Ezekiel 38:2
Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Gog, the land of Magog.—“Magog” is mentioned in Genesis 10:2 (1Chronicles 1:5) in connection with Gomer (the Cimmerians) and Madai (the Medes), as the name of a people descended from Japhet. Early Jewish tradition, adopted by Josephus and St. Jerome, identifies them with the Scythians; and this view has seemed probable to nearly all modern expositors. But the name of Scythians must be understood rather in a geographical than in a strictly ethnological sense, of the tribes living north of the Caucasus. Driven from their original home by the Massagetæ, they had poured down upon Asia Minor and Syria shortly before the time of Ezekiel, and had advanced even as far as Egypt. They took Sardis (B.C. 629), spread themselves in Media (B.C. 624), were bribed off from Egypt by Psammeticus, and were finally driven back (B.C. 596), leaving their name as a terror to the whole eastern world for their fierce skill in war, their cruelty, and rapacity. It was probably the memory of their recent disastrous inroads that led Ezekiel to the selection of their name as the representative of the powers hostile to the Church of God.

The name Gog occurs only in connection with Magog, except in 1Chronicles 5:4, as the name of an otherwise unknown Reubenite. It is also the reading of the Samaritan and Septuagint in Numbers 24:7 for Agag. It has generally been supposed that Ezekiel here formed the name from Magog by dropping the first syllable, which was thought to mean simply place or land; but an Assyrian inscription has been discovered, in which Ga-a-gi is mentioned as a chief of the Saka (Scythians), and Mr. Geo. Smith (“Hist. of Assurbanipal”) identifies this name with Gog. The text should be read, Gog, of the land of Magog.

The chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.—Rather, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Our version has followed St. Jerome in translating Rosh “chief,” because formerly no people of that name was definitely known; but they are frequently mentioned by Arabic writers as a Scythian tribe dwelling in the Taurus, although the attempt to derive from them the name of Russian cannot be considered as sufficiently supported. In Revelation 20:8, Gog and Magog are both symbolic names of nations. For Meshech and Tubal see Note on Ezekiel 27:13.

Ezekiel 38:2-3. Set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog — We find, Genesis 10:2, that the second son of Japhet was called Magog, but Ezekiel uses the word here as the name of the country of which Gog was prince: and Michaelis thinks that it denotes those vast regions to the north of India and China, which the Greeks called Scythia, and which we term Tartary. Houbigant also thinks that the prophet here means the Scythians, who are the descendants of Magog, the son of Japhet, and whose neighbours were the people of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; that is, the Russians, Muscovites, and Tibareni, or Cappadocians; and thus Theodoret and Josephus understand it. The Turks are generally allowed to be of Scythian origin. Scythopolis and Hierapolis, which cities the Scythians took when they overcame Syria, were ever after by the Syrians called Magog: see Plin, 50. 5. c. 23. The Arabs call the Chinese wall Sud Yagog et Magog, that is, the mud wall, or rampart of Gog and Magog. Gog and Magog are mentioned in Revelation 20:8; and these, says Bishop Newton, “seem to have been formerly the general name of the northern nations of Europe and Asia, as the Scythians have been since, and the Tartars are at present. The prophecy in the Revelation alludes to this of Ezekiel in many particulars; both the one and the other remain yet to be fulfilled, and therefore we cannot be absolutely certain that they may not both relate to the same event. But it seems more probable that they relate to different events: the one is expected to take effect before, but the other will not take effect till after the Millennium. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel are said expressly, Ezekiel 38:6; Ezekiel 38:15, and Ezekiel 39:2, to come from the north quarters, and the north parts; but in St. John they come from the four quarters, or corners of the earth. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel bend their forces against the Jews re-settled in their own land; but in St. John they march up against the saints and church of God in general. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel are, with very good reason, supposed to be the Turks, but the Turks are the authors of the second wo; and the second wo, Revelation 11:14, is past before the third wo; and the third wo long precedes the time here treated of. It may therefore be concluded that Gog and Magog, as well as Sodom, and Egypt, and Babylon, are mystic names in the book of Revelation; and the last enemies of the Christian Church are so denominated, because Gog and Magog appear to be the last enemies of the Jewish nation. Who they shall be, we cannot pretend to say with the least degree of certainty.” The chief prince of Meshech and Tubal — The king or head of all those northern nations which lie upon the Euxine sea: see note on Ezekiel 27:13. The LXX. take the word Rosh, here translated chief, for a proper name, and render the clause, The prince of Rosh, Meshech, &c. So taken it may signify those inhabitants of Scythia from whom the Russians derive their name and original.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.Gog ... - Gog of the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. "Gog" is here the name of a captain from "the land of Magog" (compare Genesis 10:2) the name of a people of the north, placed between "Gomer" (the Cimmerians) and "Madai" (the Medes). In the History of Assurbanipal from cuneiform inscriptions, a chief of the Saka (Scythians), called Ga-a-gi, is identified by some with Gog. Rosh, if a proper name, occurs in this connection only. 2. Gog—the prince of the land of Magog. The title was probably a common one of the kings of the country, as "Pharaoh" in Egypt. Chakan was the name given by the Northern Asiatics to their king, and is still a title of the Turkish sultan: "Gog" may be a contraction of this. In Ezekiel's time a horde of northern Asiatics, termed by the Greeks "Scythians," and probably including the Moschi and Tibareni, near the Caucasus, here ("Meshech … Tubal") undertook an expedition against Egypt [Herodotus, 1.103-106]. These names might be adopted by Ezekiel from the historical fact familiar to men at the time, as ideal titles for the great last anti-Christian confederacy.

