Land of Magog No More to Threaten Mankind
1. After the defeat of Gog’s attack on Jehovah’s worshipers, what “land” must come in for attention, and what might persons who could get sucked in with that attack well do now?
THE unseen base of operations from which Gog launches his attack upon the spiritual “Israel of God” is the “land of Magog.” This “land” must come in for attention after Gog’s militant forces on earth have been crushed in defeat. Thus the unseen inhabitants of the “land of Magog” must witness first the disastrous defeat of the devilish campaign against the spiritually prosperous worshipers of Jehovah. The nations and peoples whom Gog allies with himself in the campaign gain, not glory, but only undying shame, out of this impious campaign. All persons who might yet get sucked into that coming campaign against Jehovah’s Christian witnesses would now do well to consider what He says by Ezekiel to the Gog by whom they might get recruited:
2. From where would Jehovah cause Gog to come, what would He do to Gog’s weapons, and what would He do with Gog’s fallen peoples?
2 “And as regards you, O son of man, prophesy against Gog, and you must say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Here I am against you, O Gog, you head chieftain of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you around and lead you on and cause you to come up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you in upon the mountains of Israel. And I will strike your bow out of your left hand, and your arrows I shall cause to fall out of your own right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your bands and the peoples that will be with you. To birds of prey, birds of every sort of wing, and the wild beasts of the field I will give you for food.”’”—Ezekiel 39:1-4.
3. Why has Jehovah good reason to be against Gog, for what that will openly justify him in taking action on Gog does He wait, and how will his slain hordes be disposed of?
3 Jehovah has good reason to be against Gog of Magog because of that one’s hostile attitude against Jehovah’s faithful worshipers coupled with his constant readiness to despoil such worshipers. Gog deserves destruction, and at the due time Jehovah seeks an overt act on Gog’s part, an act that will be glaringly manifest to heaven and earth, that all may agree that Jehovah has just cause for destroying Gog. Jehovah catches him right on the spot, engaged in his outrageous depredations, and knocks his means of warfare out of his power. No decent burial with military honors is promised for the slain hordes under Gog as their “head chieftain.” For carrion birds and beasts they will lie exposed for food. With reference to their inglorious outcome we read further: “‘Upon the surface of the field you will fall, for I myself have spoken,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” (Ezekiel 39:5) Gog’s fallen hordes will never return home in triumph!
4. Where is the “land of Magog,” and what does it constitute for earth’s inhabitants?
4 What, though, about the location where this vicious God-defying attack on Jehovah’s restored people was conceived, up there in “the remotest parts of the north”? This is the invisible realm of Satan the Devil and his demons at the earth since their being ousted from heaven after being defeated in the war in heaven. This debased location at the earth is a menace, a continuous threat to mankind and a source of woe to earth and sea, and it must be done away with. Jehovah will wipe out this threat to the peace and security of earth’s inhabitants, for he goes on to say:
5. How does Jehovah say that he will wipe out that threat to earth’s peace and security?
5 “And I will send fire upon Magog and upon those who are inhabiting the islands in security; and people will have to know that I am Jehovah. And my holy name I shall make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I shall no more let my holy name be profaned; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel.”—Ezekiel 39:6, 7.
6. Will any place be too remote to feel the execution of Jehovah’s judgments, and how will he consume the land of Magog by sending “fire on Magog”?
6 No place will be too isolated, for instance, islands, so as not to feel the execution of Jehovah’s judgments for having any part or any sympathy with the antichristian attack by Gog of the land of Magog. No, not even the most remote location, “the land of Magog” itself. How will Jehovah consume this locality by sending “fire upon Magog”? By ridding this invisible place of restraint at the earth of its occupants, namely, of Satan the Devil and the demons over which he is the “head chieftain.” This riddance follows the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, foretold in Revelation 16:14, 16; 19:11-21, and is described in Revelation 20:1-3, as follows: “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him [away from his place of detention at the earth] into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.”
7. Why will the people no longer be in position to profane Jehovah’s name regarding spiritual Israel, and in what knowledge will his taking action result?
