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2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou know
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live :
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind; prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into
[of dry bones.
them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions :
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying,
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXXVI. Continued.
Beside the important theological points to which we have just adverted, one principle is here strongly stated, which appears to have influenced the divine Being under every dispensation, and to have formed the leading motive of the Almighty's conduct toward every class of his creatures. "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, but for mine holy name's
sake." That creatures can merit of their Creator by obedience enjoined on them, is inconsistent with common sense: that sinners, who have disobeyed, can do this, is one of the most flagrant absurdities that can be broached. That salvation is of grace and of grace alone, is one of the first prin ciples of Christianity. (Luke xvii. 9, 10; Rom. xi. 5, &c.)
CHAP. XXXVII. Ver. 4. Prophesy upon-Newcome, "Over."
Ver. 11. We are cut off, &c.-Newcome," (As for) us, we are cut off."
Ver. 12. Out of your graves.-The Jews, in their
dispersion, considered themselves as dead, and burie: from the world.
Ver. 16. Take one stick-or rod. See Num. xvii. 2 Ver. 18. What thou meanest by these-Heb." What these (are) unto thee."
Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will
[to be re-united.
save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my ser vant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Q)
(Q) The vision of the resurrection of dry bones, and the parable of the two staves. Under the emblem of dead and dry bones is represented the hopeless state of the Jews in their captivity, and especially in their general dispersion. But God, conrary to every human probability, restores lesh to these bones, and renews to them ife and vigour; to intimate not only the reurn of that people from the Babylonish aptivity, but also their restoration and onversion in the latter day, by the efficacy f the Spirit of grace, which will be to them s life from the dead. The accomplishent of the former event may be consiered as au earnest of the general restoraon here promised to the whole house of
Israel. These, according to the significant emblem of the union of the two sticks or. staves, representing Ephraim and Judah, will be united in one kingdom, which will enjoy both the land of Canaan, and the blessings of the gospel, under the Messiah. The vision of the dry bones reviving is also considered by some as having a remote view to the general resurrection; at least it supposes that the doctrine of a resurrection was at that period received among the Jews, who still retain it, and consider this chapter as referring not only figuratively to their return from their dispersion, but to a literal resurrection of their nation, (which they call the first resurrection, Rev. xx. 5.) prior to the general resurrection of mankind; so Maimonides, Abarbanel, &c. (See Levi's Dissert. vol. ii. p. 271.)
Ver. 22. One king-namely, Messiah. Ver.24.comred with Jer. xxiii. 5, 6; Hos. i. 11: Ver. 26.24 covenant of peace. — Isa. liv. 10; Eph. 14-18.
Ver. 2. My tabernacle- that is, the divine pre sence shall certainly reside among them. Chap. xliii. 7; 2 Cor. vi. 16.
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords :
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and hel
[Gog and Magog.
the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with
10 Thus saith the Lord GoD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in. the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day, when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
CHAP. XXXVIII. Ver. 2. Gog, the land of Magog.-By Gen. x. 2, we learn that Magog was the second son of Japheth, who doubtless gave his name to the land here referred to. It is generally admitted that this relates to Scythia, or Tartary, and that Gog was the common name of their kings, as Pharaoh was of the kings of Egypt. They ruled over Media for some time, and the Russians, Turks, &c. sprang from them." Boothroyd in loc. chaelis compares the word Gog with Kak, or Chak, the general name of Vings among the ancient Turks, Mogn's, Tortars, Cataians, and Chinese; .... and thinks that Magog denotes those vast tracts of country to the north of India and China, which the Greeks call Scythin, and we Tartary. Scythopolis and Hieropolis, which the Scythians took when they overcame Syria, were ever after, by the Scythians, called Magog. The Arabs call the Chinese wall Sud Yagog et Magog." Newcome.
Ibid. Chief prince of Meshech. - Newcome, "Prince of Rhos, Meshech, and Tabal." Many learned men understand the word Rhos of a people,
from whom are supposed to be derived, the Rhossi Russi, or Russians. Dr. Wells.-And Tubal:-This from being so constantly joined with Mesech, mast mean some adjacent country, but what, is not certain. Ver. 4. I will put hooks into thy jaws.-See chap. xxix. 4.
Ver. 6. Gomer, &c.—the Celts, or Cimmerians. Under these names may probably be included the descendants of all the barbarian bands in the north of Asia. See ver. 15.
