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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Ezekiel 39

Verse 1

Eze 39:1, This verse takes the same comments as chapter 38: 1, 2. The repetition will serve as emphasis and indicate the intensity of God’s feeling against Gog.

Verse 2

Eze 39:2, Leave but sixth part is rather of indefinite meaning according to the lexicon. But it is clear the prediction means that the army of Gog will be almost totally destroyed. Will cause thee to come has the same meaning as “bring thee against my land" In verse 16 of the preceding chapter, which see. Upon the mountains of Israel will be explained at verse 4,

Verse 3

Eze 39:3. The bow and arrow was one of the weapons of combat in ancient times. Cause thine arrows to fall is equivalent to saying they will be disarmed.

Verse 4

Eze 39:4. Fall upon the mountains of Israel might seem like something unfavorable was to happen to Israel. The context shows it to have been opposite to that in its meaning and that the damage will have come to one who falls. (See a similar use of language in Mat 21:44.) It is like the result when a man would get a fall and light upon some injurious substance. That sense is intended in our verse for the result of the fall is to give the bodies that fall as prey to ravenous birds and beasts. The fall so bruised the victims that they were fit for nothing but to be used as food by other creatures that live on flesh.

Verse 5

Eze 39:5. The flesh of a mangled body is useless except as food for flesheating creatures, therefore these carcases were to he cast out into the field for that purpose. This is the figurative picture of the circumstances, and its meaning is that the forces of Gog will he destroyed.

Verse 6

Eze 39:6. Magog is the country from where the above army of invasion came. Its people were dwelling carelessly which means they were feeling secure and were not thoughtful of any possible danger. Isles denotes “inhabited spots,” and the meaning is that the various places within the domain of Magog will feel the force of God's wrath.

Verse 7

Eze 39:7. The Lord now turns his attention to Ilis own people and the prophet will write some predictions concerning them. To clarify the matter so that the reader may find his "bearings” as to the date, remember that Ezekiel writes this after the whole nation has been brought to Babylon and the greater part of the 70-year captivity is in the future. This explains the clause I will not let them pollute my holy name any more. It is a prediction of the cure from idolatry which was effected by the captivity. As a prediction he could say I will not let, etc. The way the Lord would pre-vent it was by holding them in captivity until every trace of love for idols was burned out.

Verse 8

Eze 39:8. It is come is still prophecy and not history although the language sounds like it. The force of the statement is that an inspired prediction is as sure as if it had taken place. This is the day is as if the Lord said: "1 have been predicting that an important day was coming for my people and this is a description of that day.” Then some verses will follow that

Verse 9

Eze 39:9. The subject is still the successful resistance of Israel against the forces of God. That success is pictured as being so great that they will be able to make fuel out of the weap-ons that were intended to be used against them.

Verse 10

Eze 39:10. The language here is strong and somewhat figurative, but the actual success of Israel was intended by the Lord to be very unusual. It is so represented by saying that the material for fuel out of the weapons of the enemy will be so plentiful that it will not be necessary to go to the forest for any of it.

Verse 11

Eze 39:11. Graves in Israel is a prediction that great numbers of the army of God will be slain right in the country where they expected to slay its citizens. Stop the noses of the pas-sengers. Noses has no word in the original, and the various translations I have consulted leave the phrase indefinite. It seems clear, however, that the number of those who had to be buried of the people of Gog was to be so great that the attention of travelers will be attracted.

Verse 12

Eze 39:12. As a further indication of the great number of the people of Gog to be slain, it will take the men of Israel 7 months to bury them. Cleanse the land Is said from a sanitary standpoint, for if that many corpses were left on tlie surface It would cause much danger to health.

Verse 13

Eze 39:13. It was seen in tlie verse preceding this that very many men of Gog were to be slain, and that the task of burying them would be great also; for this reason most of the people would be needed in the work. Be to them a renown. God will glorify Himself by destroying these wicked Invaders. and by co-operating with him in this disposal of the dead bodies the people will share in that glory. The New Testament teaches the same principle In Rom 8:17; 2 Corinthians I: 7; 2Ti 2:11-12.

Verse 14

Eze 39:14. There is no separate word in the original for employment, but continual is represented and means n.en who were in constant search for dead bodies to bury. Bury with the passengers meanB the people passing through the land would finally be invited to help in this great task of burying the dead. However, it was to be after the 7 months’ work was over that the extra help was invited, and a part of the assistance they were to render was to search to see if any dead had been overlooked in the course of the burying period of 7 months.

