Meshech And Tubal


 Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere. But now they are outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword.

~Ezekiel 32:26, NLT


“Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.”

~Proverb {taken from Jesus words in Matthew 26:52}

Jesus did not say, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.”  What He actually said according to NASB was, “Those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Ironically, I thought the quote above was how it was stated in the Bible. Evidently, someone tweaked what Jesus said and it became a proverb. Either way you say it, the truth remains the same–violence begets violence. Bonnie and Clyde were violent criminals who took particular pleasure in killing policemen. Bonnie and Clyde died violent deaths. Do you sometimes read the Bible, especially in books like Ezekiel and then think to yourself, “I don’t have a clue as to what that means.” I have read Ezekiel at least 30 times and probably more and I read about Meshech and Tubal and just keep going but I have no clue what Ezekiel is talking about. Chapter 32 is a prophecy about Egypt and so Egypt is the subject. Meshech and Tubal are mentions as examples of what happens to warlike nations who take up the sword, not in defense but in aggression.

Then I thought about the battle of Carchemish. Egypt had the numbers, the bulk of their army were mercenaries but Pharaoh Necho had more men than Nebuchadnezzar. Necho was taking his army north to Carchemish {Northern Syria, near the Ephrates} when King Josiah of Judah refused to allow the Egyptians to pass through his territory so Josiah attempted to stop Necho at Megiddo {a huge valley in the Galilee region}. Josiah was killed but the Egyptians suffered great loses. The Egyptians were going to ally themselves with the remnants of the Assyrian Army who had been defeated soundly by the Babylonians twice before. Although Nebuchadnezzar was out numbers, he used the element of surprise and defeated the allies who had formed to oppose him. Most of the Egyptian army that survived the initial battle fled on foot without weapons. The Babylonians pursued them and killed them all. So three empires become one.

Remember, Ezekiel is talking about Egypt and their fate: he uses Meshech and Tubal as an example, “Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere. But now they are outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword.They are not buried in honor like their fallen heroes, who went down to the grave with their weapons—their shields covering their bodies and their swords beneath their heads. Their guilt rests upon them because they brought terror to everyone while they were still alive.” Ezekiel says, “You too, Egypt, will lie crushed and broken among the outcasts, all slaughtered by the sword.”

By the way Meshech and Tubal or descendants of Japhet and so are we. Meshach would be the Ukraine and parts of Georgia and southern Russia. Tubal was right across the Black Sea on the South side where we find present day Turkey.

I had several thought as I studied this passage. War and the carnage and destruction that accompany it is a sad, sad reality. It may be a necessary evil in the defense of our families, property and freedom but any act of aggression is always condemned. Just think how many young men died at Carchemish and were either buried, burned or left to the elements in a foreign land. I doubt if any of them understood what they were fighting for. Most wars are driven by greedy, power loving politicians, who never get their hands dirty, let along lay their life on the line. I can’t find any numbers on the Carchemish battle, but it could have been hundreds of thousands. Then I thought about all the young men who have died in battle on foreign soil since. This has to be one of life’s greater mysteries. The power hungry war lords should be the ones who die.

The bottom line is JESUS KNOWS BEST. Peace is better than war, love is better than hate and helping others is better than hurting others. When this old sin cursed world comes to CHRIST, it will be a better place. Although there is no evidence that it is happening now, I do believe this world will come to Christ some day. They will come to Him on a knee. I probably will not live to see it but I believe it will happen.


Don’t normally do a weekend blog and probably few will find it and even fewer read it but I knew if I didn’t share it now, I would forget all the details.

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