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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 on those that dwell in the isles in confident security; and they shall know that I am the Lord
. 17. And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord God; 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 do sacrifice, even a .great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes
: * Speak unto every feathered fowl.] St. John has borrowed the imagery of this passage in his description of the overthrow of the Antichristian Roman confederacy (Rev. xix. 17-21.): but a mere adaptation will not prove the identity of the two confederacies against positive argunient. This allegory of Ezekiel has called forth in a very singular manner the critical powers of an unbeliever. Voltaire quoted it to prove, that the Jews of old times eat the flesh of horses and even of men: and, “ though cautioned that not Jews, nor men, but wild beasts and “ birds, were invited to this feast of slaughter, that is, to the “ consumption of the slaill, yet insisted to the last on his " strange accusation.” Michaelis cited by Abp. Newcome in
of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, of all the fatlings of Bashan- 22. And the house of Israel shall know, that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. 23. And the nations shall know, that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies : so fell they all by the sword. 24. According to their uncleanness and according to their .transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my " face from them. 25. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity's of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 26. And they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they trespassed against me, when they dwelt in their land in confident security, and none made them afraid. 27. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of the lands of their enemies, and have been sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28. Then shall they know, that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the nations : but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. 29. Neither will I hide my face any more from them : for I have poured put my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.
COMMENTARY. The principal difficulty in the exposition of this prophecy is to ascertain, what people, and what sovereign, Ezekiel means by Magog, and Gog: whether they be the same, or not the same, as the apocalyptic Gog and Magog ; whether their expedition will be undertaken at the beginning, or at the end, of the Millennium.
Mr. Mede supposes, that they are not the same as the apocalyptic Gog and Magog, but only typieal of them; that their expedition takes place at the beginning, not at the end, of the Millennium ; and that the nation intended by them is that of the Turks. The reason, which he assigns for his opinion, is this: that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog come out of the north parts, where the posterity of Magog was scattered; whereas St. John's Gog and Magog are said to be nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth : that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog are to be some terrible enemy, which should come against Israel at the time of their return, and should be destroyed by the Lord with a dreadful slaughter; whereas St. John's Gog and Magog are not brought upon the stage till the close of the Millennium *,
Bp. Newton expresses himself much to the same purpose as Mr. Mede, though somewhat more
* Mede's Works, B. iii. C. 12. and B. iv. Epist. 41.
guardedly and indecisively, as if it were possible that the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel might be the saine as the Gog and Magog of St. John. “At “ the expiration of the thousand years," says he, “ the restraint shall be taken off from wickedness. “For a little season, as it was said before, Satan « shall be loosed out of his prison, and make one “ effort more to re-establish his kingdom. As he " deceived our first parents in the paradisaical “ state, so he shall have the artifice to deceive the “ nations in this millennial kingdom, to shew that “no state or condition upon earth is exempted
and secured from sinning. The nations, whom “ he shall deceive, are described as living in the “ remotest parts of the world, in the four quarters “ of the earth; and they are distinguished by “ the name of Gog and Magog, and are said to be " as numerous as the sand of the sea. Gog and “ Magog seem to have been formerly the general
name of the northern nations of Europe and “ Asia, as the Scythians have been since, and the " Tartars are at present. In Ezekiel there is a “ famous prophecy concerning Gog and Magog ; **s and this prophecy alludes to that in many par“ ticulars. Both that of Ezekiel and this of St. “ John remain yet to be fulfilled; and therefore
we camot be absolutely certain that they may 16not both relate to the same event; but it appears
“ more probable that they relate to different events.' : “ The one is expected to take effect before, but " the other will not take place, till after the Mil
" lennium. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel are said “ expressly to come from the north-quarters and " the north-parts; but in St. John they come “ from the four quarters or corners of the " earth. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel bend " their forces against the Jews resettled in their “ own land; but in St. John they march up against " the saints and church of God in general. Gog " and Magog in Ezekiel are with very good reason “ supposed to be the Turks; but the Turks are
the authors of the second woe ; and the second
woe is past before the third woe ; and the third " woe long precedes the times here treated of. It " may therefore be concluded, that Gog and Ma" gog, as well as Sodom and Egypt and Babylon, “ are mystic naines in this book; and the last “ enemies of the Christian church are so deno" minated, because Gog and Magog appear to be " the last enemies of the Jewish nation *.”
To these opinions I can by no ineans subscribe f.
* Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xx.
+ Mr. Lowman and Abp. Newcome suppose, like myself, that the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel are the same as the Gog and Magog of St. John. But, as they do not bring forward any arguments to prove the point, what I am about to say upon it will not be altogether superfluous. See Lowman's Paraph. of the Revelation in loc. and Abp. Newcome's Ezek. xxxviji. 8, 29. His grace very justly refers the latter of these verses to Rev. XX. 8,9: but I cannot think that the enemies, who assail the Jews at the close of the Millennium, will be a mixture of Pagans and Mohammedans; because the religion of Mohammed, or the little