Ezekiel Chapter Thirty-nine
The destruction of Gog. (1-10) Its extent. (11-22) Israel again favoured. (23-29)
Commentary on Ezekiel 39:1-10
(Read Ezekiel 39:1-10)
The Lord will make the most careless and hardened transgressors know his holy name, either by his righteous anger, or by the riches of his mercy and grace. The weapons formed against Zion shall not prosper. Though this prophecy is to be fulfilled in the latter days, it is certain. From the language used, it seems that the army of Gog will be destroyed by miracle.
Commentary on Ezekiel 39:11-22
(Read Ezekiel 39:11-22)
How numerous the enemies which God destroyed for the defence of his people Israel! Times of great deliverances should be times of reformation. Every one should help the utmost he can, toward cleansing the land from reproach. Sin is an enemy every man should strive against. Those engaged in public work, especially of cleansing and reforming a land, ought to be men who will go through with what they undertake, who will be always employed. When good work is to be done, every one should further it. Having received special favours from God, let us cleanse ourselves from all evil. It is a work which will require persevering diligence, that search may be made into the secret recesses of sin. The judgments of the Lord, brought upon sin and sinners, are a sacrifice to the justice of God, and a feast to the faith and hope of God's people. See how evil pursues sinners, even after death. After all that ambitious and covetous men do and look for, "a place of graves" is all the Lord gives them on earth, while their guilty souls are doomed to misery in another world.
Commentary on Ezekiel 39:23-29
(Read Ezekiel 39:23-29)
When the Lord shall have mercy on the whole house of Israel, by converting them to Christianity, and when they shall have borne the shame of being cast off for their sins, then the nations shall learn to know, worship, and serve him. Then Israel also shall know the Lord, as revealed in and by Christ. Past events do not answer to these predictions. The pouring out of the Spirit is a pledge that God's favour will continue. He will hide his face no more from those on whom he has poured out his Spirit. When we pray that God would never cast us from his presence, we must as earnestly pray that, in order thereto, he would never take his Holy Spirit from us.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Ezekiel》
 And 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:
The sixth part — I will leave in thy country but one in six.
 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
Thy bow — What is said of the bow rendered useless, is to be understood of all other weapons of war; this is one kind, the bow, being most in use with the Scythians, is mentioned for all the rest.
 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
It is come — As sure as if already come.
The day — That notable day of recompences against the last great enemies of the church.
 And 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:
The weapons — The warlike provision, instruments, engines, carriages and wagons.
Shall burn — It may be wondered why they burn these weapons, which might be of use to them for defence; but it was done in testimony that God was their defence, on whom only they relied.
With fire — In such a country where the need of fire is much less than with us, it will not seem incredible, that the warlike utensils of so numerous an army might be enough to furnish them with fuel for many years.
 And 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 Hamongog.
Gog — And to many of those with him; but many were given to the birds and beasts to be devoured.
Graves — Gog came to take possession; and so he shall, but not as he purposed and hoped. He shall possess his house of darkness in that land which he invaded.
The valley of the passengers — So called from the frequent travels of passengers through it from Egypt and Arabia Felix, into the more northern parts, and from these again into Egypt and Arabia.
The sea — The Dead Sea.
Hamon Gog — That is, the multitude of Gog.
 Yea, 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.
Glorified — The day of my being glorified shall be a renown to Israel.
 And 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.
They — The rulers of Israel.
Sever — Chuse out men who shall make it their work.
Passing — To go up and down over the whole land; for many of Gog's wounded, flying soldiers, died in thickets, and corners into which they crept.
The passengers — Whose assistance they would desire of courtesy.
Remain — Unburied by the public labour of the house of Israel during the seven months.
 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
The city — That is, the multitude: the city which is next to this common tomb of Gog.
 And, 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.
I do sacrifice — The punishment of these God calls a sacrifice, which he offers to his own justice.
Upon the mountains — Where more thousands are offered at once, than ever were at any time offered; 'tis a sacrifice so great, that none ever was, or will be like it.
