Ezekiel 34

Listen to Ezekiel 34

Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 1"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: 2Ah, shepherds of Israel 3who have been feeding yourselves! 4Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
3 5You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, 6you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep.
4 7The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, 8the injured you have not bound up, 9the strayed you have not brought back, 10the lost you have not sought, and with force and 11harshness you have ruled them.
5 12So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and 13they became food for all the wild beasts.
6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, 14with none to search or seek for them.
7 "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
8 15As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because 16my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep,
9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
10 Thus says the Lord GOD, 17Behold, I am against the shepherds, and 18I will require my sheep at their hand and 19put a stop to their feeding the sheep. 20No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. 21I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

The Lord God Will Seek Them Out

11 "For thus says the Lord GOD: 22Behold, I, I 23myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on 24a day of clouds and 25thick darkness.
13 And I will bring them out from the peoples 26and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on 27the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
14 28I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. 29There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.
15 30I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, 31and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD.
16 32I will seek the lost, 33and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and 34the fat and the strong I will destroy.[a] I will feed them in justice.
17 "As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: 35Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and 36male goats.
18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of 37clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?
19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and 38thrust at all the 39weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad,
22 I will rescue[b] my flock; 40they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep.
23 And 41I will set up over them one shepherd, 42my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
24 And 43I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. 44I am the LORD; I have spoken.

The Lord's Covenant of Peace

25 45"I will make with them a covenant of peace and 46banish wild beasts from the land, 47so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill 48a blessing, and 49I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be 50showers of blessing.
27 51And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, 52and they shall be secure in their land. And 53they shall know that I am the LORD, when 54I break the bars of their yoke, and 55deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
28 56They shall no more be a prey to the nations, 57nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. 58They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
29 And I will provide for them 59renowned plantations so that 60they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer 61suffer the reproach of the nations.
30 And they shall know that 62I am the LORD their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord GOD.
31 And you are my sheep, 63human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord GOD."

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Ezekiel 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

The rulers reproved. (1-6) The people are to be restored to their own land. (7-16) The kingdom of Christ. (17-31)

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.

Cross References 63

  • 1. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 2. See Jeremiah 23:1
  • 3. [ver. 8, 10; Jude 12]
  • 4. [2 Corinthians 12:14]
  • 5. Zechariah 11:16
  • 6. Zechariah 11:4, 5; [Micah 3:2, 3]
  • 7. [ver. 16, 21]
  • 8. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 9. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 10. [Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4]
  • 11. Exodus 1:13, 14; [1 Peter 5:3]
  • 12. 1 Kings 22:17; Matthew 9:36
  • 13. [Jeremiah 50:7, 17]
  • 14. [ver. 11]
  • 15. See Ezekiel 16:48
  • 16. [ver. 22]
  • 17. See Ezekiel 13:8
  • 18. [Hebrews 13:17]; See Ezekiel 3:18
  • 19. [Zechariah 11:8]
  • 20. [ver. 2, 8]
  • 21. [Ezekiel 13:21]
  • 22. [Luke 19:10; John 10:11]
  • 23. [Micah 4:6, 7]
  • 24. Ezekiel 30:3
  • 25. Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15
  • 26. See Ezekiel 11:17
  • 27. See Ezekiel 6:2
  • 28. Psalms 23:2; [John 10:9]
  • 29. [Isaiah 32:18; Jeremiah 33:12]
  • 30. [ver. 23; Isaiah 40:11]
  • 31. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 32. [ver. 4]
  • 33. Micah 4:6
  • 34. [ver. 20; Isaiah 10:16; Amos 4:1]
  • 35. ver. 20, 22; [Ezekiel 20:38; Matthew 25:32, 33]
  • 36. Zechariah 10:3
  • 37. [Ezekiel 32:14]
  • 38. Deuteronomy 33:17; Daniel 8:4
  • 39. [ver. 4]
  • 40. [ver. 8]
  • 41. Ezekiel 37:22, 24; Jeremiah 23:4, 5; Micah 5:4; Micah 7:14; [ver. 15; John 10:11, 16]
  • 42. Ezekiel 37:24, 25; [2 Samuel 5:2; Psalms 78:71, 72]
  • 43. See Ezekiel 37:27; Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:12
  • 44. See Ezekiel 17:24
  • 45. Ezekiel 37:26; See Isaiah 54:10
  • 46. Leviticus 26:6; Hosea 2:18; [Isaiah 35:9]; See Isaiah 11:6-9
  • 47. Ezekiel 38:8, 14; Ezekiel 39:26
  • 48. Genesis 12:2; Isaiah 19:24; Zechariah 8:13
  • 49. Leviticus 26:4; [Ezekiel 22:24]
  • 50. Malachi 3:10
  • 51. Ezekiel 36:30; Leviticus 26:4
  • 52. [See ver. 25 above]
  • 53. See Ezekiel 6:7
  • 54. Jeremiah 30:8
  • 55. Jeremiah 30:8
  • 56. [See ver. 22 above]
  • 57. [See ver. 25 above]
  • 58. [See ver. 25 above]
  • 59. Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3
  • 60. Ezekiel 36:29
  • 61. See Ezekiel 32:24
  • 62. [See ver. 24 above]
  • 63. Psalms 74:1; Psalms 100:3; John 10:16

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate I will watch over
  • [b]. Or save

Chapter Summary


In the former chapter the prophet prophesies against the people of the Jews, both those of the captivity, and those who were not; and here against the shepherds of Israel. This he is bid to do, Eze 34:1,2, whose cruelty to the flock, negligence and unfaithfulness are exposed, Eze 34:3-6, for which reasons they are threatened to be deprived of their office, Eze 34:7-10, and the Lord promises to take the care of the flock upon himself, to seek out his sheep, and feed them, and do every kind office to them, Eze 34:11-16 and then the strong of the flock, that oppressed the weak, are threatened with punishment, Eze 34:17-22 and the promise of the Messiah, as the shepherd of the flock, is made, under whom all prosperity and happiness might be expected, Eze 34:23-31.

Ezekiel 34 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.