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Ezekiel 34

The LORD Will Be Israel’s Shepherd

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?
3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.
4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.
5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.
6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
7 “ ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,
9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
11 “ ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.
12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.
13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.
16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
17 “ ‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.
18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?
19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away,
22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.
23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.
24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.
25 “ ‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.
26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.
28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.
29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.
30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD.
31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

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 69

  • 1. Psalms 78:70-72; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 3:15; S Jeremiah 23:1; Micah 3:11; John 10:11; John 21:15-17; Jude 1:12
  • 2. Isaiah 56:11; S Ezekiel 22:27; Amos 6:4; Zechariah 11:5; Zechariah 11:16
  • 3. S Isaiah 3:7
  • 4. S Isaiah 1:6
  • 5. ver 16; S Leviticus 25:43; Micah 3:3; Zechariah 11:15-17
  • 6. S Numbers 27:17
  • 7. ver 28; S Isaiah 56:9; Acts 20:29
  • 8. S Jeremiah 50:6
  • 9. S Leviticus 26:33; S Psalms 95:10; S Jeremiah 10:21
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 18:16; Psalms 142:4; Hosea 7:13; S Matthew 9:36; Matthew 18:12-13; Luke 15:5; 1 Peter 2:25
  • 11. S Judges 2:14
  • 12. S Isaiah 56:9
  • 13. Jude 1:12
  • 14. S Jeremiah 21:13
  • 15. S Psalms 72:14
  • 16. 1 Samuel 2:29-30; S Jeremiah 23:2; Zechariah 10:3
  • 17. S Psalms 119:176
  • 18. Isaiah 40:11; S Jeremiah 31:10; Zechariah 10:3; Luke 19:10
  • 19. S Ezekiel 32:7; Ezekiel 30:3
  • 20. S Genesis 48:21; S Deuteronomy 30:4
  • 21. Micah 4:6
  • 22. S Ezekiel 11:17
  • 23. S Jeremiah 23:8
  • 24. S Isaiah 66:20
  • 25. S Ezekiel 28:25; Ezekiel 36:24
  • 26. S Jeremiah 50:19
  • 27. Jeremiah 23:3
  • 28. S Ezekiel 20:40
  • 29. Psalms 23:2; S Psalms 37:3
  • 30. S Isaiah 65:10; Ezekiel 36:29-30; Ezekiel 37:22; Amos 9:14; Micah 7:14
  • 31. Zephaniah 3:13
  • 32. Psalms 23:1-2; S Jeremiah 33:12; Micah 5:4
  • 33. S Psalms 147:3
  • 34. Micah 4:6; Zephaniah 3:19
  • 35. Luke 19:10
  • 36. Isaiah 10:16; S Jeremiah 31:8; Luke 5:32
  • 37. Matthew 25:32-33
  • 38. S Genesis 30:15
  • 39. S Ezekiel 32:2
  • 40. Matthew 25:32
  • 41. S Deuteronomy 33:17
  • 42. Psalms 72:12-14; Jeremiah 23:2-3; Ezekiel 20:37-38
  • 43. Isaiah 40:11
  • 44. S Isaiah 31:4; Micah 5:4
  • 45. Ezekiel 36:28
  • 46. Psalms 89:49
  • 47. S Isaiah 53:4; Zechariah 13:7
  • 48. Jeremiah 23:4-5; S Jeremiah 30:9; S Jeremiah 33:14; John 10:16; Revelation 7:17
  • 49. S Ezekiel 16:62
  • 50. S Numbers 25:12
  • 51. Leviticus 26:6
  • 52. S Leviticus 25:18; Isaiah 11:6-9; Hosea 2:18
  • 53. S Genesis 12:2
  • 54. Psalms 68:9; Joel 2:23
  • 55. Deuteronomy 11:13-15; S Deuteronomy 28:12; Isaiah 44:3
  • 56. S Psalms 72:16
  • 57. S Job 14:9; S Psalms 67:6
  • 58. S Numbers 24:21
  • 59. S Leviticus 26:13
  • 60. S Jeremiah 30:8; S Ezekiel 20:42; S Ezekiel 28:25
  • 61. S Jeremiah 32:37
  • 62. S Jeremiah 30:10; S Ezekiel 28:26; Ezekiel 39:26; Hosea 11:11; Amos 9:15; Zephaniah 3:13; Zechariah 14:11
  • 63. S Isaiah 4:2
  • 64. Ezekiel 36:29
  • 65. S Psalms 137:3; Ezekiel 36:6; Joel 2:19
  • 66. Ezekiel 36:15
  • 67. S Ezekiel 14:11; Ezekiel 37:27
  • 68. S Psalms 28:9
  • 69. Psalms 100:3; S Jeremiah 23:1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be named in blessings" (see Gen. 48:20); or "I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be seen as blessed"

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