Ezekiel 34:14
I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.The cloudy and dark day - Contrasted with the day in which the Lord will be among them like a shepherd to gather them together again. 14. good pasture—(Ps 23:2).

high mountains of Israel—In Eze 17:23; 20:40, the phrase is "the mountain of the height of Israel" in the singular number. The reason for the difference is: there Ezekiel spoke of the central seat of the kingdom, Mount Zion, where the people met for the worship of Jehovah; here he speaks of the kingdom of Israel at large, all the parts of which are regarded as possessing a moral elevation.

In a good pasture; in fat, sweet, plentiful pastures.

Their fold be; to rest in there for safety; they shall settle their habitations upon their return: or there my flock, my people, my church shall dwell and rest, where idolaters once had their high places; thus spiritually.

There they shall lie, & c.: this and what follows is a confirmation of what before was promised, and it is assured to them by the Lord, who himself will see all this be done.

I will feed them in a good pasture,.... Or with good food, as the Targum: such as the fulness of grace in Christ, where believers go in and out, and find pasture; and where they may feed to the full, have bread enough, and to spare; and may draw water with joy out of the full wells of salvation: this is good food; food indeed, in opposition to that which was typical, or is imaginary; this is spiritual food, suitable to the spirits of men, brought by the Spirit of God, and relished by a spiritual man; this is savoury food, soul satisfying and soul strengthening food; this is nourishing food, and what will endure to everlasting life: and such is the Gospel, the promises and doctrines of it, in which there is a variety of food; milk for babes, and meat for strong men; sweet to the taste, and health to the bones; salutary and nourishing, and which makes glad the heart; and of the same kind are the ordinances of the Gospel, the breasts of consolation, the goodness and fatness of the Lord's house; which he makes his people partakers of, and satisfies them with.

And upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie in a good fold; of the same nature and use are the churches of Christ as a fold is to the sheep; as that they are separated, divided, and distinguished from others; as into a fold, the sheep of Christ are gathered into churches; where they lie together, are united and knit together in love, and where they have communion with one another, and keep each other warm, and stir up one another to love and good works; whereby the vitals of religion are preserved; here they are kept in the night season, and fed in the winter; these like a fold are a sort of fence unto them, and a preservation of them from wolves and bears; and here they lie down, and have spiritual rest, ease, and safety: and as in a fold there are lambs, and sheep, and goats, so in churches there are different sorts folded together, weaker and stronger Christians; and some only nominal ones, who will be separated at the last day. A fold may be taken down, and removed from place to place, and so may visible congregated churches; the candlestick may be removed out of its place, the word and ordinances; and so a Gospel church state may be carried from place to place; and there is but one fold for Jews and Gentiles, and this is a good one; see John 10:16.

And in a fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel; on the feast of fat things there, and so become fat and flourishing; See Gill on Ezekiel 34:13.

I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. Jehovah first seeks out his sheep (Ezekiel 34:11), then he delivers them out of the places where they are scattered (Ezekiel 34:12), then he leads them into their own land (Ezekiel 34:13), where he feeds them upon the mountain heights of Israel (Ezekiel 34:14-15).

