Click to donate today!
THE DESTRUCTION OF GOG AND HIS VAST ARMIES. (Chap. 39)
EXEGETICAL NOTES.—Ezekiel 39:2. “I will leave but the sixth part of thee”—I will six thee; i.e., afflict thee with six plagues—pestilence, blood, overflowing rain, hailstones, fire, brimstone (chap. Ezekiel 38:22). Or, draw thee back with a hook of six teeth (chap. Ezekiel 38:4)—the six teeth being those six plagues. The rendering in the text supposes that the verb is derived from the Hebrew numeral six; but this rendering is not recognised by the LXX. or the Vulgate. The verb has an Ethiopic root, and the passage should be rendered—I will lead thee along—to thy ruin.
Ezekiel 39:3. “I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand.” The Scythians were renowned as archers. The left hand holds the bow, the right bends it and fits on the arrow. God will strike the weapons out of his hand, so that he shall be incapable of fighting. “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel.” The scene of Israel’s preservation shall be that of Gog’s destruction.
Ezekiel 39:6. “I will send a fire among them that dwell in the isles.” The judgment described in chap. Ezekiel 38:20 as universal is here extended to the isles to show that it should fall not only on Gog and his land, but on those who share his feelings of hatred and opposition to the kingdom of God, and who had perhaps helped Gog with fleets and troops.
Ezekiel 39:7. “I will not let them pollute My holy name”—by seeming to desert My people. He would profane His name if He were to abandon His people continually to the heathen world. The revelation of holiness in Israel precludes further profanation of Jehovah in reference to Israel among the heathen.
Ezekiel 39:8. “Behold it is come, it is done”—very expressive, denoting the absolute certainty of the event. The prophet sets it down as already past, as it is the nature of faith to see that which is not as if it already existed.
Ezekiel 39:9. “They shall burn them with fire seven years.” The weapons of the army left on the battlefield shall be so numerous as to supply fuel for the people of the land for seven years. Seven years is a hyperbolical term derived from the intensive significancy of the number in Hebrew usage and designed to express a very long time. Seven was the number connected with the cleansing after contact with the dead (Numbers 19:11), and this purification of the land by the clearance of the heathenish spoils was a holy work, and indicated how thorough would be the judgment of God upon His enemies.
Ezekiel 39:11. “I will give unto Gog a place of graves.” Gog meant to bury the people of God and appropriate their land; but he is buried by them, and receives only so much of the land as suffices for a grave. “The valley of the passengers on the east”—referring to its position on the east side of the Dead Sea, along which lay the highroad for traffic to Petra and Eziongeber. It would thus be notoriously public, and, arresting travellers in their progress, would compel them to reflect on the signal judgment inflicted on the enemies of the covenant-people. There is also, as is common in Hebrew, a play upon words—there were passengers to be buried, passengers to walk over their graves, passengers to bury them (Ezekiel 39:15). “It shall stop the noses of the passengers”—arrest the attention and impede the progress of the passers by the multitude of graves and the strong odour of decay. Their graves would be close to those of their ancient prototypes, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Dead Sea, both alike being signal instances of God’s judgments.
Ezekiel 39:14. “Men of continual employment.” Literally, men of continuance, men regularly appointed to this business, to express the magnitude of the work and the systematic way in which it is performed. “After the end of seven months shall they search”—to see if the work was complete.
Ezekiel 39:16. “Thus shall they cleanse the land.” According to the Mosaic law, a dead body caused a peculiar defilement to all with which it came in contact. So that, as the land of Israel represents figuratively the Church of Christ, the purification of that land is a proper part of the figure to indicate such a sanctification and cleansing of His Church as St. Paul describes in Ephesians 5:26-27.
Ezekiel 39:17. “Speak to every feathered fowl and every beast: gather yourselves to My sacrifice.” This bold imagery is quite in the style of Ezekiel’s poetic genius. The invited guests are represented as being filled not only with the flesh of the victims in general, but with that of the horses and the charioteers. The entire passage is strikingly parallel with Revelation 19:17; Revelation 19:19. Compare also Isaiah 18:6; Isaiah 34:6; Zephaniah 1:7; Mark 9:49.
