A fire goeth before him,
&c,] Not the fiery law, which went forth from his right hand on Mount Sinai; but rather his Gospel, which, as it enlightens, warms, comforts, and refreshes his people, searches, torments, and destroys his enemies, and is the savour of death unto death to them; see ( Jeremiah 23:29 ) ( 2 Corinthians 2:16 ) ( Revelation 11:5 ) . Some apply this to the gifts of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, signified by cloven tongues of fire; but then no such effect followed as mentioned in the next clause: it seems best to interpret it of his wrath, which, like fire, was poured out to the uttermost on the Jews, for their disbelief and rejection of him; they would not have him to reign over them; they despised his Gospel, and slew his servants; wherefore he sent the Roman armies to them, who destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city, ( Matthew 22:7 ) , this will be also verified in the second coming of Christ, who will descend in flaming fire, and the earth will be burnt up, and all that is therein, ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ) ( 2 Peter 3:10 2 Peter 3:12 ) , some Jewish writers interpret this of the war of Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel, which they suppose still future; as, when it is, fire will be sent and rained upon them, ( Ezekiel 38:22 ) ( 39:6 ) , but may be better applied to the Gog and Magog in ( Revelation 20:8 Revelation 20:9 )
and burneth up his enemies round about;
so that none can escape: this was true of the Jewish nation, who were burnt up; so that there was not left root nor branch in it, ( Malachi 4:1 ) , and will be true of the wicked, at the general conflagration of the world, upon Christ's second coming; and of the Gog and Magog army, after the resurrection.