“Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief ruler of Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, Bible see other translations

“set your face toward Gog...and prophesy against him.” In this context in Ezekiel, Gog is the name (or designation) of a person. For centuries scholars have tried to identify Gog and even what the name “Gog” means, all without success. Most scholars try to identify him as a historic figure, believing Ezekiel was written in post-exilic times, but that is a mistake and, predictably, has not yielded any satisfactory results. The Word of God is “God-breathed” and in this prophecy, God is speaking about the distant future. The content of the prophecy (Ezek. 38-39) shows that this is a prophecy that even now is future, and the most likely candidate for “Gog” is the Antichrist, the one who will attack Israel during the Great Tribulation. In Revelation 20:8, “Gog” is the name of a country or gathering of people.

“Magog...Meshech, and Tubal.” These are countries or people groups, not individuals, but exactly which countries are not known (although widely guessed at). It is even possible that the countries were not formed in Ezekiel’s time and may not even be in place today. They are countries during the Great Tribulation. C. F. Keil writes, “These are all summoned by Gog, and gathered together for an attack upon the people of God. This points to a time when their [Israel’s] former foes, Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistines, and Syrians, and the old imperial powers, Egypt, Asshur, Babel [Babylon], Javan [Geece], will all have passed away from the stage of history, and the people of God will stand in the centre [sic] of the historical life of the world, and will have spread so widely over the earth, that its foes will only be found on the borders of the civilized world (cp. Rev. 20:8).”a

Although some versions read, “the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,” the term “Rosh” is much more likely that part of a title, i.e. “chief ruler,” or “chief prince.”

Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament: Ezekiel, Daniel, 160-61.

Commentary for: Ezekiel 38:2