Ezekiel 39:18. “Fatlings of Bashan”—often applied in the prophets to proud, despotic, wanton enemies of God and His people, Bashan being renowned for its fat meadows. Fatness implies prosperity, which often makes men refractory towards God (Deuteronomy 32:14-15).
Ezekiel 39:22-23. “The house of Israel shall know; and the heathen shall know.” The terrible judgment upon Gog will have this twofold effect as a revelation of the glory of God—Israel will know that the Lord is, and will continue to be, its God; and the heathen will know that He gave Israel into their power and thrust it out of its own land, not from weakness, but to punish it for its faithless apostasy.
Ezekiel 39:25. “And have mercy on the whole house of Israel.” The restorations of Israel heretofore have been partial; there must be one yet future that is to be universal (Hosea 1:11; Romans 11:26).
Ezekiel 39:26. “After they have borne their shame”—after they shall have borne in full the punishment of their sin: after they have become sensible of their guilt and ashamed of it (chaps. Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 36:31).
Ezekiel 39:28. “And have left none of them any more there.” After the fall of the Chaldean monarchy, access to their native land was free to all Israel; and those who voluntarily remained had yet in Canaan their home and in the Temple at Jerusalem their spiritual dwelling-place.
Ezekiel 39:29. “I have poured out My Spirit.” Comp. Joel 2:28; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 2:17. There St. Peter distinctly appropriates these prophecies to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and the inauguration of the Church of Christ by that miraculous event. But this was the beginning of the fulfilment of these verses of the prophets. They shall find their consummation when time shall be no more.
THE SIGNAL DEFEAT OF THE ENEMIES OF GOD’S PEOPLE
In this chapter we have a prophetic description of the ultimate fate of Gog, the ideal impersonation of the power of evil, and the utter destruction of his vast armies. The embattled hosts march to the conflict with proud ostentation and confident of victory. Their swords shall soon provide a banquet for the birds of prey that hover over them, and for the wild beasts whose hungry growls are heard around them, little dreaming that the stricken bodies of the invaders must furnish the feast. An unseen and irresistible power lures them on to their ruin; they are smitten with paralysis, their weapons drop from their hands and cover the ground like corn newly cut with the reaper; they perish in myriads on the mountains and the open fields, the birds and beasts are summoned to gorge themselves on the human carrion, and the only remnants of the once formidable warriors of Gog are found in innumerable graves. In this boldly conceived vision we have a realistic picture of the final and utter destruction of all the enemies of God’s people.
I. This defeat will be an act of Divine judgment (Ezekiel 39:1-7). The champions of evil do not sufficiently consider what is involved in the fact that God is against them. Little do they know about the infinite resources of the power they have to reckon with. They see in the people of God only the apparently helpless victims of their hatred and fury: they know not, nor do they care to know, the real character of their Almighty Defender. The silence of God they mistake for indifference; the patience of God they misconstrue into weakness; the threatenings of God are meaningless vauntings, or if they mean anything, they apply to every one else but themselves; their attitude and spirit is a combination of blasphemous and reckless defiance. God is slow to punish, full of long-suffering and mercy, careful to afford ample space for repentance; and yet all the time a finely attuned ear may detect the Divine refrain rising on the air, already palpitating with the breath of coming vengeance—“Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord; and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” (Jeremiah 5:9; Jeremiah 5:29; Jeremiah 9:9). At last the thunderbolt crashes out of the gathering clouds, the enemies of God are stricken with fear, their forces routed, and all are involved in terrible and irrevocable destruction.
II. This defeat will be on a scale of unexampled vastness. This is evident—
1. From the number of weapons strewn on the battlefield (Ezekiel 39:8-10).
2. From the time and space occupied in burying the slain (Ezekiel 39:11-16).
3. From the greatness of the feast provided for the birds and beasts of prey (Ezekiel 39:17-22). Many of the wars of history were waged on a gigantic scale, and the wars of the Jews were often attended with great slaughter. The two rival kingdoms of Judah and Israel were in perpetual feud with each other, and there were few wars in the history of the world marked with greater ferocity and destruction. It is computed that in one battle the number of the slain amounted to no less than 500,000 Israelites. But the greatest battle of the ages will not exceed in calamity and carnage the final overthrow of the enemies of God’s people. Their widespread combinations, their vast hosts cleverly marshalled in battle array, their compacted unity, will make their defeat the easier, the more direct and complete. They will be allured to gather into a mass, that in a mass they may perish.
