|« Prev||Ezekiel||Next »|
 Jer. xxxi. 33. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” I think the difference here pointed out between these two covenants, lies plainly here, that in the old covenant God promised to be their God upon condition of hearty obedience; obedience was stipulated as a condition, but not promised. But in the new covenant, this hearty obedience is promised if a man be but of the house of Israel, as by faith he becomes so. God promises expressly in this new dispensation that he shall perform a hearty obedience, and so have God for his God. That old covenant they broke, as it is said in the foregoing verse. The house of Israel, these were called so under the Old Testament, could break that; but the new covenant is such as cannot be broken by the spiritual house of Israel, because obedience is one thing that God engages and promises; and therefore this is called an everlasting covenant upon this account, as is plain from chap. xxxii. 40. It is true the true saints, in the Old Testament, could not fall away any more than they can now, but they were not the Old-Testament Israel; and, though God had engaged in his covenant with Christ that they should not fall away, yet he had not expressly revealed that to them. God had not in those days so plainly revealed the primary and fundamental condition of the covenant of grace, viz. faith; but insisted more upon the secondary condition, universal and persevering obedience, the genuine and certain fruit of faith.
 Ezekiel. chapter 1. Concerning Ezekiel’s wheels. Divine Providence is most aptly represented by the revolution and course of these wheels: things in their series and course in providence do as it were go round like a wheel in its motion on the earth. That which goes round like a wheel, goes from a certain point or direction, until it gradually returns to it again; so is the course of things in providence.
God’s providence over the world consists partly in his governing the natural world according to the course and laws of nature. This consists wholly as it were in the revolution of wheels. So the annual changes that appear in the natural world are as it were by the revolution of a wheel, or the course of the sun through that great circle the ecliptic, or the ring of that great wheel the zodiac. And so the monthly changes are by the revolution of another lesser wheel within that greater annual wheel; which, being a lesser wheel, must go round oftener, to make the same progress. Ezekiel’s vision was of wheels within wheels, of lesser wheels within greater, which all went round, as though running upon several parallel plains, each touching the circumference of its respective wheel, and all making the same progress, keeping pace one with another; and therefore the lesser wheels must go round so much oftener, according as their circumference was less.
So again the diurnal changes in the natural world are by the revolution of a wheel still within the monthly wheel, and going round about thirty times in one revolution of the other. The system of the universe may exactly answer what is here said of these wheels, and livelily represents God’s providence in the government of the moral world. There is as it were a wheel within a wheel; the whole system is nothing else but wheels within wheels, lesser wheels within greater, revolving oftener. There is the sphere of the fixed stars, which is the greatest wheel, includes all the others, and is many thousand years in performing its revolution. This includes the circle of Saturn’s course, which is a lesser wheel within the other, finishing its revolution in about thirty years. That includes the circle of Jupiter, a lesser wheel, revolving in about twelve years: that includes the circle of Mars, that the circle of the Earth, that of Venus, that of Mercury, that of the Sun, which revolves about its own axis. And some of the greater wheels include lesser and of various kinds, as the great wheel of Saturn, besides those of the inferior planets, has annexed to it those lesser wheels of his satellites one within another, and then its ring, and then its own body about its axis. So of Jupiter, and so of the earth and moon. So some of the grand revolutions of providence that are but parts of the grand system of providence, have a particular system as it were belonging to themselves, wherein the great revolution includes lesser revolutions that are not parallel with any like them, continued from the beginning to the end of time, but begin their various revolutions with that particular great wheel that they are fixed to, and end with it. So it is with that great wheel, the continuance of the Jewish state; so it is with the continuance of the Christian church; so it is with the state of some particular kingdoms and empires; so it is with the motion of the air in the winds, it goes and returns according to its circuits; and so it is with the motion of the water in the tides, and in their course out of the sea, and into the clouds, springs, and rivers, and into the sea again. So it is with the circulation of the blood in a man’s body, and the bodies of other animals; so it is with the life of man; it is like the revolution of a wheel; he is from the earth and gradually rises, and then gradually falls and returns to the earth again. Dust we are, and unto dust we return; we came naked out of our mother’s womb, and naked must we go and return. The dust returns to earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. So it is with the world of mankind; it is the whole of it like a wheel; it as it were sinks and goes down to the earth in one generation, and rises in another, as it is with a wheel, at the same time that one side is falling to the earth, another part of the wheel is rising from the earth. Solomon takes notice of these things. Eccles. i. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. “One generation passeth away, and another cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind retumeth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it.”
