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only of Judah, but of Israel ; since consequently they are to invade it, not previous,but subsequent, to the commencement of the Millennium ; and since they are to invade it after the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy (which synchronizes with the restoration of Judah and precedes that of Israel), when the united tribes have long been dwelling confidently in their own land: I see not what they can be except the Gog and Magog of St. John*.
But Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton urge, that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog come from the north, whereas St John's Gog and Magog come from the four quarters of the earth; and that the former attack the Jews only, whereas the latter attack the saints and church of God in general. To this I reply, that Ezekiel no doubt represents Gog and Magog as issuing from the northern regions of Rosh, Mesech or Mosoch, and Tubal; but he likewise represents the invading army as composed, not only of these northern warriors, but of auxiliaries both from the east, the south, and the west. Gog is indeed the chief of the confederacy, but he musters under his banners the future inhabitants of Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. He comes up as a cloud to cover the land, both he and all his bands from their place out of the north-parts, and many people with him from the three other quarters of the globe. And, when he thus comes up in number like the sand of the sea, against whom is his attack directed ? Ezekiel tells us, The Israelites now dwelling confidently in their own land; St. John tells us, The camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Now where is the fancied discordance be.
Though Mr. Lowth thinks with Mr. Mede, that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog. are most probably the Turks, yet he fully acknowledges that their invasion of Palestine will take place some time after the restoration of the Jews; a circumstance, which amply proves, as I shall presently shew, that they cannot be either the Turks or the Antichristian confederacy, and consequently that they must be the same as St. John's Gog and Magog. Commenting on Ezek. xxxviii. 8, Mr. Lowth justly observes, that “the sense is, that, after the return of the people of Israel into their own country and their having lived there for some time in peace and safety, this enemy will think to take ad. vantage of their security, and fall upon them unexpectedly.” He adds, that ver. 11 contains “ a description of a people that live securely without any ap. prehension of danger. Compare Jerem. xlix. 31.” And he further remarks, that in ver. 12. Fudea is described as a country that lay desolate before the Jews' return into it. After it had been for some time reinhabited, Gog and his associates designed to fall upon it with all their forces.” See likewise his Comment. on ver. 14.
('ween these two accounts? If the Jews are to be restored to the country of their fathers, and to dwell there during the period of the Millennium, the beloved city can. only be Jerusalem ; and, if the Jews are to be converted to Christianity, they are undoubtedly, though perhaps not exclusively, the saints that inhabit that beloved city. It appears then, that both Ezekiel and St. John equally foretell an invasion of Palestine by some powers which they equally term Gog and Magog; that this invasion is to take place after the Millennium has commenced; and that it is totally to fail of success, God raining down upon the conductors of it fire from heaven *. Such being the case, what authority have we for saying, that the one Gog and Magog is a type of the other; that the two invasions are two entirely different events; and that they take place, the one at the beginning and the other at the end of the Millennium?
If from this statement it be allowed, that the expedition of Gog and Magog, predicted by Ezekiel, takes place at the end of the Millennium, and is consequently the same as that predicted by St. John, it will be almost superfluous to shew that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog cannot be the Turks. Nevertheless, that my position may be the more fully established, I shall point out why it is utterly impossible that they should be the Turks, even if we place their expedition at the era of the restoration of the Jers, and immediately before the commencement of the Millennium. Mr. Mede himself supposes (what I think, consistently with the analogy of the apocalyptic phraseology, cannot be doubted t), that the exhaustion of the Euphrates under the sixth vial means the subvera sion of the Turkish empire ; and he inclines to believe (very justly, in my opinion), that the kings, for whom a way is prepared by this exhaustion, are the Jews, or (to speak more accurately) the Israelites, scattered through the East. Now, if such an interpretation be well-founded, it is obvious, that the Ottoman monarchy will be sub. verted previous even to the beginning of the restoration
Compare Ezek. xxxviii. 22. with Rev. xx. 9. and see Abp. Newcome's. Ezek. in loc.
*See my Dissert. on the 1960 years, vol. ii. p. 344. (2d Edit, p. 381.)
of the Israelites. And it is equally obvious, that it will be subverted previous to the beginning of the restoration of the Jews: because it will be subverted before the confederacy of the Roman beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth, is gathered to Armageddon; which confederacy will be broken contemporaneously with the return of the Jews, under the seventh vial, and at the close of the 1260 years *. This being the case, it is manifest, that the Turks can have no concern, at least nationally, in an invasion of Palestine at the era either of the restoration of Judah or of Israel (even allowing, that the expedition of Ezekiel's Gog and Magog then takes place); and for this plain reason : they will have been broken as a people a certain length of time before either the Jews or the Israelites even begin to return; and their subversion will be instrumental in preparing a way for the Israelites at least to return. But, according to Ezekiel, the expedition of Gog and Magog takes place after the restoration both of Israel and Judah, and when they have long been dwelling confidently in their land: the restoration of Israel however does not take place till after the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy; and the very gathering together of the Antichristian confederacy to the place of its destruction does not commence till after the overthrow of the Ottoman empire f: what possible con. nection then can Gog and Magog have with the Turks, whether we place their expedition before or after the Millennium? A commentator, who lives in the present day, might further observe, that we have little cause indeed to believe that Turkey will ever head † a grand expedition like that of Ezekiel's Gog and Magog: but mere probabilities
or improbabilities, deduced from the passing aspect of affairs, and as yet hid in futurity, I am unwil. ling to build upon; we have sufficiently decisive scriptural evidence without them.