III. This defeat will make clear to the nations the unchanging equity of the Divine procedure.
1. That the people of God, like all other peoples, are punished because of their iniquities (Ezekiel 39:23-24). The Israelites wilfully and stubbornly trespassed against God; therefore He hid His face, withdrew His protection, and abandoned them to the cruelty of their enemies. They could not complain that they were unjustly or harshly treated. “According to their uncleanness and their transgressions” they were dealt with. They deserved all they got, and when they came to themselves, they would be the first to acknowledge it. It was not God’s vindictiveness but their own iniquities that plunged them into misery. He simply deals with them as with all other offenders, of whatever nationality. God is the implacable foe of sin wherever and in whomsoever found (Romans 2:6-11). He is unchangeably faithful in justice, mercy, and truth.
2. That all who faithfully respond to the teaching of the Divine Spirit shall enjoy the protection and favour of God (Ezekiel 39:25-29). While God will punish evil-doers, He does not overlook the least symptoms of repentance, and is eager to make known His clemency. Those who have injured Him the most are assured of His mercy. It is said the Emperor Adrian, meeting a man who had insulted him before he came to the throne, said to him, “Approach; you have nothing to fear; I am an emperor.” It is God-like to be free from resentment. The Spirit is given to convince of sin, to melt the soul into contrition, to direct it to the great source of help, and to bring it face to face with God, where all is light and peace and safety. God hides His face from the incorrigible sinner, but reveals it to the truly penitent.
1. The most powerful combinations of the wicked are impotent when in conflict with Jehovah.
2. The Divine honour is pledged to ensure the ultimate triumph of righteousness.
3. Disobedience to the Divine law in individuals or in nations will be visited with terrible punishment.
GERM NOTES ON THE VERSES
Ezekiel 39:1-29. “The present chapter proceeds to describe the defeat of evil and the triumph of God and His people. We must bear in mind that Ezekiel is not predicting the invasion of an actual army, but the advance of evil under that figure. So he declares the overthrow of evil by the figure of a host routed and slain, and the consequent purification of a land partially overrun and disturbed. It is the manner of Ezekiel to dwell upon the details of the figurative acts which he portrays, bringing them before the mind as vivid pictures, and employing, so to speak, the strongest colouring. This has led some so to rest on the picture as to forget that it is a figure. Thus they have searched history to find out some campaign in the land of Israel, some overthrow of invaders, on which to fix this prophecy, and have assigned localities to the burial-place, and even thought to discover the spot to which belongs the appellation, Hamon-Gog. But in truth the details are set forth in order to carry out the allegory, and their very extravagance, so to speak, points out that we have but the shadow of a great spiritual reality, which man can only faintly represent and feebly grasp in a figure.”—Speaker’s Commentary.
—“We find in the prophecy the following important and salutary truths:—
1. While the appearance of the new David to take the rule and presidency over God’s heritage would have the effect of setting His people free from the old troubles and dangers which had hitherto assailed them, it should be far from securing them against all future conflicts with evil. It would rather tend to call up other adversaries and enlarge the field of conflict, so as to make it embrace the most distant and barbarous regions of the earth. For the whole earth is Christ’s heritage, and sooner or later it must come to an issue between the adherents of His cause and the children of error and corruption.
2. From the very nature of the case, this trial would fall to be made on a very large scale and with most gigantic resources, so that all preceding contests should appear small and vanish out of sight, in comparison of this last great struggle in which the world’s destiny was to be decided for good or evil.
3. Though the odds in this conflict could not but appear beforehand very great against the people and cause of Christ, yet the result should be certainly on their side, and simply because with them is the truth and the might of Jehovah.
4. As all originated in the claim of Messiah and His truth to the entire possession of the world, so the whole is represented as ending in the complete establishment of the claim. It is understood at last that it was His zeal for the interests of righteousness which led Him to chastise, in former times, His own professing people, and that the same now has induced Him to render them triumphant over every form and agency of evil. And now, all counter rule and authority being put down, the prospect stretches out before the Church of eternal peace and blessedness in what at length become the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”—Fairbairn.
