Ezekiel 38:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him

New Living Translation
"Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog, the prince who rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.

English Standard Version
“Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him

New American Standard Bible
"Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him

King James Bible
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Son of man, turn your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him

International Standard Version
"Son of Man, turn your attention toward Gog, from the land of Magog, leader of the head of Meshech, and of Tubal. Prophesy this against him:

NET Bible
"Son of man, turn toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Son of man, turn to Gog from the land of Magog. He is the chief prince of [the nations of] Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Son of man, set thy face against Gog in the land of Magog, prince of the capital of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy over him,

King James 2000 Bible
Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

American King James Version
Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

American Standard Version
Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal: and prophesy of him,

Darby Bible Translation
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

English Revised Version
Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Webster's Bible Translation
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.

World English Bible
Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Young's Literal Translation
'Son of man, set thy face unto Gog, of the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy concerning him,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

38:1-13 These events will be in the latter days. It is supposed these enemies will come together to invade the land of Judea, and God will defeat them. God not only sees who are now the enemies of his church, but he foresees who will be so, and lets them know by his word that he is against them; though they join together, the wicked shall not be unpunished.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Set thy face against (or, toward) God. Although occurring in 1 Chronicles 5:4 as the name of a Reubenite, Gog was probably a title formed by Ezekiel himself from the word Magog, the syllable ma being treated as equivalent to "land." A similar freedom appears to have been exercised by the author of the Apocalypse, who out of Magog, here a territorial designation, makes a military power co-ordinate with Gog (Revelation 20:8). That Gog was not an actual person - though the name reminds one of that of the Lydian king Gyges, as it appears on the monuments, Gu-gu, Gu-ug-gu, aud of that of one Sa-gi, or Sa-agi, the ruler of another Eastern territory not yet identified (see Schrader, 'Die Keilinschriften und dos Alto Testament,' p. 427; and comp. 'Records of the Past,' first series, vol. 9:46) - but an ideal character, must be held as proved by the composite structure of his army, which was drawn from the four comers of the globe, as well as by the highly imaginative texture of the whole prophecy, which, as Hengstenberg properly remarks, has a thoroughly "utopian [perhaps better, 'ideal'] character," showing that it moves "in the region of holy fancy." The words, the land of Magog, are not, with Havernick, Ewald, and Smend, to be interpreted as the local or geographical terminus of the prediction, as if the word of God had said, "Set thy face toward Gog, toward the laud of Magog;" but, with the majority of expositors, as a territorial designation signifying that Gog was in or of the laud of Magog, which is here marked with the article, probably to identify it with the well-known Magog mentioned in Genesis 10:2, along with Tubal and Mesech as among the descendants of Japheth. From the circumstance that in the table of nations Magog stands between Gomer (the Cimmerians) and Madai (the Medians), and that Gomer appears in Gog's army, it has been not unreasonably concluded that to Ezekiel Magog represented a fierce Northern tribe, most likely, as Josephus ('Ant.,' 1:06. 1) asserts, the Scythians, whose territories lay upon the borders Of the sea of Azov and in the Caucasus. Plumptre even thinks that, "placed as Ezekiel was, he may well have come into contact with these Scythian tribes, either as part of Nebuchadnezzar's army or by a journey on his part into the regions north of Ararat" ('Ezekiel: an Ideal Biography,' Expositor, vol. 8. p. 291, second series). Yet, could both of these hypotheses be established, it would not follow that Ezekiel was thinking merely, as Knobel and Gesenius suppose, of a future struggle which Israel should have to maintain against these genres Scythicas immanes et innumerabiles, as Jerome in his day described them. In addition to being named from his land, Gog is further distinguished by the peoples over whom he rules, Ezekiel styling him the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal - a translation adhered to by Hengstenberg, Ewald, and Smend; or, according to the LXX., which most expositors and the Revised Version follow, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. The former rendering is obtained by interpreting נְשִׂיא רלֺאשׁ after the analogy of הַכֹּהֵן רלֺאשׁ, "chief priest," or "minister," in 1 Chronicles 27:5; and is supported by a similar use of the word rosh on coins under the government of the Persian satraps; yet the second rendering is not devoid of considerations that may be urged in its favor. Besides being grammatically possible, it yields a souse which is not improbable. Byzantine and Arabian writers of the tenth century were acquainted with a people called οἱ Ρῶς, who were Scythian mountaineers, dwelling north of the Taurus, on the shores of the Black Sea and on the banks of the Volga. The Koran speaks of a land of Ras not far from the Araxes. Whether either of these can be connected with present-day Russians, as Gesenius suggests - an hypothesis which Hengstenberg protests deals hardly with the poor Russians - must be left undecided. So must the question whether the people inquired after can be identified, as Delitzsch suggests, with the inhabitants of the land of Raseh (mat Ra-a-si) of the Inscriptions, which was Situated on the confines of Elam on the Tigris (see Schrader, 'Die Keilin-schriften und das Alto Testament,' p. 427; and comp. 'Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 84, 11. 