Ezekiel 34:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes--feed them justice!

English Standard Version
I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

New American Standard Bible
"I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice."

International Standard Version
I'm going to seek both the lost as well as the scattered, and bring them both back so their broken bones can be set and the sick can be healed. But in righteousness I'll exterminate the fat and the stiff-necked.'"

NET Bible
I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them--with judgment!

New Heart English Bible
"I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I will look for those that are lost, bring back those that have strayed away, bandage those that are injured, and strengthen those that are sick. I will destroy those that are fat and strong. I will take care of my sheep fairly.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick; and the fat and the strong I will destroy, I will feed them in justice.

New American Standard 1977
“I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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 in judgment.

King James 2000 Bible
I will seek those who were lost, and bring again those who were driven away, and will bind up those who were broken, and will strengthen those who were sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will seek that which was lost: and that which was driven away, I will bring again: and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment.

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

English Revised Version
I will seek that which was lost, and will bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: and the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in judgment.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.

Young's Literal Translation
The lost I seek, and the driven away bring back, And the broken I bind up, and the sick I strengthen, And the fat and the strong I destroy, I feed it with judgment.
Study Bible
The Good Shepherd
15"I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. 16"I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment. 17"As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.…
Cross References
Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 1:5
Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick And the whole heart is faint.

Isaiah 10:16
Therefore the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.

Isaiah 49:26
"I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Jeremiah 31:8
"Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here.

Jeremiah 50:6
"My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill And have forgotten their resting place.

Ezekiel 20:34
"I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out;

Micah 4:6
"In that day," declares the LORD, "I will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts, Even those whom I have afflicted.

Zephaniah 3:19
"Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

seek that

Ezekiel 34:4,11 The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Micah 4:6,7 In that day, said the LORD, will I assemble her that halts, and I …

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of …

Matthew 18:11-14 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost…

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, They that are whole have no …

Luke 5:31,32 And Jesus answering said to them, They that are whole need not a …

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, …

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

but I

Ezekiel 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the …

Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: you are waxen fat, you are grown …

Isaiah 5:17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places …

Isaiah 10:16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness…

Jeremiah 50:11 Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, O you destroyers of …

Amos 4:1-3 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, …

I will feed

Isaiah 49:26 And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh; and they …

Jeremiah 9:15 Therefore thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, …

Jeremiah 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you …

Jeremiah 23:15 Therefore thus said the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, …

Micah 7:14 Feed your people with your rod, the flock of your heritage, which …

(16) The fat and the strong.--While fatness is in general an emblem of prosperity, it is frequently used in Scripture, as here, for that prosperity which begets hardness of heart and forgetfulness of God. (See Deuteronomy 32:15; Acts 28:27, &c.)

With judgment.--This does not mean, as the ambiguous sense of the English word might make it possible to suppose, with wisdom, but with righteousness and authority, as is plainly seen from the connection with the following verses.

Verse 16. - I will destroy the fat and the strong. What follows introduces another feature into the parable, and is hardly less than an anticipation of the great scene of judgment in Matthew 25:32. The "fat and the strong," as contrasted with the "broken" and the "sick," are, when we interpret the Darable, the noble and wealthy who, under the kings of Judah, had been allowed to work their evil will upon the people. Of these he says that he will feed them with (better, in) judgment, that for them there must be the discipline of punishment. They too are his sheep, but they require a different treatment from the others. And I will seek that which was lost,.... As all men are in Adam, and through his fall, and by their own actual transgressions; and so the elect of God among the rest; who are lost not with respect to God's knowledge of them, love to them, and care for them; but with respect to their knowledge of him, affection for him, and regard to his will, service, and glory; they are lost to themselves, they know not where they are, what is their state and condition, and how to get out of it; they cannot help themselves, nor can any other creature help them; and they see themselves to be in this lost and undone condition, when they are enlightened by the Spirit of God: but they are not irretrievably lost, for they are preserved in Christ Jesus; and he has been sent to seek and to save them; which he has done by redeeming them from sin, Satan, and the law; and, in the effectual calling, he goes after them, he sends his Gospel to them, and his Spirit unto them, and returns them to himself, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls; and whereas after this they go astray like lost sheep, he seeks and looks them up, and restores their souls, Psalm 119:176,