7 This wiping out finally of the symbolic “land of Magog” will mean a sweeping victory for Jehovah, and those persons who will not have taken their stand for His Messianic kingdom will be made to realize that they are on the side that is resisting and fighting against the Sovereign Lord of the universe. By having His judicial decisions executed upon them such people “will have to know that I am Jehovah,” as he has declared. No more will they be in position to profane Jehovah’s name by asserting that He is too weak to protect his people from worldly attack and to defend his earthly interests with success. By his preserving and delivering his Christian witnesses during the final assault by Gog of Magog, Jehovah will as never before make his name known in the midst of spiritual Israel that has suffered international reproach. As the last relics of this ungodly system of things go down into destruction the effect is bound to be just as He has decreed: “The nations will have to know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel.”—Ezekiel 39:7.
8. When Gog’s forces are defeated, for whom will it be a “great day”?
8 That will be an unforgettable “great day” for this Holy One of Israel when he defeats the innumerable hordes that make up the earthly attack forces of Gog, their “guard” and “head chieftain.”
DISPOSAL OF WAR EQUIPMENT AND DEAD BODIES
9. How does Jehovah indicate the vast quantity of war equipment used by Gog’s hordes on earth, and how will Jehovah’s people use the war relics?
9 Some idea of the vast war equipment that these hordes of people will have can be gained from how long it will take for the combustible parts of them to be disposed of. The long time needed for this Jehovah sets out in his next words: “‘Look! It must come and it must be brought to be,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘This is the day of which I have spoken. And the inhabitants of the cities of Israel will certainly go forth and burn and build fires with the armor and bucklers and large shields,—with the bows and with the arrows and with the handstaves and with the lances; and with them they will have to light fires seven years. And they will not carry sticks of wood from the field, nor will they gather firewood out of the forests, for with the armor they will light fires.’” (Ezekiel 39:8-10) After Jehovah’s victory his people will adapt the materials of any remaining war relics of the nations to useful purposes.
10. With what intent do Gog’s hordes attack the God-given spiritual estate, but how do matters turn out?
10 The innumerable hordes under Gog of Magog attacked the spiritual estate of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses with the intent to despoil them, but it proves to be just the opposite: “‘And they will certainly make spoil of those who had been making spoil of them, and plunder those who had been plundering them,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 39:10.
11, 12. What questions arise as to disposal of the bodies of “those slain by Jehovah,” and what arrangement does Jehovah say that he will make regarding Gog’s crowd?
11 As it were, the attack forces under Gog of Magog dig their own graves by attacking the God-given estate of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses on earth. But how will comparatively few survivors of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon be able to bury “those slain by Jehovah” who will lie “in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth”? (Jeremiah 25:33) And after those “birds of every sort of wing” and the “wild beasts of the field” satisfy themselves with feeding on the cadavers of Gog’s hordes, what will there be left to bury? But if there is anything left to bury, Jehovah will allow for it to the eternal shame of those losing their lives in Gog’s attack. We read:
12 “‘And it must occur in that day that I shall give to Gog a place there, a burial place in Israel, the valley of those passing through on the east of the sea, and it will be stopping up those passing through. And there they will have to bury Gog and all his crowd, and they will be certain to call it the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And those of the house of Israel will have to bury them for the purpose of cleansing the land, for seven months. And all the people of the land will have to do the burying, and it will certainly become for them a matter of fame in the day that I glorify myself,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 39:11-13.
13. What is indicated by the fact that it takes so long to bury Gog’s crowd, and to what state will such burials bring this earth?
13 This is not to be understood as meaning that his Christian witnesses whom Jehovah preserves through the “great tribulation” upon this system of things will be gravediggers and corpse buriers for the opening seven months of the righteous new system of things upon this earth. Its taking so many months to bury Gog’s crowd is merely a picture to portray the vastness of the crowd of ungodly people who will perish in the destruction of this system of things, as well as the fewness of those whom Jehovah preserves alive on earth. Furthermore, as corpses were unclean in Israel, the burying of the corpses of Gog’s crowd results in cleansing the land and signifies that this earth will be purified from all defilement by the ungodly servants of Satan the Devil alias Gog. Nothing of them will be left to defile the “new earth.”—2 Peter 3:13.
14. What will be the case of the memory of those participants in Gog’s attack, and how will Jehovah’s preserving of his attacked Christian witnesses affect himself?
