|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:14-23 The enemy should make a formidable descent upon the land of Israel. When Israel dwell safely under the Divine protection, shalt not thou be made to know it by finding that endeavours to destroy them are made in vain? Promises of security are treasured up in the word of God, against the troubles and dangers the church may be brought into in the latter days. In the destruction of sinners, God makes it appear that he is a great and holy God. We should desire and pray daily. Father, glorify thine own name.
Verse 17. - Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time? As no existing prophecy, prior to Ezekiel's time, mentions Cog by name, it must be concluded either
(1) that Ezekiel refers to prophecies known in his day, though no longer extant; or
(2) that his words simply mean that earlier prophets had predicted such an invasion of Israel in the last times as that which he announces under the leadership of Gog. The former opinion, though countenanced by Ewald, Kuenen, and Smend, is less probable than the latter, which expositors both ancient and modern favor. Schroder considers the hypothesis that earlier prophets had spoken of Gog by name as excluded by the interrogatory form of the sentence, since, had Cog been thus explicitly pointed out, there would, he thinks, have been no need to ask, "Art thou he?" But it is doubtful if the interrogatory form of the words had any other intention than to lend emphasis to the assertion that Gog was he to whom the earlier prophets had unconsciously referred. As to which earlier prophets he alluded opinions vary. Ewald cites Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 17:4; Smend adding Micah 5:11; Zephaniah 3:8; Keil, Isaiah 25:5, 10; Jeremiah 30:23, 25; Joel 4:2, 11, etc.; Hengstenberg, Deuteronomy 32; Isaiah 24-27; Isaiah 34; and Fairbairn, Numbers 24:17-24; Isaiah 14:28-32; Isaiah 18; Joel 3; Daniel 2:44, 45; though Schroder is probably correct in holding that all should be included which represent the hostility of the heathen world as culminating in the latter days in a grand concentrated attack upon Israel. Smend sees in the unusual phenomenon that Ezekiel reflects upon earlier prophecies an indication of the declining spirit of prophetism; it should, however, rather be regarded as a sign of superior spiritual insight on the part of Ezekiel, who could discern that from the first the prophets had been guided in their utterances by One who was intimately acquainted with the whole world-program, and knew the end from the beginning, so that however dark and enigmatical their predictions might be when taken separately, when viewed in connection they were recognized as forming parts of a harmonious whole.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus saith the Lord God,.... Putting the question that follows:
art thou he of whom I have spoken of old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I will bring thee against them? certainly thou art he: but who were the prophets that prophesied of Gog before Ezekiel, since he is the first that makes mention of him? to this it may be replied, that though he is not mentioned by name, yet he might be prophesied of under other names, as by Isaiah under the name of Leviathan, Isaiah 27:1 and by Micah under the name of the Assyrian, Micah 5:5. The Jews (r) say that Eldad and Medad prophesied of him, which Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abendana remark; who all observe, agreeably to the Talmudists in the place referred to, that these two are the prophets meant; and therefore it is directed to be read not "shanim", years, but "shenaim", two; namely, those two prophets prophesied one prophecy at one time, or together; but this is not to be depended upon: it should be observed, that this must be considered as spoken at the time of the accomplishment of this prophecy, and so may have respect to the Prophet Ezekiel himself, or to Joel, Joel 3:1, and to Zechariah, Zechariah 14:1, and even to the book of the Revelation, Revelation 16:14.
(r) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 17. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. thou he of whom I have spoken in old time—Gog, &c. are here identified with the enemies spoken of in other prophecies (Nu 24:17-24; Isa 27:1; compare Isa 26:20, 21; Jer 30:23, 24; Joe 3:1; Mic 5:5, 6; Isa 14:12-14; 59:19). God is represented as addressing Gog at the time of his assault; therefore, the "old time" is the time long prior, when Ezekiel uttered these prophecies; so, he also, as well as Daniel (Da 11:1-45) and Zechariah (Zec 14:1-21) are included among "the prophets of Israel" here.
Ezekiel 38:17 Parallel Commentaries
Ezekiel 38:17 NIV
Ezekiel 38:17 NLT
Ezekiel 38:17 ESV
Ezekiel 38:17 NASB
Ezekiel 38:17 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible