Ezekiel 34:31
And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) The flock of my pasture.—The chapter closes with the strongest and tenderest assurance that the object of its figurative language is to point out the renewed and close communion which is to come about between God and His people. They are to be His flock, and He is to be their God. Yet still, the vast and infinite distance between them is not left out of view, but rather brought prominently forward—they are men; He is God. They were not yet prepared to understand how this infinite chasm could be bridged over; only it should be by their shepherd David. We know that He was the Mediator, both God and man, thus uniting both in one.

Ezekiel 34:31. And ye my flock, &c., are men — These words at the conclusion of the chapter, explain the metaphor which runs through the whole of it; namely, that what was said of a flock and its shepherds, is to be understood of men and their governors, and especially of God’s people, whom their civil and ecclesiastical governors neglected, or misled and oppressed, but whom God regards, watches over, provides for, and takes care of, as a shepherd does his flock. It is justly observed here by Mr. Ostervald, that “this is a chapter which both magistrates and rulers of the church ought to meditate upon very seriously. The complaints that God here makes of false shepherds, and the curses he denounces against them, show that it is the duty of pastors, with their utmost diligence, to watch over the sheep with which they are intrusted, and to provide with care and readiness for all their wants; and that if they fail herein, they must give a severe account to God for it. This too lays an obligation upon princes and magistrates, to govern faithfully and justly the people committed to their trust. What befell the Jews, who, for the unfaithfulness of their prophets and magistrates, were utterly destroyed, shows that it is the greatest misfortune to a nation to have wicked rulers; and that all who are concerned for the glory of God, and the happiness and edification of the church, have great reason to pray to God, that he would always raise up to his people faithful and good pastors.”

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.Translate "Ye are my flock, the flock of my pasture (compare Jeremiah 23:1); ye are men, and I am your God."31. ye my flock … are men—not merely an explanation of the image, as Jerome represents. But as God had promised many things which mere "men" could not expect to realize, He shows that it is not from man's might their realization is to be looked for, but from God, who would perform them for His covenant-people, "His flock" [Rosenmuller]. When we realize most our weakness and God's power and faithfulness to His covenant, we are in the fittest state for receiving His blessings. Now, that neither you nor any else mistake the allegory, note, saith God, this flock of my pasture are not sheep literally, but they are men expressed by this emblem, and these men are those I am a God to, and will be so for ever.

And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men,.... This is observed, to show that all that had been said in this chapter concerning sheep, and a flock of sheep, was to be understood, not in a literal sense, but in a figurative one, of such as were rational and spiritual persons; a set of men whom the Lord had chosen, and separated from others, as his peculiar flock; and whom he took a special care of, and led them to, and fed them in, green pastures of his own providing; they are the souls of men that Christ is the Shepherd and Bishop of, 1 Peter 2:25. The Talmudists (u) frequently make use of this text, to prove that Israelites are only called men, and not the Gentiles; see Matthew 15:26.

and I am your God, saith the Lord God; which is often repeated for the certainty of it, because a blessing of the greatest importance, and which includes all others in it; see Ezekiel 34:24.

(u) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 61. 1. Bava Metzia, fol. 114. 2. & Ceritot, fol. 6. 2.

And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. ye my flock … are men] Omit “are men” with LXX. and read: and ye are my flock … pasture, and I am your God.

Verse 31. - And ye my flock. The great utterance, we might call it the "ode of the shepherds," comes round to the point from which its second portion started (ver. 11). All blessings were summed up in the thought that, behind every representative of the Father's care, the ideal David and his house, there was the eternal relationship between Jehovah and his people, even that of the Shepherd and his sheep. The LXX. omits the words "are men," and here also is followed by Cornill.



Ezekiel 34:31Appointment 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.

Links
Ezekiel 34:31 Interlinear
Ezekiel 34:31 Parallel Texts


Ezekiel 34:31 NIV
Ezekiel 34:31 NLT
Ezekiel 34:31 ESV
Ezekiel 34:31 NASB
Ezekiel 34:31 KJV

Ezekiel 34:31 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 34:31 Parallel
Ezekiel 34:31 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 34:31 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 34:31 French Bible
Ezekiel 34:31 German Bible

Bible Hub






Ezekiel 34:30
Top of Page
Top of Page