Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel
Or, "concerning" F16 them; the governors of them, as the Targum and Jarchi; their political governors, their kings, princes, and civil magistrates of every order and degree; so Kimchi interprets it of kings; and it was common with the eastern nations, and with the Greeks, to call kings shepherds; and one and the same word; in the Greek language, signifies to feed sheep, and to govern people; see ( Psalms 78:72 ) ( Isaiah 44:28 ) , also their ecclesiastical governors are intended, prophets, priests, Levites, scribes, and Pharisees; these were bad shepherds, or they would not have been prophesied against; and though they were shepherds of Israel, this must be done: prophesy, and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God unto the
that the message to them might be the more regarded, it is ordered to be delivered in the name of the Lord; otherwise they would have been apt to have despised it, and charged the prophet with impertinence and rudeness: woe be to the shepherds of Israel, that do feed themselves!
that is, themselves only, and not the flock: had they fed the flock, as well as themselves, they would not have been blamed; but they took no care of the people over whom they were set only minded their own affairs, to get riches and honour, but neglected the good of the people, yea, cruelly oppressed them: should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
undoubtedly they should; it is their duty, the business of their office, so to do; kings to rule over their subjects, defend their persons and property, and secure their privileges and liberties to them; and ecclesiastical rulers, ministers of the word, should feed the flock or church of God committed to them with knowledge and understanding; see ( Jeremiah 3:15 ) ( John 21:15 John 21:16 ) ( Acts 20:2 ) .
F16 (yewr le) "de pastoribus", V. L. Grotius; "super pastores", Pagninus, Montanus.