So it is in the course of things in God’s providence over the intelligent and moral world, all is the motion of wheels; they go round and come to the same again; and the whole series of divine providence, from the beginning to the end, is nothing else but the revolution of certain wheels, greater and lesser, the lesser being contained within the greater: what comes to pass in the natural world, is in this respect typical of what comes to pass in the moral and intelligent world, and seems to be spoken of by the wise man in that forementioned place in Ecclesiastes, as the words that follow next after those that were mentioned respecting the natural world, do respect the intelligent world. Ver. 9, 10. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun,” &c.
Things in their series and course in providence, do as it were return to the same point or place whence they began, as in the turning of a wheel, but yet not so, but that a further end is obtained than was at first, or the same end is obtained in a much further degree; so that in the general there is a progress towards a certain and final issue of things, and every revolution brings nearer to that issue, as it is in the motion of a wheel upon the earth, as in the motion of the wheels of a chariot, and not like the motion of a wheel by its axis, for if so, its motion would be in vain.
The entire series of events in the course of things through the age of the visible universe, may fitly be represented by one great wheel, exceeding high and terrible, performing one great revolution. In the beginning of this revolution all things come from God, and are formed out of a chaos; and in the end, all things shall return into a chaos again, and shall return to God, so that he that is the Alpha will be the Omega. This great wheel contains a lesser wheel that performs two revolutions, while that performs one. The first begins at the beginning of the world, and ends at the coming of Christ, and at the ending of the Old-Testament dispensation, which is often represented as the end of the world in Scripture. The first revolution began with the creation of the world, so the second revolution began with the creation of new heavens and a new earth.
The course of things from the beginning of the world to the coming of Christ, may be represented as one great wheel performing one revolution; all things in the beginning of this revolution were from Christ the Creator of man, and the whole motion henceforward until Christ came was to bring things about to Christ again, and so to prepare the way for his coming, and to introduce him as the Redeemer of man. This wheel contains a lesser wheel, that performs two revolutions, while the great one does one; the first revolution ending at the calling of Abraham, at which time God did as it were plant the tree of his church anew, which he had planted at first in his revealing the covenant of grace to Adam; the second ending at the coming of Christ, the promised seed of Abraham and his antitype, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and in whom the church was planted anew, and in a far more glorious manner.
The course of things from the beginning of the world to the flood may be looked upon as the revolution of a wheel. At the beginning of it, God created the world, and the face of the earth was covered with waters, and the world was all of one man and his posterity. At the end of it, the world was destroyed and reduced to the same state again; the world was covered with waters, and the world of mankind was began anew with one man and his posterity. The course of things from the flood to Abraham, was as it were the revolution of another wheel, or another revolution of the same wheel, as at the beginning of it. The world was corrupt, and therefore one man and his family separated to be the father of the church; so it was again at the end of it. The space from Abraham to Moses was as it were another revolution of the same wheel; for, as God established his covenant with Abraham, and then separated his church from the heathen, in calling Abraham out of Chaldea and Syria, so in the end of it he again renewed his covenant, and again separated his church from the heathen world, by bringing them up out of Egypt. From Moses and Joshua, to Samuel, David, and Solomon, was another revolution of the same wheel: as in the beginning of it God gave the spirit of prophecy to Moses; so he renewed it in Samuel: as in the beginning of it God gloriously conquered the enemies of Israel, and settled them in Canaan in peace, by the hand of Moses and Joshua; so in the end of it God gloriously subdued the enemies of Israel, and subdued the remains of the inhabitants of Canaan, and the nations round about, and gave them the full and peaceable possession of the land of promise, in the full extent of it, from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt. The space from David and Solomon, to the return out of the captivity, is another revolution of the same wheel: in the beginning of it, the temple was built; in the end it was built again, and the temple and worship, and the courses of the priests and Levites, again restored, which David and Solomon had established, and the church-state of the Jews, as it had been settled by David and Solomon, was again renewed. From the return out of the captivity, until Christ came and established the Christian dispensation, is another revolution of the same wheel: at the beginning of it God redeemed the church out of Babylon; at the end of it he redeemed his church from sin and Satan, and accomplished that great redemption, of which the redemption from the Babylonish captivity was a great type.
