Ezekiel (Ch 35-36)

•September 26, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Chapter 35 is a prophecy of the destruction of Edom, which is threatened, the cause of it, their hatred and slaughter of the Israelites.

Ezekiel 35

1 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, set thy face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it Son of man set thy face against Mount Seir…. Which had its name from Seir the Horite, who first possessed it; and was succeeded in it by Esau and his posterity, the Edomites; (Genesis 36:8Deuteronomy 2:12), so that the country of Edom or Idumea is intended here.

and say unto it, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out Mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate. behold, O Mount Seir, I am against thee: not the face of the prophet only, but the face of God himself was against them; and a terrible thing it is for any to have God to be against them, whether a nation, or a particular person.

The Targum is, “behold, I send my fury upon thee.”

I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end, Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred…. There was an old grudge and enmity subsisting in the posterity of Esau against the posterity of Jacob, because the latter supplanted the former, and got the birthright and blessing from him. It started on the part of Edom led to their refusal of permission for Israel to pass through their land (Numbers 20:14-21); to their invasion of Judah (2 Chronicles 20:10-11); to their aiding Nebuchadnezzar in the overthrow of Jerusalem (Obadiah 1:1,13); and to the outrageous conduct of the Herods and their dynasty against the purposes of God during the days of Christ and the apostles. The Herods were Idumaeans (Edomites). See much more on this in Isaiah 34-43.

therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee for blood, and blood shall pursue thee. Since thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. Since thou hast loved cruelty, and taken delight in shedding blood, vengeance and slaughter shall pursue thee, and thou shalt fall into the hands of those that will be as eager to shed blood.

Thus will I make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.

And I will fill his mountains with his slain men; in thy hills and in thy valleys and in all thy rivers shall they fall that are slain with the sword.

I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — Thy cities shall not be restored to thee again. This was exactly fulfilled; for the Nabatheans having driven the Edomites out of their ancient habitations, in the time of the Babylonish captivity, they settled themselves in the southern part of Judea, where they were afterward conquered by Hyrcanus, and obliged to embrace the Jewish religion, and so became at length incorporated with that nation. 

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10 “‘Because thou hast said, “These two nations and these two countries shall be mine and we will possess it,” though the Lord was there, — “These two nations and these two countries …” These are Israel and Judah, the covenant people after the division of the monarchy, the northern and the southern Israels, Samaria and Jerusalem.

11 therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I have judged thee.

Petra, “when I have judged thee” is now described as:

“This land, once so rich in flocks and herds, so mighty in its rock-hewn cities, so extensive in its commercial activities, so renowned for the architectural splendor of its palaces, is now a desolated and deserted wilderness. Its whole population consists of three or four miserable tiny villages. No merchant would now dare to enter it; its highways are unused; its cities are in ruins.”

12 And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, “They are laid desolate. They are given us to consume.” and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel; the people of Israel and Judah literally, and the churches and people of God figuratively.

13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against Me and have multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.

14 Thus saith the Lord God: When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.

15 As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee. Thou shalt be desolate, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, even all of it; and they shall know that I am the Lord.’” — even though all Edom were made desolate, they survive at the end: “and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

And finally the remnant of Israel are not lead into “a place of safety” but are to be “scattered into all the winds.”

. . . and I will execute judgments in thee [Israel], and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds Ezekiel 5:10.

Ezekiel 36

1 “Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. — “the mountain of Israel;” this prophecy is concerning the desolations of the United States and its main European allies, UK and France. And Israel is judged in relation to the “nations” used 15 times in this chapter alone.

