The Tale of Two Gogs

How Many Gogs Are There?

I think the main confusion surrounding Ezekiel 38-39’s placement is the enigmatic figure of “Gog”.  Gog clearly is mentioned in scripture nine times in Ezekiel 38-39 and once in Revelation 20.  There is also a son of Joel named Gog, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 5:4.  I think we can rule Joel’s son out easily, but what about the Gog in Ezekiel and in Revelation?  Are these the same character?

Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (Ezekiel 38:2 ESV)

…and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (Ezekiel 38:3 ESV)

Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it?  (Ezekiel 38:14 ESV)

You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. (Ezekiel 38:16 ESV)

But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger. (Ezekiel 38:18 ESV)

I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. (Ezekiel 38:21 ESV)

And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.  (Ezekiel 39:1 ESV)

“On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog.  (Ezekiel 39:11 ESV)

And when these travel through the land and anyone sees a human bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. (Ezekiel 39:15 ESV)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.  (Revelation 20:7-8 ESV)

In Ezekiel, this is what we find out about Gog:

  • he is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal
  • he is of the land of Magog
  • God will hook his jaws to bring him out with his army
  • God is against him
  • he will know Israel is dwelling securely
  • he will come up against Israel in the latter days
  • God will vindicate His holiness before Israel’s eyes through Gog
  • When Gog comes against Israel, God’s wrath will be roused in anger
  • God will summon a sword against him on the mountains of Israel
  • Gog will be buried in Israel in the Valley of the Travelers east of the sea, with the rest of his multitude
  • The valley of Hamon-gog will be named after him
  • Israel will clean up the bones from this battle and bury them in the Valley of Hamon-gog

In Revelation, this is what we find out about Gog:

  • he will be involved in Satan’s deception after the thousand years are ended
  • satan will gather him for battle along with all the nations of the world
  • he is associated with Magog

Other than coming against Israel, and working on satan’s team, there aren’t many details to connect the two Gog’s.

The Table of Nations and Their Division

Genesis chapter 10 describes what is referred to as the “Table of Nations”, or the dispersal of humanity after the Global Flood.  This is a fascinating study to delve into.  God divides the nations into 70 parts, and assigns the “sons of God” as rulers over these.  God takes the people and land of Israel to be His allotment.  This is an important concept because it relates to His eternal land and people covenant with Abraham.  We have discussed the importance of this covenant here: The Covenant With Israel – Who Confirms It?

Let’s look at the dividing of the nations in scripture:

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
But the Lord‘s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.  Deuteronomy 32:8-9 ESV

God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment…

  I said, “You are gods,

    sons of the Most High, all of you;
 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.” 

 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall inherit all the nations!  Psalm 82:1,6-8 ESV

Here we learn that the nations are indeed divided and assigned to the “sons of God”.   This division involves both peoples and land.  The borders are not geographically defined for us, and would be somewhat different than our current geopolitical map (as we have almost 200 nations).

Incidentally, this division of land explains why Namaan takes home a pile of dirt from Israel when he chooses to follow Yahweh (2 Kings chapter 5):

Naaman’s unusual request stems from the ancient—and biblical—conception that the earth is the locale for a cosmic turf war. Naaman wanted dirt from Israel because Israel was Yahweh’s territory. The dirt which is Yahweh’s domain is holy ground.

The idea of “holy ground” is an important element of Israelite theology. This phrase is used when Moses is in the presence of the Angel of the Lord and the God of Israel at the burning bush (Exod 3:1–5), and when Joshua meets the Angel of the Lord (Josh 5:15).[1] More broadly, the idea derives from Deut 32:8–9 (compare, Deut 4:19–20) where we learn that when God divided up the nations at the Tower of Babel, they were allotted to “the sons of God.”[2] The nations of the world were, in effect, disinherited by Yahweh as His own earthly family. Immediately after Babel, Yahweh called Abraham and the nation of Israel was created. Israel was therefore “Yahweh’s portion” (Deut 32:9), whereas all the other nations belong to the sons of God whom Israel was forbidden to worship. As a result, Israel was holy ground; the territory of every other nation was not. The rest of the Old Testament is the story of God’s intention to reclaim every nation on earth.

Source: http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/bible-study-magazine-blog/2014/09/sanctified-dirt

 

I am proposing that Gog is one of the “sons of God” and is assigned as ruler over the land division of “Magog”.

The Chief Prince

In Psalm 82 quoted above, we see that the “sons of God” will fall like any “prince”.  I believe that confusion surrounding Gog melts away when we examine his title as “chief prince”.

Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (Ezekiel 38:2 ESV)

…and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (Ezekiel 38:3 ESV)

The title “chief prince” seems to be a ranking in the order of angelic host – both holy and fallen.  Gog, as one of the “sons of God”, is assigned as “chief prince” over the people and land division of “Magog”.

To confirm this, let’s examine another well-known “chief prince”:

The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me [the angel speaking to Daniel] twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia…  Daniel 10:13 ESV

But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.  Daniel 10:21 ESV

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.  Daniel 12:1 ESV

The well-known angel Michael is the “chief prince” assigned over God’s chosen people and nation of Israel.

We have more confirmation in scripture on the ranking of the angelic host and how they act behind the scenes to influence the leaders and peoples of the world:

 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 ESV

…so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 3:10-11 ESV

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39 ESV

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  Colossians 1:16 ESV

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them by the cross.  Colossians 2:15 ESV

 …that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  Ephesians 1:20-21 ESV

The phrases “rulers and authorities”, “forces and authorities”, and “rulers and powers” are all translated as “powers and principalities” in the KJV.  One can easily see the connection to the titles of prince, and chief prince.

Gog is a created supernatural being, one of the fallen angelic host, acting behind the scenes to influence the leaders and peoples in his assigned region – Magog

This is how he can appear several times, a thousand years apart.


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Divine Council (Michael Heiser)

Unseen Realm (book) by Dr. Michael Heiser

Part 3 – Spared From Wrath – the 7 Year Key

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

Gog-and-Magog

 

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