14 All memory of those God-defying participants in Gog’s attack will be as nauseating as the stink arising from the putrefying carcasses of Gog’s crowd—a stench so strong as to stop persons from going any farther and passing by. The Valley of Gog’s Crowd is pictured as being to the east of the Dead Sea, near where the enemy land of Moab used to be. (Ezekiel 25:8-11) It would become no shrine so that surviving friends and relatives of the slain would visit this cemetery on a Memorial Day to do honor to the memory of the heroic war dead. No hope of a resurrection is memorialized for the participants in Gog’s attack, cursed ungodly persons whom Jehovah executes on his day of judgment. (Matthew 25:31-33, 41-46) They have earned eternal infamy for themselves. Jehovah’s miraculous preserving of his Christian witnesses in the face of such a worldwide attack by overwhelmingly superior numbers will be eternally famous. By destroying their attackers, Gog’s crowd, Jehovah will glorify himself for all time.
15. How is the bringing of the “new earth” to a clean state portrayed by the operations of the “men for continual employment” who are divided off?
15 The “new earth” of human society under Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom of the heavens in the hands of “David my servant” must be perfectly clean of all traces of Gog’s crowd. To make a vivid picture of this, the “utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah” goes on to say respecting the survivors of Gog’s attack: “And there will be men for continual employment whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of the city will also be Hamonah. And they will have to cleanse the land.”—Ezekiel 39:14-16.
16, 17. What does the city’s name Hamonah mean, by whom will it be inhabited, and why could it not picture a literal city by that name?
16 In the Hebrew language the name Valley of Gog’s Crowd is Gei-Hamon-Gog, and the city Hamonah (meaning “Crowd”) would be established by the Valley of Gog’s Crowd, to mark the burial place. Of course, the city Hamonah (“Crowd”) would not be inhabited by any member of Gog’s crowd of attackers. Also, the city’s name being just Hamonah (“Crowd”) would not honorably memorialize Gog’s name.
17 The city would be inhabited by the miraculously delivered survivors of Gog’s infamous attack. This reminds us of Proverbs 2:21, 22: “The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.” Gog’s attack taking place earth wide wherever the Christian witnesses of Jehovah are active, no literal city named Hamonah near the scene of their defeat could be reasonably erected. But the “new earth” organization of the surviving witnesses of Jehovah will be an organization of the living in stark contrast to dead hordes of Gog’s crowd.
SACRIFICIAL FEAST FOR BIRDS AND BEASTS
18, 19. To what “great sacrifice” does Jehovah invite all sorts of birds and wild beasts, and why is there a sense of retribution contained therein?
18 Among Gog’s crowd should be many hunters who have gunned down birds and wild animals wantonly for sheer sport or for greedy commercialism, like Nimrod of Babylon. (Genesis 10:8-10) There is likely a thought of retribution contained in Jehovah’s further words to his prophet Ezekiel: “And as regards you, O son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Say to the birds of every sort of wing and to all the wild beasts of the field: “Collect yourselves together and come. Gather yourselves together all around to my sacrifice, which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. And you will certainly eat flesh and drink blood. The flesh of mighty ones you will eat, and the blood of the chieftains of the earth you will drink, rams, young male sheep, and he-goats, young bulls, the fatlings of Bashan all of them. And you will be certain to eat fat to satisfaction and to drink blood to drunkenness, from my sacrifice that I will sacrifice for you.’”
19 “‘And you must get satisfied at my table on horses and charioteers, mighty persons and all sorts of warriors,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 39:17-20.
20. By the naming of those to be feasted upon by all whom Jehovah invites to his “great sacrifice,” Gog’s crowd includes whom, and whom does Revelation 19:17-21 also mention?
20 Gog’s crowd is thus said to include “chieftains” of the earth” who are likened to rams, he-goats, young bulls, that fattened on the fine pasture grounds of Bashan to the northeast of the Sea of Galilee; cavalrymen on horses, charioteers, “mighty persons and all sorts of warriors.” Suchlike ones in our modern day must fall by the edge of Jehovah’s “sword” of execution in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. The description of that war as set out in Revelation 19:17-21 speaks of kings, military commanders, horses and their riders, freemen and slaves, small ones and great, all of whom are to be slain, lie unburied and be feasted upon by scavenger birds.
21. Why was the feast as provided for the birds and wild beasts called by Jehovah a “sacrifice,” and what will thus being feasted upon spell for the executed ones of Gog’s crowd?