Thus saith the Lord God: Because the enemy hath said against you, “Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession,”’ because the enemy had said against you, aha: rejoicing at the calamity of Israel, particularly the Edomites or Idumeans, as in the preceding chapter; and who are chiefly meant; and also the Ammonites and Tyrians, Ezekiel 25:3.

therefore prophesy and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Because they have made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the nations, and ye are taken up on the lips of talkers and are an infamy (gossip: the state of being well known for some bad quality or deed; or scoffing) of the people, — and swallowed you up on every side; all their neighbours, being their enemies, were like ravenous beasts of prey, gaping upon them with their mouths; and, observing the low condition into which they were brought by the king of Babylon, helped forward the destruction; and everyone shared in the spoil and plunder nearest to them they could conveniently come at.

therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God. Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are round about” — before only the mountains are spoken to, but now, “the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys;” these are the hills, the Scandinavian: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Finland, and Iceland; and the valleys, the low countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

therefore thus saith the Lord God: Surely in the fire of My jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations and against all Edom, who have appointed My land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out as a prey.’ — to those neighbouring nations that “have appointed My land into their possession” were Ammon, Moab and Edom.

With the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey; with the utmost joy they joined Nebuchadnezzar’s army when he invaded the land of Judea and besieged Jerusalem, out of pure malice and spite to the people of the Jews, in order to eject them from the possession of their land, that it might become a prey to them; see Psalms 137:7.

Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My fury, because ye have borne the shame of the nations. because ye have borne the shame of the nations; their reproaches and scoffings, their injuries and abuses; all which were resented by the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God: I have lifted up Mine hand. Surely the nations who are about you, they shall bear their shame. — Gill: surely the nations that are about you, they shall bear their shame; the punishment of their shame; that which is justly due to them for reproaching and putting to shame the people of God: or they shall be a laughing stock to others, and be reproached and derided themselves, and so be paid in their own coin; a just retaliation this for their treatment of the Jews.

“‘But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people of Israel, for they are at hand to come. ye shall shoot forth your branches; that is, the trees that grew upon them should; the vines, and the olive trees, planted on hills and mountains, these could be their colonies: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (US); Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Virgin Islands (UK); Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte, Réunion (France).

For behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown.

10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be built. all the house of Israel, all the tribes of Israel, the ten tribes as well as the other two: for all shall return.

11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit. And I will settle you according to your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. and I will settle you after your old estates; that is, you mountains shall be inhabited by those that formerly dwelt in you, and you shall be enjoyed by your right owners; by those who had you in possession from the beginning, from the times of Joshua; by whom you were settled on them by lot, according to their several tribes. These land to be taken back from Ammon, Moab and Edom (verse 5 above).

12 Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even My people Israel; and they shall possess thee and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.

13 Thus saith the Lord God: Because they say unto you, “Thou, land, devourest up men and hast bereaved thy nations,”

14 therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God.

15 Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the nations any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God.’” neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God; by famine, sword, or pestilence, or any other judgment caused by sin: or, “thou shalt not bereave” as the marginal reading is; and which the Targum and many versions follow: now what is here promised, in this and the preceding verse, had not its full accomplishment upon the Jews’ return from the Babylonish captivity; for since that time their men have been devoured, and their tribes have been bereaved of them by famine, sword, and pestilence; and they have heard and bore the shame and reproach of the nations where they have been dispersed, and do to this day; wherefore these prophecies must refer to a future restoration of that people.

CSB says: I will no longer allow the insults of the nations to be heard against you, and you will not have to endure the reproach of the peoples anymore; you will no longer cause your nation to stumble. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”

16 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings; their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.

18 Therefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it.

19 And I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.

20 And when they entered unto the nation whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land.’ they profaned my holy name; by their pornography, sexual immorality and promiscuity, by their violation of both tables of laws; by their gun violence, family breakdown, homelessness and the use of dirty language while invoking God’s name, whereby they gave the Gentiles an occasion to reproach them, their religion, and their God, Romans 2:24; and not only do they promote LGBTQIA and other filths and home but being hubris and narcissistic they also try to promote and enforce them onto other nations — in doing so “they profaned My holy name,” so said the Lord!

21 But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations whither they went.

22 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the nations whither ye went.

23 And I will sanctify My great name which was profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24 For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 “‘Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

27 And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.

28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. And ye shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers…. Not only shall be brought into it, but shall inhabit it, and continue there, and that in great safety and plenty; and which will be the more valued and esteemed, and reckoned a great blessing to enjoy; because this land between the rivers is the gift of God, and what he gave to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by promise so long ago, and to their seed; of which promise it appears he is not unmindful.

29 “‘I will also save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the nations.

31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!

33 “‘Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be rebuilt.

34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.

35 And they shall say, “This land that was desolate has become like the Garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities have become fortified and are inhabited.”

36 Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, the Lord, build the ruined places and plant that which was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.’

37 “Thus saith the Lord God: I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them. I will increase them with men like a flock.

38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” — God said of the house of Israel that “they shall know that I am the Lord” this implies that they do not know God at this time, despite many claim they are Christians, a few pretentious at best. How could they? In today’s world of professing Christians, no less than 99.99 percent of them don’t even know the Oracles of God!

Ezekiel (Ch 33-34)

•September 25, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Chapter 33 specifies the duty of watchman, and the people’s sins; contains a vindication of the justice of God; a threatening of destruction to those who remained in the land after the taking of the city; and in chapter 34, a hypocrisy of the prophets who choose to feed themselves than feed the flock. Earlier, we have established that although Ezekiel has his face set toward Jerusalem, this prophecy is meant for the house of Israel at the endtime “for many years to come” (Ezekiel 12:27). And, here, remember, the house of Israel is primarily the United States of America, and secondarily its European allies. . .

Ezekiel 33

1 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, speak to the children of thy people and say unto them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man from their borders and set him as their watchman, and

if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet and warn the people, — If what he seeth the sword come upon the land…. Or those that kill with the sword, as the Targum; as soon as he observes a body of armed men, more or less, marching towards the borders of the land with a manifest intention to enter and invade it;

he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; warn the people by blowing the trumpet, the signal agreed on; by which they would understand that an enemy was at hand, or danger near; or warn them by word of mouth, as well as by the trumpet, where he could do it, and when it was necessary.

then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet and taketh not warning, if the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

He heard the sound of the trumpet and took not warning: his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

But if the watchman see the sword come and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, if the sword come and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.’ but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hands; he shall be punished for not doing his duty, for not giving the due warning of danger, on which account the man was surprised with the enemy, and taken away unawares; and therefore his death shall be laid to the watchman, and he must be answerable for it.

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee as a watchman unto the house of Israel. Therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth and warn them from Me. — this prophecy is meant for the house of Israel which is primarily the United States of America, and secondarily its European allies.

When I say unto the wicked, ‘O wicked man, thou shalt surely die,’ if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 “Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel: ‘Thus ye speak, saying, “If our transgressions and our sins be upon us and we pine away in them, how should we then live?”’ — “the house of Israel” reemphasizing a prophecy which is meant for the United States and its European allies.

11 Say unto them: ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?’

12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. As for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness, neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.’

13 When I shall say to the righteous that he shall surely live, if he trust to his own righteousness and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, ‘Thou shalt surely die,’ if he turn from his sin and do that which is lawful and right,

15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give back that which he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him. He hath done that which is lawful and right: he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the children of thy people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ But as for them, their way is not equal. — instead of turning away and by repenting, the house of Israel complains even further; that His way is not according to the rules of justice and equity.

18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20 Yet ye say, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one according to his ways.” — still obstinately persisting in their false charges as their complaint repeated: “The way of the Lord is not equal.”

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, “The city is smitten!” that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me; as it was foretold and promised he should, Ezekiel 24:26:

saying, the city is smitten; the city of Jerusalem; the walls were broken down, the houses burnt, and the whole destroyed.

22 Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening before he that had escaped came, and He had opened my mouth until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb. and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; the hand of the Lord, or the power of the Lord, had done it, as he promised he would, Ezekiel 3:26-27 so that he spoke freely and boldly.

23 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

24 “Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes in the land of Israel speak, saying, ‘Abraham was one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.’ — ‘If Abraham, being only a single person, had the whole region of Judea and Samaria (and more) given him, there is much greater reason to conclude, that God will preserve the possession of more to us, who are a numerous part of Abraham’s posterity.’

25 Therefore say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Ye eat meat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. And shall ye possess the land?

26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbor’s wife. And shall ye possess the land?’

