And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain on him, and on his bands, and on the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.
blood … hailstones, fire—(Re 8:7; 16:21). The imagery is taken from the destruction of Sodom and the plagues of Egypt (compare Ps 11:6). Antiochus died by "pestilence" (2 Maccabees 9:5).I will plead, as judge and avenger, and in most dreadful manner, whether you take the words figuratively or literally. I slew others, Sennacherib’s army, by pestilence, probably this was the angel’s sword; others, as Ammon, Moab, Mount Seir, with blood by their own swords; the Amorites with hailstones, Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, the old world with an overflowing flood. Each single was dreadful, but all meet in the destruction of Gog to make it most terrible. Whether these things are enigmatical or literal, I will not determine, but I am sure they tell us how great the final ruin of the enemies of God and his church shall be.
and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain; a horrible tempest of divine wrath, Psalm 11:6 as he came into the land of Israel like a storm, so he shall be destroyed by one much more terrible:
fire and brimstone; as God rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:24, signifying that in like manner will God deal with those enemies of his people; so at the battle of Armageddon, which seems to be the same with this here, the beast and the false prophet will be taken alive, and cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone, Revelation 19:20, and to this rain or tempest of fire and brimstone upon Gog there is an allusion in Revelation 20:9.And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. I will plead] i.e. contend. Jehovah’s pleadings are often great acts of judgment, Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31. Cf. Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 14:19; Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 30:30; Psalm 11:6, for similar judgments.Verses 22, 23. - Pestilence and blood (comp. Ezekiel 5:17; Ezekiel 14:19; Ezekiel 28:23)... an overflowing rain and great hailstones - literally, stones of ice (comp. Ezekiel 13:11, 13) - fire, and brimstone, or, pitch (comp. Genesis 19:24). The imagery here brought together was probably borrowed from the accounts given in the Pentateuch of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24), of the plagues in Egypt (Exodus 7. - 10.), and of the extermination of the Canaanites (Joshua 10:11). The result of the whole would be to impress the minds of many nations with the conviction that Israel's God was both great and powerful, that, in fact, he was God alone.
Ezekiel 36:22. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I do it not for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the nations whither ye have come. Ezekiel 36:23. I will sanctify my great name, which is profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them, so that the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, when I prove myself holy upon you before their eyes. Ezekiel 36:24. I will take you out of the nations, and gather you out of all lands, and bring you into your land, Ezekiel 36:25. And will sprinkle clean water upon you, that ye may become clean; from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols will I cleanse you, Ezekiel 36:26. And I will give you a new heart, and give a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:27. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and keep my rights, and do them. Ezekiel 36:28. And ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to your fathers, and shall become my people, and I will be your God. - These verses show in what way the Lord will have compassion upon His holy name, and how He will put an end to the scoffing thereat, and vindicate His honour in the sight of the heathen. "Nor for your sake," i.e., not because you have any claim to deliverance on account of your behaviour (cf. Isaiah 48:11 and Deuteronomy 9:6), but for my holy name's sake, i.e., to manifest as holy the name which has been profaned among the heathen, I do it, namely, what follows from Ezekiel 36:23 onwards. The Lord will sanctify His name, i.e., show it to be holy by proving Himself to be holy upon Israel. קדּשׁ is not equivalent to glorify, although the holiness of God involves the idea of glory. Sanctifying is the removing or expunging of the blots and blemishes which adhere to anything. The giving up of His people was regarded by the heathen as a sign of the weakness of Jehovah. This blot through which His omnipotence and glory were dishonoured, God would remove by gathering Israel out of the heathen, and glorifying it. Instead of לעיניכם, the ancient versions have rendered לעיניהם. This reading is also found in many of the codices and the earliest editions, and is confirmed by the great Masora, and also commended by the parallel passages, Ezekiel 20:41 and Ezekiel 28:25, so that it no doubt deserves the preference, although לעיניכם can also be justified. For inasmuch as Israelites had despaired in the midst of their wretchedness through unbelief, it was necessary that Jehovah should sanctify His great name in their sight as well. The great name of Jehovah is His almighty exaltation above all gods (cf. Malachi 1:11-12). The first thing that Jehovah does for the sanctification of His name is to bring back Israel from its dispersion into its own land (Ezekiel 36:24, compare Ezekiel 11:17 and Ezekiel 20:41-42); and then follows the purifying of Israel from its sins. The figurative expression, "to sprinkle with clean water," is taken from the lustrations prescribed by the law, more particularly the purifying from defilement from the dead by sprinkling with the water prepared from the ashes of a red heifer (Numbers 19:17-19; compare Psalm 51:9). Cleansing from sins, which corresponds to justification, and is not to be confounded with sanctification (Schmieder), is followed by renewal with the Holy Spirit, which takes away the old heart of stone and puts within a new heart of flesh, so that the man can fulfil the commandments of God, and walk in newness of life (Ezekiel 36:26-28; compare Ezekiel 11:18-20, where this promise has already occurred, and the necessary remarks concerning its fulfilment have been made). - With regard to the construction 'עשׂה את אשׁר , to make or effect your walking, compare Ewald, ֗337b.
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