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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 34

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-10

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 34

MESSAGE TO UNFAITHFUL SHEPHERDS OF ISRAEL

Verses 1-10:

Verses 1, 2 are a call from the Lord, to Ezekiel, to address the false-shepherds or rulers of Israel. He was to charge them that the living God had been watching them as they had "fed themselves", like wolf-dogs with voracious greed, feathered their own nests, while preying on God’s flock. God saw them for what they were, thieves, cheats, robbers and hypocrites, as described also Jeremiah 11:17.

Verse 3 describes how the cheating, deceiving rulers, priests, and false prophets had:
1) eaten the fat of the land,
2) clothed themselves with the finest of wool, and
3) killed them that were well fed for their own tables, and killed the rich to get their properties, 2 Kings 21:16; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 23:17. But they had not fed the flock of God. They had coveted, and taken the best of wages, but neglected giving the people the truth concerning the word of God, grave charges against those who are supposed to be trustees of Divine truth and service, Isaiah 56:11; Ezekiel 33:25-26; Micah 3:1-3; Zechariah 11:5.

Verse 4 lists further acts of sin in which they deliberately engaged:
1) They did not treat the sick and diseased, as a true shepherd was to do, v. 16; Zechariah 11:16
2) They had not bound up the bones of those that were broken, Leviticus 25:43; 1 Peter 5:3.
3) They had neglected to go out and bring back those sheep that had been driven or led away in and with other flocks, 2 Timothy 2:24; Exodus 23:4
4) Nor had they sought the sheep that was crying, bleating, in the dangers of the wilds;
5) Nor did they send any to try to rescue them, but left them to be torn as meat for the wild beasts, cruelly neglecting them, Luke 15:4; John 10:12.

Verse 5 asserts that because of such wolf-shepherd cruelty and neglect they of Israel’s flock were scattered,. because there existed no shepherd, or none worthy of the name, 1 Kings 22:17; 2 Chronicles 18:16; Jeremiah 23:2; Jeremiah 50:6; Zechariah 13:5; Matthew 9:36. Then they became as meat for prey, to all the beasts and vultures of the field, when they were scattered, Isaiah 56:9.

Verse 6 bewails that the sheep of the Lord had wandered through the mountains and upon the high hills, exposed to fowls and beasts of prey; because there was no trustworthy shepherd to seek, search out, rescue, nourish, treat, feed, or protect the most helpless beast of the field! Jeremiah 12:9. Neither ruler, prophet, nor priest in all Israel seemed to be true to his trust.

Verses 7, 8 call upon the shepherds (rulers, priests, and prophets) in Israel to stand, without excuse, as witnesses against themselves, a Divine judgment should justly fall upon them for their sins, Numbers 32:23; Romans 2:1-2; Romans 3:19; James 4:17.

Verse 10 warns that the Lord would take the flock of Israel from the hands of her cheating, self-serving, covetous, thieving shepherds, and the "fat living" they had formerly extracted from His flock. They were to feed on her no more, as wolf-dogs feed on helpless lambs, as they had in former days. Zedekiah, their unfaithful king, and his sons slain before his own eyes, then both his eyes punched out, as he had caused his other princes to be slain. Pay day came to him, to all, Jeremiah 13:18-20; Jeremiah 52:10; Hebrews 13:17.

Verses 11-31

WHEN THE SHEPHERD BRINGS HIS SHEEP HOME

Verses 11-31:

ISRAEL RESTORED--THE DAVIDIC KINGDOM SET UP

Verses 11, 12 assert that the Lord will Himself search for and bring forth His sheep, Israel, as a true shepherd will do, v. 23, 24; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 12:8. He further declares that He will liberate them from every dark place they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day (hour or period) of Divine judgment, or affliction, over all the earth, Jeremiah 13:16; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:15; Acts 2:19-21.

Verse 13 pledges that the Lord will bring (draw) them from the peoples of the earth, and the countries where they shall have been scattered or dispersed over the earth, Isaiah 65:9-10; Jeremiah 23:3; Ezekiel 28:25; Ezekiel 36:24; Ezekiel 37:22; Luke 21:24.

Verses 14, 15 reaffirm that the Lord will feed His flock in a good pasture, upon the high mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in a good fold, because He will cause them to lie down peacefully to rest, well fed and protected again, as described Psalms 23:2; Psalms 34:8-10; Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 30:23-24; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 31:12-14; Jeremiah 31:25; John 10:9; Revelation 7:16; See also Jeremiah 32:12-13.

