|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:1-10 The Lord will make the most careless and hardened transgressors know his holy name, either by his righteous anger, or by the riches of his mercy and grace. The weapons formed against Zion shall not prosper. Though this prophecy is to be fulfilled in the latter days, it is certain. From the language used, it seems that the army of Gog will be destroyed by miracle.
Verse 2. - I will... leave but the sixth part of thee. The word שְׁשֵּׁאתִיך is derived either from the numeral six, שֵׁשׁ, or from the root שָׁשָׁא, the import of which is uncertain, although a cognate root in Ethiopic suggests the idea of "going on" or "proceeding" - a meaning Havernick also finds in the Hebrew. The former derivation has been followed by the Authorized Version, which renders in the margin, "I will strike thee with six plagues," or "draw thee back with a hook of six teeth," and by Hengstenberg, With whom Plumptre agrees, "1 will six thee," i.e. "afflict thee with six plagues," viz. those mentioned in Ezekiel 38:22. The latter derivation, presumably the more correct, is adopted by the LXX. (καθοδογήσω), the Vulgate (educam), the Revised Version ("I will lead thee on"), and by modern expositors generally. Hitzig and Smend approve of Ewald's translation, "I entice thee astray, and lead thee with leading, strings."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will turn thee back,.... Not from the land of Israel; for thither it is said in the latter part of the text he would bring him; but the meaning is, that he would "turn him about", as the word (w) signifies, in his own land, and lead him about at his pleasure, and bring him out of it, unto the land of Israel; signifying hereby that the providence of God would be greatly concerned in this affair; and in which much glory would be brought unto him by the destruction of such a potent enemy of his people; which is the design of bringing him out; See Gill on Ezekiel 38:4,
and leave but a sixth part of thee; meaning, not that a sixth part only should escape the vengeance of God, and all but a sixth part be destroyed in the land of Israel; for it looks as if the whole army would be utterly destroyed, and none left; but that, when he should come out of his own country upon this expedition, a sixth part of his subjects only should be left behind; five out of six should accompany him; so numerous should his army be, and so drained his country by this enterprise of his. Some render the words, "will draw thee out with an hook of six teeth" (x); that is, out of his own land; and this clause stands in the same place and order as the phrase and "put hooks into thy jaws" does in Ezekiel 38:4 and so may be thought to explain one another, and agrees with what follows: for, as for the sense of it given by Joseph Kimchi and others,
"I will judge thee with six judgments (y), Ezekiel 38:12, pestilence, blood, an overflowing rain, hailstones, fire, and brimstone,''
it must be rejected; seeing as yet the account of his punishment is not come to; only an account is given how and by what means he shall be drawn out of his own land; wherefore much better is the Targum,
"I will persuade thee, and I will seduce thee;''
so Jarchi seems to understand it: and the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "I will lead thee", agreeably to what follows:
and will cause thee to come up from the north parts; See Gill on Ezekiel 38:15.
and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel; not to inherit them, but to fall upon them, as in Ezekiel 39:4.
(w) "circumducam te", Piscator; "circumagam", Grotius. (x) "harpagone sextuplici extraham te", Vinarienses apud Starckius. So Buxtorf. (y) "Sex poenis, sive plagis afficiam te", Munster, Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. leave but the sixth part of thee—Margin, "strike thee with six plagues" (namely, pestilence, blood, overflowing rain, hailstones, fire, brimstone, Eze 38:22); or, "draw thee back with an hook of six teeth" (Eze 38:4), the six teeth being those six plagues. Rather, "lead thee about" [Ludovicus De Dieu and Septuagint]. As Antiochus was led (to his ruin) to leave Egypt for an expedition against Palestine, so shall the last great enemy of God be.
north parts—from the extreme north [Fairbairn].
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