 Ye 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.
Ye shall eat — In these two and the following verses, God takes on him the person of one that makes a feast, invites his guests, and promises to satisfy them. Of the two former, the first is an Enigmatical invitation, or an invitation in a riddle; the latter is the key to this character.
The mighty — Who had great authority, great courage and strength, the giant-like ones, commanders of great note in the army.
Princes — Many princes came with their country men and subjects to assist in this war.
Rams — These are compared to rams which lead the flock.
Lambs — Lambs are the more ordinary in the army.
Goats — Goats signify the more lascivious, and impetuous among them.
Bullocks — Bullocks, such as though more slow, were of great strength.
Fatlings — Well fed.
Bashan — A mountain of most rich, and sweet soil.
 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
At my table — In the field where Gog, his princes, and army, are slain, compared to a table.
Horses — Horsemen, not common foot soldiers.
Chariots — The men that ride in them.
 And 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.
All the heathen — In the countries to which the news shall come.
 After 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.
Their shame — Reproach for their sins.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Ezekiel》
39 Chapter 39
Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
We should search the whole range of Scripture in vain for words more forcibly bringing home to our minds all the great truths upon which the Christian loves to dwell on this our own peculiar and joyful Festival.
I. “It is come.”
1. Pardon and salvation are come to sinful man: they that have long sat in the darkness of unatoned transgression, have now seen that true light which is given to be the guide of their feet along the paths of pleasantness, into the way of which peace is the beginning, and joy is the end. The message “is come,” which alone can bind up the broken heart, and speak comfort to the troubled spirit.
2. Reconciliation with the Father “is come” for all but those who wilfully reject the means that His Son has given.
3. In the coming of the Son of Man upon earth, there is a special blessing come unto us. By His birth, as on this day, into the flesh, we are born again into the Spirit.
II. “It is done.” The power of the tempter is once and forever subdued, his usurped dominion is done away. Not that in the great event this day before us, the whole scheme of redemption is brought to its full accomplishment: to perfect that scheme, greater things yet must come to pass. Not till the Saviour had died upon the Cross; and descended into the abodes of death; and raised Himself from the silent grave on the third day; and ascended with His reassumed body, to the place which He had ever occupied at the right hand of the Father; and from that high place had sent down the gifts of the promised Spirit “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry”; not till all this had come to pass, was the whole glorious scheme of man’s redemption complete in all its full and free loving kindness. Yet may we still, on this beginning of joyful tidings which came to us even now, say with the Prophet in the spirit of joy and thankfulness, “It is done.” From this event all the rest naturally and connectedly springs. Even among those who saw the promises from afar off, there was a sure word of prophecy; whereunto they did well that they took heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. Ezekiel looked unto the promised redemption as clearly when he said, “Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day of which I have spoken”; as when the aged Simeon held the infant Jesus in his arms, and with abundant thankfulness exclaimed, “Lord, now lettest Thou,” etc. Lessons--
1. He who came unto us as a little child, expects in every true follower of His, that mind of guileless simplicity which is the mind of little children. And then, as newborn babes, we are further to desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby.
2. Let us remember, in the midst of all our thankfulness for the great mercy of which this day is the celebration, to have some sobering and self-humbling thoughts. If it is fitting, on the one hand, that our hearts should be filled with joy, as we think upon His love to man, it is no less fitting, on the other hand, that we should remember the sin of man, which brought the Saviour from His throne on high.
3. Let us not think of the newborn King, and yet forget the “new commandment” which He gave unto us; that commandment was, that we should love one another, and it was a new commandment, because it placed Christian charity on a new and higher footing.
4. With all these glorious sayings, which in the services of this day are brought before us at one view, with all these still sounding in your ears, reflect continually on the great privileges that you enjoy, and the clear light of revelation, in the fulness of which you have your portion. And not only think of these things, but let me “beseech you,” in the words of St. Paul, “that ye walk worthy of the vocation,” etc. (H. W. Sulivan, M. A.)
──《The Biblical Illustrator》