Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 89


Ezekiel 38 begins the familiar prophecy against Gog and Magog. I always thought this was referring to Moscow but D. A. Carson has a different take,

Along similar lines, Ezekiel 38 begins by denouncing “Gog, chief prince of Meschech and Tubal” (38:3). The suggestion that these names refer to Moscow and Tobolsk is without linguistic merit. The pair of names appears elsewhere (Gen. 10:2; 1 Chron. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 32:26) and refers to the known tribes of Moschoi and Tibarenoi. Gog is perhaps to be identified with Gyges, king of Lydia (called Gugu in some ancient records). More importantly, this anticipated horde of opponents to God’s people comes from the “far north” (38:6)—which is the direction from which the worst of Israel’s foes always came. The chapter ends in apocalyptic imagery (38:18-23)—which begins to make the scene feel like an idealized and final outbreak against the people of God, in which God vindicates his name and his cause. Thus all previous outbreaks anticipate, and are concluded by, this final apocalyptic struggle.

Chapters 38-39 appear to be the end of the first part of Ezekiel with 40-48 coming a number of years later. Knowing that brings a more climatic feel too chapters-39 for me. I appreciate the portions of the Scripture that obviously identify God as the final victor in the great battles of human history.


As I have identified before, I’ve been highlighting the phrase “the steadfast love of God” in the Psalms as I read. Psalm 89 opens will several instances of this phrase beginning with Ps. 89:1. It is found again in Ps. 89:2.

The steadfast love of God has been one of the most important promise of God for me over the last six months. I cherish the comfort of God’s abiding love.

1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998.

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