Ezekiel 38:18-39:16: The Destruction of Gog

The haftarah (prophetic reading) for Shabbat that falls on the intermediate days of Sukkot

The message of this haftarah is the destruction of the mythic enemy of Israel, Gog.  It is taken to be a message heralding the ultimate redemption, relating to a recurring theme of Sukkot, as seen in the haftarah for the first day of the holiday.  Reform congregations read the haftarah through verse 39:7.

This English translation is reprinted with permission from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures published by the Jewish Publication Society.

38:18.     On that day, when Gog sets foot on the soil of Israel- declares the Lord GOD  — My raging anger shall flare up.

38:19.     For I, have decreed in My indignation and in My blazing wrath: On that day, a terrible earthquake shall befall the land of Israel.

38:20.     The:  fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that move on the ground, and every human being on earth shall quake before Me. Mountains shall be overthrown, cliffs shall topple, and every wall shall crumble to the ground.

38:21.     Iwill then summon the sword against him throughout My mountains — declares the Lord GOD — and every man’s sword shall be turned against his brother.

38:22.     I will punish him with pestilence and with bloodshed; and I will pour torrential rain, hailstones, and sulfurous fire upon him and his hordes and the many peoples with him.

38:23.     Thus will I manifest My greatness and My holiness, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations. And they shall know that I am the LORD.

39:1.         And you, O mortal, prophesy against Gog and say: Thus said the Lord GOD: I am going to deal with you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal!

39:2.         I will turn you around and drive you on, and I will take you from the far north and lead you toward the mountains of Israel.

39:3.         I will strike your bow from your left hand and I will loosen the arrows from your right hand.

39:4.         You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your battalions and the peoples who are with you; and I will give you as food to carrion birds of every sort and to the beasts of the field,

39:5.         as you lie in the open field. For I have spoken-declares the Lord GOD.

39:6.         And I will send a fire against Magog and against those who dwell secure in the coastlands. And they shall know that I am the LORD.

39:7.         I will make My holy name known among My people Israel, and never again will I let My holy name be profaned. And the nations shall know that I the LORD am holy in Israel.

39:8.         Ah! it has come, it has happened-declares the Lord GOD: this is that day that I decreed.

39:9.         Then the inhabitants of the cities of Israel will go out and make fires and feed them, with the weapons –shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, clubs and spears; they shall use them as fuel for seven years.

39:10.     They will not gather firewood in the fields or cut any in the forests, but will use the weapons as fuel for their fires. They will despoil those who despoiled them and plunder those who plundered them — declares the Lord GOD.

39:11.     On that day I will assign to Gog a burial site there in Israel — the Valley of the Travelers, east of the Sea. It shall block the path of travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It shall be called the Valley of Gog’s Multitude.

39:12.     The House of Israel shall spend seven months burying them, in order to cleanse the land;

39:13.     all the people of the land shall bury them. The day I manifest My glory shall bring renown to them –declares the Lord GOD.

39:14.     And they shall appoint men to serve permanently, to traverse the land and bury any invaders who remain above ground, in order to cleanse it. The search shall go on for a period of seven months.

39:15.     As those who traverse the country make their rounds, anyone of them who sees a human bone shall erect a marker beside it, until the buriers have interred them in the Valley of Gog’s Multitude.

39:16.     There shall also be a city named Multitude.  And thus the land shall be cleansed.

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