Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
eze 38:1Saying - God now forewarns the Jews, what enemies and troubles would interpose, before he would fully deliver them.
eze 38:2Gog - 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.
eze 38:4Handling swords - That is, very ready, expert and strong in using the sword.
eze 38:6Gomer - Inhabitants of Galatia. Togarmah - Paphlagonia, and Cappadocia. The north quarters - The more northern people, the numerous Tartars.
eze 38:7Be thou prepared - God and the church deride this mighty preparation.
eze 38:8After 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.
eze 38:11Unwalled - Weak, and without any considerable defences.
eze 38:13Sheba - 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.
eze 38:14Know it - Thou wilt be informed of it.
eze 38:15The north parts - From Scythia, from the Euxine and Caspian seas, and countries thereabouts.
eze 38:16I will bring - I will permit thee to come. Sanctified - Confessed to be a great God over 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.
eze 38:17Spoken - All these enterprises I have spoken of, and will as well defeat as I did foretel them.
eze 38:19For - For my own people, and for mine own glory. Have I spoken - Against mine enemies Gog, and all his herd. A great shaking - A great disturbance and tumult, like an earthquake.
eze 38:21Sword - 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.
eze 38:23Magnify - Undeniably prove that I am the mighty, just, faithful, wise, holy, and merciful God. Sanctify - Declare I am holy, and true to my word.