Ezekiel 39:1-7. God’s Dealings with His Enemies. “
1. Those who are enemies unto the Church, God is an enemy unto them.
2. Wicked men may be in great honour and have great power.
3. There are seeming contradictions in Holy Scripture. God was with Gog and against Gog: with him by His providence to bring him forth to manifest his spleen and gall against the laud of Israel; and against him by His power and justice to destroy him for his cruelty and bloodiness. There are many scriptures seeming to destroy one another; but if rightly understood do sweetly comply and shake hands together.
4. God’s hand is in the undertakings of enemies against the Church. 5. It is in the Lord to disable and disappoint warriors when they are ready for battle.
6. That in the same place where God shows rich mercy to the godly, there He executes severe judgments upon the enemies.
7. That armies and others are exposed to public shame and miserable ends is of God.
8. What the Lord speaks, that shall certainly take place.
9. When God begins to visit the enemies of His Church, He makes progress therein.
10. When God shows mercy to His Church and destroys the enemies of it, He provides for His own honour, sanctifies His name, and makes Himself to be known distinct from all other gods.”—Greenhill.
—The Infatuation of the Wicked—
1. Renders them reckless in their attack upon a superior Power (Ezekiel 39:1).
2. Blinds them to the fact that they are being led to destruction by the Power they defy (Ezekiel 39:2).
3. Knows not the moment they may be suddenly reduced to helplessness (Ezekiel 39:3).
4. Involves them in terrible and universal destruction (Ezekiel 39:4-6).
5. Makes their punishment a means of exalting the justice and holiness of the Being they madly opposed (Ezekiel 39:7).
Ezekiel 39:2-5. “As the land of Israel shall be the scene of Gog’s wicked attack on the people of God, so shall it be the scene of the awful punishment inflicted upon Gog and of the deliverance of Israel. How often God thus marks the retributive justice of His dealings (as in the case of Ahab’s and Jezebel’s obtaining possession of Naboth’s vineyard through false accusation, murder, and robbery) by visiting the transgressor with judgment on the very scene of his guilt! (1 Kings 21:19; 1 Kings 22:38; 2 Kings 9:21; 2 Kings 9:25-26; 2 Kings 9:36).”—Fausset.
Ezekiel 39:3. The Man of War—
1. An imposing figure when fully armed for battle.
2. Should carefully weigh the merits of the cause he espouses.
3. Exposes his folly when he proudly boasts about his individual prowess.
4. May in a moment be deprived of both strength and weapons.
—“I will disarm thee. As Herodotus reports of Sennacherib and his Assyrians in Egypt, that their quivers, bow-strings, and targets were gnawed to pieces by mice and rats in one night, so that they were forced to fly for their lives. And as our chroniclers tell us that in the battle between Edward III. of England and Philip of France there fell such a piercing shower of rain as dissolved their strings and made their bows useless.”—Trapp.
Ezekiel 39:6. “Those who shall abet Gog, virtually though not actively joining him in the invasion, shall, be taught by bitter experience to know that their fancied security in their sea-girt or sea-washed and distant lands is a self-deceit; a fire from the Lord shall consume them, so that they shall know, to their cost, the God of power, whom they refused to know as the God of grace and love. Self-confidence and careless living, under the mistaken notion of security, have proved the ruin of millions of immortal souls.”—Fausset.
—“The fire of God upon sympathies with evil.—The far-reaching effect of Divine judgment.”—Lange.
Ezekiel 39:7. “Israel hereafter shall, by the special grace of God, be kept from dishonouring the holy name of their God by their sins and the consequent judgments which made the heathen think that Jehovah was unable or unwilling to save His people. How joyful is the prospect to the people of God that the time is ere long coming when they shall be placed under the blessed necessity of uninterrupted obedience to God’s will! Temptations from the flesh, the world, and Satan, which now harass them, shall then be at an end. Sin, which is now their greatest sorrow because it most dishonours the name of their Lord, shall be no more; and the Lord shall make known His holy name with such attractive power that He will not let them pollute it any more.”—Fausset.
Ezekiel 39:8. The Infallible Certitude of the Divine Word.
