Ezekiel 39:3
And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 39:3-7. I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand — There shall be no might in thy hand, as Moses threatens the Israelites, Deuteronomy 28:32; thou shalt not be able to use thy weapons to any purpose. I will give thee unto the ravenous birds, &c. — See Ezekiel 39:17; and Ezekiel 33:27. And I will send a fire on Magog — That is, into the country of Gog. This fire seems to signify that the land, after the army of Gog had left it, should be laid waste by the neighbouring people. Fire frequently signifies God’s fierce judgments. And among them that dwell carelessly in the isles —

That is, among the inhabitants of the sea-coast, who dwell securely, and think no harm can come upon them. All countries lying upon the sea-coast are called islands in the Hebrew language. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people — I will give evident displays of my power and goodness among them; and I will not let them pollute, &c. —

In the Hebrew it is, I will not pollute my holy name any more; that is, I will not suffer it to be polluted: verbs active often signifying only permission. The sense is, I will not suffer my name to be dishonoured any more, nor let it be said among the heathen that I was not able to rescue my people out of the hand of their enemies.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.The chief prince - Or, "prince of Rosh."

And leave but the sixth part of thee - Or, and lead thee along (Septuagint and Vulgate).

3. bow—in which the Scythians were most expert. I will smite thy bow; make thy hand weak, not able to hold the bow, and thy heart faint, not daring to take it up again. What is said of the bow rendered useless, is to be understood of all other weapons of war. This one kind, the bow, being most in use with these Scythians, is mentioned for all the rest.

Thy left hand; the hand for holding the bow, while the right fits the arrow to the string, and draws to shoot.

Thine arrows to fall; thou shalt throw away thine arrows, that thou mayst the better flee for escape. And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand,.... In which it is usually held, to have the arrow fitted to it:

and I will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand; where they are commonly held when put into the bow, and then the bow is drawn with it; signifying hereby, that though he should come into the land of Israel, he should not succeed; he would be stripped of his armour, and it would be useless to him: bows and arrows are put for all kind of warlike instruments; and are particularly mentioned because they were chiefly used in war when this prophecy was delivered.

And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. The northern warriors were bowmen.Verse 3. - I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand. Bows and arrows were characteristic weapons of the Scythians, whom Herodotus (4:46) styles ἱπποτοξόται (comp. Jeremiah 5:16; Jeremiah 6:23; and see note on Ezekiel 38:15). For His holy name's sake the Lord will bring Israel back from its dispersion into His own land, purify it from its sins, and sanctify it by His Spirit to be His own people. - 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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