|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 5. - And they were scattered. The words are an echo of 1 Kings 22:17, and are, in their turn, echoed by Matthew 9:36. The words that follow paint the sufferings of the exiles who left their homes and were scattered among the heathen in the days of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. Of these the kings took no heed, and shut themselves up in the luxurious seclusion of their palace.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they were scattered because there is no shepherd,.... No good one; there were shepherds, but they were idol shepherds, good for nothing, and it was all one as if there were none: so, in Christ's time, there were the Scribes and Pharisees; yet, since these did not feed the people with wholesome doctrine, they are said to be as sheep without a shepherd, and scattered abroad, as here from the fold, and from one another; dispersed here and there, seeking food, and none, which moved his compassion, Matthew 9:36, in the political sense it may refer to their captivity, and their dispersion among the nations, having no king: So the Targum,
"and they were scattered without a governor.''
And they became meat to all beasts of the field when they were scattered; the Targum is,
"and they were delivered to all the kingdoms of the people to be consumed;''
such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Ammonites, Moabites, and others; and may be applied to false teachers, those grievous wolves, which spare not the flock, into whose hands members of churches, professors of religion, fall, when neglected by their shepherds.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. scattered, because … no shepherd—that is, none worthy of the name, though there were some called shepherds (1Ki 22:17; Mt 9:36). Compare Mt 26:31, where the sheep were scattered when the true Shepherd was smitten. God calls them "My sheep"; for they were not, as the shepherds treated them, their patrimony whereby to "feed themselves."
meat to all … beasts—They became a prey to the Syrians, Ammon, Moab, and Assyria.
Ezekiel 34:5 Parallel Commentaries
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