The course of things during the Jewish state was, as it were, the revolution of a great wheel. This course, as it respects the national state of that people, began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the fathers of that nation. The national state of that people was then in its infancy; the wheel then began to rise from the ground, and it rose to the height in Solomon’s time, when the temple was built, and Solomon’s kingdom in its greatest prosperity, which was about the middle of the space between the birth and calling of Abraham and Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem; thenceforward they declined in numbers, and wealth, and strength, until they came to the ground again, when Christ came, and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Their state, with respect to their ecclesiastical constitution, began in Moses, the first prophet, and came to the height in Isaiah’s time, that most evangelical prophet, who lived about the middle of the space between Moses and Christ, and came to the ground again in Christ’s time. It was with the Jewish state, in this respect, as it is with the life of man, which I before showed was as the revolution of a wheel that began at the ground, and gradually rose to the height, and then gradually came to the ground again. So it is with kingdoms and empires; their state and course are very much like the revolution of a wheel, beginning at the ground, and rising to the height, and coming to the ground again. So it was with the four great monarchies of the world, and so it is with the reign of antichrist, and the continuance of the Mahometan empire, and other states and kingdoms; and when one nation or kingdom comes to the ground, another comes to the greatest height, that before was at the ground, as it is with the different parts of a wheel in motion. The space of time from Christ to the end of the world, is as the revolution of a great wheel. In the beginning of it Christ comes into the world, and the wicked Jews were judged at the destruction of Jerusalem, and after them the wicked heathen world, in Constantine’s time, and the old world comes to an end, and the church’s glory follows, and then things in the Christian church gradually sink, until they come to the ground in the darkest times of antichrist, and then gradually rise again until Christ comes again and judges the world, and destroys the church’s enemies, and destroys the old heavens and earth, and then the church’s glory follows.
The whole series of things through the age of the world may be represented as a wheel of various rings one within another, and some less than others: each one going round but once, the lesser ones finishing their revolution soonest, and each beginning at the creation of the old heavens and earth, which, in some respects, had different beginnings; one when Adam was created; another in Noah’s time; the settling of the world after the building of Babel, and another at the establishment of the Jewish state. And the revolution of each wheel ends in an end of the world, and a day of judgment, and a creation of new heavens and a new earth; the last wheel finishes its revolution at the coming of Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem, and overthrow of the heathen empires that followed, when the world, in a sense, came to an end, and there was a day of judgment. This began at the creation of the Jewish state in the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and Joshua, and the total apostacy of the Gentile world to heathenism. The next wheel, which is larger, began its revolution at Noah’s coming out of the ark, and the building of Babel, and the dispersing of the nations, and the settling the world from thence; which is, as it were, another beginning of the world, and ends at the destruction of Antichrist, or the spiritual Babylon, and Satan’s visible kingdom on earth, (which began in the building of Babel,) and the commencing of the glorious times of the church. This is another end of the world, and day of judgment, and building of the new heavens and new earth. The third and greatest wheel begins its revolution at the creation, and finishes it at Christ’s second coming to judge the world, and destroy heaven and earth, in a literal sense.
Every wheel, or every revolution, begins and proceeds from God, and returns to God; as in Ezekiel’s vision God is represented as appearing above the wheels, so that to him they continually returned. God remarkably appears both in the beginning and ending of each of these wheels that have been mentioned, especially in those that respect the state of the church of God. As to human things, however, such as human kingdoms, and empires, they rise from the earth, and return to the ground again; but spiritual things begin their revolution from God on high, and thither they return again.
The changes that are in the world with respect to the profession of the truth, and rise and fall of heresies, is very much like the motion of wheels, they rise and fall, and rise and fall again.
These wheels, in this vision, are represented as God’s chariot wheels. The world is the chariot of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in which he makes his progress to that glory; that glorious marriage with his spouse, that eternal feast, that everlasting kingdom of rest, and love, and joy, which the Father hath designed him.
