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Ezekiel 38 New English Translation (NET Bible)

A Prophecy Against Gog

38 The Lord’s message came to me: “Son of man, turn toward[a] Gog,[b] of the land of Magog,[c] the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.[d] Prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against you,[e] Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them fully armed, a great company with shields of different types,[f] all of them armed with swords. Persia,[g] Ethiopia, and Put[h] are with them, all of them with shields and helmets. They are joined by[i] Gomer with all its troops, and by Beth Togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples are with you.[j]

“‘Be ready and stay ready, you and all your companies assembled around you, and be a guard for them.[k] After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come to a land restored from the ravages of war,[l] from many peoples gathered on the mountains of Israel that had long been in ruins. Its people[m] were brought out from the peoples, and all of them will be living securely. You will advance;[n] you will come like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the earth, you, all your troops, and the many other peoples with you.

10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind,[o] and you will devise an evil plan. 11 You will say, “I will invade[p] a land of unwalled towns; I will advance against[q] those living quietly in security—all of them living without walls and barred gates— 12 to loot and plunder, to attack[r] the inhabited ruins and the people gathered from the nations, who are acquiring cattle and goods, who live at the center[s] of the earth.” 13 Sheba and Dedan and the traders of Tarshish with all its young warriors[t] will say to you, “Have you come to loot? Have you assembled your armies to plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to haul away a great amount of spoils?”’

14 “Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will take notice[u] 15 and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army. 16 You will advance[v] against my people Israel like a cloud covering the earth. In future days I will bring you against my land so that the nations may acknowledge me, when before their eyes I magnify myself[w] through you, O Gog.

17 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days by my servants[x] the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days[y] that I would bring you against them? 18 On that day, when Gog invades[z] the land of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, my rage will mount up in my anger. 19 In my zeal, in the fire of my fury,[aa] I declare that on that day there will be a great earthquake[ab] in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground, and all people who live on the face of the earth will shake[ac] at my presence. The mountains will topple, the cliffs[ad] will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will call for a sword to attack[ae] Gog[af] on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord; every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will judge him with plague and bloodshed. I will rain down on him, his troops, and the many peoples who are with him a torrential downpour, hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’


  1. Ezekiel 38:2 tn Heb “set your face against.”
  2. Ezekiel 38:2 sn This may refer to a Lydian king in western Asia Minor in the seventh century b.c. Apart from Ezek 38-39, the only other biblical reference to this king/nation is in Rev 20:8. For a study of the names appearing in this verse, see E. Yamauchi, Foes From the Northern Frontier, 19-27.
  3. Ezekiel 38:2 sn One of the sons of Japheth according to Gen 10:2 and 1 Chr 1:5.
  4. Ezekiel 38:2 tn Heb “the prince, the chief of Meshech and Tubal.” Some translate “the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,” but it is more likely that the Hebrew noun in question is a common noun in apposition to “prince,” rather than a proper name. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:434-35. As Block demonstrates, attempts by some popular writers to identify these proper names with later geographical sites in Russia are anachronistic. See as well E. Yamauchi, Foes From the Northern Frontier, 19-27. sn Meshech and Tubal were two nations in Cappadocia of Asia Minor. They were also sons of Japheth (Gen 10:2; 1 Chr 1:5).
  5. Ezekiel 38:3 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘hinnenî ’êlékâ’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
  6. Ezekiel 38:4 sn The Hebrew text mentions two different types of shields here.
  7. Ezekiel 38:5 tn D. I. Block prefers to see the Hebrew word as referring here to a western ally of Egypt or as an alternative spelling for Pathros, that is, Upper Egypt. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:439-40.
  8. Ezekiel 38:5 sn That is, Lybia.
  9. Ezekiel 38:6 tn The words “they are joined by” are added in the translation for purposes of English style.
  10. Ezekiel 38:6 sn The seven-nation coalition represents the north (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth Togarmah), the south/west (Ethiopia, Put) and the east (Persia). The use of the sevenfold list suggests completeness. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:441.
  11. Ezekiel 38:7 tn The second person singular verbal and pronominal forms in the Hebrew text indicate that Gog is addressed here.
  12. Ezekiel 38:8 tn Heb “from the sword.”
  13. Ezekiel 38:8 tn Heb “it.”
  14. Ezekiel 38:9 tn Heb “go up.”
  15. Ezekiel 38:10 tn Heb “words will go up upon your heart.”
  16. Ezekiel 38:11 tn Heb “go up against.”
  17. Ezekiel 38:11 tn Heb “come (to).”
  18. Ezekiel 38:12 tn Heb “to turn your hand against.”
  19. Ezekiel 38:12 tn The Hebrew term occurs elsewhere only in Judg 9:37. Perhaps it means “high point, top.”
  20. Ezekiel 38:13 tn Heb “young lions.”
  21. Ezekiel 38:14 tn The Hebrew text is framed as a rhetorical question: “will you not take notice?”
  22. Ezekiel 38:16 tn Heb “come up.”
  23. Ezekiel 38:16 tn Or “reveal my holiness.”
  24. Ezekiel 38:17 tn Heb “by the hand of my servants.”
  25. Ezekiel 38:17 tn The Hebrew text adds “years” here, but this is probably a scribal gloss on the preceding phrase. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:201.
  26. Ezekiel 38:18 tn Heb “goes up against.”
  27. Ezekiel 38:19 sn The phrase “in the fire of my fury” occurs in Ezek 21:31 and 22:21, 31.
  28. Ezekiel 38:19 tn Or “shaking.”
  29. Ezekiel 38:20 tn Or “tremble.”
  30. Ezekiel 38:20 tn The term occurs only here and in Song of Songs 2:14.
  31. Ezekiel 38:21 tn Heb “against.”
  32. Ezekiel 38:21 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Gog, cf. v. 18) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
New English Translation (NET)

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