122, 124). At the same time, Jerome's objection will scarcely hold good against understanding Resh as the name of a people, viz. that the Bible elsewhere has no knowledge of any such people, since, as Havernick observes, "one cannot know beforehand whether to Ezekiel, in his then place of abode, the knowledge of such a people was not likely sooner to come than to any Old Testament writer," and it is certain that the Book of Ezekiel is not wanting in names that occur only once, as e.g. Chilmad (Ezekiel 27:23) and Chub (Ezekiel 30:5). Hitzig points out that in Genesis 10, along with Mesech and Tubal, is mentioned a third nation, Tiras, which Yon Hammer has attempted to connect with Rosh; while Schroder sees in Rosh (allied to Ross, "horse") an indication that the people were equestrian in their habits, like the Scythians. The other peoples, Meshech and Tubal, were undoubtedly the Mosohians and Tibarenes, who, according to Herodotus (3:94; 7:78), dwelt south of the Black Sea.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Son of man, set thy face against Gog,.... Of the phrase, "setting the face towards", or "against"; see Gill on Ezekiel 6:2, Ezekiel 21:2, Ezekiel 25:2 but who this Gog is the prophet is bid boldly to face, and intrepidly declare the wrath of God against, interpreters are divided about. Calmet (m) thinks that Cambyses and his army are meant by Gog and Magog, which to mention is enough; and it is the opinion of St. Ambrose (n) that the Goths who ravaged the Roman empire in the fifth and sixth ages are meant: others, who suppose this prophecy was fulfilled after the Jews' return from the Babylonish captivity, and before the coming of Christ, take Gog to be a common name of the kings of the lesser Asia and Syria, or the Seleucidae, who distressed the Jews in the times of the Maccabees; the chief of whom was Antiochus Epiphanes, who is supposed, to be more especially designed, and was a type of antichrist; and they are the more strengthened in this opinion, because they find, in Pliny (o), that the city of Hierapolis in Syria was called by the Syrians Magog; and they fancy the name of Gog is the same with Gyges a king of Lydia, whose country was called from him Gygea, or Gog's land, who was grandfather to Croesus; and which country came into the hands of Cyrus, and from the Persians into the hands of the Greeks, and so to the Seleucidae; for which reason they may bear this name in this prophecy; but it is certain that the prophecy refers to what should be in "latter years", and in the "latter days", Ezekiel 38:8, phrases which respect the times of the Messiah, the Gospel dispensation, and oftentimes the latter part of that; and even those times when the Jews shall return to their own land, and continue in it for ever, as the preceding prophecy, with which this is connected, shows; and so the Jews always understand it of an enemy of theirs yet to come. Cocceius is of opinion, that the Romish antichrist is meant; and that Gog signifying the covering or roof of a house, fitly points him out; who puts himself between God and man, as the roof is between heaven and earth; and who keeps out the light of divine things, the heat of love, and rain of spiritual blessings, from the church; and compares with this the veil over all nations, Isaiah 25:7 and the covering cherub, Ezekiel 28:14, but I rather think the Turk is here meant, the eastern antichrist, in whose possession the land of Judea now is; and which, when recovered by the Jews, will greatly exasperate him, and he will gather all his forces together to regain it, but in vain. The learned Vitringa (p), though he is of opinion that this prophecy, according to its first and proper sense, respects the kings of Syria, the persecutors of the church, that should bring large and well disciplined armies into the land of the people of God, gathered out of the northern nations, and Scythians, and would be defeated in the land of Canaan; yet mystically intends the Turks, the Scythian nation and northern people, who, by a like attempt, will infest the church of the people of God, and invade their country; and this he makes no doubt of is the proper aspect of Gog and Magog: and Samuel Dauderstat, a Lutheran divine, has wrote a dissertation, "De Antichristo Orientali", concerning the eastern antichrist, which he explains of Gog and Magog: and Michael Buckenroder, another Lutheran, has written upon the irruption to be made by Gog and Magog into the mountains of Israel (q). Osiander thus explains the several names mentioned; by Gog I think the Turk is meant, by Magog the Tartarian, by Meshec the Muscovites, and by Tubal the Wallachians; and Starckius on the place observes, that if this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, we shall easily find our Gog, and point out his metropolis Constantinople; so that I am not singular in my opinion. Gog signifies "high" (r) and eminent, one in a very exalted station: it comes from the same root, and has the same signification, as Agag, to whose height and exaltation there is an allusion in Numbers 24:7, where the Samaritan and Septuagint versions read Gog: it is the same with, "Jagog", by which name the Arabians called the Scythians that lived far east, particularly those that were situated to the north of China beyond Imaus, as Golius (s) observes; and Josephus (t) says that the posterity of Magog are called Scythians, and these inhabited Tartary; and there, as Paulus Venetus (u) affirms, are the countries of Gog and Magog, which they call Gug and Mungug now; from hence came the Turks, even from Tartary, which is called by the eastern writers Turchestan, whence they had their name; and so may with great propriety be called by the name of Gog; their emperor also being a high and mighty one, whose empire must be destroyed; and which is signified by the passing away of the second woe, and the drying up of the river Euphrates, Revelation 11:14, upon which passages this and the following chapter may be thought a good commentary: and so the Jews (w) make Gog to be the general of the Ishmaelites or Turks, as Armillus of the Christians, and who shall reign in the kingdom of Magog or Scythia. Gog is the name of a man, 1 Chronicles 5:4, as it is here, and not of a country. The country of Gog is called, as follows,

