Ezekiel 38:18
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
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Ezekiel 38:18-20. My fury shall come up in my face — An expression taken from human passions, which cause the blood to fly up into the face. So Isaiah describes Almighty God as burning with anger, his lips being full of indignation, and his tongue as a consuming fire, Ezekiel 22:31-31, where see the note. For in my jealousy — My zeal for the salvation and happiness of my people, and for my own glory; have I spoken — Against my enemy Gog, and his herd. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking — A great commotion, as Dr. Waterland renders the expression; or a great disturbance, tumult, and confusion. Great changes and alterations in kingdoms and governments are often expressed in Scripture by shaking of heaven and earth, the sea and dry land: see the margin. So that the fishes of the sea, &c., shall shake at my presence — Every part of the creation shall bear its share of this calamity, as if there were a convulsion of the whole frame of nature. The prophets often describe God’s judgments upon particular countries or persons, as if a dissolution of the whole world took place, because his particular judgments are an earnest of the general judgment: see note on Isaiah 13:10. And the mountains shall be thrown down — The strong holds situate on the mountains, and the walls, towers, and other fortifications, shall be beat down and demolished.

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.Gog - is not mentioned by name in any existing prophecy before Ezekiel's time. The reference here shows

(1) that the conflict with Gog does not represent a particular event, but one of which the prophets in general had to speak;

(2) that in the interpretation of Old Testament prophecy we are to look beyond special fulfillments.

Events in the world's history come within a prophet's ken as parts of the divine administration whereby evil struggles against but is overcome by good. As every such conflict is a prelude to the final struggle, so its prediction has reference ultimately to the consummation here foretold.

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). Gog cometh up in fury against Israel, and God’s fury, i.e. hot yet just displeasure, comes up in his face against both the attempt and the attempters, against Gog and all his power, who think to find a weak people, but they shall meet with an angry God.

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.

And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
18. come to pass at the same time] Rather: come to pass in that day, in the day when Gog &c.

come up in my face] lit. in my nostril. The idea is not that of the inflammation of the face from anger, but that of a fiery breath appearing in the nostrils. Deuteronomy 32:22; Psalm 18:8.

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). Ezekiel 38:18Announcement of the Wrathful Judgment upon Gog, as a Proof of the Holiness of the Lord

Ezekiel 38:17. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Art thou he of whom I spoke in the former days through my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days, that I would bring thee over them? Ezekiel 38:18. And it cometh to pass in that day, in the day when Gog cometh into the land of Israel, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath will ascend into my nose. Ezekiel 38:19. And in my jealousy, in the fire of my anger, have I spoken, Truly in that day will a great trembling come over the land of Israel; Ezekiel 38:20. The fishes of the sea, and the birds of heaven, and the beasts of the field, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the ground, and all the men that are upon the ground, will tremble before me; and the mountains will be destroyed, and the rocky heights fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. Ezekiel 38:21. I will call the sword against him to all my holy mountains, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah: the sword of the one will be against the other. Ezekiel 38:22. And I will strive with him by pestilence and by blood, and overflowing rain-torrents and hailstones; fire and brimstone will I rain upon him and all his hosts, and upon the many peoples that are with him; Ezekiel 38:23. And will prove myself great and holy, and will make myself known before the eyes of many nations, that they may know that I am Jehovah. - The announcement of the way in which the Lord will sanctify Himself upon Gog (Ezekiel 38:16) commences with the statement in Ezekiel 38:17, that Gog is he of whom God has already spoken by the earlier prophets. This assertion is clothed in the form of a question: האתּה, not הלא אתּה, which is the interrogative form used for an emphatic assurance; whereas האתּה does not set down the point in question as indisputably certain, but suggests the inquiry for the purpose of giving a definite answer. The affirmative reply to the question asked is contained in the last clause of the verse: "to bring thee upon them;" so that האתּה הוּא really means, thou art truly he. The statement, that Gog is he of whom God had already spoken by the earlier prophets, does not mean that those prophets had actually mentioned Gog, but simply that Gog was the enemy of whose rising up against the people of God the prophets of the former time had prophesied, as well as of his destruction by a wrathful judgment of the Lord. שׁנים (for years, or years long) is an accusative of measure, not asyndeton to baבּיּמים, as the lxx and many of the commentators down to Hvernick have taken it to be. The design of this remark is not to accredit the prophecy by referring to the utterances of earlier prophets, but to show that the attack of the peoples gathered together by Gog, upon the land and people of the Lord, is not an unexpected event, or one at variance with the promise of the restoration of Israel as a kingdom of peace. To what utterances of the older prophets these words refer is a question difficult to answer. Zechariah (Zechariah 12:2-3; Zechariah 14:2-3) is of course not to be thought of, as Zechariah himself did not prophesy till after the captivity, and therefore not till after Ezekiel. But we may recall Joel 4:2 and 11ff.; Isaiah 25:5, Isaiah 25:10., Ezekiel 26:21; Jeremiah 30:23 and 25; and, in fact, all the earlier prophets who prophesied of Jehovah's day of judgment upon all the heathen.

