XXXVIII The attempt of Gog and Magog on the land of Israel, ver. 1-13. The terror occasioned thereby, ver. 14-20. Their defeat by the immediate hand of God, ver. 21-23.
Verse 1. Saying - God now forewarns the Jews, what enemies and troubles would interpose, before he would fully deliver them.
Verse 2. Gog - This cannot be one single person, or prince, though perhaps it points out some one, by whom the troubles foretold were begun. Some believe 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. But others think, all the enemies of Israel in all quarters, both open and secret are here intended, and that the Antichristian forces and combination, are what the prophet foretells. Magog - 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 that country, which now is in subjection to the Turks, and may be extended thro' Asia minor, the countries of Sarmatia, and many others, under more than one in succession of time. And in the last time under some one active and daring prince, all their power will be stirred up against Christians.
Verse 4. Handling swords - That is, very ready, expert and strong in using the sword.
Verse 6. Gomer - Inhabitants of Galatia. Togarmah - Paphlagonia, and Cappadocia. The north quarters - The more northern people, the numerous Tartars.
Verse 7. Be thou prepared - God and the church deride this mighty preparation.
Verse 8. After many days - In the latter days of the Messiah's kingdom among men. In the later years - These must be cotemporary with the many days already mentioned. Thou - Gog with all thy numbers. The land - The land of the Jews, a people recovered from captivity, into which the sword of their enemy had brought them. Always waste - It is already two thousand four hundred years since the ten tribes were carried away by Salmanezer. But it - The land of Canaan, that is, the people of it.
Verse 11. Unwalled - Weak, and without any considerable defenses.
Verse 13. Sheba - This Sheba was southward, and contains all of that coast which assisted Gog. Dedan - By these are noted, the eastern nations that assisted. Tarshish - The inhabitants of the sea-coast westward, and Magog north. The young lions - Young men thirsty of blood, but more of spoil, resolve to join, if they may rob and spoil for themselves. Art thou come - This repeated enquiry seems to be an agreement to come to his assistance, on condition they might have, possess, and carry away what they seize.
Verse 14. Know it - Thou wilt be informed of it.
Verse 15. The north parts - From Scythia, from the Euxine and Caspian seas, and countries thereabouts.
Verse 16. I will bring - I will permit thee to come. Sanctified - Confessed to be a great Godover all, a gracious and faithful God to his people, and a dreadful enemy and avenger against the wicked. Before - ln the sight of all the heathen that are with Gog, and much more in the sight of God's own people.
Verse 17. Spoken - All these enterprises I have spoken of, and will as well defeat as I did foretel them.
Verse 19. For - For my own people, and for mine own glory. Have I spoken - Against mine enemiesGog, and all his herd. A great shaking - A great disturbance and tumult, like an earthquake.
Verse 21. Sword - Israel. Throughout - From all parts of the land, which was full of mountains. Every man's sword - As it was in Jehoshaphat's time; and these swords may be meant by the sword God will call for through all, for they ranged all over his mountains.
Verse 23. Magnify - Undeniably prove that I am the mighty, just, faithful, wise, holy, and merciful God. Sanctify - Declare I am holy, and true to my word.