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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 39

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 39:1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD Behold, I [am] against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

Ver. 1. Prophesy against Gog.] Prophesy again against him, for my people’s greater comfort. The Jews - noted ever to have been a light, serial, and fanatical nation, apt to work themselves into the fool’s paradise of a sublime dotage - expounding this prophecy according to the letter, conclude that Christ is not yet come, because these things here foretold are not yet fulfilled. When he doth come, they say, he shall set up his kingdom at Jerusalem, gather all Israel out of all coasts unto himself there, send each one to his own tribe, and that most certainly, by the operation of his Holy Spirit. There they shall be no sooner settled, and the kingdom not yet fully established, but Gog and Magog shall bring a huge army against Jerusalem, where they shall fall by the sword, lie unburied, &c.


Verse 2

Ezekiel 39:2 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:

Ver. 2. And I will turn thee back.] Convertam vel conteram te. (a) See Ezekiel 38:3.

And leave but the sixth part of thee.] Or, Strike thee with six plagues, or draw thee back with a hook of six teeth. {as Ezekiel 38:4} Sextabo re.

And will cause thee to come.] This is much and often inculcated, that it is God who brings in and drives out the Church’s enemies. This is a quieting consideration.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

Ver. 3. And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand.] I will disarm thee. As Herodotus (a) reporteth of Sennacherib and his Assyrians in Egypt, that their quivers, bow strings, and targets were gnawn to pieces by mice and rats in one night, so that they were forced to flee for their lives. And as our chroniclers (b) 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 unuseful.


Verse 4

Ezekiel 39:4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that [is] with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and [to] the beasts of the field to be devoured.

Ver. 4. Thou shalt fall upon, the mountains of Israel.] Thither thou shalt come indeed, as Antiochus did into the temple, antichrist into the Church of God, [2 Thessalonians 2:4] but there thou shalt take thy end.


Verse 5

Ezekiel 39:5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 5. Thou shall fall upon the open field.] Heb., The face of the field, which thou shall dung with thy dead carcase.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 6. And I will send a fire on Magog.] So God will one day on Rome, that Radix omnium malorum root of all evil things. [Revelation 18:18-19]

And among them that dwell carelessly in the isles.] Who must not think there to moat up themselves against my fire.


Verse 7

Ezekiel 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not [let them] pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

Ver. 7. I will not let them pollute my holy name.] As if I were less able to deliver my people, or less mindful of my promises.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD this [is] the day whereof I have spoken.

Ver. 8. Behold, it is come, and it is done.] It is as good as done. So, "Babylon is fallen" - i.e., It will fall certainly, quickly, utterly.

This is the day.] O dieculam illam! O that short time. When shall it once be? O mora! Christe veni. O delay! Christ, come.


Verse 9

Ezekiel 39:9 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:

Ver. 9. And they that dwell.] Hyperbolical expressions; though the Jews hold otherwise. See on Ezekiel 39:1.

Shall set on fire and burn the weapons.] Do not the Church’s champions so at this day, ever since they proclaimed and proved the Pope to be that antichrist; burning up his weapons - his false doctrines and heresies - by the fire of God’s Word, and giving their bodies to be burned for the testimony of Jesus?

And they shall burn them with fire seven years,] i.e., Diutissime et saepissime! Most long and most often. This seven years is not yet out. The Jesuits say Satan sent Luther, and God sent them to withstand him. But there is a succession of Luthers to find them work enough still, and to burn up their weapons that the churches may be at rest.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down [any] out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 10. So that they shall take no wood.] This must needs be hyperbolic, as are also sundry other passages in Holy Scripture. When Luther burnt the Pope’s decrees and decretals at Wittemberg, it was a fair fire doubtless, as Solon once said of the fire he caused to be made at Athens of the bills and bonds of the Athenian usurers.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 39:11 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.

Ver. 11. I will give unto Gog a place there of graves.] That is all the portion or possession he gets in the Holy Land.

On the east of the sea.] The Dead Sea, or the lake of Sodom - a fit place for antichrist to be buried in: he shall at last be cast alive into a worse lake. [Revelation 19:20]

And it shall stop the noses of passengers.] By reason of stench, or the mouths of passengers from speaking evil of God’s people.

And they shall call it.] For a lasting monument of God’s great mercy, in ridding the country of such pests.


Verse 12

Ezekiel 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

Ver. 12. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them.] That is, a long while; like as the Reformed Churches were in rooting out Popery, those damnable doctrines, ceremonies, images, relics, bulls, and books. Here in England, the Romish religion stood a whole month and more after the death of Queen Mary, as before. December 27, it was permitted that the Epistles, Gospels, Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, Creed, and Litany should be used in the Vulgate tongue. March 22, when the Estates of the realm were assembled, by renewing of a law of Edward VI, was granted the whole use of the Lord’s Supper - that is, under both kinds. June 24, the sacrifice of the mass was abolished, and the liturgy in the English tongue established. In July, the oath of supremacy was ministered; and in August, images were removed out of churches, broken or burnt. (a)

Tantae molis erat Romanam abscondere gentem.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 39:13 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.

