Ezekiel 34:29
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Will raise up for them a plant of renown.—Better, a plantation for renown. The same Hebrew word occurs in Ezekiel 17:7; Ezekiel 31:4, and means plantation. The thought is that God would provide Israel with such a fair and fruitful land as should make them famous for their blessings. The idea of the word is not that which seems to be implied by our version (with its marginal references to Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5), a plant or a branch, referring to the Messiah; a different word is used here, which occurs, besides the places named, only in Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3, and Micah 1:6, in all of which it is translated planting.

Ezekiel 34:29-30. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown — The Messiah, the branch from the root of David, so frequently foretold by the prophet. And they shall be no more consumed with hunger — But shall be blessed with plenty of all things. Spiritual blessings, the blessings peculiar to the Messiah’s kingdom, are chiefly intended. These his subjects shall possess in abundance, and shall be satisfied therewith, whatever their lot may be as to the things of this life. Neither shall they bear the shame of the heathen any more — By whom they were formerly reproached, as if their God had cast them off. Then shall they know — The very heathen shall be convinced by these many and great blessings bestowed upon my people; that I the Lord — I, Jehovah, who can perform what I promise; am with them — Am reconciled to them, and do bless and save them; and that they — Whom these heathen despised and injured, and formerly made slaves, even the house of Israel, are my people — My peculiar people, above all people in the world, and as such shall be taken care of by me.

34:17-31 The whole nation seemed to be the Lord's flock, yet they were very different characters; but he knew how to distinguish between them. By good pastures and deep waters, are meant the pure word of God and the dispensing of justice. The latter verses, 23-31, prophesy of Christ, and of the most glorious times of his church on earth. Under Him, as the good Shepherd, the church would be a blessing to all around. Christ, though excellent in himself, was as a tender plant out of a dry ground. Being the Tree of life, bearing all the fruits of salvation, he yields spiritual food to the souls of his people. Our constant desire and prayer should be, that there may be showers of blessings in every place where the truth of Christ is preached; and that all who profess the gospel may be filled with fruits of righteousness.A plant - Equivalent to the "Branch," under which name Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesy of the Messiah. The contrast in this verse to hunger seems to favor the idea that the "plant" was for food, i. e., spiritual food, and in this sense also, applicable to the Messiah (compare John 6:35.)

The shame of the pagan - The shameful reproaches with which the pagan assail them.

29. plant of renown—Messiah, the "Rod" and "Branch" (Isa 11:1), the "righteous Branch" (Jer 23:5), who shall obtain for them "renown." Fairbairn less probably translates, "A plantation for a name," that is, a flourishing condition, represented as a garden (alluding to Eden, Ge 2:8-11, with its various trees, good for food and pleasant to the sight), the planting of the Lord (Isa 60:21; 61:3), and an object of "renown" among the heathen. Raise; establish and settle.

A plant; or plantation, so the word, so the Chaldee paraphrast, and so it best suits new planters as they now were; however, as we read it, it is a promise of honour and fame to their posterity, as in the Maccabees’ time, and, which is more, it is a promise of the Messiah to be raised for them.

With hunger in the land; by barrenness of a land cursed, or by wastes made by enemies, or by long siege, as formerly.

The shame of the heathen; who reproached them; cast away, rejected of God, and accursed, so that they were a taunt and proverb among the heathen.

And I will raise up for them a plant of renown,.... Or, "for a name"; or, "of a name" (t); a famous one: this is to be understood, not of the Jewish nation itself, as the Targum,

"and I will raise up for them a plantation for standing;''

or which shall continue; but of the Messiah, and not of his incarnation, when he sprung up as a tender plant out of the dry ground, and as a branch out of the roots of Jesse, being on that account often spoken of as a branch; see Isaiah 11:1, but of him in a more raised and exalted state, as grown up to a stately tree, a goodly cedar, as in Ezekiel 17:23 when his interest and kingdom should be great and glorious in the world, as it will be at the time of the conversion of the Jews; and it is spoken of his manifestation to them as a plant of renown, or as a renowned plant, the true vine and tree of life; or as a famous renowned person, one of name; whose glorious names and titles are Shiloh, the Messiah, Immanuel, Jehovah our righteousness, Jesus the Saviour, the Word of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords:

and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land; the Targum is,

"they shall no more move from place to place through famine in the land;''

and which is to be understood, not of hunger through a famine of bread and water, but of hearing the word of the Lord; which they shall now have, and hear, and believe, and so have food for their souls, and hunger no more; as those do not who believe in Christ, John 6:35, for this plant raised up for them, and pointed out to them, the tree of life, Christ Jesus, bears all manner of precious fruit, sweet to the taste, and nourishing to the souls of his people; under his shadow they sit, and his fruit is sweet to them; and with him is bread enough, and to spare; so that there is no want, nor fear of consumption with hunger, where he is:

neither bear the shame of the Heathen any more; being called by them Jews, in away of taunt, a proverb, and a curse; and outcasts, whom none seek after; but now they shall no more be termed forsaken, or called desolate, but instead thereof Hephzibah and Beulah; see Jeremiah 30:17.

