My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my flock was scattered on all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My sheep wandered.—In the pronouns, my sheep and my flock, God again claims the people for His own. Without proper guides, they have indeed strayed far away from Him, and there has been none to inquire after or seek them out in their lost condition. The two words search and seek refer, the former to asking or inquiring, the latter to searching after.
In such a state of things, plainly the first act of mercy to the flock must be the removal of the unfaithful shepherds. This is promised (Ezekiel 34:7-10), but, after Ezekiel’s manner, with reiterated declaration of the unfaithfulness of the shepherds.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.
search … seek—rather, "seek … search." The former is the part of the superior rulers to inquire after: to search out is the duty of the subordinate rulers [Junius].My sheep: these shepherds forgot the flock was not their property, but God will not lose his property in them, nor shall shepherds find at last they were more than God’s stewards, and accountable.
Through all the mountains; when endangered, affrighted, pursued, they got upon the mountains by their own choice, or carried away by enemies; or it may refer to their wandering after idols worshipped in high places, or perhaps to kingdoms and states and great cities, compared to mountains, that there they might find what they could not at home, quiet and safety.
Upon every high hill; the same thing in like words.
My flock; they were, if any among the Jews could be called so, my flock that were so used; not the swine, and goats, and unclean beasts, that by whole herds rested undisturbed. It was Baruch and Jeremiah were fain to hide.
Scattered upon all the face of the earth; they were dispersed through maladministration to all parts of the known world; it is a hyperbole that speaks a mighty scattering.
None did search; the shepherds were contented, nay, glad they were rid of them, neither principal officers searched nor inferior sought after them.
yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth; so great and general was the dispersion by the several captivities: the Lord has sheep, or some of his elect, some that belong to his flock, in all parts of the world:
and none did search or seek after them; but he will himself, as in Ezekiel 34:11, for he will lose none of them; but this does not excuse the shepherds.My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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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