Ver. 13. And it shall be to them a renown.] A monument or trophy of their triumph. When the Switzers, A.D. 1443, had vanquished the Thuricenses in battle, they banqueted in the place where they won the victory, using the dead bodies of their adversaries instead of stools and tables. (a)


Verse 14

Ezekiel 39:14 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.

Ver. 14. And they shall sever out men of continual employment.] Viros quotidianos; men that shall stick to it, making it their business: Pollinctores: vespillones. So do our public professors and others, to confute Popish tenets, and to decry their customs. In doing whereof, they are assidui et accubui. constant and near.


Verse 15

Ezekiel 39:15 And the passengers [that] pass through the land, when [any] seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.

Ver. 15. Then shall he set up a sign by it.] A statue, pillar, or sepulchral monument, that the butlers may bury it. Oh that in like sort God would cause the prophet, all relics and rags of Popery, and other heresy, together with the unclean spirit, to pass out of our land. [Zechariah 13:2]


Verse 16

Ezekiel 39:16 And also the name of the city [shall be] Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.

Ver. 16. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah,] i.e., Multitude or tumult; and all to keep up the memory of that signal victory. Near unto the University of Cambridge, on the southeast side, there appear aloft certain high hills called Gog Magog hills; but wherefore I know not. But not far from them is Heretics’ hill, so called by the Papists because Bilney and Latimer were wont there to walk.


Verse 17

Ezekiel 39:17 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.

Ver. 17. Speak unto every feathered fowl.] A further explanation of that which had been said. [Ezekiel 39:4]

Assemble yourselves.] Jeremiah 12:9, Revelation 19:17;

To my sacrifice.] To this great slaughter of enemies whom I do sacrifice, as it were, to my justice.


Verse 18

Ezekiel 39:18 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.

Ver. 18. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty.] Whose flesh may he, perhaps, more delicate.

And drink the blood.] Blood royal, of a noble alloy. Sed nihil inde colligas, quam perpetuam eorum damnationem qui verbum Dei persequuntur, quique populum Israel spiritualem exagitant. (a) It importeth the eternal damnation of atheists and antichrists.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 39:19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

Ver. 19. Of my sacrifice.] Or, Of my good cheer. So God calleth it, to show how well pleased he is with the destruction of his Church’s enemies.


Verse 20

Ezekiel 39:20 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.

Ver. 20. With horses and chariots,] i.e., With men that ride on horses, and fight out of chariots.


Verse 21

Ezekiel 39:21 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.

Ver. 21. And all the heathen shall see my judgment.] Antiochus did so, and Maximinus the emperor, and other tyrants, when seized upon by such judgments of God as they could neither avoid nor abide.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I [am] the LORD their God from that day and forward.

Ver. 22. From that day and forward.] Their experience shall breed confidence.


Verse 23

Ezekiel 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.

Ver. 23. And the heathen shall know.] They shall be convinced of the equability of my proceedings, and the truth of my menaces.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.

Ver. 24. According to their uncleanness.] I have not shown my sovereignty, or exercised tyranny towards them, but done them right.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

Ver. 25. Now will I bring again.] Three things he here promiseth his people, notwithstanding all the sorrow, (1.) Effectual vocation; (2.) Justification here; (3.) Glorification. [Ezekiel 39:29] The Sun of righteousness loves not to set in a cloud.

And will be jealous.] Or, Zealous; "the zeal of the Lord of hosts," his free grace, "shall effect it,"


Verse 26

Ezekiel 39:26 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.

Ver. 26. After that they have borne their shame.] Are become soundly ashamed of their sinful practices: Hoc enim ingenium est verae fidei, saith Oecolampadius, for this is the nature of true faith, to blush and bleed for sins past.

When they dwelt safely in their land.] And so settled on their lease through carnal security.


Verse 27

Ezekiel 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;

Ver. 27. And am sanctified in them,] i.e., Have fully shown my sanctity and majesty, both by their punishment and by their deliverance.


Verse 28

Ezekiel 39:28 Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

Ver. 28. And have left none of them any more there.] Here the Jews triumph and say, When was this promise ever fulfilled? and how, then, can the Messiah be come already? Hereunto it is rightly answered, that this prophecy is to be taken partly literally, and so it was fulfilled at the return of the captives out of Babylon. See Ezra 3:1. Partly spiritually; and so Christ will at the last day raise up every one of his elect, - that Israel indeed, - and gather them to himself; not one of them shall be missing. (a)


Verse 29

Ezekiel 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 29. Neither Will I hide my face any more from them.] They shall have beatiful vision and fruition for ever. See on Ezekiel 39:25.

For I have poured out my spirit.] Have already, and will do yet more liberally in the days of the gospel. [Acts 2:2-7 John 7:38]

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 39:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-39.html. 1865-1868.

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