Ezekiel 38:13
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say to you, Are you come to take a spoil? have you gathered your company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
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(13) Sheba, and Dedan . . . . Tarshish.—The first two are districts of Arabia, and the last is probably the Tartessus in Spain. These names seem to be added to those of Ezekiel 38:5-6, to show that all the nations of the world sympathise in this attack upon the Church.

38:1-13 These events will be in the latter days. It is supposed these enemies will come together to invade the land of Judea, and God will defeat them. God not only sees who are now the enemies of his church, but he foresees who will be so, and lets them know by his word that he is against them; though they join together, the wicked shall not be unpunished.Unwalled villages - Compare Zechariah 2:4-5. 13. Sheba, &c.—These mercantile peoples, though not taking an active part against the cause of God, are well pleased to see others do it. Worldliness makes them ready to deal in the ill-gotten spoil of the invaders of God's people. Gain is before godliness with them (1 Maccabees 3:41).

young lions—daring princes and leaders.

Sheba: see Ezekiel 27:22: this Sheba was southward, and contains all of that coast which assisted Gog.

Dedan; Idumeans, or the most easterly parts of Arabia Deserta: by these are noted the eastern nations that assisted, say some.

The merchants of Tarshish; the inhabitants of the sea-coast westward, and Magog north. Robbers by land on three sides, pirates by sea on the fourth, in a confederacy to spoil the church of God.

The young lions; young men thirsty of blood, but more of spoil, flock to Gog, resolved to join, if they may rob and spoil for themselves.

Art thou come to take a spoil? this repeated inquiry made by these, I suppose, is not so much to sound the intentions of Gog, as it is a capitulation and agreement to come to his assistance; and on condition they might have, possess, and carry away what they seize, they are for him; and they mention particulars,

silver, gold, cattle, goods. They are thus exact, out of foresight what little part they might have without such a compact. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish,.... These are not any of the people that shall come along with Gog on his expedition; but some neighbouring nations bordering on Judea, who will address him in the following manner, as he passes through them, or by them. Sheba and Dedan design the Arabians inhabiting that part of Arabia which lay near to Judea, even Arabia Petraea and Felix; and the merchants of Tarshish are the Tyrians and Zidonians that traded by sea, as Tarshish sometimes signifies; or to Tartessus in Spain, where they had much traffic; and may design the people of those places that will at this time be living in Palestine, that trade by sea to foreign parts. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it the "Carthaginian merchants", or "the merchants of Carthage":

with all the young lions thereof; which some interpret of sea pirates, for their cruelty and voraciousness. The Targum paraphrases it, all the kings thereof; and so Kimchi thinks kings and princes are meant; but the Septuagint version renders it, all their villages; and so the Syriac version, all the cities:

shall say unto thee, art thou come to take a spoil? either out of compassion to the people of the Jews; or rather by way of congratulation, and as expressive of joy at it; or else out of envy that they have no share in it; suggesting that they would gladly join with him, and partake of the booty:

hast thou gathered thy company together to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? all which it is supposed might easily be done; only they might wonder that so rich a potentate as the Turk should give himself the trouble to raise such an army, and come so far, for cattle and goods, and silver and gold of which he had such plenty. Gog gives no answer, but God does.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all its young lions, shall say to thee, {h} Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

(h) One enemy will envy another because everyone will think to have the spoil of the Church.

13. The merchant peoples are roused to excitement by the enterprise of Gog; probably it is the hope of gain by trafficking with him for his spoil that excites them—hardly envy at the rich harvest lying before him. On Sheba Ezekiel 27:22; Dedan Ezekiel 27:20; Tarshish Ezekiel 27:12.

all the young lions] Cf. Ezekiel 19:3; Ezekiel 19:5, Ezekiel 32:2. The term might be thought not very suitable to a troop of camp followers intent merely on traffic. The term is probably used generally to describe the eminence of these merchant people—hardly to represent them as thirsting for gain, as lions for prey!Verse 13. - Sheba, and Dorian, and the merchants of Tarshish were the great trading communities of the South, East, and West respectively (see on Ezekiel 27:15, 20, 22, 25). The young lions thereof - i.e. of Tarshish, not of the other communities (Keil) - were probably intended to represent, not the" authorities" of Tarshish, as Hitzig suggests, but its smaller tradesmen who were equally rapacious with its larger merchants. All are depicted as following in the wake of Gog, like vultures in the rear of an army, and as inquiring whether Gog had come simply for the purpose of destruction or in the hope of trading with the booty he should capture. In this case they intimate their wish to be partakers of the spoil This (Plumptre), rather than the thirst for booty which characterized them (Keil), their question to Gog signified; Schroder's idea, that they purposed ironically to ridicule the smallness of the spoil which would reward so gigantic an expedition, has as little to recommend it as Kliefoth's suggestion, that they designed to intimate their sympathy with Gog's invasion of Israel.
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