and bring again that which was driven away; through the power and prevalence of unbelief, from holding fast to the head Christ, departing at least partially from the living God; from dealing by faith with his precious person, blood, and righteousness; and from the precious promises, as not belonging to them, and refusing to be comforted by them; but the Lord brings back such again, and causes them to believe: Thomas is a notorious instance of this, John 20:24, such also who are driven away through the force of Satan's temptations from the throne of grace; from the word and ordinances; and from private conversation with the saints, being hypocrites, as he suggests unto them; these the Lord brings back, by rebuking the tempter, and delivering out of his temptations: likewise such as are driven out of the right way of truth, and carried away with the error of the wicked, through the influence of bad pastors or false teachers, Jeremiah 23:1, these will he restore again; for it is impossible the elect of God should be finally deceived: moreover, such as are driven away by the force of persecution, and scattered abroad, in God's due time have rest, and return to their folds again; see Jeremiah 50:17,

and will bind up that which was broken; such who have broken hearts, broken with a sense of sin; made truly contrite by the Spirit and grace of God, through the word; which is a hammer to them, that breaks the rocky heart in pieces; to these the Lord has respect; their broken hearts are acceptable to him; he dwells with them, to revive them; he speaks and restores comforts to them; pours in oil and wine into their wounds, like the good Samaritan, and binds them up; see Psalm 147:3 and such who have broken bones, who have fallen into sin to the breaking of their bones, to the destroying of their peace, joy, and comfort, as David, Peter, and others have done; he sets their broken bones, and restores the joys of his salvation; and causes the bones which were broken to rejoice; at the discoveries of his pardoning grace and mercy, Psalm 51:8,

and will strengthen that which was sick; sick through sin, as all men are; sick of sin, as sensible sinners be; sickly and weak, and ready to die, as fallen professors, backsliders, are; sick of love, through want of the discoveries of it; long after them; cannot be easy without them, as Christ's spouse sometimes is; and sick for want of food, faint and languid for want of spiritual refreshment; as the persons were Christ had compassion on, being as sheep without a shepherd, Matthew 9:36 each of these the Lord strengthens with the discoveries and applications of pardoning grace; with the flagons of his love, and apples of his promises; with the food of the Gospel, which strengthens men's hearts; and with grace out of his fulness, whereby they are strengthened against sin, snares, and temptations, and to exercise grace, and do the will of God:

but I will destroy the fat and the strong; that are full of themselves, lifted up with pride, conceited with their riches or righteousness, and despise others, whom they thrust with side and shoulder, and push with their horns, Ezekiel 34:21. So the Targum interprets it of wicked men,

"and I will consume the ungodly and sinners;''

but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "I will keep the fat and the strong"; in the plight and condition in which they are, and make them still stronger, and more fat and flourishing; so Jerom interprets it of saints and godly persons; and this agrees with the preceding clauses; only the original Hebrew text is against it, which does not admit of a various reading; and this rendering seems to arise in the Septuagint, the others follow, from the mistake of a similar letter: "I will feed them with judgment"; meaning either the whole flock, consisting of fat and lean cattle, making a distinction between them, Ezekiel 34:17, feeding them with discretion, and judging them according to their deserts; or else the fat and the strong ones, by inflicting righteous vengeance on them, feeding them with wormwood and gall; or his own people and sheep only. So the Targum, "I will govern my people with judgment"; in righteousness, goodness, truth, and faithfulness. 16. In contrast to the unfaithful shepherds (Eze 34:4). The several duties neglected by them I will faithfully discharge.

fat … strong—that is, those rendered wanton by prosperity (De 32:15; Jer 5:28), who use their strength to oppress the weak. Compare Eze 34:20, "the fat cattle" (Isa 10:16). The image is from fat cattle that wax refractory.

with judgment—that is, justice and equity, as contrasted with the "force" and "cruelty" with which the unfaithful shepherds ruled the flock (Eze 34:4).34:7-16 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.
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