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Author: Ron Graham


Ezekiel Chapters 37, 38 and 39
—Outline and Notes

1 Context Overview

Chapters 37, 38, and 39 of Ezekiel are outlined and analysed. These chapters are about the vision of the valley of dry bones, and oracles against Gog and Magog.

2 Outline of Ezekiel 37, 38, and 39

The Vision of Dry Bones

One Nation with One King

Gog and Magog

The Slaughter of Gog’s Armies

Israel to Be Restored

3 What Do These Prophecies Predict?

In some of his previous prophecies, Ezekiel was given glimpses of the future when Israel would return to its land to rebuild and resettle. This began in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The prophecies we have outlined above look forward to the time of Esther and Mordecai when Mordecai issued a summons, authorised by King Ahasuerus, for the enemies of the Jews to come out to battle. The Jews slaughtered the enemy armies in great numbers.

Prior to that war, Gog in the person of Haman met his doom. He was hanged on the gallows he had made for Mordecai.

Also in Ezekiel's previous prophecies and visions there is sometimes a much more distant view over and beyond the nearer one. This is the time of Messiah and his kingdom of heaven. For example when God says, "My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all" he is speaking of the Messiah (of whom David is a type or symbol) (Ezekiel 37:24).

A lot of Old Testament prophecies are easier to understand when we realise that they may have a nearer and distant fulfilment. The nearer one may be a type or microcosm of the distant one.

So a prophecy may refer partly to the nearer event and partly to the distant event. For example the vision of the dry bones that came to life looks forward to the end of Israel’s desolation and the return of the Israelites to the land. But the vision also may look forward far more distantly to the resurrection of the saints at the last day.

One might ask, "If the prophecy about the slaughter of Israel’s enemies was fulfilled in Ester’s time, what about the great earthquake that God said would happen? It is not mentioned in Ester and it would have wrecked the land and villages of Israel!" (Ezekiel 38:19-20).

The verses about the earthquake look to the distant future and the destruction of the world at the last day when God will shake heaven and earth to destruction (Hebrews 12:25-29). God’s people, the Israel of Christ, will go in victory to their eternal inheritance while their enemies and the antichrists perish.

4 Gog and Magog (Ezekiel)

Through Ezekiel, God addresses the nations whose ancestors were Magog, Tubal, and Meshech, sons of Japheth, one of Noah's sons. Who these nations were and where they were situated is not certain. But that hardly matters because God includes many nations with them including Persia (Genesis 10:1-2, Ezekiel 38:1-6).

Down the years Israel has known many enemies. So Magog in Ezekiel may be regarded as an umbrella term for nasty nations who gang up on Israel.

The name Gog in this context seems to elude explanation (as distinct from speculation). Just as Gog is within the name Magog, so the spirit of antichrist is within the enemy nations.

It is a sobering thought that even today there are nations who side with antichrist. Gog and Magog live on, but they don't win every battle and their final doom will come.

fancy rule

Fourth section of Ezekiel: The Beautiful Temple



Webservant Ron Graham

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