And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth,
&c.] Out of their houses into the streets, where Gog's soldiers will lie dead, and their armour by them; or rather out of their cities, where they dwelt safely, and where they kept themselves, and were secure from the enemy: these seem to be distinct from the militia of Israel, engaged in battle with Gog; these were the inhabitants that will stay at home, and yet share in the spoil and plunder; see ( Psalms 68:12 ) , these, after the battle is over, and the victory obtained, of which they will have information, will then march out without fear into the open fields and mountains, where the army of Gog will fall, ( Ezekiel 39:4 Ezekiel 39:5 ) : and shall set on fire and burn the weapons;
the armour of Gog's army, which they shall find lie by the dead, or upon them; or which they that flee will cast away; these they shall gather together, and lay on a heap, and burn, as sometimes has been the practice of conquerors; or rather they shall take them to their own houses, and make fuel of them, and burn them, instead of wood out of the fields and forests, as the following verse shows: both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows;
which were the weapons that Gog and his associates used; see ( Ezekiel 38:4 ) ( 39:3 ) , and the handstaves, and the spears;
the "handstaves" were either half pikes or truncheons, as some think; or javelins, as others: and they shall burn them with fire seven years;
which some take to be a certain number for an uncertain, and others an hyperbolical expression; but when it is considered what a vast army this of Gog's will be, and what prodigious numbers of weapons of all sorts must be carried by them, and the little use of fire in those hot countries: it may be very well taken in a literal sense, and the meaning be, that so great will be the quantity of warlike weapons that will be found and gathered, that they will serve for fuel for the space of seven years.