Confident Or Careless?

Q. I have seen other commentators use “confidently” in their interpretation of Ezek. 38:11 where you use “carelessly”. They say the word is meant to imply they’re confident in their ability to repel any attack, not that they have their guard down. What do you think of that interpretation?

A. There is a sense in which the Hebrew word “betach” can mean confident, and of the 42 times it appears in the Old Testament it is used once that way (Ezekiel 28:6). However, in Ezekiel 38 their confidence is obviously misplaced since it takes the intervention of God Himself to achieve their victory. This is what has led me and others to select “careless” in interpreting it. Also, the phrases “at rest” and “living without gates or walls” in Ezekiel 38:11 does mean they will have their guard down.

I think we can all agree that’s not the case in Israel today.

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