What Ezekiel there saw was designed to represent God’s chariot, in which God rode, and those wheels are the wheels of his chariot, and God, who sat on his throne above the firmament, over these wheels and cherubim, is represented as on the seat in which he rides, and makes progress with the wheels and cherubim. God came to Ezekiel to speak to him, and gave him his mission on this chariot, and is so represented in his first chapter. In the second and third chapters we have an account of what he said to him from this seat. In the 12th and 13th verses of the 3rd chapter., we have an account of his departure when he had done speaking with him, which was with a great rustling and noise of the wings of the cherubim, and the noise of the wheels. God rode on these cherubim as those that drew his chariot, as it is said, Psal. xvii. 10. ” He rode on a cherub, and did fly.” And Psal. lxviii. 17. “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” And therefore God, in being in that chariot drawn by these cherubim, is said to be upon the cherub. Ezek. ix. 3. “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house;” and God appeared about to leave the temple, and his glory departed from off the threshold into this same chariot. Chap. x. 18. with the foregoing verses; and then it is said the cherubim lift up their wings and mounted from the earth in his sight; and the wheels also went beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above; and after this, chap. xi. 22, 23. God is represented as departing in this manner up out of the midst of the city, ascending up to the top of mount Olivet, being about from thence to ascend into heaven, from whence this same person afterwards ascended after his resurrection. (See Note on that verse.) And when it was represented in vision to Ezekiel how God would afterwards return to the city and temple in those happy days that were to come, he is represented as returning in the same manner, chap. xliii. 2, 3, 4.
This chariot represents the world, which is confirmed by this, that one part of it is called the firmament, which was the upper part, but yet the pavement of it, above which was the seat of God, who sat and rode in that chariot, agreeably to Deut. xxxiii. 26. “Who rideth upon the heaven in thine help, and in his excellency on the sky;” and to Psal. lxviii. 4. “Extol him that rideth upon the heaven of heavens, which were of old.” God appeared here on the same pavement as he appeared to the seventy elders on mount Sinai. (See Notes on Exod. xxiv. 10.) What is signified by the wheels which were under the firmament, but above us upon the earth, is, God’s providence in this visible world, especially representing mankind that dwell on the earth.
Christ was the person that appeared riding in this chariot, as is confirmed from that, that he appeared in the likeness of a man, ver. 26. and also from the description that is given of his appearance. (See Note on ver. 27.)
This chariot is drawn on those wheels by the four animals, which denote God’s power, wisdom, justice, and mercy, and all proceed on feet like a calf’s foot, because the great work of providence, that is as it were the sum of all providences, is that work of mercy, the work of redemption.
Corol. Hence I would argue that the affairs of heaven have doubtless great respect to the affairs of this lower world, and God’s providence here; and that the church in heaven, as to the progress it makes in its state of glory and blessedness, keeps pace with the church on earth; that the glory of both is advanced together. These great dispensations of providence, by which glorious things are brought to pass for the church on earth, are accompanied with like advances made at the same time in the church in heaven. And also that the affairs of the church in heaven, have some way or other a dependence on God’s providence towards his church on earth, and that their progress is dependent on the progress of things in God’s providence towards his church here. For heaven and earth are both framed together. It is the same chariot, one part has relation to another, and is connected with another, and is all moved together; the motion of one part depends on the motion of the other; the upper part moves on the wheels of the lower part, for heaven is the room and seat of the chariot that is above the firmament that moves on the wheels that are under the firmament, and that go upon the earth; when these wheels are moved by the cherubim, then the upper part moves; when they stop that stops, and wherever the wheels go that goes. It is on these wheels that Christ, the King of heaven, in his throne in heaven, makes progress to the final issue of all things. It is in the wheels of his providence that move on earth, that he in his throne in heaven makes progress towards the ultimate end of the creation of both heaven and earth, and the ultimate end of all the affairs of both; for this is the end of the journey of the whole chariot, both wheels and throne, for both are moving towards the same journey’s end. And the motion of all is by the wheels on earth; and if so, doubtless it is on these wheels that all the inhabitants of heaven, both saints and angels, are carried towards their ultimate end; for all are Christ’s family, they are either his servants and attendants in the affair of redemption, which is the grand movement of the wheels, and are the ministers that draw the wheels, or are his members and parts of his body.