Magog—(Ge 10:2; 1Ch 1:5). The name of a land belonging to Japheth's posterity. Maha, in Sanskrit, means "land." Gog is the ideal political head of the region. In Re 20:8, Gog and Magog are two peoples.

the chief prince—rather, "prince of Rosh," or "Rhos" [Septuagint]. The Scythian Tauri in the Crimea were so called. The Araxes also was called "Rhos." The modern Russians may have hence assumed their name, as Moscow and Tobolsk from Meshech and Tubal, though their proper ancient name was Slavi, or Wends. Hengstenberg supports English Version, as "Rosh" is not found in the Bible. "Magog was Gog's original kingdom, though he acquired also Meshech and Tubal, so as to be called their chief prince."

Since the two former chapters had assured so great and wonderful blessings to the Jews, after the return out of Babylon, and the gathering them together in their own land; it is more than probable the Jews would expect a full accomplishment of all these things quickly after their return, and if troubles should, as they did, intervene, and prove long, would be discouraged, and quarrel with Providence; God doth in this 38th and the 39th chapters forewarn them, by telling what enemies and troubles would interpose themselves, to the great losses and dangers of the Jews, ere they should overcome them, and God should fully and finally deliver them.

Set thy face against: see Ezekiel 20:46 21:2 25:2.

Gog: this cannot be one single person, or one only prince, though like enough it points out some one by whom the troubles foretold were begun, yet the successors of this one, whoever he was, are included and designed by this Gog; nor is he to be limited to one certain nation that he was king of, nor yet confined to one age, or (it may be) to two or three. Some will fix the beginnings of this Gog among the Seleucidae, and take in the others who divided the Grecian empire among themselves, and who did much hurt to the Jews. The history of which in part you meet with in the Books of the Maccabees. But if we must account why these are called Gog, perhaps this may suffice: Gyges, who gave name to the land, predecessor to Creesus, (for he was grandson to Gyges,) was conquered by Cyrus, and deprived of the kingdom; and this was made and continued tributary to the Persians, till taken from them by the Grecians; and when that kingdom was divided, it fell among the successors of Alexander in Seleucus’s line, and so the Seleucid may, not without some ground, be thought pointed at by Gog, whose country fell into the hand of Seleucus by the successes he had against Antigonus. And of all the Seleucidae, the sixth from Seleucus stands fairest for it; this was Antiochus Epiphanes, type of antichrist, and a fierce enemy of the Jews. Others judge this war, in which Gog is prince and leader, refers to times much later, and there are several particulars that do not well suit with the times of Antiochus Epiphanes. They will therefore rather refer it to some Scythian king or kings, and that the time is still to come wherein this prophecy is to be fulfilled; and that it must intend those enemies of God’s church who descended from the Scythians, and are now masters of Cappadocia, Iberia, Armenia, or are in confederacy with the Tartars, and those northern heathens. Now the arms and equipage here mentioned well suit with these Scythians, and they with the Turks, as like to make up part of this army. But others think that all the enemies of Israel in all quarters, both open and secret enemies, are here intended, and that the antichristian forces and combinations are what the prophet foretells; and if from a conjunction of affairs now, or lately on foot in the world, we might make our guess, the invasions of the Turks on one side, and the contrivance of others on this side Christendom, to extirpate the northern heresy, as some have called our religion, we might be excused, if we err, saying, The Constantinopolitan antichrist, and the Roman antichrist, with all their associates and helpers, are this Gog.

Magog is at least part of Scythia, and comprehends Syria, in which was Hierapolis, taken by the Scythians, and called of them Scythopolis. It is then that country which now is in subjection to the Turks, and may be extended through Asia Minor, the countries of Sarmatia, &c., from those parts under more than one in succession of time, and in the last times under some one particular active, undertaking, and daring prince, enemy of Israel; all their power will be stirred up against Christ and Christians.

The chief; or prince who is supreme in authority, most violent in opposition to the church of Christ, and most active to attempt its ruin.

Prince; what we render prince may well be the proper name of Araxes in Arabic, the principal river of Armenia, and so that the first country mentioned under the command of Gog, or the Scythians of Mount Taurus, which were called Rhos.

