And it shall come to pass in that day
When this destruction of the army of Gog shall be made: that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel;
or, "a place there, a grave in Israel" F2; he that thought to have subdued the whole land, and taken possession of it, shall have no more of it than just a place for a grave, to be buried in; a place fit for a grave, as the Targum; and where that will be is next observed: "the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea"; a valley through which travellers used to pass from Syria, Babylon, and other places, to Egypt and Arabia Felix, which lay east of the sea; not the Mediterranean sea, which lies west of Judea; but either the Dead sea, the sea of Sodom, a sulphurous lake, to which there may be an allusion, ( Revelation 19:20 ) or the sea of Chinnereth, or Genesareth, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi; the same with the sea or lake of Tiberias and Galilee, mentioned in the New Testament; which sense is approved of by Gussetius F3; where was a passage from the land of Canaan to the east of the same sea. Calmet F4 thinks it stands for the great road at the foot of Mount Carmel, to go from Judea, Egypt, and the country of the Philistines, into Phoenicia, which road was to the east of the Mediterranean sea. And it shall stop the noses of the passengers;
or the passengers shall stop their noses, because of the ill smell of the carcasses F5; or their mouths, the mouths of blasphemers, who shall no more blaspheme the God of Israel, when they shall observe this monument of his power, in the destruction of his and his people's enemies. It may be rendered, "it shall stop the passengers F6; from passing that way, because of the multitude of the carcasses that shall fall there", and which is the reason of their being buried out of the way; this sense Jarchi takes notice of. The Targum is,
``and it is near to two mountains;''as if this clause described the situation of the valley. And there shall they bury Gog, and all his multitude;
all his army, such of it as the fowls and beasts had not devoured, and the bones they had left; not his army only, but himself also, the Sultan or Grand Seignior of the Turks, the general of his mighty army: this was not true of Antiochus; he died not, nor was he buried in the land of Israel. And they shall call it the valley of Hamon-gog:
Hamon signifies a multitude; and this name will be imposed upon the place of Gog's sepulchre, because of the multitude slain and buried here, and to perpetuate the memory of it: there never was yet a place of this name in the land of Israel, which shows that this event is yet future. Calmet takes it to be the valley of Jezreel, in which he thinks the army of Cambyses was defeated, after the death of that prince; wrongly taking Cambyses and his army for Gog and Magog.
F2 (rbq Mv Mwqm) "locum ibi sepulchrum", Starckius; "locum ubi sit sepulchrum", Cocceius.
F3 Ebr. Comment. p. 585.
F4 Dictionary in the word "Vale"
F5 So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 66. 2.
F6 (Myrbeh ta ayh tmoxw) "et erit illa obturans transeuntes", Starckius; "et erit illa frenans transeuntes", Cocceius.