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39. A Prophecy Against Gog
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 6And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. 7So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
8Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 9And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 10So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
11And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. 12And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. 14And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. 16And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
17And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD. 21And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. 22So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.
23And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. 24According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. 25Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 26After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 27When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. 29Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Eze 39:1-29. Continuation of the Prophecy against Gog.
1. Repeated from Eze 38:3, to impress the prophecy more on the mind.
2. leave but the sixth part of thee—Margin, "strike thee with six plagues" (namely, pestilence, blood, overflowing rain, hailstones, fire, brimstone, Eze 38:22); or, "draw thee back with an hook of six teeth" (Eze 38:4), the six teeth being those six plagues. Rather, "lead thee about" [Ludovicus De Dieu and Septuagint]. As Antiochus was led (to his ruin) to leave Egypt for an expedition against Palestine, so shall the last great enemy of God be.
north parts—from the extreme north [Fairbairn].
3. bow—in which the Scythians were most expert.
4, 5. (Compare Eze 39:17-20).
upon the mountains of Israel—The scene of Israel's preservation shall be that of the ungodly foe's destruction.
6. carelessly—in self-confident security.
the isles—Those dwelling in maritime regions, who had helped Gog with fleets and troops, shall be visited with the fire of God's wrath in their own lands.
7. not let them pollute my holy name—by their sins bringing down judgments which made the heathen think that I was unable or unwilling to save My people.
8. it is come … it is done—The prediction of the salvation of My people, and the ruin of their enemy, is come to pass—is done: expressing that the event foretold is as certain as if it were already accomplished.
9, 10. The burning of the foe's weapons implies that nothing belonging to them should be left to pollute the land. The seven years (seven being the sacred number) spent on this work, implies the completeness of the cleansing, and the people's zeal for purity. How different from the ancient Israelites, who left not merely the arms, but the heathen themselves, to remain among them [Fairbairn], (Jud 1:27, 28; 2:2, 3; Ps 106:34-36). The desolation by Antiochus began in the one hundred and forty-first year of the Seleucidæ. From this date to 148, a period of six years and four months ("2300 days," Da 8:14), when the temple-worship was restored (1 Maccabees 4:52), God vouchsafed many triumphs to His people; from this time to the death of Antiochus, early in 149, a period of seven months, the Jews had rest from Antiochus, and purified their land, and on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month celebrated the Encænia, or feast of dedication (Joh 10:22) and purification of the temple. The whole period, in round numbers, was seven years. Mattathias was the patriotic Jewish leader, and his third son, Judas, the military commander under whom the Syrian generals were defeated. He retook Jerusalem and purified the temple. Simon and Jonathan, his brothers, succeeded him: the independence of the Jews was secured, and the crown vested in the Asmonean family, in which it continued till Herod the Great.
11. place … of graves—Gog found only a grave where he had expected the spoils of conquest.
valley—So vast were to be the masses that nothing but a deep valley would suffice for their corpses.
the passengers on the east of the sea—those travelling on the high road, east of the Dead Sea, from Syria to Petra and Egypt. The publicity of the road would cause many to observe God's judgments, as the stench (as English Version translates) or the multitude of graves (as Henderson translates, "it shall stop the passengers") would arrest the attention of passers-by. Their grave would be close to that of their ancient prototypes, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Dead Sea, both alike being signal instances of God's judgments.
13. I … glorified—in destroying the foe (Eze 28:22).
14. with the passengers—The men employed continually in the burying were to be helped by those happening to pass by; all were to combine.
after the end of seven months shall they search—to see if the work was complete [Munster].
15. First "all the people of the land" engaged in the burying for seven months; then special men were employed, at the end of the seven months, to search for any still left unburied. The passers-by helped them by setting up a mark near any such bones, in order to keep others from being defiled by casually touching them, and that the buriers might come and remove them. Denoting the minute care to put away every relic of heathen pollution from the Holy Land.
16. A city in the neighborhood was to receive the name Hamonah, "multitude," to commemorate the overthrow of the multitudes of the foe [Henderson]. The multitude of the slain shall give a name to the city of Jerusalem after the land shall have been cleansed [Grotius]. Jerusalem shall be famed as the conqueror of multitudes.
17. (Re 19:17).
sacrifice—Anciently worshippers feasted on the sacrifices. The birds and beasts of prey are invited to the sacrificial feast provided by God (compare Isa 18:6; 34:6; Zep 1:7; Mr 9:49). Here this sacrifice holds only a subordinate place in the picture, and so is put last. Not only shall their bones lie long unburied, but they shall be stripped of the flesh by beasts and birds of prey.
18. rams … lambs … goats—By these various animal victims used in sacrifices are meant various ranks of men, princes, generals, and soldiers (compare Isa 34:6).
chariots—that is, charioteers.
22. So the house of Israel shall know … Lord—by My interposition for them. So, too, the heathen shall be led to fear the name of the Lord (Ps 102:15).
25. bring again the captivity—restore from calamity to prosperity.
27. sanctified in them—vindicated as holy in My dealings with them.
29. poured out my Spirit upon … Israel—the sure forerunner of their conversion (Joe 2:28; Zec 12:10). The pouring out of His Spirit is a pledge that He will hide His face no more (2Co 1:22; Eph 1:14; Php 1:6).