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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Ezekiel 34

 

 

Verses 1-10

1-10. The shepherds of the people, instead of feeding the flock, were feeding upon the flock, eating the fat (LXX., milk), and living in ease and luxury, while “my sheep” (Ezekiel 34:5, LXX.) were scattered and becoming a prey to wild beasts (surrounding nations). The shepherds of Israel — like the contemporary heathen kings who loved to call themselves “shepherds” in their inscriptions — have not cared for the sick or lame, but “with rigor have ye ruled over them” (Ezekiel 34:4, R.V.). The term shepherd is used often elsewhere in the Old Testament, generally with reference to civil rulers (1 Kings 22:17; Isaiah 13:20; Isaiah 56:11; Psalms 78:71; Jeremiah 23:1-6). Particularly compare Jeremiah 23:1-4, and Teaching of the Apostles, ix, p. 4.


Verses 11-16

11-16. Jehovah himself is the Good Shepherd (compare Psalms 23; Matthew 9:36; John 10:1-16) who will feed his flock and make them lie down in good pastures, and will care tenderly for the sick and those whose bones have been broken, and “will keep the fat and the strong” (Ezekiel 34:16, LXX.), and bring them all back to the home land in peace — excepting such as have fattened upon their brothers’ calamity; these he will feed “in judgment.”


Verses 17-22

17-22. The divine Shepherd will not permit the strong, proud rams and the fat he goats (the priests, the prophets, and the rulers) to drive away or take advantage of their weaker companions. They, too, are members of the flock, but they must be disciplined or restrained so that they shall not feed upon the pasture to the disadvantage of the weak. Deep waters (Ezekiel 34:18) — R.V., “clear waters.”


Verses 23-31

23-31. The Messianic hope of the coming of my servant David — the ideal prince (compare Ezekiel 37:22; Ezekiel 37:24; Psalms 78:70-71; Isaiah 56:3-8; 1 Kings 9:9; 1 Kings 11:4) — who shall shepherd the people and make them to dwell in safety in the wilderness (the uninhabited pasture country) and sleep even in the woods — the native home of wild beasts (Ezekiel 34:25; compare Leviticus 26:6) — closes each prophetic “vision” of the future. The second David of Ezekiel towers high above all the pictures of princes for whom former prophets had longed. This is Ezekiel’s “portrait of the Messiah” (compare Jeremiah 30:9, and Delitzsch, Old Testament History of Redemption): Jehovah will save his people (Ezekiel 34:22); be their God (Ezekiel 34:24; compare Ezekiel 37:27); make with them a new covenant of everlasting peace (compare Isaiah 11; Jeremiah 31:31; Hosea 2:20); and pour blessed showers upon the new Israel who resides upon his holy hill (compare Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 47:12). He will break their yoke (Ezekiel 34:27), deliver them from all enemies, at home and abroad (Ezekiel 34:28), “establish” for them a prosperous “plantation” (not plant) which shall be renowned for its fertility throughout all lands (Ezekiel 34:29; compare Ezekiel 39:13; Isaiah 55:13; Joel 2:21-27; Psalms 67:6; Psalms 71:16), and will be to them a good shepherd evermore (Ezekiel 34:31). LXX. omits are men in Ezekiel 34:31.

For apt remarks concerning duties of pastor to people compare Adam Clarke, in loco.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezekiel 34:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ezekiel-34.html. 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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