Ezekiel 39:23

And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.

And the Heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity,.... Before this they thought the captivity of the Jews, and all their distresses, were owing to their own weakness, and the weakness of the God they served, and to the superior strength of their enemies, and the power of their gods; but now, by this strange and amazing destruction of Gog and his army, they will see that it was not owing to those things, but to the sins and transgressions of the people of the Jews:

because they transgressed against me; prevaricated with him, acted a perfidious and treacherous part to him, as the word {i} signifies; which they did, when they delivered Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah, into the hands of the Gentiles, to be crucified; it is their disbelief of Christ, and rejection of him, and maltreatment of him, that is here more especially pointed at; and which is the cause of their present long captivity and exile, and of all the afflictions and troubles they have since met with: so the Targum renders it,

"they dealt falsely with my Word;''

the Word made flesh, the incarnate Saviour:

therefore hid I my face from them; took no notice of them, showed them no favour, took no care of them; disregarded their prayers and cries, and removed his presence from them, and all the tokens of it. So the Targum,

"I caused my Shechaniah (or majesty) to remove from them;''

and thus it has been ever since, and now is:

and gave them into the hand of their enemies; the Romans, who took away their place and nation; which they feared would be the case, should many believe in Christ; but the true reason of it was because they did not believe in him, John 11:48:

so fell they all by the sword; that is, through the sword of the conquering Romans; they fell into their hands; some perished by the sword, and others were carried into captivity; and all were punished for their iniquity, trespass, and perfidy.

{i} yb wlem "praevaricati essent contra me", Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus, Cocceius, Starckius.