the land of Magog, of which Gog is king, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it: it may be supplied in connection with the former clause,

set thy face against Gog, in the land of Magog; or, "against Gog", against "the land of Magog", so Kimchi. The countries of Jagog and Magog, according to the Arabic geographer (x), are surrounded by Mount Caucasus, which Bochart (y) conjectures has its name from thence; it being in the Semi-Chaldee language, the language of the Colchi and Armenians, "Gog-hasan", or Gog's fortress. This land of Magog is the same with Cathaia or Scythia, that part of Tartary from whence the Turks came; and which perhaps may come into their hands again before this prophecy is fulfilled; and even now the Turk calls himself king of Tartary; and the Magog of Pliny in Syria, the same with Aleppo, is in his dominions; which Maimonides (z) also takes notice of as in Syria, though he seems to distinguish it from Haleb or Aleppo; however, according to him, they were near to one another; though some (a) think the place in Pliny is corrupted, and that it ought to be read Magog, as it is, by Maimonides, Magbab. Gog is further described as

the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: some render it, "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal"; taking Rosh, as the rest, for the name of a place, a part of Scythia, from whence the Russians came, and had their name. So it is rendered by the Septuagint, Symmachus, and Theodotion; and some later Greek writers (b) make mention of a country called Ros, which, they say, is a Scythian nation, situated between the Euxine Pontus and the whole maritime coast to the north of Taurus, a people fierce and wild. Meshech and Tubal were the brethren of Magog, and sons of Japheth, Genesis 10:2, whose posterity inhabited those counties called after their name; who, according to Josephus (c), are the Cappadocians and Iberians; and among the former is a place called Mazaca, which has some affinity with Meshech; and there was a country called Gogarene (d), a part of Iberia. According to Bochart (e), these are the Moschi and Tybarenes, people that dwell near the Euxine sea, and under the dominion of the Turk; wherefore the Grand Turk may be called the chief prince of them:

and prophesy against him: foretell his ruin and destruction, which is hinted before. Mention is made of his invasion of the land of Judea, and that for the comfort of the Jews, that they might have nothing to fear from this formidable army.

