38:2 “Son of man, turn toward 1 Gog, 2 of the land of Magog, 3 the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 Prophesy against him 38:3 and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, 5 I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
38:6 They are joined by 6 Gomer with all its troops, and by Beth Togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops – many peoples are with you. 7
1 tn Heb “set your face against.”
2 sn This may refer to a Lydian king in western Asia Minor in the seventh century
4 tn Heb “the prince, the chief of Meshech and Tubal.” Some translate “the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,” but it is more likely that the Hebrew noun in question is a common noun in apposition to “prince,” rather than a proper name. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:434-35. As Block demonstrates, attempts by some popular writers to identify these proper names with later geographical sites in Russia are anachronistic. See as well E. Yamauchi, Foes From the Northern Frontier, 19-27.
5 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘h!nn#n' ?l?K>,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.
6 tn The words “they are joined by” are added in the translation for purposes of English style.
7 sn The seven-nation coalition represents the north (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth-Togarmah), the south/west (Ethiopia, Put) and the east (Persia). The use of the sevenfold list suggests completeness. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:441.