This therefore confirms that the saints and angels in heaven do make progress in knowledge and happiness, by what they see of God’s works on earth. We know that all the happiness of the saints in heaven is entirely dependent on those great things that Christ did on earth, in the work of redemption, as it was purchased by it; and there is reason to think that their knowledge and glory is in other respects, by what they see of these great works of providence which God carries on in the world in the prosecution of the grand design of redemption.
 Ezek. i. 4. “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, and a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.” This that was here seen by Ezekiel was the Shechinah, or the symbol and representation of the Deity.
Here is a cloud and fire as God appeared in the wilderness, as in a pillar of cloud and fire. Psal. xviii. 11. “His pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” And Psal. xcvii. “Clouds and darkness are round about him.” And there was a whirlwind, which was an usual symbol of the divine presence, as Job xxxviii. 1. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind;” so again Job xl. 6. and Nahum i. 3. “The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and the storm.”
The fire that appeared, which did in a special manner represent the divine essence, is said to be a fire infolding itself, or catching itself, as it is in the margin, or receiving or taking itself into its own bosom; which represents the action of the Deity towards itself, in the action of the persons of the Trinity towards each other. The Godhead is perceived only by perceiving the Son and the Spirit, for no man hath seen God at any time; he is seen by his image, the Son, and is felt by the Holy Spirit, as fire is perceived only by its light and heat, seen by one, and felt by the other. Fire, by its light, represents the Son of God, and by its heat the Holy Spirit. God is light, and he is love. This light, in the manner of the subsisting of the Father and the Son, shines on itself: it receives its own brightness into its own bosom. The Deity, in the generation of the Son, shines forth with infinite brightness towards itself, and in the manner of the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, it receives all its own heat into its own bosom, and burns with infinite heat towards itself. The flames of divine love are received and infolded into the bosom of the Deity.
It is the nature of all other fire to go out of itself, as it were to fly from itself, and hastily to dissipate. The flames are continually going forth from the midst of the fire towards the exterior air, but this fire receives itself into its own bosom. Ezekiel saw this cloud of glory and fire infolding, or taking in itself, before he saw the chariot of God, the cherubim, and wheels, and firmament, and throne, and the appearance of a man above upon it, which came out of that cloud of fire; and therefore this fire, infolding itself, does especially represent the Deity before the creation of the world, or before the beginning of the being of this chariot with its wheels, when all God’s acts were only towards himself, for then there was no other being but He.
This appeared coming out of the north, from whence usually came whirlwinds in that country, and possibly because in the north is the empty place. The chariot of the world came forth out of nothing.
 Ezek. xxxvi. 5. “It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea;” and verse 14th,. “And I will make thee like the top of a rock, and thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon.” Mr. Maundrel, a minister of the church of England, who went there A. D. 1697, gives this account of New Tyre, that which was built on the island, as Dr. Wells, in his Sac. Geog. vol. iv. p. 96,97. relates. “On the north side it has an old Turkish ungarrisoned castle, besides which you see nothing here but a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as one entire house left. Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches harbouring themselves in vaults, and subsisting chiefly upon fishing, who seem to be preserved in this place by Divine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, viz. that it shall be as the top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry their nets on.” Ezek. xxvi. 14.
First. To that great company or multitude of the enemies of Christ and the church, that shall be gathered together to fight against them, after religion has begun wonderfully to revive and prevail in the world, just before the utter destruction of antichrist, and of the visible kingdom of Satan upon earth, that we read of Rev. xvi. 13, to the end., and Rev. xix. 17, to the end.
Secondly. To that vast multitude that shall be gathered against the church after the millennium, a little before the end of the world, that we read of in the 20th chapter of Revelations., who are expressly called Gog and Magog.
That there is some respect to the former of these, though they are not expressly called Gog and Magog, is evident by the many things wherein there is an agreement. In Revelations xvi. 14. the kings of the earth and of the whole world are represented as gathered together to war against the church of God; so here the kings and nations of the world are represented as gathering together against God’s Israel from the four quarters of the world, or the four winds of heaven: Magog, and Meshech, and Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah of the north quarters, chap. xxxviii. 2, 6. Persia from the east, ver. 5. Ethiopia or Cush, and Libya or Phut, Sheba and Dedan from the south-east, south, and south-west, ver. 5, 13. and the merchants and young lions (i. e. the princes) of Tarshish, and they that dwell in the isles from the west, ver. 13. and chap. xxxix. 6.
