Ezek. 39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
Ezek. 39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
Interesting to note in these verses is that these weapons are going to supply fuel for Israel for seven years. One can’t help but try to make a connection with the 7 years being mentioned and the 7 years of Daniel’s 70th week known as the tribulation. I’ve always reasoned that this would put this war before or near the beginning of that tribulation period, but there is no clarification in this prophecy in that regard. However, people living on planet earth are still going to need fuel during the millennium, so I don’t think one can be dogmatic.
Others equate this invasion with Armageddon, but that doesn’t fit the prerequisite condition for Israel. Israel will be experiencing the despotic rule of the Antichrist at the time of Armageddon.
Point is also made that the Jewish people will gain from the spoil taken from Gog’s armies. This is another example of reaping what you have sown. Gog and his armies had attacked to spoil and rob the Jewish people; but they would become the ones spoiled and robbed.
Ezek. 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
The number of dead from Gog’s armies will be so great that there will have to be a valley in Israel designated as the burial site. It is said to be located east of the “sea.” The Hebrew for sea includes a reference to the Mediterranean but also indicates that it could reference any large body of water or even a large river. Some commentaries try to locate this valley to the east of the Dead Sea, but that would place the burial place in Jordan—not Israel. The location of this valley is not a significant issue in my mind except that God declares it will be in Israel. The significant point is that such a large place will be needed to bury the dead of Gog’s armies.
Ezek. 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
Ezek. 39:13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 39:14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
Ezek. 39:15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.
The number of dead will be so great that it will take seven months for Israel to bury them all. I liked the wording of the NLT for verse 13: “Everyone in Israel will help, for it will be a glorious victory for Israel when I demonstrate my glory on that day, says the Sovereign LORD.”
All the people are involved in getting the dead buried. After burying remains for seven months, a search will be made throughout the land to ensure that all the dead have been buried. Those who notice human remains will set up signs or markers to let the hired workers know that they have work to do at that location. This does seem to be a very specific process, and is a very interesting description considering today’s nuclear capabilities.
Jack Kelley at www.gracethrufaith.com/ikvot/the-battle-of-ezekiel-38-39-part-3 made these comments regarding this scripture: “It will require the combined efforts of all Israeli citizens for 7 months to bury the enemy dead. After that they'll hire professionals, some to decontaminate the land and some to search for any bodies the people may have missed. They won't touch any bones they find, but will set up markers and call the professionals to come take them away. This approach fits modern Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare decontamination procedures to a tee.”
Point is made twice in these verses that this process will cleanse the land. It’s a reminder to me that God is dealing with Israel under the Old Testament teachings. Dead bodies were considered unclean. Everything associated with God, including His chosen land, is to be clean and pure.
Numbers 19:16 “And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.”
This is just another affirmation that the place of burial will be in Israel.
Ezek. 39:16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
Evidently this valley will be marked by a city called Hamonah, which means multitude in reference to the number of dead. Again, emphasis is given to the fact that the land will be cleansed. This emphasis on “clean vs. unclean” would normally accompany temple practices and the keeping of the law as in Old Testament times (which will be the case in that 70th week).
(to be continued…)