1. Notwithstanding that all natural appearances are against it.
2. Though its fulfilment is in the future.
3. Notwithstanding the most desperate opposition.
4. Confirmed by many notable examples.
5. Because the Lord hath spoken it.
6. Should induce an unfaltering confidence.
—Fulfilled Prophecy. “
1. There is a certain time determined for the destruction of the Church’s enemies, which God looks upon as present and done.
2. The particular time is hidden from men and known only unto God.”—Greenhill.
Ezekiel 39:9-10. The Spoils of a Great Victory. “
1. God will give victories to His Church and people which seem incredible.
2. The Lord makes that advantageous to His people which their enemies intended to damnify and ruin them by.
3. After the overthrow of Gog and Magog, Antichrist and his adherents, the Church of God shall have great peace.
4. The people of God shall have a day of recompense for the wrongs and injuries they have sustained.”—Greenhill.
—“It may be wondered they burn these weapons which might be of use to them for defence and safety; but it was done partly because they were weapons of the uncircumcised, partly because they were anathemata, as all Jericho was, but chiefly in testimony that God was their safety and defence.”—Pool.
—Mariana in his History of Spain says, that after the Spaniards had given that signal overthrow to the Saracens in 1212, they found such a vast quantity of lances, javelins, and such-like that they served them for four years for fuel.
—“The fire of Christianity comes at last over all the weapons of this world. They then warn instead of injuring. If God is our shield, then it is seen what becomes of all the shields of men, long and short. Let not yourself be covered and screened by the world. The world, with its pomp and power, after all exists only to furnish fuel for the children of God. Thus the godly man finally gains the upper hand, however long and strongly the ungodly have behaved proudly.”—Lange.
Ezekiel 39:11-16. The Burial of the Slain. “
1. God disappoints the expectation of the wicked while living, yet sometimes affords favour when they are dead.
2. After great victories wherein many are slain people should, for public good, be careful to bury the dead, though it require time, be troublesome and chargeable.
3. By great victories over enemies God honours His own name and makes His people to have a name.
4. After conquering there ought to be cleansing.”—Greenhill.
—“Where Gog shall expect to find a spoil and a possession, he shall only find a grave; and that a grave near the sea that entombs his ancient prototypes, the fire-blasted cities of Sodom and Gomorrah—the Dead Sea. The publicity of this place of burial will arrest the attention of the many that pass that way. These shall recognise the righteous judgment of the Lord in the destruction of Gog. How often are the transgressor’s deeply-laid plans brought to nothing in a moment, and the mischief which he prepares for others recoils on himself! Those who have experienced great deliverances should be thoroughly zealous in promoting a complete and radical reformation. Every man should render the utmost help he can towards furthering the good work. Sin, the polluting thing, needs to be searched out in its most secret recesses. Let not the casual passer-by think that he is exempt from the duty of exerting himself in word and deed for the glory of God and the good of the Church, any more than the stationary dweller in his own home. All have their place and work to do; and it is only by general co-operation that the work of the Lord can be most completely effected.”—Fausset.
Ezekiel 39:11. The Fate of the Proud.
1. A defeat where they expected victory.
2. Execration and disgust where they expected applause.
3. Oblivion where they expected fame.
4. A grave where they expected riches.
5. It is a testimony to the sacredness of the human body that even the proud and cruel are honoured with a grave.
6. Justice leaves its dead victim at the grave’s mouth: Mercy tenderly buries it.
—“Besides many other reasons for burying these slaughtered multitudes, the humanity that religion is full of would guide the Jews to it, and God tells us that Gog shall have a grave in Israel. He came to take possession, and so he shall, but not as he purposed and hoped, but as God intended: Gog shall possess his house of darkness in that land which he invaded to make a prey of. He shall have one place there—a grave.”—Pool.
—“Like Gog, many a one finds a grave where he least expccted it. The grave, a quiet answer to so many loud questions, the echo to so many and various forms of ‘I will!’ Here the proudest and most foaming waves will subside. Masters cease at the brink of the grave; the continuation follows—i.e., rottenness, horror, judgment of survivors on the dead, to say nothing of the judgment of God, who has from the beginning had the same decision regarding them.”—Lange.