21 This feast for the birds of every sort and for the wild beasts is called a “sacrifice” by Jehovah, for sacrifices made to him in pre-Christian times called for the slaughter of animal and bird victims. Their blood has to flow. In Revelation 19:17 it is called “the great evening meal of God.” The offering of communion sacrifices or peace offerings to Jehovah used to be the occasion for feasting on part of the victim’s flesh by the offerer and his kinsmen. In the sacrificial feast that Jehovah spreads for the birds and wild beasts by his glorious victory over Gog’s crowd, Jehovah places no bar upon them against drinking the blood of the slain humans, a thing forbidden to human creatures from Noah’s day onward. (Genesis 9:1-4) This spells great reproach for the executed ones of Gog’s crowd. When, for instance, the scavenger dogs of Jezreel devoured the carcass of wicked Queen Jezebel, they left only some bones to be buried. (2 Kings 9:30-37) How much, then, will the birds and wild beasts leave of the carcasses of Gog’s crowd to be buried in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd? Bones?
22. Jehovah’s letting the slain lie exposed on the ground to be consumed by scavengers indicates what concerning their future, and how might Jehovah dispose of the surplus of dead bodies?
22 The fact that Jehovah leaves the bodies of those slain at the defeat of Gog’s attack lying exposed on the ground for birds and wild beasts to gorge themselves upon symbolizes that they will not be laid in respected memorial tombs in hope of a resurrection for them. The unburied dead, “those slain by Jehovah,” will be so enormously many that even the carrion birds and scavenging wild beasts could never take care of their consumption. The burial of even what remains after these lower creatures have their fill would be stupendous. Doubtless the Almighty God will use some highly scientific means, whether including antimatter or not, to dispose of the surplus of decaying bodies in a speedy and sanitary way. This remains for the survivors of the “war of the great day” to see and witness. We remember that Noah and his seven fellow survivors of the global Deluge were not burdened with burying the human victims of that world catastrophe after they came out of the ark and renewed Jehovah’s worship on earth.—Genesis 8:18-22.
23. How might some react at the thought of such an end to Gog’s attack, and yet what is to be expected concerning this prophecy?
23 ‘How horrible all this!’ Should that be our reaction of mind toward this prophecy of the disastrous defeat of Gog’s dastardly attack upon the only remaining peaceful worshiper of Jehovah on earth at the end of this violent system of things? Not rightly so! No matter how terrible it may seem to people who as a community took part in gory world wars Nos. I and II, Jehovah has spoken it prophetically, and that means it will be sure to come to pass.
24. Hence, what should we consider with regard to our present course of action, and what are the benefits and the thing of supreme importance that we should not overlook in this connection?
24 Since we must face it in the oncoming future, we do well to consider whether our present line of action will in due time put us within the rank of Gog’s crowd in defiance of Jehovah. Let us not overlook the everlasting benefit that will come to the race of mankind by the annihilation of Gog’s crowd and the doing away with of the threat-filled “land of Magog.” Especially, let us take into account the everlasting vindication that it will bring to Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and sacred name. This thing of supreme importance he calls to our consciousness, saying:
25. How will the nations have their misunderstanding corrected as to why Jehovah let the house of Israel go through such hard experiences?
25 “And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations will have to see my judgment that I have executed and my hand that I have placed among them. And those of the house of Israel will have to know that I am Jehovah, their God from that day forward. And the nations will have to know that it was because of their error that they, the house of Israel, went into exile, on account of the fact that they behaved unfaithfully toward me, so that I concealed my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they kept falling, all of them, by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I did with them, and I kept concealing my face from them.”—Ezekiel 39:21-24.
CORRECTING WRONG CONCLUSIONS DRAWN BY NATIONS
26. How will Jehovah make his protective power glorious, to whom will He show his hand, and what wrong conclusions as to why His people suffered mistreatment by the nations will be corrected?
26 Consequently, what Jehovah does to the embattled Gog’s crowd will be no disgrace to Him. His protective power over his restored people will then become glorious, and the nations under Gog will be made to see it. He will show them his “hand,” and it will be all-powerful; and they will feel it when he places it down among them. The nations formed wrong conclusions because Jehovah’s Christian witnesses appeared to have no divine protection when they were persecuted during World War I and came under temporary bondage to Babylon the Great. They mistook this to mean that the God of these witnesses was no God or that he was too weak to protect and deliver his witnesses from the hands of the nations who worshiped gods different from Jehovah. The nations did not appreciate that Jehovah was merely disciplining his people for their shortcomings and lack of faith, their error, uncleanness and transgressions even if of an unwitting kind. Hence he concealed his face of favor and approval from them and let the “hand of their adversaries” take hold of them and mistreat them.
