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39. A Prophecy Against Gog

1You, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: 2and I will turn you about, and will lead you on, and will cause you to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring you on the mountains of Israel; 3and I will strike your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you, and all your hordes, and the peoples who are with you: I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the animals of the field to be devoured. 5You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh. 6I will send a fire on Magog, and on those who dwell securely in the islands; and they shall know that I am Yahweh. 7My holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I allow my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel. 8Behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh; this is the day about which I have spoken. 9Those who dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the war clubs, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years; 10so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those who plundered them, and rob those who robbed them, says the Lord Yahweh. 11It shall happen in that day, that I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of those who pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop those who pass through: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The valley of Hamon Gog. 12Seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land. 13Yes, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown in the day that I shall be glorified, says the Lord Yahweh. 14They shall set apart men of continual employment, who shall pass through the land, and, with those who pass through, those who bury those who remain on the surface of the land, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15Those who pass through the land shall pass through; and when any sees a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, until the undertakers have buried it in the valley of Hamon Gog. 16Hamonah shall also be the name of a city. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17You, son of man, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Speak to the birds of every sort, and to every animal 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 on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. 18You 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 bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19You shall eat fat until you be full, and drink blood until you be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20You shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, says the Lord Yahweh. 21I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22So the house of Israel shall know that I am Yahweh their God, from that day and forward. 23The nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, and I hid my face from them: so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword. 24According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I to them; and I hid my face from them. 25Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26They shall bear their shame, and all their trespasses by which they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell securely in their land, and none shall make them afraid; 27when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 28They shall know that I am Yahweh their God, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them to their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; 29neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh.

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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 theeMargin, "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).

fatlings of Bashan—ungodly men of might (Ps 22:12). Bashan, beyond Jordan, was famed for its fat cattle. Fat implies prosperity which often makes men refractory towards God (De 32:14, 15).

20. my table—the field of battle on the mountains of Israel (Eze 38:8, 20).

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).

23. hid I my face—(De 31:17; Isa 59:2).

25. bring again the captivity—restore from calamity to prosperity.

the whole house of Israel—so "all Israel" (Ro 11:26). The restorations of Israel heretofore have been partial; there must be one yet future that is to be universal (Ho 1:11).

26. After that they have borne their shame—the punishment of their sin: after they have become sensible of their guilt, and ashamed of it (Eze 20:43; 36:31).

27. sanctified in them—vindicated as holy in My dealings with them.

28. The Jews, having no dominion, settled country, or fixed property to detain them, may return at any time without difficulty (compare Ho 3:4, 5).

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).