Compare Dan. xi. 40, 45 xii. 1, 6, 7-Rev. xii. 5. xvi. 17. xix. 19, 20. f Isaiah lxvi. 19, 20—Rev. xvi. 12-16.
# It is not impossible, that some individual Turks and other Mahommedans may be in the army of Antichrist; but this falls very far short of Ezekiel's description, which plainly represents Gog, whoever he may be, as the head of an expedition undertaken by various different nations.
Here it may be asked, How are we to understand the reference which Ezekiel himself gives us to others who have foretold this same war of Gog and Magog, if we place it at the end rather than at the beginning of the Millennium ? “ Thus saith the Lord : Art not thou he, of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years, that I would bring thee against them?” Mr. Mede is of opinion, that Ezekiel alludes in this passage to Isaiah xxvii. 1. with the two last verses of the foregoing chapter; to Jeremiah xxx. 23, 24; to Joel iii. i. and the following verses ; and to Micah v. 5, 6, 9, 15. In all these references I certainly think Mr. Mede mistaken, because I believe that the war of Gog and Magog will take place at the close of the Millennium, whereas the events predicted in the passages to which he refers will come to pass immediately before the commencement of the Millennium. Isaiah xxvii. 1. relates to the subversion of the Egyptian government, at the period of the restoration of Judah, and during the time of unexampled trouble mentioned by Daniel*. Jeremiah xxx. 23, 24. relates to the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy at the same era, that is to say, at the end of the 1260 years: and, after it is thus overthrown, the prophet foretells, in perfect accordance with Isaiah t, the restoration of Ephraim or the kingdom of the ten tribes. Joel iï. 1. likewise relates to the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy. And Micah v. 5, 6, 9, 15, equally relates to the same event, describing the chief of the Roman Babylon, as he is elsewhere described by Isaiah ţ, under the mystic name of the Assyrian. On the whole, since we undoubtedly find nothing in our present Hebrew Scriptures that at all resembles the remarkable prophecy of Ezekiel respecting Gog and Magog ; whence Eichhorn naturally observed, that, as far as we can discern, this great piece is entirely new and peculiarly his own 9: on the whole, I
Compare Isaiah xi. 10–16. xvii. xviii. xix. xxvi. 19, 20, 21. xxvii. 1, 6, 7, 12, 13. Dan. xi. 42, 43. xii, 1, 2, 7. + Isaiah lxvi. 7-24.
Isaiah xiv. 4, 25. S“ In many poems, as far as we can discern, he is really new. piece of Gog and Magog is his own." Eichhorn's Introduct, to the Old Tes: cament, cited by Abp. Newcome, Pref. to Ezekiel, p. xxvii.
say, Abp. Newcome's opinion seems to me the most probable, that the prophets of Israel, alluded to by Ezekiel, are those, “whose predictions on this subject were never committed to writing, or are now lost *.”. Yet I think we may discover a remote hint of the war of Gog and Magog in Daniel vii. 12, 13, 14. The prophet, having foretold the destruction of the great Roman beast in all his members and of his tyrannical little horn, in other words, of the Antichristian confederacy of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the Latin earth, informs us concerning the rest of the beasts, namely the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Macedonian, that, although their dominion should be taken away, yet their lives should be prolonged for a season and a time; and he afterwards declares, that he beheld in the night visions the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven. How then can we understand the prolongation of the lives of these three beasts after the overthrow of the Roman confederacy by the Ancient of days, and to the period of a certain subsequent revelation of the Son of man, except that the future inhabitants of those three empires should be preserved after the destruction of Antichrist, and dur. ing the millennian reign of the saints, and that they should at length make their appearance upon the stage as a second grand Antichristian confederacy termed by Ezekiel and St. John Gog and Magog?
Still on a subject, so confessedly difficult and mysterious as that respecting which we are treating, the reader may continue to have his doubts, and may be disposed to ask; IVhy may not Ezekiel's Gog and Magog be, not indeed the Turks, for that is plainly impossible, but the great Antichristian confederacy which will be destroyed at the era of the restoration of Judah? They have certainly many points of resemblance in common: they both invade Palestine from the north ; they both attack the Jews; and they both perish partly supernaturally, and partly by internal discord t. Why then may we not sup,pose them to be the same: and consequently that Mr. Mede is at least right in that part of his scheme, which makes
* Translation of Ezekiel in loc. * Compare Ezek. xxxviii. 21, 22. with Zechar. xii. 4. xiv. 3, 4, 12, 13.