27. Have the nations had to wait till Gog’s attack to see that Jehovah has turned his face toward his people?
27 The nations do not need to wait until Jehovah performs his magnificent deliverance of his people from Gog’s attack. Before then they have had proof that he had turned his face of favor toward his repentant people and was showing supernatural power toward them. Because of the wrong conclusions drawn by the nations concerning Jehovah’s disciplining of his people, then in exile in Babylon, he stated his purpose to the prophet Ezekiel as follows:
28. How did Jehovah then say that he would show jealousy for his name and sanctify himself with respect to the “house of Israel” even before Gog’s attack?
28 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Now is when I shall bring back the captive ones of Jacob and actually have mercy upon all the house of Israel; and I will show exclusive devotion for my holy name. And they will have borne their humiliation and all their unfaithfulness with which they have acted toward me, when they dwell on their soil in security, with no one to make them tremble. When I bring them back from the peoples and I actually collect them together out of the lands of their enemies, I will also sanctify myself among them before the eyes of many nations.’”—Ezekiel 39:25-27.
29. How did Jehovah show jealousy for his name in 1919 C.E., and how did he make it manifest before the eyes of the nations that he was sanctifying himself among the remnant of spiritual Israel?
29 As with ancient Israel in the year 537 B.C.E., so Jehovah showed that he had jealousy or exclusive devotion for his holy name in the year 1919 C.E. How? In that first postwar year of this “time of the end” he liberated them from their bondage to Babylon the Great and her political and military paramours. After that the holiness of Jehovah became plainer and plainer to the restored remnant of spiritual Israel, so that they appreciated that this called for greater religious and moral cleanness on their part and more clear-cut separation of them from this unholy world. Inasmuch as Jehovah caused this by the greater unfolding of his Holy Bible to them and the operation of his holy spirit upon them, he sanctified himself among these obedient spiritual Israelites while the eyes of the many nations among whom they preached the good news of God’s kingdom looked on. To such nations it should then have become manifest that the God of these spiritual Israelites was at work among them in a holy way.
30. Who on earth should already know that Jehovah stands for no compromise or defilement with this world, and how did He say to Ezekiel that he would bring about this knowledge?
30 Even now, before his wondrous vindication of his universal sovereignty upon the attacking hordes of Gog occurs, the nations should have come to know that Jehovah, the God of the remnant of spiritual Israel, is a living God, a God who is jealous for his name and who stands for no compromise and defilement with this unclean world. Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have come to know this already, just as their God foretold through Ezekiel, saying: “‘And they will have to know that I am Jehovah, their God, when I send them in exile to the nations and actually bring them together upon their soil, so that I shall leave none of them remaining there any longer. And I shall no longer conceal my face from them, because I will pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—Ezekiel 39:28, 29.
31. How is it evident that he no longer conceals his face from spiritual Israel, and what shows that he has poured out his spirit upon them?
31 Today, more than half a century after their liberation from Babylon the Great in 1919 C.E., the anointed remnant of spiritual Israel appreciate the freedom that they enjoy in their spiritual estate to which Jehovah has restored them. They rejoice to overflowing at the condition like that of the “garden of Eden” to which their spiritual estate has been rehabilitated. They jubilate in that the one whom Jehovah calls “my servant David” is their heavenly Shepherd-King. As he instructed them to do, they have prayed for more of the spirit of Jehovah their God, and this prayer has been abundantly answered. He has poured out his spirit upon these spiritual Israelites. This is notably evident from the “fruitage” of Jehovah’s spirit, namely, the qualities of a godly personality like that of Jesus Christ. (Luke 11:13; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 4:20-24) Because he has thus dealt so mercifully and lovingly just as he foretold by His prophets, they know that he is Jehovah their God. They have now been gathered in worldwide Christian unity, bound together by love, that fruit of God’s spirit which is “a perfect bond of union.”—Colossians 3:14.
32. Who have accepted the message of God’s kingdom preached by the spiritual Israelites, where do they now reside, and to whose victory do they joyfully look forward?
32 Accepting the message of God’s Messianic kingdom that these spiritual Israelites proclaim under God’s spirit, a “great crowd” of sheeplike seekers of the true God have come out of all nations and taken up residence with them in their spiritual Paradise. There they are worshiping the same God, Jehovah, under His Shepherd-King, Jesus Christ. (Revelation 7:9-17; Matthew 25:31-40, 46; John 10:16) Forewarned, they await together the coming attack by Gog of Magog and his international hordes. Full of faith, they joyfully look forward to Jehovah’s resounding victory over that wicked enemy Gog for the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty and of his holy name.