Verse 15

Eze 39:15. Passengers means the men passing through who were Invited to join in the search for any stray bodies that might have been overlooked. If they came across such bodies they were to set up some kind of a marker so that the others whose special work was to handle the corpses would see them and bury them out of sight. Hamoiugog is not strictly a geographical name, but is used to designate the place where so many of the people of Gog were buried, Hamon meaning “a crowd” according to Strong.

Verse 16

Eze 39:16. The word for City is an indefinite one and means any locality that Is marked by some unusual sight. In this case the sight was that of such a great number of graves; the word Hamonah meaning the same as Hamon which is a multitude.

Verse 17

Eze 39:17. The dumb creatures are invited to a rich feast provided by the Lord, consisting of the flesh of men who had come into Palestine on behalf of Gog. The preceding verses will explain how such a feast was possible. The number of slain men was to be so great that it would require 7 months to bury them. In that length of time many of the bodies would be stripped of their flesh (see hone in verse 15), the result of the activities of these creatures that had been invited by the Lord to come and feast themselves. Sacrifice does not indicate a religious performance, but the word means a slaughtering of the men of Gog, and (hat will supply the meat for the beasts.

Verse 18

Eze 39:18. The mighty and princes were the great men in the army of Gog that were to furnish meat for the beasts. Rams and other animals named are figurative and the terms are used in allusion to the creatures that were used under the law to be served at the. feasts prescribed by the Lord.

Verse 19

Eze 39:19. The words fat and blood refer literally to 'the parts of the bodies, but they are used somewhat figuratively. Under the law no one was permitted to eat fat nor blood, but they must be offered to God as a sacrifice. The idea is transferred to these creatures that have been invited to the feast. The words my sacrifice give us the explanation of the matter, for if It is the Lord’s sacrifice then He can consistently make whatever use of those materials that Is considered proper.

Verse 20

Eze 39:20. The line of thought continues in this verse. My table is used in the same sense as my sacrifice in the preceding verse. The Lord prepares a table supplied with tbe bodies of men and horses taken from the army of Gog. He then invites the dumb creatures to feast themselves upon these articles.

Verse 21

Eze 39:21. The slaughter of the men and horses of the army of Gog will be known to the other heathen or other nations. And especially, as there will be such a great number that it will take 7 months to bury the men, the witnesses will be impressed with the glory of the Lord who has wrought such an Imposing scene.

Verse 22

Eze 39:22. Once more the main object of all divine demonstrations is stated, which is that they shall know that I am the Lord.

Verse 23

Eze 39:23. The heathen shall know, etc., has this logical meaning. The heathen (or nations in general) knew that Israel had been in exile with one of those strange nations for 70 years. They might have concluded it was be-cause the Lord wanted to show his favor for the heathen world. But when they see the great destruction of the people of Gog (another heathen group). they will know the mentioned conclusion was wrong. They will then be able to form the correct conclusion namely, that Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, and not as a favor to the Babylonians.

Verse 24

Eze 39:24. It was according to their [Israel’s] uncleanness that God hid his lace from his people, and let them be held in captivity for 70 years.

Verse 25

Eze 39:25. As soon as God’s wrath was satisfied against his people. His mercy and love for them came into action and the captivity was brought to a close. The terms Jacob and whole house of Israel are very significant Let the reader refer to the comments in chapter 37: 15-22 regarding the so- called lost 10 tribes, and connect them with the italicized words in this verse. It will be clear to all that the whole house of Israel does not mean 2 tribes only.

Verse 26

Eze 39:26. Regardless of the form of language as to past, present or future tense, the reader should remember that Ezekiel is writing about half a century before the end of the captivity. The purpose of the predictions is to encourage the people of Israel who had fallen into a state of despondency. (See at the valley of dry bones and 137th Psalm.) But they are given to understand that they must bear their shame as a matter of chastisement before being released.

Verse 27

Eze 39:27. God promised to bring his people out of the enemies' lands.

Verse 28

Eze 39:28. Have left none of them any more there. It is true that even after the 70-year captivity was ended, many Jews remained in that country according to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, But they were voluntary citizens of Persia and not. captives.

Verse 29

Eze 39:29. Neither will I hide my face any more from them. There were numerous times afterward when God was displeased with his people and punished them very severely. But the nation as a whole was never taken in a body from their home land as It was in the Babylonian captivity.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 39". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-39.html. 1952.