(m) Dictionary in the words "Gog" and "Magog". (n) "De fide ad Gratianum", l. 2. sect. 4. Colossians 144. tom. 4. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. (p) Comment. in Jesaiam, vol. 1. p. 954. (q) Vid. Calmet. Bibliotheca Sacra, art. 67. p. 442. (r) Hiller. Ononmastic. Sacr. p. 67, 406, 477. (s) Lexic. Arabic in Rad. Colossians 26. (t) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((u) Apud Schindler. Lex. Polyglott. col. 288. And Harris's Voyages and Travels, vol. 1. p. 604. (w) Vid. Huls. Theolog. Jud. par. 2. p. 511. (x) Geograph. Arab. par. 9. clim. 5. lin. 22, 23. (y) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 13. col. 187. (z) Hilchot Terumot, c. 1. sect. 9. (a) See Hyde Not, in Peritsol. Itinera Mundi, p. 42. (b) Zonaras, Cedrenus, & Joan. Curopalates apud Selden. de Synedriis, l. 2. c. 3. sect. 6. (c) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((d) Strabo. Geograph. l. 11. p. 364. (e) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 13. col. 188.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Gog—the prince of the land of Magog. The title was probably a common one of the kings of the country, as "Pharaoh" in Egypt. Chakan was the name given by the Northern Asiatics to their king, and is still a title of the Turkish sultan: "Gog" may be a contraction of this. In Ezekiel's time a horde of northern Asiatics, termed by the Greeks "Scythians," and probably including the Moschi and Tibareni, near the Caucasus, here ("Meshech … Tubal") undertook an expedition against Egypt [Herodotus, 1.103-106]. These names might be adopted by Ezekiel from the historical fact familiar to men at the time, as ideal titles for the great last anti-Christian confederacy.

Magog—(Ge 10:2; 1Ch 1:5). The name of a land belonging to Japheth's posterity. Maha, in Sanskrit, means "land." Gog is the ideal political head of the region. In Re 20:8, Gog and Magog are two peoples.

the chief prince—rather, "prince of Rosh," or "Rhos" [Septuagint]. The Scythian Tauri in the Crimea were so called. The Araxes also was called "Rhos." The modern Russians may have hence assumed their name, as Moscow and Tobolsk from Meshech and Tubal, though their proper ancient name was Slavi, or Wends. Hengstenberg supports English Version, as "Rosh" is not found in the Bible. "Magog was Gog's original kingdom, though he acquired also Meshech and Tubal, so as to be called their chief prince."

Ezekiel 38:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Prophecy against Gog
1And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2"Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.…
Cross References
Revelation 20:8
and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

Genesis 10:2
The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.

Psalm 120:5
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek, that I live among the tents of Kedar!

Ezekiel 27:13
"'Greece, Tubal and Meshek did business with you; they traded human beings and articles of bronze for your wares.

Ezekiel 32:26
"Meshek and Tubal are there, with all their hordes around their graves. All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword because they spread their terror in the land of the living.

Ezekiel 38:1
The word of the LORD came to me:

Ezekiel 38:3
and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.

Ezekiel 38:14
"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it?

Ezekiel 39:1
"Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.

Ezekiel 39:6
I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 39:11
"'On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east of the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.
Treasury of Scripture

Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Son

Ezekiel 2:1 And he said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.

Ezekiel 39:1 Therefore, you son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus said …

set

Ezekiel 6:2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy …

Ezekiel 20:46 Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward …

Ezekiel 25:2 Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;

Ezekiel 35:2,3 Son of man, set your face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it…

Gog. Rather, `Gog (the prince) of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.' By Magog is most probably meant the Scythians or Tartars, called so by Arabian and Syrian writers, and especially the Turks, who were originally natives of Tartary; and by Rosh, the Russians, descendants of the ancient inhabitants on the river Araxes or Rosh.

Revelation 20:8,9 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters …

Magog

Genesis 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and …

1 Chronicles 1:5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and …

the chief prince of. or, prince of the chief of
Meshech

Ezekiel 27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were your merchants: they traded …

Ezekiel 32:26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves are round …

Isaiah 66:19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape …

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