(Note: Aug. Kueper (Jeremias librr. sacrr., interpr. atque vindex, p. 82) has correctly observed concerning this verse, that "it is evident enough that there is no reference here to prophecies concerning Gog and Magog, which have been lost; but those general prophecies, which are met with on every hand directed against the enemies of the church, are here referred to Gog." And before him, J. F. Starck had already said: "In my opinion, we are to understand all those passages in the prophets which treat of the enemies of the church and its persecutions...these afflictions were preludes and shadows of the bloody persecution of Gog.")

Ezekiel 38:18 and Ezekiel 38:19 do not contain words which Jehovah spoke through the ancient prophets, and which Ezekiel now transfers to Gog and the time of his appearing (Hitzig and Kliefoth). The perfect דּבּרתּי in Ezekiel 38:19 by no means warrants such an assumption; for this is purely prophetic, expressing the certainty of the divine determination as a thing clearly proved. Still less can 'נאם אד in Ezekiel 38:18 be taken as a preterite, as Kliefoth supposes; nor can Ezekiel 38:18 and Ezekiel 38:19 be regarded as a thing long predicted, and so be separated from Ezekiel 38:20-23 as a word of God which is now for the first time uttered. For the anthropopathetic expression, "my wrath ascends in my nose," compare Psalm 18:9, "smoke ascends in His nose." The outburst of wrath shows itself in the vehement breath which the wrathful man inhales and exhales through his nose (see the comm. on the Psalm, l.c.). The bursting out of the wrath of God is literally explained in Ezekiel 38:19. In the jealousy of His wrath God has spoken, i.e., determined, to inflict a great trembling upon the land of Israel. בּקנאתי (cf. Ezekiel 5:13) is strengthened by בּאשׁ עברתי (cf. Ezekiel 21:36; Ezekiel 22:21). The trembling which will come upon the land of Israel, so that all creatures in the sea, in the air, and upon the ground, tremble before Jehovah (מפּני), who appears to judgment, will rise in nature into an actual earthquake, which overthrows mountains, hills, and walls. מדרגות are steep heights, which can only be ascended by steps (Sol 2:14). This picture of the trembling of the whole world, with all the creatures, before the Lord who is coming to judgment, both here and in Joel 4:16, Zechariah 14:4-5, rests upon the fact which actually occurred in connection with the revelation of God upon Sinai, when the whole mountain was made to quake (Exodus 19:16.). The inhabitants of the land of Israel tremble at the terrible phenomena attending the revelation of the wrath of God, although the wrathful judgment does not apply to them, but to their enemies, Gog and his hosts. The Lord calls the sword against Gog, that his hosts may wound and slay one another. This feature of the destruction of the enemy by wounds inflicted by itself, which we meet with again in Zechariah 14:13, has its typical exemplar in the defeat of the Midianites in the time of Gideon (Judges 7:22), and also in that of the enemy invading Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:23). In לכל־הרי the ל is not distributive, but indicates the direction: "to all my mountains." The overthrow of the enemy is intensified by marvellous plagues inflicted by God - pestilence and blood (cf. Ezekiel 28:23), torrents of rain and hailstones (cf. Ezekiel 13:11), and the raining of fire and brimstone upon Gog, as formerly upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). - Thus will Jehovah prove Himself to be the almighty God by judgment upon His enemies, and sanctify Himself before all the nations (Ezekiel 38:23, compare Ezekiel 38:16 and Ezekiel 36:23).

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