Tubal: see Ezekiel 27:13. Son of man, set thy face against Gog,.... Of the phrase, "setting the face towards", or "against"; see Gill on Ezekiel 6:2, Ezekiel 21:2, Ezekiel 25:2 but who this Gog is the prophet is bid boldly to face, and intrepidly declare the wrath of God against, interpreters are divided about. Calmet (m) thinks that Cambyses and his army are meant by Gog and Magog, which to mention is enough; and it is the opinion of St. Ambrose (n) that the Goths who ravaged the Roman empire in the fifth and sixth ages are meant: others, who suppose this prophecy was fulfilled after the Jews' return from the Babylonish captivity, and before the coming of Christ, take Gog to be a common name of the kings of the lesser Asia and Syria, or the Seleucidae, who distressed the Jews in the times of the Maccabees; the chief of whom was Antiochus Epiphanes, who is supposed, to be more especially designed, and was a type of antichrist; and they are the more strengthened in this opinion, because they find, in Pliny (o), that the city of Hierapolis in Syria was called by the Syrians Magog; and they fancy the name of Gog is the same with Gyges a king of Lydia, whose country was called from him Gygea, or Gog's land, who was grandfather to Croesus; and which country came into the hands of Cyrus, and from the Persians into the hands of the Greeks, and so to the Seleucidae; for which reason they may bear this name in this prophecy; but it is certain that the prophecy refers to what should be in "latter years", and in the "latter days", Ezekiel 38:8, phrases which respect the times of the Messiah, the Gospel dispensation, and oftentimes the latter part of that; and even those times when the Jews shall return to their own land, and continue in it for ever, as the preceding prophecy, with which this is connected, shows; and so the Jews always understand it of an enemy of theirs yet to come. Cocceius is of opinion, that the Romish antichrist is meant; and that Gog signifying the covering or roof of a house, fitly points him out; who puts himself between God and man, as the roof is between heaven and earth; and who keeps out the light of divine things, the heat of love, and rain of spiritual blessings, from the church; and compares with this the veil over all nations, Isaiah 25:7 and the covering cherub, Ezekiel 28:14, but I rather think the Turk is here meant, the eastern antichrist, in whose possession the land of Judea now is; and which, when recovered by the Jews, will greatly exasperate him, and he will gather all his forces together to regain it, but in vain. The learned Vitringa (p), though he is of opinion that this prophecy, according to its first and proper sense, respects the kings of Syria, the persecutors of the church, that should bring large and well disciplined armies into the land of the people of God, gathered out of the northern nations, and Scythians, and would be defeated in the land of Canaan; yet mystically intends the Turks, the Scythian nation and northern people, who, by a like attempt, will infest the church of the people of God, and invade their country; and this he makes no doubt of is the proper aspect of Gog and Magog: and Samuel Dauderstat, a Lutheran divine, has wrote a dissertation, "De Antichristo Orientali", concerning the eastern antichrist, which he explains of Gog and Magog: and Michael Buckenroder, another Lutheran, has written upon the irruption to be made by Gog and Magog into the mountains of Israel (q). Osiander thus explains the several names mentioned; by Gog I think the Turk is meant, by Magog the Tartarian, by Meshec the Muscovites, and by Tubal the Wallachians; and Starckius on the place observes, that if this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, we shall easily find our Gog, and point out his metropolis Constantinople; so that I am not singular in my opinion. Gog signifies "high" (r) and eminent, one in a very exalted station: it comes from the same root, and has the same signification, as Agag, to whose height and exaltation there is an allusion in Numbers 24:7, where the Samaritan and Septuagint versions read Gog: it is the same with, "Jagog", by which name the Arabians called the Scythians that lived far east, particularly those that were situated to the north of China beyond Imaus, as Golius (s) observes; and Josephus (t) says that the posterity of Magog are called Scythians, and these inhabited Tartary; and there, as Paulus Venetus (u) affirms, are the countries of Gog and Magog, which they call Gug and Mungug now; from hence came the Turks, even from Tartary, which is called by the eastern writers Turchestan, whence they had their name; and so may with great propriety be called by the name of Gog; their emperor also being a high and mighty one, whose empire must be destroyed; and which is signified by the passing away of the second woe, and the drying up of the river Euphrates, Revelation 11:14, upon which passages this and the following chapter may be thought a good commentary: and so the Jews (w) make Gog to be the general of the Ishmaelites or Turks, as Armillus of the Christians, and who shall reign in the kingdom of Magog or Scythia. Gog is the name of a man, 1 Chronicles 5:4, as it is here, and not of a country. The country of Gog is called, as follows,

the land of Magog, of which Gog is king, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it: it may be supplied in connection with the former clause,

set thy face against Gog, in the land of Magog; or, "against Gog", against "the land of Magog", so Kimchi. The countries of Jagog and Magog, according to the Arabic geographer (x), are surrounded by Mount Caucasus, which Bochart (y) conjectures has its name from thence; it being in the Semi-Chaldee language, the language of the Colchi and Armenians, "Gog-hasan", or Gog's fortress. This land of Magog is the same with Cathaia or Scythia, that part of Tartary from whence the Turks came; and which perhaps may come into their hands again before this prophecy is fulfilled; and even now the Turk calls himself king of Tartary; and the Magog of Pliny in Syria, the same with Aleppo, is in his dominions; which Maimonides (z) also takes notice of as in Syria, though he seems to distinguish it from Haleb or Aleppo; however, according to him, they were near to one another; though some (a) think the place in Pliny is corrupted, and that it ought to be read Magog, as it is, by Maimonides, Magbab. Gog is further described as

the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: some render it, "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal"; taking Rosh, as the rest, for the name of a place, a part of Scythia, from whence the Russians came, and had their name. So it is rendered by the Septuagint, Symmachus, and Theodotion; and some later Greek writers (b) make mention of a country called Ros, which, they say, is a Scythian nation, situated between the Euxine Pontus and the whole maritime coast to the north of Taurus, a people fierce and wild. Meshech and Tubal were the brethren of Magog, and sons of Japheth, Genesis 10:2, whose posterity inhabited those counties called after their name; who, according to Josephus (c), are the Cappadocians and Iberians; and among the former is a place called Mazaca, which has some affinity with Meshech; and there was a country called Gogarene (d), a part of Iberia. According to Bochart (e), these are the Moschi and Tybarenes, people that dwell near the Euxine sea, and under the dominion of the Turk; wherefore the Grand Turk may be called the chief prince of them:

and prophesy against him: foretell his ruin and destruction, which is hinted before. Mention is made of his invasion of the land of Judea, and that for the comfort of the Jews, that they might have nothing to fear from this formidable army.

