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Bible: What Does Ezekiel 38-40 Teach Us About "Gog and Magog" and the Millennial Temple?

Updated on November 18, 2016

Gog and Magog




Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel prophesies against the armies of Gog and his allies who plan during "the latter days" to invade a peaceful Israel in order to "take booty" (vv. 1-17).

Comment: Whether or not these nations represent modern Eastern European and radical Muslim countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe is a debatable matter (vv. 3, 5-6). The "latter days" and ''latter years" refer to the times before Messiah reestablishes Israel's kingdom under David (vv. 8, 16).

God has gathered Israel back to the land in peace (vv. 8, 11), but David is not yet ruling.

May this be the false peace, created by the Roman prince (see Daniel 9:27), which Gog knows very well (v. 14)?

Gog's invasion of Israel ends in disaster for the would-be conquerors, but Yahweh "is hallowed" in him; His name is made known to the nations (vv. 15-16).

[Verse 17 raises the question: If the prophets of old predicted Gog's invasion, which ones were they?]

Yahweh then warns of a great earthquake that will strike at that time—a temblor that will shake every creature in the land, sea, and mountains of Israel (vv. 18-20).

These disturbances, mixed with other divine judgments, will destroy Gog's armies and magnify the LORD (vv. 21-23).

Gog's Burial Time

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Ezekiel 39

Part two of Ezekiel's prophecy against Gog contains a description of the latter's defeat upon Israel's mountains and their subsequent "devouring" (vv. 1-5).

Judgment also visits Magog (the land) [v. 6], magnifying the holy name of Yahweh among the nations.

The day of its coming is certain (vv. 7-8).

Israel will use the wood from Gog's weaponry to make fires for seven years, and then he will plunder his enemies (vv. 9-10).

In order to cleanse the land, Israel will take seven months to bury Gog in the valley of Hamon Gog (v. 12).

Special search parties will bury bodies and set up markers by bones throughout Israel (vv. 13-15).

Yahweh summons various birds and animals to come to eat the sacrifice of Gog (vv. 17-20; cf. Rev. 19:17-18 for a different future feast).

Employing Psalm 22 imagery, Ezekiel describes the armies of Gog as "fatlings of Bashan" (v. 18; cf. Ps. 22:12).

God's judgment of this mighty world power will convince Israel of their close relationship to Him.

Recognizing that He banished His people for their transgressions, the nations will also acknowledge the LORD's authority over sinful Israel (vv. 21-24).

Jealous for His Name, God will bring Israel back to the land and pour out His Spirit on him. Thus they will know that He is the LORD their God (vv. 25-29).

The Millennial Temple


Ezekiel's Companion

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Ezekiel 40

Approximately thirteen years after penning the message in chapter thirty-two, Ezekiel writes this new section of his prophecy regarding the new city and its temple.

Again, the hand of Yahweh "comes upon" him, and he receives visions from God (vv. 1-2).

Transported by the Spirit of the LORD, the prophet sees a city-like structure from the vantage point of a high mountain in the land of Israel (v. 2; cf. the Apostle John’s similar experience in Rev. 21:10).

Ezekiel then observes a figure standing in the gateway of this city.

The man (Christophany?) instructs him to pay attention to what he will show him, so that he could later declare it to Israel (vv. 3, 4).

Bronze in hue (usually bronze is symbolic of judgment), this Person carries a six-cubit long rod with which he measures the wall outside the temple (v. 5), the threshold of the eastern gateway, chambers, vestibules, gateposts, entrances to the gateway, and the court (vv. 6-15; cf. Rev. 11:1).

Many windows and palm trees enhance the beauty of the gate chambers (v. 16).

The prophet describes all the sites which the Man measured:

(1) the outer court (vv. 17-19),

(2) its northern and southern gateways (vv. 20-27), and

(3) the gateways of the inner court on the south, east, and north borders (vv. 28-37).

While traveling around the facilities, Ezekiel visits the chamber where the priests would prepare the sacrifices.

Eight tables on which they kill the offerings and four tables on which they lay their instruments of slaughter stand within this chamber (vv. 38-43).

Situated outside the inner gate are the chambers for singers and the Zadokite priests (vv. 44-46).

The prophet reports the Man's measurements of the inner court (one hundred cubits foursquare) and the vestibule (twenty cubits by eleven cubits) [vv. 47-49].

© 2014 glynch1


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    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 4 years ago

      Just to be clear: Ezekiel saw "something like the structure of a city" in his vision. He witnessed the construction of the millennial temple. John, on the other hand, witnessed the descent of the New Jerusalem, the actual city of God. The two structures are not the same, just the vantage point from which the two prophets viewed them (namely, from a very high mountain).

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I never thought about Ezekiel and John seeing the same vision - interesting!

    • jamesmaina250 profile image

      James Carson Maina 4 years ago from Kenya

      Great article. Very interesting.