(t) "plantato in nemen", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Starckius; "plantam celebri nomine", Tigurine version; "plantam in nomen", Vatablus.

And I will raise up for them a {n} plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.

(n) That is, the rod that will come out of the root of Jesse, Isa 11:1.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. a plant of renown] a plantation of renown, lit. for a name, i.e. a plantation which shall be (or, so as to be) renowned; cf. for the phrase Ezekiel 39:13; Isaiah 55:13. The ref. is not to the person of the Messiah, but to the luxuriant fertility and vegetation of the earth in the Messianic age. Comp. Psalms 67, Psalm 72:16; Amos 9:13; Hosea 2:21; Joel 2:23 seq. The land of Israel was subject to droughts and famine (Ezekiel 36:15; Ezekiel 36:30; 1 Kings 17 seq.; Jeremiah 14:1-6; Jeremiah 14:18; Joel 1). In the regeneration this reproach shall no more fall on it, ch. Ezekiel 36:3; Ezekiel 36:6; Ezekiel 36:15.

Verse 29. - A plant of renown. The words at first suggest the thought that Ezekiel was reproducing the ideal picture of the "branch," the "root," the "stem," the "plant." of Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 6:12. Here, however, the word is collective, and is translated "plantation" in Ezekiel 17:7, "planting" in Micah 1:6; Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3. It can hardly be taken as speaking of more than the general fertility of the land. The rendering of the LXX., "a plant of peace," obviously implies a different reading (shalom instead of shem), and this Cornill has adopted in his text. So taken, the words naturally lead on to what follows - the promise that men should no more be consumed with hunger. Ezekiel 34:29Appointment of David as Shepherd, and Blessing of the People

Ezekiel 34:23. And I will raise up one shepherd over them, who shall feed them, my servant David; he will feed them, and he will be to them a shepherd. Ezekiel 34:24. And I, Jehovah, will be God to them, and my servant David prince in the midst of them: I, Jehovah, have spoken it. Ezekiel 34:25. And I will make a covenant of peace with them, and destroy the evil beasts out of the land, so that they will dwell safely in the desert and sleep in the forests. Ezekiel 34:26. And I will make them and the places round my hill a blessing, and cause the rain to fall in its season: showers of blessing shall there be. Ezekiel 34:27. The tree of the field will give its fruit, and the land will give its produce, and they will be safe in their land, and will know that I am Jehovah, when I break their yoke-bars in pieces, and deliver them out of the hand of those who made them servants. Ezekiel 34:28. They will be no more a prey to the nations, and the wild beasts will not devour them; but they will dwell safely, and no one will terrify them. Ezekiel 34:29. And I will raise up for them a plantation for a name, so that they will no more be swept away by famine in the land, and shall no longer bear the disgrace of the heathen nations. Ezekiel 34:30. And they shall know that I, Jehovah, their God, am with them, and they are my people, the house of Israel, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 34:31. And ye are my sheep, the flock of my pasture; ye are men, I am your God, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - God will cause to stand up, raise up, one single shepherd over His flock. הקים, the standing expression for the rising up of a person in history through the interposition of God (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15; 2 Samuel 7:12, and other passages). רעה, not unicus, singularis, a shepherd unique in his kind, but one shepherd, in contrast not only with the many bad shepherds, but with the former division of the people into two kingdoms, each with its own separate king. Compare Ezekiel 37:24 with Jeremiah 28:6, where it is expressly said that the David to be raised up is to feed Israel and Judah, the two peoples that had been divided before. "My servant David:" Jehovah calls him עבדּי, not merely with reference to the obedience rendered (Hvernick), but also with regard to his election (Isaiah 42:1; Hengstenberg). There is no necessity to refute the assertion of Hitzig, David Strauss, and others, that Ezekiel expected the former King David to be raised from the dead. The reference is to the sprout of David (Jeremiah 23:5), already called simply David in Hosea 3:5 and Jeremiah 30:9. In Ezekiel 34:24 the relation of Jehovah to this David is more precisely defined: Jehovah will then be God to His people, and David be prince in the midst of them. The last words point back to 2 Samuel 7:8. Through the government of David, Jehovah will become in truth God of His people Israel; for David will feed the people in perfect unity with Jehovah, - will merely carry out the will of Jehovah, and not place himself in opposition to God, like the bad shepherds, because, as is therewith presupposed, he is connected with God by unity of nature.