(m) Dictionary in the words "Gog" and "Magog". (n) "De fide ad Gratianum", l. 2. sect. 4. Colossians 144. tom. 4. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. (p) Comment. in Jesaiam, vol. 1. p. 954. (q) Vid. Calmet. Bibliotheca Sacra, art. 67. p. 442. (r) Hiller. Ononmastic. Sacr. p. 67, 406, 477. (s) Lexic. Arabic in Rad. Colossians 26. (t) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((u) Apud Schindler. Lex. Polyglott. col. 288. And Harris's Voyages and Travels, vol. 1. p. 604. (w) Vid. Huls. Theolog. Jud. par. 2. p. 511. (x) Geograph. Arab. par. 9. clim. 5. lin. 22, 23. (y) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 13. col. 187. (z) Hilchot Terumot, c. 1. sect. 9. (a) See Hyde Not, in Peritsol. Itinera Mundi, p. 42. (b) Zonaras, Cedrenus, & Joan. Curopalates apud Selden. de Synedriis, l. 2. c. 3. sect. 6. (c) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((d) Strabo. Geograph. l. 11. p. 364. (e) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 13. col. 188.

Son of man, set thy face against {a} Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

(a) Who were a people that came from Magog the son of Japheth, Ge 10:2. Magog also here signifies a certain country so that by these two countries which had the government of Greece and Italy he means the principal enemies of the Church, Re 20:8.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 2. - Set thy face against (or, toward) God. Although occurring in 1 Chronicles 5:4 as the name of a Reubenite, Gog was probably a title formed by Ezekiel himself from the word Magog, the syllable ma being treated as equivalent to "land." A similar freedom appears to have been exercised by the author of the Apocalypse, who out of Magog, here a territorial designation, makes a military power co-ordinate with Gog (Revelation 20:8). That Gog was not an actual person - though the name reminds one of that of the Lydian king Gyges, as it appears on the monuments, Gu-gu, Gu-ug-gu, aud of that of one Sa-gi, or Sa-agi, the ruler of another Eastern territory not yet identified (see Schrader, 'Die Keilinschriften und dos Alto Testament,' p. 427; and comp. 'Records of the Past,' first series, vol. 9:46) - but an ideal character, must be held as proved by the composite structure of his army, which was drawn from the four comers of the globe, as well as by the highly imaginative texture of the whole prophecy, which, as Hengstenberg properly remarks, has a thoroughly "utopian [perhaps better, 'ideal'] character," showing that it moves "in the region of holy fancy." The words, the land of Magog, are not, with Havernick, Ewald, and Smend, to be interpreted as the local or geographical terminus of the prediction, as if the word of God had said, "Set thy face toward Gog, toward the laud of Magog;" but, with the majority of expositors, as a territorial designation signifying that Gog was in or of the laud of Magog, which is here marked with the article, probably to identify it with the well-known Magog mentioned in Genesis 10:2, along with Tubal and Mesech as among the descendants of Japheth. From the circumstance that in the table of nations Magog stands between Gomer (the Cimmerians) and Madai (the Medians), and that Gomer appears in Gog's army, it has been not unreasonably concluded that to Ezekiel Magog represented a fierce Northern tribe, most likely, as Josephus ('Ant.,' 1:06. 1) asserts, the Scythians, whose territories lay upon the borders Of the sea of Azov and in the Caucasus. Plumptre even thinks that, "placed as Ezekiel was, he may well have come into contact with these Scythian tribes, either as part of Nebuchadnezzar's army or by a journey on his part into the regions north of Ararat" ('Ezekiel: an Ideal Biography,' Expositor, vol. 8. p. 291, second series). Yet, could both of these hypotheses be established, it would not follow that Ezekiel was thinking merely, as Knobel and Gesenius suppose, of a future struggle which Israel should have to maintain against these genres Scythicas immanes et innumerabiles, as Jerome in his day described them. In addition to being named from his land, Gog is further distinguished by the peoples over whom he rules, Ezekiel styling him the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal - a translation adhered to by Hengstenberg, Ewald, and Smend; or, according to the LXX., which most expositors and the Revised Version follow, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. The former rendering is obtained by interpreting נְשִׂיא רלֺאשׁ after the analogy of הַכֹּהֵן רלֺאשׁ, "chief priest," or "minister," in 1 Chronicles 27:5; and is supported by a similar use of the word rosh on coins under the government of the Persian satraps; yet the second rendering is not devoid of considerations that may be urged in its favor. Besides being grammatically possible, it yields a souse which is not improbable. Byzantine and Arabian writers of the tenth century were acquainted with a people called οἱ Ρῶς, who were Scythian mountaineers, dwelling north of the Taurus, on the shores of the Black Sea and on the banks of the Volga. The Koran speaks of a land of Ras not far from the Araxes. Whether either of these can be connected with present-day Russians, as Gesenius suggests - an hypothesis which Hengstenberg protests deals hardly with the poor Russians - must be left undecided. So must the question whether the people inquired after can be identified, as Delitzsch suggests, with the inhabitants of the land of Raseh (mat Ra-a-si) of the Inscriptions, which was Situated on the confines of Elam on the Tigris (see Schrader, 'Die Keilin-schriften und das Alto Testament,' p. 427; and comp. 'Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 84, 11. 122, 124). At the same time, Jerome's objection will scarcely hold good against understanding Resh as the name of a people, viz. that the Bible elsewhere has no knowledge of any such people, since, as Havernick observes, "one cannot know beforehand whether to Ezekiel, in his then place of abode, the knowledge of such a people was not likely sooner to come than to any Old Testament writer," and it is certain that the Book of Ezekiel is not wanting in names that occur only once, as e.g. Chilmad (Ezekiel 27:23) and Chub (Ezekiel 30:5). Hitzig points out that in Genesis 10, along with Mesech and Tubal, is mentioned a third nation, Tiras, which Yon Hammer has attempted to connect with Rosh; while Schroder sees in Rosh (allied to Ross, "horse") an indication that the people were equestrian in their habits, like the Scythians. The other peoples, Meshech and Tubal, were undoubtedly the Mosohians and Tibarenes, who, according to Herodotus (3:94; 7:78), dwelt south of the Black Sea. The Devastation of Edom

