By Nathan Jones
What massive efforts are taken to clean up the dead from the Gog and Magog War?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will continue our ongoing study of the Gog-Magog War found in Ezekiel 38-39.
Bring Out Your Dead
Nathan Jones: Ezekiel 39:11-16 continues explaining the aftermath of the Gog and Magog War. It's not just the weapons that were left behind by the invaders being destroyed, but a massive amount of dead people are left lying around as well. God wipes out the entire invading army, though we do read in Joel a verse that indicates that maybe a sixth of the army does escape and they go to the furthest northern regions, which would be Siberia. So, some of the invaders escape, but overall most of this massive coalition army will have died.
Israel cannot have dead bodies lying all over the place. So, we get to verse 11, "It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel." From that verse we know the leader of this invasion, Gog, dies in Israel as well.
"'The valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, 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.'"
That's very descriptive of the cleanup that's going on, isn't it?
For the Jewish people to have dead bodies around them it is to be ceremonial unclean. So, for seven months Israel is considered ceremonially unclean.
All of the people, and I mean all of them, go out and start burying bodies. They bury them en mass. They set up a valley as a mass grave. The area hasn't been located because it hasn't yet been named yet, but it is a generally believed that the valley lies around the Dead Sea area. They will name it the Valley of Hamon Gog, in other words, the valley where Gog is buried. Hamon Gog can also be translated as the multitude of Gog. In that valley, there they will be buried.
There will also be search parties assigned as their job to go out and look for bones, and when found they will send the remains down to Hamon Gog for burial. Because there would be so many bones to bury, the Jews actually build a city next to the valley in order to facilitate this work. It's kind of like the old gold rush towns when everyone was running out to California. Literally a town would grow up overnight because all of a sudden all that industry would be there looking for gold. Similarly, the town of Hamonah will be set up because there will be so many people finding the dead and burying their bones and dividing up the weapons for fuel. They will have to create an entire city to handle all of the cleanup, and that will be the town of Hamonah. When verse 11 says the burial place will be by the sea, it means by the Dead Sea.
This will be a tremendous cleanup effort, the likes of which hasn't been seen since Europe spent the decades after World War I and II cleaning up the dead that were littering the battlefields. Israel will have to do the same.
Vic Batista: Ezekiel talks about the Jews employing people. So, this cleanup is going to be a huge thing, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, this will be really massive in scale, because Israel's government will have to actually hire people to cleanse the land. Once the entire population has pretty much moved the dead out, then Israel will hire people to take the piles of dead bones lying around and clean the land up in order to purify the country. It will take seven months just to do all of that.
Vic Batista: Look at World I and II and what massive cleanups had to happen to clear up the resulting mess. In our day in 2005, the United States had Hurricanes Katrina come through. There have been quite a number of hurricanes and flooding across the states as see on television. The cleanup process that it takes for just one of these catastrophes is astounding in scope. And yet, here we are in Ezekiel talking about a cleanup that will happen on even a greater scale, right?
Nathan Jones: The scenario would be like if all the northern states decided to come down and beat up on your city of Miami, Vic, and then God stepped in and He destroys those armies. All over Florida there would be weapons, there would be fuel, and there would be dead people lying around. The dead people can't move themselves, so everyone is going to have to go out and lend a hand. They are going to have to gather up the dead people. Then the state of Florida will come out and assign people to pick up the dead bones and put them in a burial place, a giant mass grave. After the Gog and Magog War, the mass gave be the Valley of Hamon Gog and they will have to set up a city to deal with the processing, and that is Hamonah.
Vic Batista: Of course, we are bringing this scenario into our era so that folks can see how this might take place. Although this prophecy was written over 2,000 years ago, we know absolutely what this scenario will look like. This will be the cleanup of the Millennia! The people will have to clean up the area so that life can continue.
Vic Batista: After this war, reading the following verses in Ezekiel 39:17-20, how does this continue to unfold?
Nathan Jones: Verse 17 begins a sort of poem.
"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. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, Drink the blood of the princes of the earth, Of rams and lambs, Of goats and bulls, All of them fatlings of Bashan. You shall eat fat till you are full, And drink blood till you are drunk, At My sacrificial meal Which I am sacrificing for you. You shall be filled at My table With horses and riders, With mighty men And with all the men of war,' says the Lord God."
That poem calls the carrion birds of the area down to the battlefield. So, it's not just the Jews who are picking up the dead bodies and throwing them away, but the vultures are picking the bones clean. This scene reminds me of an old western where you see a dead cowboy and the buzzards are circling around. Here, too, the buzzards are circling around. God is saying this is a huge sacrificial meal and all the birds are invited to the feast. The birds are actually a sign of humiliation, for here this mighty Gog, ruler of Russia, who came down with all these nations by the time God is done with him has turned Gog into bird food.
Vic Batista: Notice during the time of the Tribulation other similar events with more corpses that will be laying around. Birds are going to come and feast on them as well.
Nathan Jones: When we look down to the end of the Tribulation, which is culminated by the Battle of Armageddon, there we read the same thing. When Jesus returns there will be a similar battle to the Gog and Magog War, but this time all the nations of the world will be against Israel at Armageddon. Jesus will destroy all of them and the birds will be there feasting again.
In the nineteenth segment of our study of the Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39, Vic and I will look at the restoration of all Jews back to Israel.