Ver. 8. After many days thou shalt be visitedBoothroyd, following the Chalder, "Thou shalt number (or enrol) them;" i. e. all the barbarian forces from the north. See Hebrew of Nam. i. 44; iii. 39, &c.-Against-rather, "upon" (gnal) the mountains.Which have been always-Newcome, "long" waste.
Ver. 11. Dwell safely-Marg. "Confidently," without fear or suspicion.
Ver. 12. To take a spoil - Heb. "To spoil the spoil, and to prey the prey." So ver. 13, midst -Heb. "Navel," or highest part.
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
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.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the
[Gog and Magog.
beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
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.
22 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.
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. (R)
THEREFORE, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal :
(R) Prophecies against Gog and Magog. The sublime prophecy contained in this and the following chapter, concerning Israel's victory over Gog and Magog, relates to a period still very distant, and is therefore very obscure.-It begins with representing a prodigious armament of many nations combined together, under the conduct of Gog [supposed to mean the descendants of the ancient Scythians, who had their origin from Gog the son of Japhet,] all together attacking the Jews, after having been for some time resettled in their land, after their return from the general dispersion. [These enemies are represented as making their attack with all the impetuosity of a sudden storm.] In this critical juncture, when the cloud is just ready to burst over Israel, God appears to execute by terrible judgments the vengeance threatened against these enemies of his people. The Prophet, in terms
borrowed from human passions, describes with awful emphasis the fury [of the Almighty] as coming up to his face, and the effects of it so dreadful, as to make all the animate and inanimate creation tremble, and even the whole frame of nature convulsed with terror." (Dr. J. Smith.)
It is a contested point among the ablest commentators, whether this invasion of the holy land by Gog and Magog, be an event to take place in the commencement or the close of the Millennium. (Comp. Rev. xix. 17, 18. with Rev. xx. 7-10.) The learned Jos. Mede and Bp. Newton incline to the former; Mr. Faber, Abp. Newcome, and Mr. Lowman to the latter. On subjects of this delicate nature, the Editor is fully sensible that the utmost diffidence becomes him, and cannot better express his feelings than in the following modest and pious quotation from Mr. Preb. Townsend. He says, (vol, ii. 617.)—
Ver. 17. By my servants-" By the hand of," &c. This, it seems, had been predicted from the most ancient times; perhaps even by Enoch. See Jude 14.
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee; I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord Gon; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
EXPOSITION-Chap. "I cannot venture to express an opinion on this subject. The prophecy certainly refers to those great events which are repeatedly alluded to in other predictions of Holy Writ, as about to take place at the end of the world. In this and similar passages, it may be said, "coming events cast their shadows before:" yet we cannot penetrate into the clouds of thick darkness that encircle the future. We are both exhorted and encouraged to study the word of prophecy, not with a view of indulging curiosity, but of enforcing humility; to
[Gog and Magog
9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord Gop.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord Gop.
XXXVIII. Continued, strengthen our faith, by enabling us so plainly to see the hand of Providence in the past and present, that we may believe the promises which relate to the future. As the present dispensation of the kingdom of the Messiah was predicted in general and indefinite terms to the ancient Jews, so is the millennial period of the world predicted to us. As the Jew was called on to believe in those ages of the church, so is the Christian required to believe at prescut. As the former prophecies have been ful filled, so will the latter be accomplished."
CHAP. XXXIX. Ver. 1. Magog. See chap. Xxxviii. 2.
Ver. 2. Leave but the sixth part of thee.-This is variously rendered, as may be seen in the common margins. Newcome follows our version in the text, but remarks that the Chaldec reads "to deceive." So Rosenmuller, Dathe, Dimock, &c. Boothroyd translates, "I will turn thee and lead thee about.
From the north parts-Heb. "From the sides of the north."
Ver. 4. Every sort-Heb. "Every wing."
Ver. 6. Carelessly in the isles-Newcome, "Securely in the sea-consts."
Ver. 8. It is done - (So Rev. xvi. 17.) When
God determines to do any thing, it may be considered as done; for "who hath resisted his will*** Dan. iv. 35; Rom. ix. 19.
Ver. 9. The hand-staves-Lowth, "Clubs." They shall burn them-Marg. Make a five of the a for seven years." See Note on Isa. ix. 5.
Ver. 10. Spoil those that spoiled them. — See
Isa. xiv. 2.
Ver. 11. On the east of the sea-that is, the lake of Gennesareth. Newcome.-And it skall stop, &c. -that is, the heat and offensive smell of putrid carcases shall prevent the passengers from coming neat, till they are all buried.Hamon-gog—that is, the multitude of Gog.
Ver. 13. A renown-that is, a credit, an honour, that they have interred them,