Ezekiel 35:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 35:2. Son of man, set thy face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, Ezekiel 35:3. And say to it, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will deal with thee, Mount Seir, and will stretch out my hand against thee, and make thee waste and devastation. Ezekiel 35:4. Thy cities will I make into ruins, and thou wilt become a waste, and shalt know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 35:5. Because thou cherishest eternal enmity, and gavest up the sons of Israel to the sword at the time of their distress, at the time of the final transgression, Ezekiel 35:6. Therefore, as truly as I live, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, I will make thee blood, and blood shall pursue thee; since thou hast not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue thee. Ezekiel 35:7. I will make Mount Seir devastation and waste, and cut off therefrom him that goeth away and him that returneth, Ezekiel 35:8. And fill his mountains with his slain; upon thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy low places, those pierced with the sword shall fall. Ezekiel 35:9. I will make thee eternal wastes, and thy cities shall not be inhabited; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 35:10. Because thou sayest, The two nations and the two lands they shall be mine, and we will take possession of it, when Jehovah was there; Ezekiel 35:11. Therefore, as truly as I live, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, I will do according to thy wrath and thine envy, as thou hast done because of thy hatred, and will make myself known among them, as I shall judge thee. Ezekiel 35:12. And thou shalt know that I, Jehovah, have heard all thy reproaches which thou hast uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, "they are laid waste, they are given to us for food." Ezekiel 35:13. Ye have magnified against me with your mouth, and heaped up your sayings against me; I have heard it. Ezekiel 35:14. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will prepare devastation for thee. Ezekiel 35:15. As thou hadst thy delight in the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was laid waste, so will I do to thee; thou shalt become a waste, Mount Seir and all Edom together; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.