Verse 16 promises that at that regathering of Israel, as God’s flock in her own land. He will Himself provide every physical and spiritual need, of which her false shepherds had deprived her in former days, as in v. 4; Deuteronomy 32:15; Jeremiah 5:28. He also warns that He will destroy those who made themselves fat off His people, who prospered at the expense of His flock, which they had cruelly neglected and abused, Isaiah 40:11; Mi. 4:6; Matthew 18:11; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32.

Verse 17 declares to His flock that He judges between cattle and he goats. The idea is degrees of wrong, guilt, and sin, are to be administered on the basis of cause and a corresponding responsible trust, whether ruler, prophet, priest, or one of the common people, Ezekiel 20:37; Matthew 25:32.

Verses 18,19 charges that his flock had been left only the scanty grass, which the "fat-cat" shepherds, thieving rulers, had defaced and polluted. Addressing the rulers, God would have them explain whether or not their behavior was a trivial matter. God’s flock not only ate scantily of the trodden down grass, but also drank sorrowfully of the polluted water the sorry shepherds had left from the washing of their dirty feet, Ezekiel 22:12; Isaiah 24:2.

Verses 20-22 area reaffirmation of the Lord’s covenant pledge to judge His people as men judge between fat and lean cattle, the poor and the rich, and as good shepherds and good cattlemen care for the wounded and weak and diseased, to rescue them from becoming victims to the prey of flies, maggots, vultures, and wild beasts. For He cares for all men; This was partially fulfilled in the restoration of a remnant from Babylon, Nehemiah 5:1-19. But the Great Liberation and homecoming of Israel’s flock is yet on the horizon, at the soon coming of the Lord, Luke 1:30-34; Jeremiah 23:3-6.

Verse 23 declares that God will put, place, or set His seed­servant David, His true Shepherd, (heir of David) to be His shepherd and feed and lead His flock in that full-redemption era, Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 23:4; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25. See also Jeremiah 30:9; Jeremiah 37:21; Hosea 3:5. See also 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalms 2:6; Acts 2:30; Acts 13:23; John 10:14; Isaiah 55:3-4.

Verse 24 pledges that the Lord will be their God (Messiah) and David His servant would be their prince, or administrative king, in that day of regathering in the land, Psalms 40:7-8; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:3; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 53:11; Philippians 2:7; He will fittingly wear the Sceptre of righteousness, as a fit king for a redeemed universe, Acts 13:36; Daniel 2:34-35; Daniel 2:44-45; See also Genesis 17:7; Exodus 29:45; Luke 1:32.

Verse 25 further pledges that the Lord will form with His regathered flock of Israel, a covenant of peace and cause the evil beasts (wicked rulers and prophets) to cease out of the land. His flock will then dwell safely in the desert or wilderness and sleep safely in the woods, Leviticus 26:6; Isaiah 11:6-9; Hosea 2:18; Jeremiah 23:6.

Verse 26 adds that the Lord will make His flock, and the’ localities about them and His hill, to be a blessing, Isaiah 56:7; Genesis 12:2; Zechariah 8:13. The Jews and Zion are God’s hill and flock, even Zion, Psalms 2:6. God will cause "showers to come down," in their season, so that "There shall be showers of blessing," Leviticus 26:4; Psalms 68:9; Isaiah 44:3; Malachi 3:10. This refers to the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 27 reaffirms that the trees of the earth, "fruits and nuts" shall yield their ample fruit, the earth her increase, and the flock of God shall know that the Lord is God when He shall have broken off "struck off" their shackle-bands again, together with their yoke of servitude, Leviticus 26:13. They shall then realize that they have been set free, ransomed, liberated from those who used them as objects of prey, Psalms 85:12; Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 25:14; as of old, Genesis 15:13; Exodus 1:13-14.

Verse 28 restates that no more will they ever be a prey to the gentile nations; Nor shall the beast of the field, the armed forces of heathen powers or false shepherds, devour them any more. They shall dwell safely in their heir-land of promise and fear no more, Ezekiel 36:4; Jeremiah 33:6.

Verse 29 vows that the Lord will raise them up a "plant of renown," the Messiah, root, rod and branch of the righteous, of the line of David, Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; He shall obtain for them renown. So that they shall "hunger no more," nor bear the shame of continual uncleanness, by mingling with the uncircumcised heathen any more.

Verses 30, 31 declare that "thus," after this revealed manner, they shall then recognize Him to exist as their Lord-God in their midst, supporting, sustaining, and caring for them as the one to whom they have been restored, after a long bill of divorcement, Psalms 36:8. He now reclaims them as His flock, the flock of His pasture, over whom He cares, as their living Lord, God, Isaiah 8:9; Matthew 1:23; 2 Timothy 1:12; Psalms 100:3; John 10:11; Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 3:22.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 34". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-34.html. 1985.
 
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