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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 20–26
Verses 20–26

God’s glory is his great end, both in all the good and in all the evil which proceed out of the mouth of the Most High; so we find in these verses. 1. God will be glorified in the destruction of Zidon, a city that lay near to Tyre, was more ancient, but not so considerable, had a dependence upon it and stood and fell with it. God says here, I am against thee, O Zidon! and I will be glorified in the midst of thee, Ezek. 28:22. And again, “Those that would not know be gentler methods shall be made to know that I am the Lord, and I alone, and that I am a just and jealous God, when I shall have executed judgments in her, destroying judgments, when I shall have done execution according to justice and according to the sentence passed, and so shall be sanctified in her.” The Zidonians, it should seem, were more addicted to idolatry than the Tyrians were, who, being men of business and large conversation, were less under the power of bigotry and superstition. The Zidonians were noted for the worship of Ashtaroth; Solomon introduced it, 1 Kgs. 11:5. Jezebel was daughter to the king of Zidon, who brought the worship of Baal into Israel (1 Kgs. 16:31); so that God had been much dishonoured by the Zidonians. Now, says he, I will be glorified, I will be sanctified. The Zidonians were borderers upon the land of Israel, where God was known, and where they might have got the knowledge of him and have learned to glorify him; but, instead of that, they seduced Israel to the worship of their idols. Note, When God is sanctified he is glorified, for his holiness is his glory; and those whom he is not sanctified and glorified by he will be sanctified and glorified upon, by executing judgments upon them, which declare him a just avenger of his own and his people’s injured honour. The judgments that shall be executed upon Zidon are war and pestilence, two wasting depopulating judgments, Ezek. 28:23. They are God’s messengers, which he sends on his errands, and they shall accomplish that for which he sends them. Pestilence and blood shall be sent into her streets; there the dead bodies of those shall lie who perished, some by the plague, occasioned perhaps through ill diet when the city was besieged, and some by the sword of the enemy, most likely the Chaldean armies, when the city was taken, and all were put to the sword. Thus the wounded shall be judged; when they are dying of their wounds they shall judge themselves, and others shall say, They justly fall. Or, as some read it, They shall be punished by the sword, that sword which has commission to destroy on every side. It is God that judges, and he will overcome. Nor is it Tyre and Zidon only on which God would execute judgments, but on all those that despised his people Israel, and triumphed in their calamities; for this was now God’s controversy with the nations that were round about them, Ezek. 28:26. Note, When God’s people are under his correcting hand for their faults he takes care, as he did concerning malefactors that were scourged, that they shall not seem vile to those that are about them, and therefore takes it ill of those who despise them and so help forward the affliction when he is but a little displeased, Zech. 1:15. God regards them even in their low estate; and therefore let not men despise them. 2. God will be glorified in the restoration of his people to their former safety and prosperity. God had been dishonoured by the sins of his people, and their sufferings too had given occasion to the enemy to blaspheme (Isa. 52:5); but God will now both cure them of their sins and ease them of their troubles, and so will be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, will recover the honour of his holiness, to the satisfaction of all the world, Ezek. 28:25. For, (1.) They shall return to the possession of their own land again: I will gather the house of Israel out of their dispersions, in answer to that prayer (Ps. 106:27), Save us, O Lord our God! and gather us from among the heathen; and in pursuance of that promise (Deut. 30:4), Thence will the Lord thy God gather thee. Being gathered, they shall be brought in a body, to dwell in the land that I have given to my servant Jacob. God had an eye to the ancient grant, in bringing them back, for that remained in force, and the discontinuance of the possession was not a defeasance of the right. He that gave it will again give it. (2.) They shall enjoy great tranquillity there. When those that have been vexatious to them are taken off they shall live in quietness; there shall be no more a pricking brier nor a grieving thorn, Ezek. 28:24. They shall have a happy settlement, for they shall build houses, and plant vineyards; and they shall enjoy a happy security and serenity there; they shall dwell safely, shall dwell with confidence, and there shall be none to disquiet them or make them afraid, Ezek. 28:26. This never had full accomplishment in the body of that people, for after their return out of captivity they were ever and anon molested by some bad neighbour or other. Nor has the gospel-church been ever quite free from pricking briers and grieving thorns; yet sometimes the church has rest, and believers always dwell safely under the divine protection and may be quiet from the fear of evil. But the full accomplishment of this promise is reserved for the heavenly Canaan, when all the saints shall be gathered together, and every thing that offends shall be removed, and all griefs and fears for ever banished.