Ezekiel 34:1
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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Ezekiel 34:1. The word of the Lord came unto me, saying — It is probable that this prophecy immediately followed the preceding; and that at, or immediately after, the arrival of the news that Jerusalem was conquered, the prophet was commissioned to speak of the tyranny and carelessness of the governors and teachers, and to point out their negligence as a principal cause of the incredulity and wickedness of the people. Thus the transition appears to be natural, and the connection close, between this prophecy and the foregoing one, as also between the beginning of this prophecy and its conclusion. For considering that, in parts at least, the people suffered for the faults of the shepherds, mercy now urged the prophet to declare, from God, that he would judge between them, save the flock, and set up one shepherd over them, who should feed them, even his servant David.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.The prophet has yet to pronounce a judgment upon unfaithful rulers, whose punishment will further the good of those whom they have misguided. He shows what the rulers should have been, what they have been, and what in the coming times they shall be when the True King shall reign in the true kingdom. Hence, follows a description of Messiah's reign. CHAPTER 34

Eze 34:1-31. Reproof of the False Shepherds; Promise of the True and Good Shepherd.

Having in the thirty-third chapter laid down repentance as the necessary preliminary to happier times for the people, He now promises the removal of the false shepherds as preparatory to the raising up of the Good Shepherd.A reproof of the shepherds of Israel, Ezekiel 34:1-6. God’s judgment against them, Ezekiel 34:7-10. His providence over his flock, Ezekiel 34:11-19. The blessings of Christ’s kingdom, Ezekiel 34:20-31.

No text from Poole on this verse.

The word of the Lord came unto me,.... The date of this prophecy is not given; however, it seems to have been delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem; the causes of which are mentioned, the sins of the people and their governors, which the prophet is directed to expose:

saying: as follows:

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Verse 1. - And the word of the Lord, etc. As no date is given, we may infer that what follows came as an almost immediate sequel to that which precedes it. The kernel of the chapter is found in the Messianic prophecies of vers. 23, 24, as the first stage in the restoration of Israel which is beginning to open to the prophet's gaze. We can hardly avoid seeing in it the deliberate expression of words that had been spoken by Ezekiel's master (Jeremiah 23:1-4), and which in his case also were followed by a directly Messianic announcement. In Matthew 9:36, still more in John 10:1-16, we can scarcely avoid recognizing the distinct appropriation of the words to himself by him of whom they both had spoken. So far as we may venture to speculate on the influence, so to speak, of the words of the prophets of the Old Testament on our Lord's human soul, we may think of these as having marked out for him the work which he was to do, just as we may think of Psalm 22. and Isaiah 53. as having pointed out to him the path of suffering which he was to tread. Fifth strophe. - Ezekiel 32:29. There are Edom, its kings and all its princes, who in spite of their bravery are associated with those that are pierced with the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised and with those that have gone down into the pit. Ezekiel 32:30. There are princes of the north, all of them, and all the Sidonians who have gone down to the slain, been put to shame in spite of the dread of them because of their bravery; they lie there as uncircumcised, and bear their shame with those who have gone into the pit. - In this strophe Ezekiel groups together the rest of the heathen nations in the neighbourhood of Israel; and in doing so, he changes the שׁם of the preceding list for שׁמּה, thither. This might be taken prophetically: thither will they come, "to these they also belong" (Hvernick), only such nations being mentioned here as are still awaiting their destruction. But, in the first place, the perfects אשׁר נתנוּ, אשׁר ירדוּ, in Ezekiel 32:29, Ezekiel 32:30, do not favour this explanation, inasmuch as they are used as preterites in Ezekiel 32:22, Ezekiel 32:24, Ezekiel 32:25, Ezekiel 32:26, Ezekiel 32:27; and, secondly, even in the previous strophes, not only are such peoples mentioned as have already perished, but some, like Elam and Meshech-Tubal, which did not rise into historical importance, or exert any influence upon the development of the kingdom of God till after Ezekiel's time, whereas the Edomites and Sidonians were already approaching destruction. We therefore regard שׁמּה as simply a variation of expression in the sense of "thither have they come," without discovering any allusion to the future. - In the case of Edom, kings and נשׂיאים, i.e., tribe-princes, are mentioned. The allusion is to the 'alluphim or phylarchs, literally chiliarchs, the heads of the leading families (Genesis 36:15.), in whose hands the government of the people lay, inasmuch as the kings were elective, and were probably chosen by the phylarchs (see the comm. on Genesis 36:31.). בּגבוּרתם, in, or with their bravery, i.e., in spite of it. There is something remarkable in the allusion to princes of the north (נסיכי, lit., persons enfeoffed, vassal-princes; see the comm. on Joshua 13:21 and Micah 5:4) in connection with the Sidonians, and after Meshech-Tubal the representative of the northern nations. The association with the Sidonians renders the conjecture a very natural one, that allusion is made to the north of Palestine, and more especially to the Aram of Scripture, with its many separate states and princes (Hvernick); although Jeremiah 25:26, "the kings of the north, both far and near," does not furnish a conclusive proof of this. So much, at any rate, is certain, that the princes of the north are not to be identified with the Sidonians. For, as Kliefoth has correctly observed, "there are six heathen nations mentioned, viz., Asshur, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, the princes of the north, and Sidon; and if we add Egypt to the list, we shall have seven, which would be thoroughly adapted, as it was eminently intended, to depict the fate of universal heathenism." A principle is also clearly discernible in the mode in which they are grouped. Asshur, Elam, and Meshech-Tubal represent the greater and more distant world-powers; Edom the princes of the north, and Sidon the neighbouring nations of Israel on both south and north. בּחתּיתם מגּבוּרתם, literally, in dread of them, (which proceeded) from their bravery, i.e., which their bravery inspired. 'ויּשׂאוּ וגו, as in Ezekiel 32:24.
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