In Ezekiel 34:25. the thought is carried out still further, - how God will become God to His people, and prove Himself to be its covenant God through the pastoral fidelity of the future David. God will fully accomplish the covenant mercies promised to Israel. The making of the covenant of peace need not be restricted, in accordance with Hosea 2:20 (18), to a covenant which God would make with the beasts in favour of His people. The thought is a more comprehensive one here, and, according to Leviticus 26:4-6, the passage which Ezekiel had in his mind involves all the salvation which God had included in His promises to His people: viz., (1) the extermination of everything that could injure Israel, of all the wild beasts, so that they would be able to sleep securely in the deserts and the forests (Ezekiel 34:25, compare Leviticus 26:6); (2) the pouring out of an abundant rain, so that the field and land would yield rich produce (Ezekiel 34:26, Ezekiel 34:27; cf. Leviticus 26:4-5). "I make them, the Israelites, and the surroundings of my hill, a blessing." גּבעתי, the hill of Jehovah, is, according to Isaiah 31:4, Mount Zion, the temple-mountains, including the city of Jerusalem. The surroundings of this hill are the land of Israel, that lay around it. But Zion, with the land around, is not mentioned in the place of the inhabitants; and still less are we to understand by the surroundings of the hill the heathen nations, as Hengstenberg does, in opposition both to the context and the usage of the language. The thought is simply that the Lord will make both the people and the land a blessing (Hvernick, Kliefoth). בּרכה, a blessing, is stronger than "blessed" (cf. Genesis 12:2). The blessing is brought by the rain in its season, which fertilizes the earth. This will take place when the Lord breaks the yokes laid upon His people. These words are from Leviticus 26:13, where they refer to the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt; and they are transferred by Ezekiel to the future redemption of Israel from the bondage of the heathen. For עבדים , compare Exodus 1:14. This thought is carried out still further in Ezekiel 34:28; and then, in Ezekiel 34:29, all that has been said is summed up in the thoughts, "I raise up for them a plantation for a name," etc. מטּע, a plantation, as in Ezekiel 17:7; not a land for planting (Hitzig). לשׁם, for a name, i.e., not for the glory of God (De Wette); but the plantation, which the Lord will cause to grow by pouring down showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26), is to bring renown to the Israelites, namely, among the heathen, who will see from this that Israel is a people blessed by its God. This explanation of the words is supplied by the following clause: they shall no more be swept away by famine in the land, and no more bear the disgrace of the heathen, i.e., the disgrace which the heathen heaped upon Israel when in distress (compare Zephaniah 3:19; Jeremiah 13:11; and the primary passage, Deuteronomy 26:29). From this blessing they will learn that Jehovah their God is with them, and Israel is His people. The promise concludes in Ezekiel 34:31 with these words, which set a seal upon the whole: "Ye are my flock, the flock of my pasture (lit., my pasture-flock; צאן , Jeremiah 23:1, the flock fed by God Himself); men are ye, I am your God." That these last words to not serve merely as an explanation of the figurative expression "flock," is a fact of which no proof is needed. The figure of a flock was intelligible to every one. The words "call attention to the depth and greatness of the divine condescension, and meet the objection of men of weak faith, that man, who is taken from the earth האדמה, and returns to it again, is incapable of so intimate a connection with God" (Hengstenberg).

If we take another survey, in conclusion, of the contents of our prophecy, the following are the three features of the salvation promised to the people of Israel: - (1) The Lord will liberate His people from the hand of the bad shepherds, and He Himself will feed it as His flock; (2) He will gather it together from its dispersion, bring it back to the land of Israel and feed it there, will take charge of the sheep in need of help, and destroy the fat and strong sheep by which the weak ones are oppressed; (3) He will raise up the future David for a shepherd, and under his care He will bestow upon His people the promised covenant blessings in richest measure. These saving acts of God for His people, however, are not depicted according to their several details and historical peculiarities, as Kliefoth has correctly observed, nor are they narrated in the chronological order in which they would follow one another in history; but they are grouped together according to their general design and character, and their essential features. If, then, we seek for the fulfilment, the Lord raised up His servant David as a shepherd to Israel, by sending Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10; Matthew 18:11), and who calls Himself the Good Shepherd with obvious reference to this and other prophetic declarations of a similar kind (John 10:11.). But the sending of Christ was preceded by the gathering of Israel out of the Babylonian exile, by which God had already taken charge of His flock, Yet, inasmuch as only a small portion of Israel received the Messiah, who appeared in Jesus, as its shepherd, there fell upon the unbelieving Israel a new judgment of dispersion among all nations, which continues still, so that a gathering together still awaits the people of Israel at some future time. No distinction is made in the prophecy before us between these two judgments of dispersion, which are associated with the twofold gathering of Israel; but they are grouped together as one, so that although their fulfilment commenced with the deliverance of Israel from the Babylonian captivity and the coming of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd of the family of David, it was only realized in that portion of Israel, numerically the smallest portion, which was willing to be gathered and fed by Jesus Christ, and the full realization will only be effected when that conversion of Israel shall take place, which the Apostle Paul foretells in Romans 11:25. - For further remarks on the ultimate fulfilment, we refer the reader to a later page.

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