The theme of this prophecy, viz., "Edom and its cities are to become a desert" (Ezekiel 35:2-4), is vindicated and earnestly elaborated in two strophes, commencing with 'יען וגו (Ezekiel 35:5 and Ezekiel 35:10), and closing, like the announcement of the theme itself (Ezekiel 35:4), with 'כּי אני (וידעוּ) וידעתּם, by a distinct statement of the sins of Edom. - Already, in Ezekiel 25, Edom has been named among the hostile border nations which are threatened with destruction (Ezekiel 35:12-14). The earlier prophecy applied to the Edomites, according to their historical relation to the people of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. In the present word of God, on the contrary, Edom comes into consideration, on the ground of its hostile attitude towards the covenant people, as the representative of the world and of mankind in its hostility to the people and kingdom of God, as in Isaiah 34 and Isaiah 63:1-6. This is apparent from the fact that devastation is to be prepared for Edom, when the whole earth rejoices (Ezekiel 35:14), which does not apply to Edom as a small and solitary nation, and still more clearly from the circumstance that, in the promise of salvation in Ezekiel 36, not all Edom alone (Ezekiel 35:5), but the remnant of the heathen nations generally (Ezekiel 36:3-7 and Ezekiel 36:15), are mentioned as the enemies from whose disgrace and oppression Israel is to be delivered. For Ezekiel 35:2, compare Ezekiel 13:17. הר is the name given to the mountainous district inhabited by the Edomites, between the Dead Sea and the Elanitic Gulf (see the comm. on Genesis 36:9). The prophecy is directed against the land; but it also applies to the nation, which brings upon itself the desolation of its land by its hostility to Israel. For Ezekiel 35:3, compare Ezekiel 6:14, etc. חרבּה, destruction. The sin of Edom mentioned in Ezekiel 35:5 is eternal enmity toward Israel, which has also been imputed to the Philistines in Ezekiel 25:15, but which struck deeper root, in the case of Edom, in the hostile attitude of Esau toward Jacob (Genesis 25:22. and Genesis 27:37), and was manifested, as Amos (Amos 1:11) has already said, in the constant retention of its malignity toward the covenant nation, so that Edom embraced every opportunity to effect its destruction, and according to the charge brought against it by Ezekiel, gave up the sons of Israel to the sword when the kingdom of Judah fell. הנּיר על , lit., to pour upon ( - into) the hands of the sword, i.e., to deliver up to the power of the sword (cf. Psalm 63:11; Jeremiah 18:21). בּעת recalls to mind בּיום אידם in Obadiah 1:13; but here it is more precisely defined by בּעת עון , and limited to the time of the overthrow of the Israelites, when Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by the Chaldeans. בּעת עון קץ, as in Ezekiel 21:30. On account of this display of its hostility, the Lord will make Edom blood (Ezekiel 35:6). This expression is probably chosen for the play upon the words דּם and אדם. Edom shall become what its name suggests. Making it blood does not mean merely filling it with bloodshed, or reddening the soil with blood (Hitzig); but, as in Ezekiel 16:38, turning it as it were into blood, or causing it to vanish therein. Blood shall pursue thee, "as blood-guiltiness invariably pursues a murderer, cries for vengeance, and so delivers him up to punishment" (Hvernick). אם לא cannot be the particle employed in swearing, and dependent upon חי־אני, since this particle introduces an affirmative declaration, which would be unsuitable here, inasmuch as דּם in this connection cannot possibly signify blood-relationship. אם לא means "if not," in which the conditional meaning of אם coincides with the causal, "if" being equivalent to "since." The unusual separation of the לא from the verb is occasioned by the fact that דּם is placed before the verb to avoid collision with ודּם. To hate blood is the same as to have a horror of bloodshed or murder. This threat is carried out still further in Ezekiel 35:7 and Ezekiel 35:8. The land of Edom is to become a complete and perpetual devastation; its inhabitants are to be exterminated by war. The form שׁממה stands for שׁמּמה, and is not to be changed into משׁמּה. Considering the frequency with which משׁמּה occurs, the supposition that we have here a copyist's error is by no means a probable one, and still less probable is the perpetuation of such an error. עבר ושׁב, as in Zechariah 7:14. For Ezekiel 35:8 compare Ezekiel 32:5-6 and Ezekiel 31:12. The Chetib תּישׁבנה is scriptio plena for תּשׁבנה, the imperfect Kal of ישׁב in the intransitive sense to be inhabited. The Keri תּשׁבנה, from שׁוּב, is a needless and unsuitable correction, since שׁוּב does not mean restitui.

In the second strophe, Ezekiel 35:10-15, the additional reason assigned for the desolation of Edom is its longing for the possession of Israel and its land, of which it desired to take forcible possession, although it knew that they belonged to Jehovah, whereby the hatred of Edom toward Israel became contempt of Jehovah. The two peoples and the two lands are Israel and Judah with their lands, and therefore the whole of the holy people and land. את is the sign of the accusative: as for the two peoples, they are mine. The suffix appended to ירשׁנוּה is neuter, and is to be taken as referring generally to what has gone before. ויהוה שׁם היה is a circumstantial clause, through which the desire of Edom is placed in the right light, and characterized as an attack upon Jehovah Himself. Jehovah was there - namely, in the land of which Edom wished to take possession. Kliefoth's rendering, "and yet Jehovah is there," is opposed to Hebrew usage, by changing the preterite היה into a present; and the objection which he offers to the only rendering that is grammatically admissible, viz., "when Jehovah was there," to the effect "that it attributes to Ezekiel the thought that the Holy Land had once been the land and dwelling-place of God, but was so no longer," calls in question the actual historical condition of things without the slightest reason. For Jehovah had really forsaken His dwelling-place in Canaan before the destruction of the temple, but without thereby renouncing His right to the land; since it was only for the sins of Israel that He had given up the temple, city, and land to be laid waste by the heathen. "But Edom had acted as if Israel existed among the nations without God, and Jehovah had departed from it for ever" (Hvernick); or rather as if Jehovah were a powerless and useless Deity, who had not been able to defend His people against the might of the heathen nations. The Lord will requite Edom for this, in a manner answering to its anger and envy, which had both sprung from hatred. נודעתּי בם, "I will make myself known among them (the Israelites) when I judge thee;" i.e., by the fact that He punishes Edom for its sin, He will prove to Israel that He is a God who does not suffer His people and His possession to be attacked with impunity. From this shall Edom learn that He is Jehovah, the omniscient God, who has heard the revilings of His enemies (Ezekiel 35:12, Ezekiel 35:13), and the almighty God, who rewards those who utter such proud sayings according to their deeds (Ezekiel 35:14 and Ezekiel 35:15). נאצות has retained the Kametz on account of the guttural in the first tone, in contrast with נאצות in Nehemiah 9:18, Nehemiah 9:26 (cf. Ewald, 69b). - The expression "mountains of Israel," for the land of Israel, in Ezekiel 35:12 and Ezekiel 36:1, is occasioned by the antithesis "mountain (mountain-range) of Seir." The Chetib hmmhs is to be pronounced שׁממה, and to be retained in spite of the Keri. The singular of the neuter gender is used with emphasis in a broken and emotional address, and is to be taken as referring ad sensum to the land. הגדּיל בּפה, to magnify or boast with the mouth, i.e., to utter proud sayings against God, in other words, actually to deride God (compare הגדּיל פּה in Obadiah 1:12, which has a kindred meaning). העתיר, used here according to Aramean usage for העשׁיר, to multiply, or heap up. In כּשׂמה, in Ezekiel 35:14, כּ is a particle of time, as it frequently is before infinitives (e.g., Joshua 6:20), when all the earth rejoices, not "over thy desolation" (Hitzig), which does not yield any rational thought, but when joy is prepared for all the world, I will prepare devastation for thee. Through this antithesis כּל־הארץ is limited to the world, with the exception of Edom, i.e., to that portion of the human race which stood in a different relation to God and His people from that of Edom; in other words, which acknowledged the Lord as the true God. It follows from this, that Edom represents the world at enmity against God. In כּשׂמחתך (Ezekiel 35:15) כ is a particle of comparison; and the meaning of Ezekiel 35:15 is: as thou didst rejoice over the desolation of the inheritance of the house of Israel, so will I cause others to rejoice over thy desolation. In Ezekiel 35:15 we agree with the lxx, Vulgate, Syriac, and others, in taking תּהיה as the second person, not as the third. כּל־אדום כּלּהּ serves to strengthen הר־שׂעיר (compare Ezekiel 11:15 and Ezekiel 36:10).

