountains,

says the Lord God.

Every man’s weapon will be turned on his companion.  22I’ll execute judgement with blood and the air will kill people.  I’ll rain down on him, his companions and many people with him torrential rain and huge hailstones, fire and burning sulfur.  23And so, I’ll make myself famous and set myself apart, and be recognized in the eyes of many nations, and they’ll know that I Am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 39

1Therefore human, prophesy against the Czar and say,

the Lord God says

Watch out, I’m going to deal with you, o Czar, the ruler of Moscow and Tobolsk.  2I’m going to turn you around and make you come up from the north and I’ll bring you onto the mountains of Israel.  3I’m going to smash the weapons out of your hand and make you drop your ammunition.  4You’ll die on the mountains of Israel with all your armies and the people who are with you.  I’m going to feed you to all kinds of ravenous birds and wild animals.  5You’ll die on the open fields, because I’ve declared it,

says the Lord God.

6I’m going to send a fire on Russia and on those who live without a care overseas.  And so, they’ll recognize that I Am the Lord.  7So, I’ll make my holy name known among the Jews and I won’t let them defile my holy name anymore.  The whole world will know that I Am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.  8Be astonished, this has come about, and has been fulfilled,

says the Lord God.

This is the day I told you about.  9Those who live in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the armaments – both light and heavy armor, weapons, and ammunition and so on.  They’ll burn them for seven years.  10They won’t gather wood from the fields or cut down any forests, because they’ll burn the military equipment with fire, and they’ll plunder those who plundered them and rob those who robbed them

says the Lord God.

11It’ll happen on that day, that I’ll give the Czar a burial ground in Israel, in the travelers’ valley east of the Sea of Galilee.  It’ll block the travelers, and there they’ll bury the Czar and all his armies, and they’ll call it the valley of the Czar’s hordes.  12For seven months, Israel will be burying them, to purify the land.  13That’s right, all the people of the land will bury them, and that day will be remembered when I glorified myself,

says the Lord God.

14They’ll employ professionals to go through the land with the travelers, to bury those who remain on the ground – to purify it.  At the end of seven months, they’ll search.  15Those traveling through the land, when they see someone’s bone, will mark it until the undertakers have buried it in the valley of the Czar’s hordes.  16And so, the name of the city will be Hamonah (the horde).  And so, they’ll purify the land.

17And you, human, the Lord God says,

Speak to every kind of bird and wild animal,

Get together and gather around my sacrifice, that I’ve prepared for you, such a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.  18You’ll eat the flesh of heroes and drink the blood of the rulers of the world, of rams and lambs, goats, and bulls – all of them fattened in the Golan.  19You’ll eat juicy meat until you’re full, and drink blood until you’re drunk, from the sacrifice I’ve prepared for you.  20And so, you’ll be filled at my table with animals of war and heroes, and with all the soldiers,

says the Lord God.

21I’ll become famous throughout the world, and the world will see the judgement that I’ve executed, and my direct intervention.  22So, the Jews will know that I Am the Lord their God from that day on.  23The whole world will know that the Jews were captured because of their sins – because they were unfaithful towards me.  That’s why I hid myself from them and handed them over to their enemies.  And so, I allowed their holocausts.  24I’ve treated them according to their godless ways and their sins and hidden my presence from them.

25And so, the Lord God says,

Now I’ll restore the Jewish captives and be compassionate with all the Jews, and will defend my holy name, 26after they’ve endured their shame, and all their sins, by which they’ve offended me when they lived safely in the land without fear.  27When I’ve restored them from throughout the world and gathered them out of their enemies’ nations and I Am made holy through them in the sight of many nations, 28then they’ll know that I Am the Lord their God, who scattered them in exile throughout the world, but I’ve gathered them into their own land, leaving none behind.  29I’ll no longer hide my face from them, because I’ve poured out my spirit over the Jews,

declares the Lord God.



Administrator Brent Clark 15 May 21 03:50 AM
A Russian friend commented that "ruler of Moscow and Tobolsk" is a bit weird since Tobolsk is so insignificant. Geographically, I can see how Tobolsk could have been the gateway to eastern Russia in ancient times. Interpreting with these names, one could read "ruler of all of Russia" in a modern context.