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"And I will send a fire on Magog, and on those that dwell securely in the islands," or " distant coasts, and they shall know that I am Jehovah."
The land of Magog, therefore, I argue, is the same as "the spiritual Edom;" that is to say, it is the Roman empire. It is from thence that Gog comes. Why he is called Prince of Rhos, Meshech and Tubal, or how the prince of Rhos is become subservient to his politics, we shall see in a subsequent prophecy. That this conflict is certainly the great final catastrophe of the last human enemy of Israel, is clear also from what follows:—
7. " So I will 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 nations shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel."
The notion which we are to attach to the polluting of God's holy name, we gather from chap, xxxvi. 23. His name is dishonoured by the low condition and affliction of his people Israel, while they suffer for their sins: but this dishonour to the sacred name in the eyes of the nations shall attach no more.
What follows may, perhaps, be considered as couched in the language of hyperbole; but how far this will appear to be the case, when the event can be compared with the prediction, it is impossible for us to say. It is, certainly, the design of the Divine Author of revelation to impress us with a vast idea of the numbers of human beings which, on this occasion, will become the victims of divine vengeance.
8. " Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord Jehovah; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 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,"—or rather, " shall light with them fire — seven years." So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall light fire with weapons of war."
This pertains, of course, to some particular cities in the immediate neighbourhood, and the little use made of fire in those countries much lowers the seeming hyperbole of the expression.
"And they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and plunder those that plundered them, saith the Lord Jehovah.
"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 passengers, on the east of the sea, and it shall affect the noses of the passengers; and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it "the valley of Gog's multitude." And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that the land may be cleansed; and all the people of the land shall bury them: and it shall be to them for a name in the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord Jehovah. And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury—with the passengers—those that remain on the face of the land, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it, in the valley of Gog's multitude: and the name also of a city shall be The Multitude, and they shall cleanse the land.
17. "And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of'the field, Assemble yourselves and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice, that I will sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the priuces of the earth, of lambs, and rams, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice that I have sacrificed for you; and ye shall be filled at my table with horses and mighty horsemen, and with all men of war, saith the Lord Jehovah." *
We cannot doubt but that this is the great catastrophe so often pointed out in prophecy : — the visitation of the ungodly, on whom the Lord from heaven, when he comes with his holy myriads, exercises judgment: — the destruction of the adversary in the Song of Remembrance — of the foe from Chittim — the same last enemy whose destruction is so often mentioned in the Psalms and Isaiah, and the other prophecies: which destruction we before learned was to happen in the land of Canaan, and is every where connected, as in the passage before us, with the manifestation of the Redeemer's glory.
21. " And I will set my glory among the heathen," or " in the midst of the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. And the house of Israel shall know that I am Jehovah, their Elohim, from that day and forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore did I hide my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they fell all of them by the sword. According to their uncleanncss, and according to their transgressions, have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be zealous for my holy name. And they shall forget their
• Compare Isaiah, xxxiv.
shame, even all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me; when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none shall make them afraid: when I have brought them again from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. Then shall they know that I am Jehovah, their Elohim, which caused them to be led into captivity among the nations, but have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them, when 1 have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah."
SECTION XII. General Remarks an the concluding Chapters of E-ekiel.
After the destruction of the last mortal foe of the Israelites, after their complete restoration, and after the out-pouring of the Spirit upon them, we have a description, first, of a temple to be built with certain regulations respecting the worship to be celebrated therein; and, next, of the city and territory which the worshippers of this temple possess.
I perceive nothing to render it doubtful, that the fulfilment of this prophecy is to be expected in the same order in which we find it placed in the vision before us, after the final restoration, and after the destruction of the last foe by the immediate hand of the great Redeemer; not, as some have supposed, previously to these events, so as to be merely introductory to the establishment of Messiah's kingdom.1
1 See the interesting work of Mr. Pirie on the restoration of Israel.
It is a part, I conceive, of that grand final dispensation. It shows us what will be the situation of the Israelitish nation when restored to be the grand metropolitan nation of the renovated earth, under the reign of Christ and his saints. His dominion is to be bounded only by the extreme borders of the earth; but the seat of his kingdom is to be at Zion and Jerusalem. There he sits " upon the throne of his kingdom;" not so much, as we have had cause to reflect before, after the manner of an earthly monarch in his palace, but as the Elohim of Israel, enshrined in his sanctuary, according to the typical model exhibited in the ancient tabernacle which was pitched in the camp of Israel.
The Theocracy will be restored: "at Salem" will be his tabernacle — at Jerusalem, the " place of his feet," which he will " render glorious." Here a sanctuary and temple is to be built, not to receive, as Solomon's temple, the contents of " an earthly tabernacle of this building," but of that " made without hands, eternal in the heavens." Here the visible symbols of the divine presence are to be exhibited. Here the God-man is manifested — to anticipate the language of future oracles — coming "in the glory of his Father, and in his own glory, and the glory of his holy angels." He is still the Vicegerent of his Father. He "comes again with glory," yet still with delegated glory; every tongue is to confess him Lord to the glory of God the Father. But he comes also "with his own glory,"—the glory ordained him as the first-born of every creature—the righteous and victorious Son of Man. But this glory he shares with all " the children of the resurrection," who " appear with him in glory," in such sort that the King of Saints is as " the first-born among many brethren." This part of the glory