|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.
Verses 18-20. - Vers. 18 and 19 are not, as Hitzig, Kliefoth, and others explain, on the ground of the perfect, "I have spoken" (ver. 19), which, however, is rather a prophetical present - a free recapitulation of the earlier predictions, but a direct announcement through Ezekiel that when Gog should arrive upon the scene Jehovah should take the field against him, so that he should have to fight against Jehovah rather than against Israel. The expression, my fury shall come up in my face; or, my wrath ascends in rail nose, has parallels in Ezekiel 24:8; Psalm 18:9; and Deuteronomy 32:22, and describes the vehement breathing (inhalation and exhalation) of an angry man through his nose. The fire of Jehovah's wrath (comp. Ezekiel 21:36; 36:5) should make itself known in that day by a great shaking in the land of Israel, which can hardly, as Kliefoth surmises, refer to the final judgment, or, as Keil thinks, to the trembling of the whole earth, with all the creatures, before the Lord, who comes to judgment, as in Joel 4:16 and Zechariah 14:4, 5, since the locality in which this convulsion of nature is to happen is expressly defined as "the land of Israel;" but must be understood, with Schroder and Smend, as a figurative description of the terrible overthrow which Jehovah should inflict upon Gog, and which should produce within the heathen mind a feeling of consternation, as if the whole fabric of the globe were falling into ruin. Grounding upon what occurred at Sinai (Exodus 19:16-18), Hebrew writers generally depicted special interpositions of Jehovah as being witnessed to and accompanied by awe-inspiring natural convulsions (comp. Psalm 18:7, 15; Psalm 46:2, 3; Psalm 55:2; Isaiah 13:9-13; Isaiah 24:19-22; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Nahum 1:5; Zechariah 14:4); and in the same manner does Ezekiel delineate Jehovah's intervention in behalf of Israel and against Gog, as so alarming that all living creatures, irrational as well as rational - fishes of the sea, fowls of the heaven, beasts of the field, creeping things that creep upon the earth (or, ground - adamah), and men upon the face of the earth; or, ground (comp. Genesis 1:26; Genesis 7:21-23) - should shake at its accompanying manifestations, and that even the mightiest objects in nature, such as the mountains, steep places, or, "reek-clefts" (Ewald), such elevations as can only be ascended by means of steps as by a ladder (comp. Song of Solomon 2:14), and walls (comp. Jeremiah 15:20), including natural ramparts as well as humanly constructed erections, should be overthrown (ver. 20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it shall come to pass at the same time, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God,.... As before prophesied of and described:
that my fury shall come up in my face; as a man's blood rises up in his face, and his colour appears, when he is wroth and angry: or, "in my nose" (s); as men when they are angry puff and blow, expand their nose, breathe through it; but against whom is all this wrath and fury? Starckius, a modern interpreter, thinks it is against the land of Israel, against the church; but it rather seems to be against Gog himself; the Lord being provoked at his attempt against the land of Israel, and the wicked designs he had to spoil and plunder it.
(s) "in nasum meum", Piscator, Cocceius, Starckius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. fury shall come up in my face—literally, "nose"; in Hebrew, the idiomatic expression for anger, as men in anger breathe strongly through the nostrils. Anthropopathy: God stooping to human modes of thought (Ps 18:8).
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