Summary: Gog is a symbolic name for all the enemies of Israel (38:1-3), along with the usual suspects of Persia, Libya, and Ethiopia (38:5-6). This conflict leads to a final restoration (38:8)…..Israel’s main trouble is far north of it (38:6)…..An worldwide earthquake is coming (38:18-20). The quake is caused by God…..Gog is but one of several instruments God has available to bring about Israel’s restoration (39:1-8) and conversion (39:25-29)…..
Commentary: Gog (the leader) and Magog (the land) may refer to peoples north of Israel, namely Europe and Russia – unified…..That Israel’s trouble is north (Jer. 4-6) of it isn’t surprising with desert to it’s east and south and the Mediterranean to it’s west…..This future event is related to the other Bible passages (Zech. 12:1-4, Matt. 24:14-20, Rev. 14:14-20, 19:17-21)…..Israel’s vs. “The Nation’s” with God depicted as a warrior (Ex. 14:14-25) is a familiar theme (Isa. 5:26-30, 8:9-10, Psalm 2, 48) of the OT…..Divine judgement is a two-way street. On one hand, we have the Gentiles (Joel 3) and Israel on the other (39:21-24). Both are served a banquet of sacrificed birds and wild beasts (39:17-20)…..What we have is a worldwide cleansing process. Everything needs a good cleaning and restoration at some point. None of this should come as a surprise to those of us that own homes, autos, and teeth for that matter…..God saves some people unequivocally during the same time in which some will be lost…..There is not one eschatology in the OT, but several (Isa. 56:1-8, 66:18-23) that don’t necessarily agree with each other but can happen coincidentally…..Just as a parent both loves and judges their children, God will do likewise with the earth and it’s peoples…..