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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Ezekiel 38

 

 


Introduction

Ezekiel 33-39. Changes and Preparations Necessary for the Blessed Future. Now that the security of Israel for the days to come is guaranteed by the destruction of the foreign nations, the mood of the prophet changes—the old rebellious house" (Ezekiel 2:5) gives place to "the children of my people" (Ezekiel 33:2)—and he passes on to his programme of reconstruction. The turning-point is constituted by the definite announcement of the fall of Jerusalem brought to Babylon by one who had escaped (Ezekiel 33:21). Ezekiel's gloomy threats, so long ignored or disbelieved, have at last been fulfilled; his prophetic reputation is confirmed; and he is now free to utter his message of hope and promise, to prepare his people, and to help them to prepare themselves, for the blessed future, with its restoration and reorganisation of Israel, which he so confidently anticipates. The first and fundamental item on his programme is the


Verses 1-23

Ezekiel 38. Gog's Invasion (Ezekiel 38:1-9), Design (Ezekiel 38:10-16), and Destruction (Ezekiel 38:17-23).—Gog, of the land of Magog, seems from the names of the peoples that follow (cf. Ezekiel 27:13) to represent the mysterious hordes of the north, and were probably suggested to Ezekiel by the Scythian invasion (cf. Ezekiel 39:3) of Western Asia about 630 B.C. He, with a confederacy of peoples from the extreme south (Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 27:14 : Gomer = Cimmerians or Cappadocians), is summoned by Yahweh to swoop down upon the land of Israel, which has long since recovered from her desolation and is now enjoying security and prosperity. (In Ezekiel 38:8, "visited" = "mustered for service.")

Ezekiel 38:10-16. The security is pictorially suggested by the defenceless condition of the cities, which are without walls, bars, or gates. This is Gog's opportunity, and he comes against Israel with Arab slave dealers in his train (cf. Ezekiel 27:15; Ezekiel 27:22) and thoughts of plunder and destruction in his heart, lured all unwittingly by Yahweh to his own destruction, which will redound to the glory of Yahweh. (In Ezekiel 38:12, for "thine hand" read, with LXX, "my hand." In Ezekiel 38:13, for "young lions" read "traders" or perhaps "Cyprians." In Ezekiel 38:14, for "know it" read, with LXX, "bestir thyself.")

Ezekiel 38:17-23. This experience is in fulfilment of earlier prophecies—Ezekiel may be thinking of prophecies like Zephaniah 1, Jeremiah 3-6, with their intimations of Scythian invasion. Then, when those motley hordes were gathered on the soil of Israel, there would come a fearful earthquake and Yahweh would send every sort of terror (so, with LXX, should be read the first clause of Ezekiel 38:21)—the terrors being elaborated in Ezekiel 38:22—which would inspire those alien hosts with supernatural panic culminating in their mutual destruction. Thus would Yahweh's greatness and "holiness" be revealed before all the world.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 38:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezekiel-38.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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