King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Ezekiel 38

The army and malice of Gog. (1-13) God’s judgments. (14-23)

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The army and malice of Gog

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

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

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

God’s judgments

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.

22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Gog. This name, which signifies hidden, or covered, is taken in this place either for the persecutors of the Church of God in general, or some arch persecutor in particular; such as Antichrist shall be in the latter days. See Apoc. xx. 8. And what is said of the punishment of God, is verified by the unhappy end of persecutors. — Magog. Scythia or Tartary, whence the Turks and other enemies of the Church of Christ originally sprung. Ch. — These are supposed to be the princes of some northern and barbarous country, (W.) peopled by the son of Japhet. S. Jer. — S. Aug. (de Civ. Dei. xx. 11.) observes, that as the Church is spread everywhere, so also are persecutors. But Christ will overcome them all. W. — This prophecy is very difficult. It seems literally to refer to Cambyses, who invaded Judea about seventy years after the temple had been destroyed, and perished by the hand of God, at Ecbatana, upon Mount Carmel. It is very usual with the prophets to give fictitious names; as the king of Tyre is called a cherub, and Jerusalem Ooliba. Cambyses ruled over Scythia, in Iberia; styled Gogarene, by Strabo. xi. C. — The proper Scythia withstood all the attempts of his successors, and defeated Darius. H.

Ver. 4. Jaws. Thus Cambyses treated the son of Psammenites. God has the most absolute dominion over all monarchs. v. 7.

Ver. 8. Visited, or rather “shall visit” Judea. Chal. Grot. — Cambyses invaded Egypt twelve years after the Jews had returned, and came upon them two years later, designing to plunder them, at the instigation of their malevolent neighbours. He had sustained great losses in Egypt, and was arrived at Carmel when news was brought that the false Smerdis had declared himself king. See Herod. iii. 61.

Ver. 12. Midst. Lit. “navel.” Heb. “Thabor,” intimating a mountain rising in a plain. Judg. ix. 7. C. — Alluding to this intended blunder of the Jews lately returned, he speaks of Antichrist and of all heretics, who seek to pervert or suppress Catholics rescued from the power of the devil, by the sacraments of Christ. W.

Ver. 13. Tharsis. Sept. “Carthage, and all their villages.” The merchants or naval forces of Cambyses spurred him forward, (see Ps. lxxvii. 6.) as well as the Arabs, Cuthites, &c. 1 Esd. iv. 8. C.

Ver. 16. Latter. Cambyses had punished Egypt, his turn came, and all his designs were baffled.

Ver. 17. Prophets. See Is. xiv. & xvi. 21. and xxvi. 1. Jer. xxx. 3. and 23. Joel ii. 30. iii. 1. &c.

Ver. 19. Israel. The Jews shall be full of dismay, (v. 20.) as the tyrant will vent some threats; (C.) or this commotion was in his own army. H.

Ver. 21. Sword. The Jews were not in a condition to make resistance. C. — Cambyses had his brother Smerdis slain. But another was set on the throne; whereupon, mounting his horse in a fury, he wounded himself with his sword in the thigh, which mortifying, caused his death after twenty days. Herod. iii. 21. &c. — The historian does not mention what became of his army; but it seems to have perished by discord, as was very common among such a collection of nations. See Jud. vii. 22. Judith xv. 1. and 1 K. xiv. 20. and 4 K. ii. 21. C. — They were now without a head. H. — In the whole universe, God will at last destroy Antichrist and all his adherents. W.

Ver. 22. Pestilence. His wound might be thus described. — Blood. Thus was he punished for shedding that of innocent people. C.