Ezekiel 39:13. “It shall be to the house of Israel a renown, a commendation, matter of praise, that they did, like men, bury the dead, who otherwise must have been all dung on the face of the earth, and the swelling hill rising from their buried bones shall be a monument to the praise of Israel’s courtesy. Or else thus, the day of My being glorified shall be a renown to Israel. As it is an honour to be owned of God, so when God shows He owneth such, He gives them honour among all that observe it.”—Pool.
Ezekiel 39:15. The Sacredness of the Human Body.
1. It is designed to be the temple of the Divine (1 Corinthians 7:19).
2. Shall ultimately be raised from the dead (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:35).
3. Should ensure it reverent burial.
4. Not a single bone to be treated with indignity.
Ezekiel 39:16. “The world, the city of the dead—Hamonah. What a stillness of death after the bustle of so many departing things and departed men!—The enemies of the Church leave after their death a shameful name behind them (Acts 12:20-23).”—Lange.
Ezekiel 39:17-29. “The destruction of the enemy, viewed as to its results with reference to the people of God. The purposes of the past dispensation shall be made clear to God’s people themselves and to the heathen. All shall see that the judgments which have fallen upon the chosen race were no sign of any change of purpose of the Almighty, but the consequence of their sins, and that, these sins once abandoned, the favour of their God will return in yet more abundance.”—Speaker’s Commentary.
Ezekiel 39:17-20. Evidences of Divine Judgment. “
1. That all creatures are at the command of God, and ordered to do this or that according to His wise providence (Ezekiel 39:17).
2. That God doth execute some great and signal judgment when He summons the creatures to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the slain (Ezekiel 39:18-19)
3. It is matter of delight and pleasure unto God to destroy the enemies of His Church and people (Ezekiel 39:17).
4. God is impartial in His judicial dispensations; He punisheth the great delinquents as well as the lesser (Ezekiel 39:18; Ezekiel 39:20).
5. Great men and vulgar ones also may be a prey to the creatures, and lie without burial for a season.
6. God provides for the brute and dumb creatures, and that abundantly (Ezekiel 39:17).”—Greenhill.
—A Strange Banquet.
1. If we consider the guests invited—the birds and beasts of prey (Ezekiel 39:17).
2. If we consider the kind of food provided—the flesh of princes and mighty men (Ezekiel 39:18).
3. If we consider the horrible surfeiting of the wild revellers (Ezekiel 39:19-20).
4. A revolting spectacle of humbled pride.
Ezekiel 39:17. “What an end after such a beginning! The beginning was, Israel shall fall a prey to Gog; now the end is, that Gog lies there a prey to the very beasts of the field.”—Lange.
Ezekiel 39:21-24. The Final Issue of Divine Punishment. “
1. The great end of God’s judgments upon sinful men is His glory (Ezekiel 39:21).
2. Dreadful judgments upon the wicked are engaging mercies unto the godly (Ezekiel 39:22).
3. God doth withhold mercies from His people and lay sad judgments upon them for their sins (Ezekiel 39:23).
4. God will convince His enemies of the true cause of His executing dreadful judgments upon His people (Ezekiel 39:23).
5. None have just ground of complaint whatsoever judgments are upon them, howsoever God deal by them (Ezekiel 39:24).”—Greenhill.
Ezekiel 39:23-29. The Hidden and the Open Face of God.
1. That human sin obscures the vision of God’s face (Ezekiel 39:23-24).
2. That when God hides His face His people are exposed to the ravages of the enemy (Ezekiel 39:23).
3. That while God hides His face His hand is employed in promoting the interests of His people (Ezekiel 39:25; Ezekiel 39:27-28).
4. That when suffering humbles the soul into genuine repentance the face of God reappears. Repentance is the soul coming to the knowledge of God (Ezekiel 39:26; Ezekiel 39:28).
5. The work of the Divine Spirit upon the soul prepares it for the everlasting vision of the open face of God (Ezekiel 39:29; comp. 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Ezekiel 39:23. “The heathen thought meanly of the God of Israel, and reckoned they came into captivity because the people of some greater god had by the power of their god prevailed against Israel’s God and His people; but by this overthrow given to Gog they shall see it was not impotence in Israel’s God, but iniquity in Israel’s people, that brought them into captivity. When God withdrew His defence, as fenceless, they fell under the sword of the enemy, for it is He that subdueth enemies and giveth victory.”—Pool.
