Ezekiel in Christian interpretation: Gog, Magog, and apocalyptic politics

Andrew Mein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ezekiel’s Gog (chs. 38–39) is the distillation of biblical traditions about an eschatological enemy whom God will defeat as a prelude to final restoration. The apocalyptic tone of the chapters and Gog’s lack of a historical anchor make him a remarkably malleable figure for later interpreters, who are able to project on to his story both their deepest enmities and their aspirations for the future. This chapter introduces Christian interpretation of Ezekiel by exploring three significant approaches to Gog and Magog. First, Christian readers have often read Gog in terms of current geopolitics. Secondly, they have read the oracle in terms of theology and church politics. And thirdly, they have remythologized the Gog oracle, incorporating it into new eschatological frameworks. In each case, the chapter examines both the ways in which interpreters engage with the biblical text, and the ways they relate Ezekiel’s eschatology to their own political contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Ezekiel
EditorsCorrine Carvalho
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780190634544
ISBN (Print)9780190634513
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameOxford handbooks


  • Ezekiel
  • Ezekiel 38-39
  • Gog and Magog
  • Apocalyptic
  • History of interpretation
  • Reception history
  • Alexander the Great


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