The Restoration and Blessing of Israel

Ezekiel 36:1. And thou, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, Mountains of Israel, hear the word of Jehovah: Ezekiel 36:2. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because the enemy saith concerning you, Aha! the everlasting heights have become ours for a possession: Ezekiel 36:3. Therefore prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because, even because they lay you waste, and pant for you round about, so that ye have become a possession to the remnant of the nations, and have come to the talk of the tongue and gossip of the people: Ezekiel 36:4. Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains and hills, to the low places and valleys, and to the waste ruins and the forsaken cities, which have become a prey and derision to the remnant of the nations round about; Ezekiel 36:5. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Truly in the fire of my jealousy I have spoken against the remnant of the nations, and against Edom altogether, which have made my land a possession for themselves in all joy of heart, in contempt of soul, to empty it out for booty. Ezekiel 36:6. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the low places and valleys, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, in my jealousy and fury have I spoken, because ye have borne the disgrace of the nations. Ezekiel 36:7. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I, I have lifted up my hand; truly the nations round about you, they shall bear their disgrace. Ezekiel 36:8. But ye, ye mountains of Israel, shall put forth your branches, and bear your fruit to my people Israel; for they will soon come. Ezekiel 36:9. For, behold, I will deal with you, and turn toward you, and ye shall be tilled and sown. Ezekiel 36:10. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel at once; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the ruins built. Ezekiel 36:11. And I will multiply upon you man and beast; they shall multiply and be fruitful: and I will make you inhabited as in your former time, and do more good to you than in your earlier days; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 36:12. I will cause men, my people Israel, to walk upon you; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be an inheritance to them, and make them childless no more. Ezekiel 36:13. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because they say to you, "Thou art a devourer of men, and hast made thy people childless;" Ezekiel 36:14. Therefore thou shalt no more devour men, and no more cause thy people to stumble, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 36:15. And I will no more cause thee to hear the scoffing of the nations, and the disgrace of the nations thou shalt bear no more, and shalt no more cause thy people to stumble, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah.

This prophecy is uttered concerning the land of Israel, as is plainly declared in Ezekiel 36:6; whereas in Ezekiel 36:1 and Ezekiel 36:4 the mountains of Israel are mentioned instead of the land, in antithesis to the mountains of Seir (Ezekiel 35:1-15; see the comm. on Ezekiel 35:12). The promise takes throughout the form of antithesis to the threat against Edom in Ezekiel 35:1-15. Because Edom rejoices that the Holy Land, which has been laid waste, has fallen to it for a possession, therefore shall the devastated land be cultivated and sown again, and be inhabited by Israel as in the former time. The heathen nations round about shall, on the other hand, bear their disgrace; Edom, as we have already observed, being expanded, so far as the idea is concerned, into all the heathen nations surrounding Israel (Ezekiel 36:3-7). In Ezekiel 36:2, האויב, the enemy, is mentioned in quite a general manner; and what has already been stated concerning Edom in Ezekiel 35:5 and Ezekiel 35:10, is her predicted of the enemy. In Ezekiel 36:3 and Ezekiel 36:4 this enemy is designated as a remnant of the heathen nations; and it is not till Ezekiel 36:5 that it is more precisely defined by the clause, "and all Edom altogether." The גּוים round about (אשׁר, Ezekiel 36:4, compared with Ezekiel 36:3) are the heathen nations which are threatened with destruction in Ezekiel 25 and 26, on account of their malicious rejoicing at the devastation of Jerusalem and Judah. This serves to explain the fact that these nations are designated as שׁארית הגּוים, the rest, or remnant of the heathen nations, which presupposes that the judgment has fallen upon them, and that only a remnant of them is left, which remnant desires to take possession of the devastated land of Israel. The epithet applied to this land, בּמות, everlasting, i.e., primeval heights, points back to the גּבעות עולם of Genesis 49:26 and Deuteronomy 33:15, and is chosen for the purpose of representing the land as a possession secured to the people of Israel by primeval promises, in consequence of which the attempt of the enemy to seize upon this land has become a sin against the Lord God. The indignation at such a sin is expressed in the emotional character of the address. As Ewald has aptly observed, "Ezekiel is seized with unusual fire, so that after the brief statement in Ezekiel 36:2 'therefore' is repeated five times, the charges brought against these foes forcing themselves in again and again, before the prophecy settles calmly upon the mountains of Israel, to which it was really intended to apply." For יען בּיען, see the comm. on Ezekiel 13:10. שׁמּות is an infinitive Kal, formed after the analogy of the verbs ה'ל (cf. Ewald, 238e), from שׁמם, to be waste, to devastate, as in Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11, and is not to be taken in the sense of נשׁם, after Isaiah 42:14, as Hitzig supposes. שׁאף, to pant for a thing; here it is equivalent to snapping at anything. This is required by a comparison with Ezekiel 36:4, where היה לבז corresponds to שׁמּות ושׁאף, and ללעג to 'תּעלוּ על שׂפת וגו. In the connection שׂפת לשׁון, שׂפה signifies the lip as an organ of speech, or, more precisely, the words spoken; and לשׁון, the tongue, is personified, and stands for אישׁ לשׁון (Psalm 140:12), a tongue-man, i.e., a talker.