Ezekiel 39:25-29. God’s Goodness a Motive for His Activity. “
1. The afflictions of God’s people may be long and sharp, yet they shall not be always; they shall have an end.
2. There is a day of mercy to come for the Jews, even all of them (Ezekiel 39:25).
3. The great things God doth for His people are not done for their worth or merits, but for His holy name’s sake (Ezekiel 39:25).
4. Sin brings men to shame and punishment, which they must undergo somewhere or other (Ezekiel 39:26).
5. In times of peace and safety usually men forget God and sin against Him (Ezekiel 39:26).
6. The Lord by openly delivering His people from an afflicted condition doth sanctify His own name and hath it sanctified by others (Ezekiel 39:27-28).
7. There is a time when the Jews shall not only have mercy, but abundant and lasting mercy (Ezekiel 39:29). Now they are like dead trees without any sap in them; but then they will be like trees well-rooted, full of sap, and in their greatest glory—full of branches, leaves, blossoms, fruit, and the sun shining upon them (Romans 11:15).”—Greenhill.
Ezekiel 39:25. “This restoring captive Jews is mere mercy. It is very true by sin they deserved to be made captives, and it is as true they never did or could deserve a deliverance from captivity. It was not extremity of justice that so punished, but it was the riches of mercy that so pardoned and redeemed.”—Pool.
Ezekiel 39:27. “Sanctified by their accepting punishment, repenting for sin, loathing their former ways and themselves for them, acknowledging God to be holy, engaging themselves in covenant of perpetual obedience to God and keeping it; by these things God will be sanctified among the Israelites and in sight of the nations, when they see the furnace hath purified them.”—Pool.
Ezekiel 39:29. The Promise of the Spirit.
1. The constant theme of Old Testament prophets.
2. Blessedly realised in the history of the Church in all ages.
3. Fulfilled in the remarkable advances of the Gospel in the present day.
4. The guarantee of future universal victory.
—“It is the Spirit of the Lord, which, when poured out, inclines the heart to appreciate aright God’s marvellous grace, and so produces repentance. The same Spirit in the heart is also the earnest to assure the children of God that their now reconciled Father will hide His face from them no more. May the promise of the full outpouring of the blessed Spirit in the latter days on both Israel and the Church be soon realised; and for this end may the spirit of prayer more and more pervade all the professing disciples of the Lord Jesus!”—Fausset.
—“Which as a Spirit of truth shall enlighten their minds, and make them wise unto salvation; as a Spirit of grace shall regenerate and create them anew; as a Spirit of power shall strengthen them for every duty and enable them to withstand and conquer every temptation; as a Spirit of holiness shall cleanse them from sin, sanctify their souls, and stamp them with Mine image; and as a Spirit of adoption and consolation shall inspire them with confidence and hope, and render every branch of obedience and every exercise of piety and virtue sweet and delightful to them.”—Benson.
—“The true Israel, the people of the Spirit. The outpouring of the Spirit of Jehovah is the end of all the ways which He has gone with Israel in anger and compassion, and the consummation of Israel in the Christian Church.”—Lange.
“The deliverance of the Hebrews was wrought out in a most remarkable manner. Mattathias, raising the standard of patriotism, called around him the pious portion of his countrymen. His party increased rapidly till they became a considerable army. He appointed his third and bravest son Judas military commander, by whom the Syrian generals that were sent against him were defeated. In battle after battle he proved victorious. Even the army which Lysias sent into Judea could not stand before him. Though composed of thirty thousand foot and seven thousand cavalry, and increased by auxiliaries from the provinces, it proved powerless before him. Putting the enemy to flight, he secured immense booty. The like success attended him the following year, when he defeated an army of sixty thousand men, made himself master of several strong cities, and, retaking Jerusalem, purified the Temple and restored its solemn services. His brothers, Simon and Jonathan, proved themselves worthy successors of this devoted patriot; the independence of the Jews was finally secured, and the royal dignity vested in the Asmonæan family, in which it continued till the time of Herod the Great.”—Henderson.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Ezekiel 39". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter