Ezekiel 34:7
Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
34:7-16 The Lord declared that he intended mercy towards the scattered flock. Doubtless this, in the first place, had reference to the restoration of the Jews. It also represented the good Shepherd's tender care of the souls of his people. He finds them in their days of darkness and ignorance, and brings them to his fold. He comes to their relief in times of persecution and temptation. He leads them in the ways of righteousness, and causes them to rest on his love and faithfulness. The proud and self-sufficient, are enemies of the true gospel and of believers; against such we must guard. He has rest for disquieted saints, and terror for presumptuous sinners.Shepherds - Not priests or prophets, but rulers and kings (see the 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. 6. every high hill—the scene of their idolatries sanctioned by the rulers.

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].

Ye shepherds; the rulers, king of Israel, princes priest and priests, and pretended prophets, hear ye. God speaks in the style and manner of one greatly incensed. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. Or, "ye governors", as the Targum, both civil and ecclesiastical; ye kings, princes, and magistrates; ye prophets and teachers of the people, who ought to have attended to the word of grace, to the doctrines of the Scriptures, and fed the people with them; but, since you have not, hear the word of threatening from the Lord, and the just punishment that shall be inflicted on you. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 7-10. - As I live, saith the Lord God, etc. The sentence of the Supreme Judge, of the "chief Shepherd" (1 Peter 5:4), that follows, is naturally preceded by a recapitulation of the guilt of the tyrannous rulers - the "idol" or sham shepherds of Zechariah 11:17 (comp. also Zechariah 10:3). Both chapters should be studied as throwing light on the teaching of the earlier prophet. It may be noted also how the thought enters into Ezekiel's vision of the restored Israel (Ezekiel 45:8-10). Calling of the Prophet for the Future - 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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