Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 39

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Ezekiel 39)

Verse 2

[2] 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.

Verse 3

[3] 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.

Verse 8

[8] 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.

Verse 9

[9] 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.

Verse 11

[11] 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.

Verse 13

[13] 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.

Verse 14

[14] 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.

Verse 16

[16] 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.

Verse 17

[17] 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.

Verse 18

[18] 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.

Verse 20

[20] 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.

Verse 21

[21] 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.

Verse 26

[26] 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.

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