|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:20-26. The Zidonians were borderers upon the land of Israel, and they might have learned to glorify the Lord; but, instead of that, they seduced Israel to the worship of their idols. War and pestilence are God's messengers; but he will be glorified in the restoring his people to their former safety and prosperity. God will cure them of their sins, and ease them of their troubles. This promise will at length fully come to pass in the heavenly Canaan: when all the saints shall be gathered together, every thing that offends shall be removed, all griefs and fears for ever banished. Happy, then, is the church of God, and every living member of it, though poor, afflicted, and despised; for the Lord will display his truth, power, and mercy, in the salvation and happiness of his redeemed people.
Verse 24. - There shall be no more a pricking brier. There is a special appropriateness in Ezekiel's imagery. The words had been used in Numbers 33:55 of the Canaanites at large (comp. Joshua 22:13). Ezekiel applies them to the cities which were the most conspicuous survivors of the old Canaanite races. Israel, he implies, had been wounded with those thorns and briers, had caught (as e.g., in the case of Jezebel) the taint of evil life and evil worship from those races; but for her there is, as in Ver. 25, the future of restoration, and when that future comes, the Canaanite cities, with their idolatries and vices, should have passed away forever.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel,.... To the church of God, Jews or Gentiles, particularly to the Jews, who will now be converted; all the enemies of Christ and his people will now be destroyed, who have been very grievous and distressing to them by their furious persecutions; the pope and Turk will be no more, nor any of the antichristian powers; the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast into the lake of fire; and there will be none to hurt and destroy in all the holy mountain, Revelation 19:20,
nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them that despised them; the same thing in other words as before; wicked men, especially tyrannical princes, furious persecutors of the saints, are like thorns and briers, not only unfruitful, useless, and unprofitable, but pricking, grieving, and hurtful to good men, by their persecutions, revilings, and reproaches, and whose end is to be burned. The Targum of the whole is,
"and there shall be no more to the house of Israel a king that doth evil (or hurt), or a governor that oppresses all round about them that spoil them:''
and they shall know that I am the Lord; the house of Israel, the Jews now converted, they shall know the Lord Christ, and acknowledge him to be their Lord and King.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. no more … brier … unto … Israel—as the idolatrous nations left in Canaan (among which Zidon is expressly specified in the limits of Asher, Jud 1:31) had been (Nu 33:55; Jos 23:13). "A brier," first ensnaring the Israelites in sin, and then being made the instrument of punishing them.
pricking—literally, "causing bitterness." The same Hebrew is translated "fretting" (Le 13:51, 52). The wicked are often called "thorns" (2Sa 23:6).
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