The great occasion of gathering that innumerable host, spoken of in the 16th and 19th chapters of Revelations, to war against the church, is evidently her late great prosperity in a great revival and restoration from her long-continued captivated, desolate state under antichrist. So here Gog and his multitude are represented as excited to come and war against Israel, on occasion of her being brought back from along-continued, and as it were perpetual, captivity and desolation. Ver. 8,12.
This long desolation and captivity of Israel in the latter days, which is expressed by her having been always waste, can agree to nothing but the lying waste either of Israel according to the flesh, or the Christian church, the spiritual Israel, which has been waste for many ages in these latter days, and both of them through the devastations of Rome, or the mystical Babylon.
Rev. xvi. 18, 19, 20. It is said there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great; and the cities of the nations fell, and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And in Ezek. xxxviii. 19, 20. it is said, “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, and the 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.” There seems to be a reference to this very place, in the passage from Revelations.
Rev. xviii. “And there were thunders and lightnings;” and ver. 21. “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” And here, Ezek. xxxviii. 22. it is said, “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.” There seems to be reference to this in the passage from Revelations xviii.
Rev. xix. 17, 18. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven,” &c. ver. 28. “And all the fowls were filled with their flesh;’’ and here, Ezek. xxxix. 4, 5. “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, thou shalt fall upon the open field, for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God;” and verses 17, 18, 19, 20. “And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord, Speak unto every feathered fowl,” &c. very much in the same manner as there in the Revelation; so that there is a most plain reference in one place to the other.
In Rev. xvi. 14. the day of that battle there spoken of, is called ”the great day of God Almighty;” and in verse 17. it is said, “there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done;” so here, chap. xxxix. 8. it is said, “Behold, it is come; it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.” Here also seems to be a like reference.
Secondly. This prophecy has also respect to that innumerable multitude that should be gathered against the church after the millennium, a little before the end of the world, spoken of in the 20th chapter of Revelations; which is evident, not only because they are expressly called Gog and Magog in Revelations, but there are many other things that argue it.
The church of God is represented as being in a state of peace and quietness, and great visible prosperity, at the time that they are thus invaded, as verses 8, 11, 12, 13. This better agrees with that invasion of the church of Christ in the 20th of Revelations., than that in the 16th and 19th chapters.
The multitude of Gog is represented as being gathered from the four quarters of the earth; so it is said expressly in Rev. xx. 8. “That the devil should go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog.
As it is said, Rev. xx. concerning the multitude there spoken of, that “fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them;” so here, chap. xxxix. 6. it is said, “I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles.”
In Ezek. xxxviii. 16. “Thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land.” This agrees with Rev. xx. 9. “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints, and the beloved city.”
In Ezek. v. 8. “In the latter days thou shalt come into the land;” and ver. 16. “and thou shalt come up against my people as a cloud to cover the land, and it shall be in the latter days.” This more eminently agrees with that in Rev. xx. which is just before the end of the world.
That invasion, Rev. xx. is spoken of as following the first resurrection; wherein the martyrs, or God’s people that had been opposed and persecuted by their enemies, should live and reign with Christ, which is undoubtedly the same resurrection with that spoken of in the 37th chap. of Ezekiel.; where we have an account how that God’s Israel, that had been captivated and killed by their oppressing enemies, are brought out of their graves, and God’s servant David should be king over them, which is represented as preceding this invasion of Gog and his multitude.
In Revelations, the vision of the new Jerusalem follows, in chap. xxi. and xx. the account of the destruction of Gog and Magog; and it was represented to John from a great and high mountain, chap. xi. 10. “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and he showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” So a vision of the city Jerusalem in its renewed state, after its glorious restoration, follows the prophecy of Gog in Ezekiel, and is represented to the prophet in like manner, chap. xl. 1, 2. “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me thither. In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.” There is doubtless a reference in that in Revelations, to this in Ezekiel; and that in Rev. xxi. 3. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and be their God,” is from Ezek. chap. xxxvii. 26, 27. “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant; and I will place them and multiply them, and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever more. My tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
|« Prev||Ezekiel||Next »|