Ezekiel’s Vision of Israel’s Future
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. v.11-12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
# The graves also include the „christian“ nations. At this first prophetic call, the graves were opened and the entire house of Israel, illustrated by dry bones, is brought into the land of Israel.
Since the age of the Church Fathers, theologians have claimed that Israel has been replaced by Christianity. Because that was widely believed, the „christian“ nations have become, as it were, the ‚gravediggers‘ for Israel.
God has been opening the graves since the 19th century and in 1989, when Gorbatschow opened the Sovjet Union for Jewish people to emigrate to Israel, He fulfilled the following promise: “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ (Jer.16,14-15).
V. 7-8 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
# I would suggest that the second prophetic call came into fulfilment with the establishment of the state of Israel in May 1948. In the eyes of God, the people of Israel is however currently still lifeless – i.e. without the holy spirit.
V.9-10 . Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
# In Ezekiel 36,25-26 the LORD promised his people: Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
# The events described in Ezekiel 38-49 will take place, when peace in Isreal appears to have been established. The Apostle Paul describes this with the following words: „For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape“ (1.Thes.5,2-3). From my point of view, this means that the Near-East peace treaty is finalised, because in Ezekiel 38 it is mentioned three times, that Israel dwells in safety (V.8; 11 and 14).
Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
V.4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army
# The powers from the North seem to be moved against resisting to attack Israel. The entanglement of Russia in the civil war in Syria in the year 2018 could be an example of this. Russia on the one hand fights in Syria for her own interests but would on the other hand like to be less isolated from the western world therefore away from the powder keg of the near East.
V.14-15 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.
# The attack against Israel takes place, therefore, at a time when God’s people dwell safely. In order for this to happen, the near-east peace treaty must be complete.
The attack comes from the far North – from Israel’s perspective. Therefore, it is highly likely that Russia is meant.
V.18-22 “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
# God will exercise his wrath upon the attackers. The land will be shaken up through a horrific earthquake. Gog‘s people will be made to fear through plague, blood, torrential rainfall, hail, fire and brimstone. God has already promised: No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54,17).
# In Chapter 39 the attack is described once more – this time, however, from the perspective of the people in Israel, while in Chapter 38 the viewpoint of God stands in the foreground.
and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
# God repeats once more, that the ruler from the North will be brought to Israel against his will.
V.4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; V.9-10 Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God.
# The weapons in 39,9-10 do not have to be made of wood. Many believe that it could be military equipment in the form of diesel oil and rocket fuel – perhaps even nuclear weapons. It is important to consider, that these weapons will supply the Israel’s energy for 7 years. These 7 years are part of the 70 x 7 years that were promised to Israel (Dan.9,24-27). The last 7 years have not yet begun (compare. My article: The Future of the Temple in Jerusalem).
V.11-16 “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travellers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore, they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. Indeed, all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord God. “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus, they shall cleanse the land
# After the defeat of the attackers from the North, the entire people of Israel will need 7 months in order to inter the corpses of the enemy and to purify the land. Special search parties will permeate the land and mark the places where the corpses are found. The interment will then be implemented by special gravediggers. Because of this special approach, some expositors think, the dead could be radioactivity contaminated, as one would expect after the implementation of neutron weapons.
V.17 And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: “Assemble yourselves and come; Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel ,That you may eat flesh and drink blood.18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, Drink the blood of the princes of the earth,
# As the dead have been buried after the victory at the beginning of the last seven Years of Israel’s day of salvation, this prophecy must refer to another victory over Israel’s enemies. According to Rev.19,21 the last battle is before the beginning of the messianic kingdom: And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. According to Rev.16,16 this is the battle of Armageddon, where the armies of all people who want to capture Jerusalem are defeated. (Zech.12,3 und 9; 14,2-4).
Details of this battle are given in Zech.14,12-13: And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
The enemies will kill each other like in the battle of Gideon with Midian. (Judges.7). At this battle, the armies of all peoples will be involved – including the entire Muslim world, Sunnites and Shiites. This global Jihad may be provoked by the cleansing of the entire Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa mosque initially stood next to the temple (Compare my article: The Future of the Temple in Jerusalem).
After the victory over all enemies of God and Israel the Lord will be reigning over the whole Earth. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth (Zech.14,9).
V. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord God.
# In the current age, only individual believers receive the Holy Spirit. At the return of the Lord Jesus, God’s spirit will, however, be poured out over the entire house of Israel, after Israel has acknowledged him as their Messiah, whom they pierced 2000 years ago.
The majority of Rabbis see in Zech.12,10 the suffering Messiah ben Joseph. The following quotation from Rabbi Alshech’s commentary on Zechariah was quoted from A. M’Caul, Rabbi David Kimchi’s Commentary upon the Prophesies of Zechariah with notes, and observations on the passages relating to the Messiah, James Duncan, London, 1837, p.163:
Rabbi Moshe Alshech (1508-1593) was named the holy one (Hakadosh). He identifies the suffering Messiah ben Joseph with the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 and says, that Israel’s repentance will begin with their recognition of him as the Messiah.
When I spoke to a Jewish student about Zechariah 10,12, I asked him: “Who will pour the spirit of grace and supplication?” He answered without hesitation: “God”. Based on that answer I asked him: “How are the following words to be understood then: ‚ they shall look upon me whom they have pierced ‘? “He lay the English version of the Bible to one side and read the text in Hebrew. The translation had correctly captured the meaning of the verse and the student with whom I was conversing was puzzled. Then I showed him the New Testament quote from Joh.19,34 and 36-37: But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out... For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled...” They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”.