Ezekiel 34:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?

King James Bible
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

American Standard Version
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the hocks be fed by the shepherds?

English Revised Version
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

Webster's Bible Translation
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD to the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Ezekiel 34:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Sixth and last strophe. - Ezekiel 32:31. Pharaoh will see them, and comfort himself over all his multitude. Pharaoh and all his army are slain with the sword, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 32:32. For I caused him to spread terror in the land of the living, therefore is he laid in the midst of uncircumcised, those slain with the sword. Pharaoh and all his multitude, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In these verses the application to Egypt follows. Pharaoh will see in the nether world all the greater and smaller heathen nations with their rulers; and when he sees them all given up to the judgment of death, he will comfort himself over the fate which has fallen upon himself and his army, as he will perceive that he could not expect any better lot than that of the other rulers of the world. נחם על, to comfort oneself, as in Ezekiel 31:16 and Ezekiel 14:22. Hitzig's assertion, that נחם never signifies to comfort oneself, is incorrect (see the comm. on Ezekiel 14:22). נתתּי את־חתּיתו, I have given terror of him, i.e., I have made him an instrument of terror. The Keri חתּיתי arose from a misunderstanding. The Chetib is confirmed by Ezekiel 32:24 and Ezekiel 32:26. In Ezekiel 32:32 the ode is brought to a close by returning even in expression to Ezekiel 32:19 and Ezekiel 32:20.

If, now, we close with a review of the whole of the contents of the words of God directed against Egypt, in all of them is the destruction of the might of Pharaoh and Egypt as a world-power foretold. And this prophecy has been completely fulfilled. As Kliefoth has most truly observed, "one only needs to enter the pyramids of Egypt and its catacombs to see that the glory of the Pharaohs has gone down into Sheol. And it is equally certain that this destruction of the glory of ancient Egypt dates from the times of the Babylonio-Persian empire. Moreover, this destruction was so thorough, that even to the New Egypt of the Ptolemies the character of the Old Egypt was a perfect enigma, a thing forgotten and incomprehensible." But if Ezekiel repeatedly speaks of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon as executing this judgment upon Egypt, we must bear in mind that here, as in the case of Tyre (see the comm. on Ezekiel 28:1-19), Ezekiel regards Nebuchadnezzar as the instrument of the righteous punishment of God in general, and discerns in what he accomplishes the sum of all that in the course of ages has been gradually fulfilling itself in history. At the same time, it is equally certain that this view of the prophet would have no foundation in truth unless Nebuchadnezzar really did conquer Egypt and lay it waste, and the might and glory of this ancient empire were so shattered thereby, that it never could recover its former greatness, but even after the turning of its captivity, i.e., after its recovery from the deadly wounds which the imperial monarchy of Babylonia and afterwards of Persia inflicted upon it, still remained a lowly kingdom, which could "no more rule over the nations" (Ezekiel 29:13-16). Volney, however, in his Recherch. nouv. sur l'hist. anc. (III pp. 151ff.), and Hitzig (Ezekiel p. 231), dispute the conquest and devastation of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, because the Greek historians, with Herodotus (ii. 161ff.) at their head, make no allusion whatever to an invasion of Egypt; and their statements are even opposed to such an occurrence. But the silence of Greek historians, especially of Herodotus, is a most "miserable" argument. The same historians do not say a word about the defeat of Necho by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish; and yet even Hitzig accepts this as an indisputable fact. Herodotus and his successors derived their accounts of Egypt from the communications of Egyptian priests, who suppressed everything that was humiliating to the pride of Egypt, and endeavoured to cover it up with their accounts of glorious deeds which the Pharaohs had performed. But Hitzig has by no means proved that the statements of the Greeks are at variance with the assumption of a Chaldean invasion of Egypt, whilst he has simply rejected but not refuted the attempts of Perizonius, Vitringa, Hvernick, and others, to reconcile the biblical narrative of the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar with the accounts given by Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and other Greeks, concerning the mighty feats of Necho, and his being slain by Amasis. The remark that, in the description given by Herodotus, Amasis appears as an independent king by the side of Cambyses, only less powerful than the Persian monarch, proves nothing more, even assuming the correctness of the fact, than that Amasis had made Egypt once more independent of Babylonia on the sudden overthrow of the Chaldean monarchy.

The conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, after the attitude which Pharaoh Necho assumed towards the Babylonian empire, and even attempted to maintain in the time of Zedekiah by sending an army to the relief of Jerusalem when besieged by the Chaldeans, is not only extremely probable in itself, but confirmed by testimony outside the Bible. Even if no great importance can be attached to the notice of Megasthenes, handed down by Strabo (xv. 1. 6) and Josephus (c. Ap. i. 20): "he says that he (Nebuchadnezzar) conquered the greater part of Libya and Iberia;" Josephus not only quotes from Berosus (l.c. i. 19) to the effect that "the Babylonian got possession of Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia," but, on the ground of such statements, relates the complete fulfilment of the prophecies of Scripture, saying, in Antt. x. 9. 7, with reference to Nebuchadnezzar, "he fell upon Egypt to conquer it. And the reigning king he slew; and having appointed another in his place, made those Jews prisoners who had hitherto resided there, and led them into Babylon." And even if Josephus does not give his authority in this case, the assertion that he gathered this from the prophecies of Jeremiah is untrue; because, immediately before the words we have quoted, he says that what Jeremiah had prophesied (Jeremiah 43:10 and Jeremiah 44) had thus come to pass; making a distinction, therefore, between prophecy and history. And suspicion is not to be cast upon this testimony by such objections as that Josephus does not mention the name of the Egyptian king, or state precisely the time when Egypt was conquered, but merely affirms in general terms that it was after the war with the Ammonites and Moabites.

Ezekiel 34:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the shepherds. The shepherds of Israel, signify their kings and princes, priests and prophets; the flock, the whole of the people; the fat and wool, the tithes and offerings, taxes and imposts: these they exacted with great rigour, and even oppressed and destroyed the people it enrich themselves; but they bestowed no pains to provide for the welfare of the state, or for the souls of those entrusted to them. They knew nothing about their flock: it might be diseased, infirm, bruised, maimed, strayed, or lost, for they watched not over them.

Ezekiel 33:24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land...

Jeremiah 2:8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me...

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper...

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot...

John 10:1,2,12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way...

Woe

Ezekiel 34:8-10 As I live, said the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field...

Ezekiel 13:19 And will you pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die...

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! said the LORD.

Micah 3:1-3,11,12 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and you princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment...

Zephaniah 3:3,4 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow...

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaves the flock! the sword shall be on his arm, and on his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up...

Matthew 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming...

Luke 12:42-46 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household...

Luke 20:46,47 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues...

Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly...

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not...

feed

2 Samuel 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were he that led out and brought in Israel: and the LORD said to you...

Psalm 78:71,72 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance...

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom...

John 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes...

Acts 20:26,29 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men...

1 Peter 5:2-4 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre...

Cross References
John 10:8
All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 21:15
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

2 Corinthians 12:14
Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

Jude 1:12
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;

Isaiah 40:11
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Jeremiah 2:8
The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

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