Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 34

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Ezekiel 34)

Verse 2

[2] Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

The shepherds — The rulers of the people kings, magistrates, and princes; as also priests, and prophets.

Of Israel — The two tribes, and the few out of the ten that adhere to the house of David.

That feed — Contrive their own ease, advantage, and honour.

Verse 3

[3] Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

Ye kill — You contrive methods, to take first the life, and next the estate of the well-fed, the rich and wealthy.

But — You take care to lead, protect, provide for, and watch over them.

Verse 4

[4] The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

The diseased — The weak and languishing.

Bound up — Oppressors in the state, or church, broke many then, but these shepherds bound them not up.

Verse 5

[5] And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

No shepherd — No vigilant, faithful shepherd.

Became meat — Were made a prey of, and devoured by all their neighbours.

Verse 12

[12] As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

In the cloudy and dark day — In the time of general distress.

Verse 16

[16] I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

The fat — The powerful and rich.

I will feed — I will judge and punish them.

Verse 17

[17] And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

I judge — Between men and men, between the smaller and weaker, and the greater and stronger, as their different state requires I will do.

The rams — Rulers, who also shalt be dealt with according to their behaviour.

Verse 18

[18] Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

But ye must tread down — You great ones, eat the fat, and sweet; and what you cannot eat, you waste and spoil.

The deep waters — Which are sufficient for all.

Verse 20

[20] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

I will judge — I will vindicate the poor.

The fat cattle — The rich.

The lean — The poor.

Verse 23

[23] And 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.

One shepherd — Christ, the great good, chief, only shepherd, that laid down his life for his sheep.

My servant David — The seed of David, the beloved one, who was typified by David, and is in other places called by his name, as Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24; Hosea 3:5.

He shall feed — Do all the office of a good and faithful shepherd, and that for ever.

Verse 24

[24] And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

My servant — Christ was in this great work his fathers servant, Isaiah 42:1.

Verse 25

[25] And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

A covenant — A covenant of promises, which contain, and shall bring peace, that is all good.

Verse 26

[26] And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

Them — My returned captives, The places - All the country.

My hill — Jerusalem.

Verse 29

[29] And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

A plant — The Messiah.

The shame — The reproach.

Verse 30

[30] Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

Their God — By covenant, from their forefathers.

Am with them — Present with them, and reconciled to them.

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