Ezekiel Chapter 39  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Ezekiel 39
 
Eze 39:1(top)
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Eze 39:11

“the east of the sea.” This is not the Mediterranean, for all of Israel is east of the Mediterranean. This may be the Sea of Galilee (according to the Targum), or it may be the Dead Sea (Keil and Delitzsch; who say north of the Dead Sea, in the Jordan Valley).

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Eze 39:12(top)
Eze 39:13(top)
Eze 39:14

“After the end of seven months they will make their search.” It seems that there will be mass burials going on for seven months (Ezek. 39:12), and then after that people will be regularly employed to bury others that die or bones that work to the surface of the ground. That is why they have to “search” for the bodies. Some scholars think that these seven months are the time the burials take, and that is reflected in some translations (cp. NAB; NET) , but that interpretation seems less likely and is a minority opinion.

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Eze 39:15(top)
Eze 39:16(top)
Eze 39:17

“Speak to the birds.” This is an example of God telling His prophets to speak, that is, to prophesy, which is sometimes important in God bringing His Word to pass (see commentary on Hosea 6:5).

“of every kind.” The Hebrew text is literally, “of every wing,” meaning of all the different kinds of birds.

“Gather yourselves from all around.” The Hebrew is more literally, “from every side.” The birds and wild animals that were going to assemble and eat the flesh of all the people who died in the Tribulation and Armageddon were the “guests” who God called to His great sacrifice and feast (cp. Zeph. 1:7; Rev. 19:17-21).

“in order that you may eat flesh and drink blood.” In a culture where family ties were strong and family tombs common, to not have anyone bury your dead body was considered a terrible curse. In fact, many people believed (falsely, but it was a very widely held belief) that a proper burial was important for a comfortable existence in the afterlife. Thus the threat of not being buried but having one’s dead body eaten by animals, birds, and vermin was a horrifying threat of unspeakable loneliness and rejection, both on this earth and in the afterlife (see commentary on Jer. 14:16).

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Eze 39:18

“of rams, of lambs and of he-goats, of bulls.” These animal terms are all referring to people of various ranks and authority. Technically, the figure of speech is called hypocatastasis, a comparison by implication (see commentary on Revelation 20:2).

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Eze 39:19(top)
Eze 39:20(top)
Eze 39:21(top)
Eze 39:22(top)
Eze 39:23(top)
Eze 39:24(top)
Eze 39:25(top)
Eze 39:26

“They will bear their shame.” Although the Hebrew text has been amended to “forget” in many English versions, based on a belief that the accepted Hebrew text was miscopied, there is every reason to believe that people who lived in sin in this life will be aware of that in the next. There are a number of verses that speak of people being ashamed in the future (cp. Ezek. 16:54, 61; 39:26; 1 John 2:28).

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Eze 39:27(top)
Eze 39:28

“and have gathered them to their own land.” There are many verses that prophesy Israel’s return to the land of Israel, the Promised Land. Although Israel did return from Babylon, this prophecy will not be fully fulfilled until in the Millennial Kingdom, as is clear from the context. [For more information on Israel’s return to the Promised Land, see commentary on Jeremiah 32:37].

“leave none of them there.” When God gathers Israel from the nations, He will leave no one behind.

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Eze 39:29

“I will pour out my spirit.” The Hebrew is in the past tense, “I have poured out my spirit,” and is the prophetic perfect idiom in which a future event is spoken of as being in the past to assure people it will happen. There are many verses that say literally that the spirit will be poured out in the future (cp. Joel 2:28-29). [For more on the prophetic perfect, see commentary on Ephesians 2:6].

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