Ezekiel 34

1 The LORD’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, and you clothe yourself with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don’t feed the sheep. 4 You haven’t strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor you have ruled over them. 5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was no one who searched or sought. 7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the LORD’s word: 8 As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn’t feed my sheep; 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the LORD’s word: 10 Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them. 11 For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is amongst his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture; and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice. 17 As for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats. 18 Does it seem a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet? 19 As for my sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet. 20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad; 22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David prince amongst them; I, the LORD, have spoken it. 25 I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil animals to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more. 30 They shall know that I, the LORD, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. 31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-6

The people became as sheep without a shepherd, were given up as a prey to their enemies, and the land was utterly desolated. No rank or office can exempt from the reproofs of God’s word, men who neglect their duty, and abuse the trust reposed in them.

Verses 7-16

The Lord declared that he intended mercy towards the scattered flock. Doubtless this, in the first place, had reference to the restoration of the Jews. It also represented the good Shepherd’s tender care of the souls of his people. He finds them in their days of darkness and ignorance, and brings them to his fold. He comes to their relief in times of persecution and temptation. He leads them in the ways of righteousness, and causes them to rest on his love and faithfulness. The proud and self-sufficient, are enemies of the true gospel and of believers; against such we must guard. He has rest for disquieted saints, and terror for presumptuous sinners.

Verses 17-31

The whole nation seemed to be the Lord’s flock, yet they were very different characters; but he knew how to distinguish between them. By good pastures and deep waters, are meant the pure word of God and the dispensing of justice. The latter verses, 23-31, prophesy of Christ, and of the most glorious times of his church on earth. Under Him, as the good Shepherd, the church would be a blessing to all around. Christ, though excellent in himself, was as a tender plant out of a dry ground. Being the Tree of life, bearing all the fruits of salvation, he yields spiritual food to the souls of his people. Our constant desire and prayer should be, that there may be showers of blessings in every place where the truth of Christ is preached; and that all who profess the gospel may be filled with fruits of righteousness.

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