Ezekiel 38:21
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.
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Ezekiel 38:21-22. And I will call — Rather, But I will call, for a sword against him — That is, when he has carried all before him for some time, I will at length raise up those who shall withstand him. God’s doing a thing is often expressed in Scripture by his speaking the word, and giving out his command. Thus he is said Psalm (Psalm 105:16) to call for a dearth upon the land of Canaan. Throughout all my mountains — Throughout all the land of Judea; for, as has been observed before, Judea being very mountainous, it is often in Scripture denominated the mountains of Israel, or, the mountains of the Lord. Every man’s sword shall be against his brother — God often destroys his enemies by intestine quarrels among themselves, and making them executioners of his judgments upon each other: see the margin. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood — Or, I will plead with him. God pleads with men by his judgments, which are a manifest token of the vengeance due to their sins. And I will rain upon him, &c., an overflowing rain, &c. — I will as plainly show myself in the destruction of these my enemies, as when I discomfited the armies of the Canaanites and Philistines by tempests of thunder and hail, or when I consumed Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone from heaven. “It is plain that the extraordinary circumstances mentioned in these verses remain to be accomplished on the future enemies of the Jews, when God’s people are reinstated in his favour.” — Bishop Newcome.

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.

21. every man's sword … against his brother—I will destroy them partly by My people's sword, partly by their swords being turned against one another (compare 2Ch 20:23). Call; summon and awaken.

A sword; my army, the people of Israel. Against him; Gog and his powers.

Throughout all my mountains; from all parts of the land, called here mountains, because it was full of mountains.

And I will call for a sword against him,.... That is, against Gog; or, as I would choose to render the words, "for I will call for a sword", so the particle is rendered, Ezekiel 38:19 and which Noldius (u) agrees to; and this gives a reason why there should be such a commotion in the land of Israel; because the Lord, who has the swords of princes at his command, will call for the Christian kings to come to the assistance of the Jews, and fight against the Turk: who will pursue him

throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God; throughout the land of Israel, which is mountainous; and is called the Lord's, because he hath chosen it for his people, given it to them, and now dwelt among them; and in all parts of it where the enemy is, the sword of the Jews, and of those princes that should come in to their assistance at the call of God, shall be sent against them, and cut them off: and not only so,

but every man's sword shall be against his brother; as the swords of the Midianites were, Judges 7:22, and of the enemies of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:22. The Turkish army will consist of a mixed people of many nations, who will quarrel among themselves, and destroy one another.

(u) Concordant. Ebr. Partic. p. 285, 286.

And I will call for a sword against him {o} throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

(o) Against the people of God and Magog.

21. every man’s sword] sign of a supernatural panic caused by Jehovah, Jdg 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20. LXX. has read first clause: I will summon against him all terrors (i.e. a panic).

Verse 21. - Every man's sword shall be against his brother (comp. Zechariah 14:13). The consternation produced by Jehovah's interposition should be such that the ranks of Gog should fall into utter confusion, and his warriors exterminate each other, as did the Midianites in the days of Gideon (Judges 7:22), and the Moabites, Ammonites, and Seiritea, who invaded Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:23). Ezekiel 38:21Announcement 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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