Ezekiel – Chapter 39

Gog and Magog: Take 2

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d told Ezekiel to speak further about Gog. G-d will entice Gog to attack a second time, then He will “knock the bow and arrows” out of Gog’s hands. Gog and his forces will fall upon the mountains of Israel, left as carrion for the birds and beasts. Magog, the nation of Gog, will burn, perhaps literally (as in the fire and sulfur of the previous chapter) and perhaps figuratively (as in G-d’s anger). Even those who live in Magog’s satellite territories on islands will be affected by this. When He does this, G-d will keep His Name from being further profaned.

This day is coming, G-d says. Weapons will be made obsolete and the people of Israel will use them as fuel. They’ll have so many bows, arrows, spears, etc. that they won’t have to chop wood for seven years. As for Gog, he and his armies will be buried in Israel, in a valley that will be called Hamon Gog (the multitudes of Gog). There will be so many of them that burying them will take seven months. The nations will speak well of Israel because they showed compassion in burying their enemies. People will be hired specifically to do this job “for the duration,” marking all the places where they find remains until they can be relocated to Hamon Gog. The city of Hamon Gog will be called Hamonah, referring to the multitudes there. (The people of Magog merited to be buried because they were descended from Japheth, who covered his father Noah in Genesis 9.)

G-d told Ezekiel to speak to the animals and birds, telling them gather around the slaughtered masses in order to devour them. They will eat the flesh of mighty warriors and drink the blood of princes until they are full. All the nations will see the judgment that G-d has wrought. They will understand that Israel had been exiled because of their own sins; it was because they turned their backs on Him that He walked away from them and left them to their enemies. But now they have returned and G-d will have mercy on them and He will be zealous that His Name is not disgraced any more. The Jews will be ashamed of their past sins and they will dwell securely on their land. G-d will be sanctified when He returns them from exile and none will be left behind. G-d will no longer turn away from Israel because they will be covered with His spirit.

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