Ezekiel 34:14Jehovah Himself will seek His flock, gather it together from the dispersion, lead it to good pasture, and sift it by the destruction of the bad sheep. - Ezekiel 34:11. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I myself, I will inquire after my flock, and take charge thereof. Ezekiel 34:12. As a shepherd taketh charge of his flock in the day when he is in the midst of his scattered sheep, so will I take charge of my flock, and deliver them out of all the places whither they have been scattered in the day of cloud and cloudy night. Ezekiel 34:13. And I will bring them out from the nations, and gather them together out of the lands, and bring them into their land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all the dwelling-places of the land. Ezekiel 34:14. I will feed them in a good pasture, and on the high mountains of Israel will their pasture-ground be: there shall they lie down in a good pasture-ground, and have fat pasture on the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 34:15. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 34:16. That which is lost will I seek, and that which is driven away will I bring back; that which is wounded will I bind up, and that which is sick will I:strengthen: but that which is fat and strong will I destroy, and feed them according to justice. Ezekiel 34:17. And you, my sheep, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, and the rams and the he-goats. Ezekiel 34:18. Is it too little for you, that ye eat up the good pasture, and what remains of your pasture ye tread down with your feet? and the clear water ye drink, and render muddy what remains with your feet? Ezekiel 34:19. And are my sheep to have for food that which is trodden down by your feet, and to drink that which is made muddy by your feet? Ezekiel 34:20. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah to them, Behold, I, I will judge between fat sheep and lean. Ezekiel 34:21. Because ye press with side and shoulder, and thrust all the weak with your horns, till ye have driven them out; Ezekiel 34:22. I will help my sheep, so that they shall no more become a prey; and will judge between sheep and sheep. - All that the Lord will do for His flock is summed up in Ezekiel 34:11, in the words דּרשׁתּי את־צאני וּבקּרתּים, which stand in obvious antithesis to 'ואין דּורשׁ וגו in Ezekiel 34:6 - an antithesis sharply accentuated by the emphatic הנני אני, which stands at the head in an absolute form. The fuller explanation is given in the verses which follow, from Ezekiel 34:12 onwards. Observe here that biqeer is substituted for בּקּשׁ. בּקּר, to seek and examine minutely, involves the idea of taking affectionate charge. What the Lord does for His people is compared in Ezekiel 34:12 to the care which a shepherd who deserves the name manifests towards sheep when they are scattered (נפרשׁות without the article is connected with צאנו in the form of apposition); and in Ezekiel 34:12 it is still more particularly explained. In the first place, He will gather them from all the places to which they have been scattered. הצּיל implies that in their dispersion they have fallen into a state of oppression and bondage among the nations (cf. Exodus 6:6). בּיום belongs to the relative clause: whither they have been scattered. The circumstance that these words are taken from Joel 2:2 does not compel us to take them in connection with the principal clause, as Hitzig and Kliefoth propose, and to understand them as relating to the time when God will hold His judgment of the heathen world. The notion that the words in Joel signify "God's day of judgment upon all the heathen" (Kliefoth), is quite erroneous; and even Hitzig does not derive this meaning from Joel 2:2, but from the combination of our verse with Ezekiel 30:3 and Ezekiel 29:21. The deliverance of the sheep out of the places to which they have been scattered, consists in the gathering together of Israel out of the nations, and their restoration to their own land, and their feeding upon the mountains and all the dwelling-places of the land (מושׁב, a place suitable for settlement), and that in good and fat pasture (Ezekiel 34:14); and lastly, in the fact that Jehovah bestows the necessary care upon the sheep, strengthens and heals the weak and sick (Ezekiel 34:15 and Ezekiel 34:16) - that is to say, does just what the bad shepherds have omitted (Ezekiel 34:4) - and destroys the fat and strong. In this last clause another side is shown of the pastoral fidelity of Jehovah. אשׁמיד has been changed by the lxx, Syr., and Vulg. into ,אשׁמורφυλάχω; and Luther has followed them in his rendering, "I will watch over them." But this is evidently a mistake, as it fails to harmonize with ארענּה במשׁפּט. The fat and strong sheep are characterized in Ezekiel 34:18 and Ezekiel 34:19 as those which spoil the food and water of the others. The allusion, therefore, is to the rich and strong ones of the nation, who oppress the humble and poor, and treat them with severity. The destruction of these oppressors shows that the loving care of the Lord is associated with righteousness - that He feeds the flock בּמשׁפּט.

This thought is carried out still further in Ezekiel 34:17-21, the sheep themselves being directly addressed, and the Lord assuring them that He will judge between sheep and sheep, and put an end to the oppressive conduct of the fat sheep and the strong. בּין שׂה לשׂה: between the one sheep and the other. לשׂה is extended in the apposition, "the rams and he-goats," which must not be rendered, "with regard to the rams and he-goats," as it has been by Kliefoth. The thought is not that Jehovah will divide the rams and he-goats from the sheep, as some have explained it, from an inappropriate comparison with Matthew 25:32; but the division is to be effected in such a manner that sheep will be separated from sheep, the fat sheep being placed on one side with the rams and he-goats, and kept apart from the lean (רזה, Ezekiel 34:20) and the sickly sheep (נהלות, Matthew 25:21). It is to the last-named sheep, rams, and he-goats that Matthew 25:18 and Matthew 25:19 are addressed. With regard to the charge brought against them, that they eat up the pasture and tread down the remainder with their feet, etc., Bochart has already correctly observed, that "if the words are not quite applicable to actual sheep, they are perfectly appropriate to the mystical sheep intended here, i.e., to the Israelites, among whom many of the rich, after enjoying an abundant harvest and vintage, grudged the poor their gleaning in either one or the other." משׁקע, a substantive formation, like מרמס, literally, precipitation of the water, i.e., the water purified by precipitation; for שׁקע, to sink, is the opposite of רפשׂ, to stir up or render muddy by treading with the feet (compare Ezekiel 32:14 and Ezekiel 32:2). בּריה, Ezekiel 34:20 equals בּראה or בּריּה. Ezekiel 34:22 brings to a close the description of the manner in which God will deliver His flock, and feed it with righteousness. והושׁעתּי points back to והצּלתּי in Ezekiel 34:12, and ושׁפטתּי to ארענּה במשׁפּט in Ezekiel 34:16. - To this there is appended in Ezekiel 34:23. a new train of thought, describing how God will still further display to His people His pastoral fidelity.

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