27 Say thou thus unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that are in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. — and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured — a reminder of “so will I send upon you famine and evil beasts” Ezekiel 5:17.

Ezekiel 14:21“For thus saith the Lord God: How much more when I send My four sore judgments upon Jerusalem — the sword and the famine and the noisome beast and the pestilence — to cut off from it man and beast?

28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.

29 Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.’

30 “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, ‘Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.’every man to his brother, saying, come, l pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord; let us go and amuse ourselves for an hour or two with what the prophet says; perhaps we shall hear some new thing, which may be pleasing and diverting: for, not their spiritual profit did they seek, but to have their ears tickled, and their fancies pleased.

31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

32 And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass — lo, it will come — then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” And when this cometh to pass…. The prophecy before delivered out, concerning the desolations in the land of Israel, by the sword, pestilence, and wild beasts;

lo, it will come; whatever is predicted by the Lord; in the mouth of his prophets, certainly comes to pass: then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them; and acknowledge it; and particularly that Ezekiel was one, a true prophet of the Lord, by the exact accomplishment of his predictions.

Ezekiel 34

In this chapter, God is against the shepherds of Israel, that is, their rulers, both in church and state, are called to an account, as having been very much accessory to the sin and ruin of Israel, by their neglect of the duties of their station.

1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“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 feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe yourselves with the wool, ye kill the ones that are fed; but ye feed not the flock. but ye feed not the flock; did not govern the people well, by doing justice and judgment among men, as became civil magistrates; did not deliver out words of faith and sound teachings, to feed the minds of men with, which is the duty of those that preside in the church of God.

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

And they were scattered because there is no shepherd, and they became meat to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. And they became meat to all beasts of the field when they were scattered; the Targum is, “and they were delivered to all the kingdoms of the people to be consumed;”

such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Ammonites, Moabites, and others; and may be applied to false teachers, those grievous wolves, which spare not the flock, into whose hands members of churches, professors of religion, fall, when neglected by their 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.

“‘Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because My flock became a prey and My flock became meat to every beast of the field because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My flock,

therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.

10 Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand and cause them to cease from feeding the flock, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. For I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I am against the shepherds They have made me their enemy by their negligence and abuse of their power, and I will appear and act as such. They have been enemies to my sheep, though pretending to be their shepherds; I will be an open enemy to them; and will require my flock at their hands I will require a severe account from their kings and princes, their priests and prophets, of the damage my people have sustained through their ill management; and I will deprive them of the honour, pre-eminence, and advantage of which they have made such an ill use.

11 “‘For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I, even I, will both search My sheep and seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock on the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered on the cloudy and dark day.

13 And I will bring them out from the people and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers and in all the inhabited places of the country.

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.

15 I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

16 I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick. But I will destroy the fat and the strong: I will feed them with judgment. — I will feed them with judgment; I will judge, chastise, and punish them.

17 “‘And as for you, O My flock, thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the hegoats. behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats: between the smaller and weaker cattle, the sheep and the lambs; and the larger and stronger cattle, the rams and he goats; by which latter may he meant persons of superior power and authority, of greater wealth and riches, and of more wisdom and knowledge, at least in their own conceits; and who were oppressive and injurious to the poor and common people, and less knowing, at least as they thought; who may be intended by the former: now, the Lord, as he observed a difference between them, he would make this manifest, and take the part of the one against the other; even the part of the weaker against the stronger.

The Targum is, “behold, judge between man and man, sinners and the ungodly.”

18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? And to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

19 And as for My flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

20 “‘Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them: Behold I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. The Targum is, “between the rich man and the poor man.”

21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns till ye have scattered them abroad,

22 therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23 And I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David. He shall feed them, and He shall be their Shepherd. — perhaps this indicates the reunion of the Northern and Southern kingdoms of the old and new Israel.

24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them. I, the Lord, have spoken it.

25 “‘And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

26 And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves by them.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

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 nations any more.

30 Thus shall they know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are My people, saith the Lord God.

31 And ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.’” 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. This too lays an obligation upon princes and magistrates, to govern faithfully and justly the people committed to their trust.