|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-6 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.
Verse 3. - Ye eat the fat. The LXX. and the Vulgate, following a different reading, give milk, and, as "killing" comes in the next clause, this is probably preferable (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:7; Isaiah 7:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye eat the fat,.... The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it, "the milk"; the words for fat and milk differ only in the points; and this was not unlawful, for
who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1 Corinthians 9:7, provided it was done with moderation, that they ate some, but not all; but these rulers milked their subjects too much, oppressed them with heavy taxes, and got their substance into their own hands. The Targum is,
"ye eat the good;''
they got possessed of the best of their substance; as did also their ecclesiastical rulers, who were greedy shepherds, that could never have enough; they looked for their gain from their quarter, and even devoured widows' houses, Isaiah 56:11,
ye clothe you with the wool: the pure wool, as the Targum, the finest of it; they fleeced the flock, and stripped the people of their riches; and minded nothing but their own backs and bellies:
ye kill them that are fed; or, that "are fat" (q); the richest of the people they brought accusations and charges against for capital crimes; and so put them to death under a colour of justice, that they, might get their estates into their hands:
but ye feed not the flock; did not govern the people well, by doing justice and judgment among men, as became civil magistrates; did not deliver out words of faith and sound doctrine, to feed the souls of men with, which is the duty of those that preside in the church of God.
(q) "quod pingue est", Vatablus, Bochartus; "pinguem", Cocceius, Starckius. So Ben Melech.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. fat—or, by differently pointing the Hebrew, "milk" [Septuagint]. Thus the repetition "fat" and "fed" is avoided: also the eating of "fat" would not probably be put before the "killing" of the sheep. The eating of sheep's or goats' milk as food (De 32:14; Pr 27:27) was unobjectionable, had not these shepherds milked them too often, and that without duly "feeding" them [Bochart], (Isa 56:11). The rulers levied exorbitant tributes.
kill … fed—kill the rich by false accusation so as to get possession of their property.
feed not … flock—take no care of the people (Joh 10:12).
Ezekiel 34:3 Parallel Commentaries
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