|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:11-22 How numerous the enemies which God destroyed for the defence of his people Israel! Times of great deliverances should be times of reformation. Every one should help the utmost he can, toward cleansing the land from reproach. Sin is an enemy every man should strive against. Those engaged in public work, especially of cleansing and reforming a land, ought to be men who will go through with what they undertake, who will be always employed. When good work is to be done, every one should further it. Having received special favours from God, let us cleanse ourselves from all evil. It is a work which will require persevering diligence, that search may be made into the secret recesses of sin. The judgments of the Lord, brought upon sin and sinners, are a sacrifice to the justice of God, and a feast to the faith and hope of God's people. See how evil pursues sinners, even after death. After all that ambitious and covetous men do and look for, a place of graves is all the Lord gives them on earth, while their guilty souls are doomed to misery in another world.
Verses 12, 13. - The time that should be occupied in Gog's funeral should be seven months - so great should be the number of the dead - the sacred number seven recalling the seven years consumed in the burning of the weapons (ver. 9), and reminding one of the "seven times heated" furnace into which the Hebrew children were cast, and of the "seven times" of Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation (Daniel 3:19; Daniel 4:23). The parties who should conduct his obsequies should be the house of Israel, even all the people of the land, indicating the common joy occasioned by the barbaric chieftain's overthrow. The motive which should impel them in their work would be a desire to cleanse the land from the defilement it had contracted from the corpses of the slain (comp. Numbers 19:11, 22; Numbers 31:19; Numbers 35:33); and the end should be that the work should be to them, not for "a remembrance" (Ewald), but a renown, not because they should have helped to bury Gog (Hengstenberg), or through burying Gog should have proved themselves his conquerors (Smend), and in virtue of Jehovah's protection the possessors of his grave (Hitzig), but because in the day when Jehovah glorified himself through Gog's destruction, he (Jehovah) should also be glorified by their (Israel's) zeal "to show themselves a holy people by sweeping all uncleanness away" (Keil).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them,.... So long time will the burial of Gog's army take up, because of the multitude of it, and by reason their bones will be scattered here and there; which will require time to gather them together, and bring them to one place: the reason of the burial of them will be, partly out of humanity, which the Christian religion, which will then be embraced by the Jews, teaches and encourages; and partly because of the disagreeable sight and ill smell of the carcasses of the slain, and to prevent the air being infected therewith, which might cause noxious diseases. Jarchi gives the reason of it, because Gog is of the seed of Japheth, who covered his father's nakedness, and therefore worthy of a funeral: but a better reason follows,
that they may cleanse the land: not from ceremonial uncleanness, a place being unclean, by the ceremonial law, where dead carcasses, or the bones of dead men, lay; for the ceremonial law, as it is abrogated, will now be disused by the Jews themselves, when converted; but from natural pollution, before mentioned.
Ezekiel 39:12 Parallel Commentaries
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