In Ezekiel 36:4 the idea expressed in "the mountains of Israel" is expanded into mountains, hills, lowlands, and valleys (cf. Ezekiel 31:12; Ezekiel 32:5-6); and this periphrastic description of the land is more minutely defined by the additional clause, "waste ruins and forsaken cities." אם לא in Ezekiel 36:5 is the particle used in oaths (cf. Ezekiel 5:11, etc.); and the perfect דּבּרתּי is not merely prophetic, but also a preterite. God has already uttered a threatening word concerning the nations round about in Ezekiel 25, 26, and Ezekiel 35:1-15; and here He once more declares that they shall bear their disgrace. אשׁ קנאח is the fiery jealousy of wrath. כּלּא is an Aramean form for כּלּהּ (Ezekiel 35:15). For בשׁאט נפשׁ, see Ezekiel 25:6. In the expression למען מגרשׁהּ לבז noisserp, which has been rendered in various ways, we agree with Gesenius and others in regarding מגרשׁ as an Aramean form of the infinitive of גּרשׁ, with the meaning to empty out, which is confirmed by the Syriac; for מגרשׁ cannot be a substantive, on account of the למען; and Hitzig's conjecture, that לבז should be pointed לבז, and the clause rendered "to plunder its produce," is precluded by the fact that the separation of the preposition למען ל, by the insertion of a word between, is unexampled, to say nothing of the fact that מגרשׁ does not mean produce at all. The thought expressed in Ezekiel 36:6 and Ezekiel 36:7 is the following: because Israel has hitherto borne the contempt of the heathen, the heathen shall now bear their own contempt. The lifting of the hand is a gesture employed in taking an oath, as in Ezekiel 20:6, etc. But the land of Israel is to receive a blessing. This blessing is described in Ezekiel 36:8 in general terms, as the bearing of fruit by the mountains, i.e., by the land of Israel; and its speedy commencement is predicted. It is then depicted in detail in Ezekiel 36:9. In the clause כּי קרבוּ לבוא, the Israelites are not to be regarded as the subject, as Kliefoth supposes, in which case their speedy return from exile would be announced. The כּי shows that this cannot be the meaning; for it is immediately preceded by 'לעמּי ישׁ' yb , which precludes the supposition that, when speaking of the mountains, Ezekiel had the inhabitants in his mind. The promised blessings are the subject, or the branches and fruits, which the mountains are to bear. Nearly all the commentators have agreed in adopting this explanation of the words, after the analogy of Isaiah 56:1. With the כּי in Ezekiel 36:9 the carrying out of the blessing promised is appended in the form of a reason assigned for the general promise. The mountains shall be cultivated, the men upon them, viz., all Israel, multiplied, the desolated cities rebuilt, so that Israel shall dwell in the land as in the former time, and be fruitful and blessed. This promise was no doubt fulfilled in certain weak beginnings after the return of a portion of the people under Zerubbabel and Ezra; but the multiplying and blessing, experienced by those who returned from Babylon, did not take place till long after the salvation promised here, and more especially in Ezekiel 36:12-15.

According to Ezekiel 36:12, the land is to become the inheritance of the people Israel, and will no more make the Israelites childless, or (according to Ezekiel 36:14) cause them to stumble; and the people are no more to bear the contempt of the heathen. But that portion of the nation which returned from exile not only continued under the rule of the heathen, but had also in various ways to bear the contempt of the heathen still; and eventually, because Israel not only stumbled, but fell very low through the rejection of its Saviour, it was scattered again out of the land among the heathen, and the land was utterly wasted...until this day. In Ezekiel 36:12 the masculine suffix attached to וירשׁוּך refers to the land regarded as הר, which is also the subject to היית and תּוסף. It is not till Ezekiel 36:13, Ezekiel 36:14, where the idea of the land becomes so prominent, that the feminine is used. שׁכּלם, to make them (the Israelites) childless, or bereaved, is explained in Ezekiel 36:13, Ezekiel 36:14 by אכלת, devouring men. That the land devours its inhabitants, is what the spies say of the land of Canaan in Numbers 13:32; and in 2 Kings 2:19 is it affirmed of the district of Jericho that it causes משׁכּלת, i.e., miscarriages, on account of its

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