Ezekiel 34:10
Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ezekiel 34:10. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I am against the shepherds — They have made me their enemy by their negligence and abuse of their power, and I will appear and act as such. They have been enemies to my sheep, though pretending to be their shepherds; I will be an open enemy to them; and will require my flock at their hands — I will require a severe account from their kings and princes, their priests and prophets, of the damage my people have sustained through their ill management; and I will deprive them of the honour, pre-eminence, and advantage of which they have made such an ill use. 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.Shepherds - Not priests or prophets, but rulers and kings (see the Jeremiah 2:8 note). The most ancient title for "ruler" is a monogram which occurs on the oldest monuments discovered in the cuneiform character. In the Assyrian language it became riu (compare Hebrew רעה râ‛âh equals shepherd). In the traditions of Berosus we find that Alorus, the first king in the world, received from the Divinity the title of Shepherd. The title, as well as the monogram, was preserved to the latest times of the Assyrian monarchy. While the distress and misery of the people daily in creased, the last kings of Judah exacted more and more from their subjects and lavished more and more on personal luxury and show. 10. I will require my flock—(Heb 13:17), rather, "I require," &c., for God already had begun to do so, punishing Zedekiah and the other princes severely (Jer 52:10). I am against; they have provoked me to displeasure to be their enemy, and I will appear and act so. They are enemies to my sheep, yet pretended to be shepherds, I will be an open enemy to them.

The shepherds; to Zedekiah, his princes, the priests, and prophets, all the ruling part in Jerusalem.

I will require my flock; I will require both account first, and next by severe punishing, as Zedekiah, his children, &c, found. Cause them to cease from feeding the flock; turn them out of my service, that honorable employment; so was the king and princes of Judah turned out of all by the king of Babylon, by whom God made good this his word. Feed themselves any more; their profit ceased with the ceasing of their authority, and they could no more milk, fleece, or slay the flock, when it was taken out of their hand.

I will deliver my flock; they should have delivered them out of the hands of violence; since they did not, I will deliver, save, and rescue this flock which is mine.

From their mouth: this speaks that those shepherds had been lions, or bears, or wolves, more than shepherds, and therefore out of their mouths, not hands, God will deliver.

That they may not be meat for them; so the flock shall no more be devoured by them. Thus saith the Lord God, behold, I am against the shepherds,.... His heart was against them; his hand was against them; his face was against them, to cut them off. The Targum is,

"behold, I will send my fury upon the governors;''

and there was good reason for it, they were against him and his glory, against his flock, his people, his cause, and interest; sad it is for any to have God against them, and to be against God; for none ever hardened themselves against him and prospered, Job 9:4,

and I will require my flock at their hand; the full tale of them that have been committed to their care, and will punish them for the neglect of them; their blood, their life, and the loss of them, I will require at their hands; thus he punished Zedekiah and his princes, and the priests and prophets:

and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; take the kingdom from them, as he did from Zedekiah; abolish the ecclesiastical hierarchy among the Jews; cut off three shepherds in one month, the priests, prophets, and scribes of the people; and put the flock into other hands, the apostles and ministers of the Gospel:

neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; enrich themselves with the substance of the people:

for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them; who, instead of being shepherds to feed the flock, were no other than wolves in sheep's clothing, and ravenous lions and bears, which devoured the flock; but this they should do no longer.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from {e} their mouth, that they may not be food for them.

(e) By destroying the covetous hirelings and restoring true shepherds of which we have a sign so often as God sends true preachers, who both by doctrine and life labour to feed his sheep in the pleasant pastures of his word.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Calling of the Prophet for the Future - Ezekiel 33:1-20

The prophet's office of watchman. Ezekiel 33:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 33:2. Son of man, speak to the sons of thy people, and say to them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their company and set him for a watchman, Ezekiel 33:3. And he seeth the sword come upon the land, and bloweth the trumpet, and warneth the people; Ezekiel 33:4. If, then, one should hear the blast of the trumpet and not take warning, so that the sword should come and take him away, his blood would come upon his own head. Ezekiel 33:5. He heard the blast of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood will come upon him: whereas, if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul. Ezekiel 33:6. But if the watchman seeth the sword come, and bloweth not the trumpet, and the people is not warned; and the sword should come and take away a soul from them, he is taken away through his guilt; but his blood will I demand from the watchman's hand. Ezekiel 33:7. Thou, then, son of man, I have set thee for the watchman to the house of Israel; thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and warn them for me. Ezekiel 33:8. If I say to the sinner, Sinner, thou wilt die the death; and thou speakest not to warn the sinner from his way, he, the sinner, will die for his iniquity, and his blood I will demand from thy hand. Ezekiel 33:9. But if thou hast warned the sinner from his way, to turn from it, and he does not turn from his way, he will die for his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. - Ezekiel 33:7-9, with the exception of slight deviations which have little influence upon the sense, are repeated verbatim from Ezekiel 3:17-19. The repetition of the duty binding upon the prophet, and of the responsibility connected therewith, is introduced, however, in Ezekiel 33:2-6, by an example taken from life, and made so plain that every one who heard the words must see that Ezekiel was obliged to call the attention of the people to the judgment awaiting them, and to warn them of the threatening danger, and that this obligation rested upon him still. In this respect the expansion, which is wanting in Ezekiel 3, serves to connect the following prophecies of Ezekiel with the threats of judgment contained in the first part. The meaning of it is the following: As it is the duty of the appointed watchman of a land to announce to the people the approach of the enemy, and if he fail to do this he is deserving of death; so Ezekiel also, as the watchman of Israel appointed by God, not only is bound to warn the people of the approaching judgment, in order to fulfil his duty, but has already warned them of it, so that whoever has not taken warning has been overtaken by the sword because of his sin. As, then, Ezekiel has only discharged his duty and obligation by so doing, so has he the same duty still further to perform. - In Ezekiel 33:2 ארץ is placed at the head in an absolute form; and 'כּי אביא וגו, "if I bring the sword upon a land," is to be understood with this restriction: "so that the enemy is on the way and an attack may be expected" (Hitzig). מקציהם, from the end of the people of the land, i.e., one taken from the whole body of the people, as in Genesis 47:2 (see the comm. on Genesis 19:4). Blowing the trumpet is a signal of alarm on the approach of an enemy (compare Amos 3:6; Jeremiah 4:5). נזהר in Ezekiel 33:5 is a participle; on the other hand, both before and afterwards it is a perfect, pointed with Kametz on account of the tone. For Ezekiel 33:7-9, see the exposition of Ezekiel 3:17-19.

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