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34 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, even to the [spiritual] shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep.

The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them.

And they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild beasts of the field.

My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill; yes, My sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought for them.(A)

Therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

As I live, says the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd—neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My sheep—

Therefore, O you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

10 Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My sheep at their hand and cause them to cease feeding the sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. I will rescue My sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

11 For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I Myself, will search for My sheep and will seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his flock that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them out of all places where they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness.

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

14 I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie down in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

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

16 I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed, and I will bandage the hurt and the crippled and will strengthen the weak and the sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hardhearted and perverse]; I will feed them with judgment and punishment.(B)

17 And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between the rams and the great he-goats [the malicious and the tyrants of the pasture].

18 Is it too little for you that you feed on the best pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? And to have drunk of the waters clarified by subsiding, but you must foul the rest of the water with your feet?

19 And My flock, must they feed on what your feet have trodden and drink what your feet have fouled?

20 Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I Myself, will judge between fat sheep and impoverished sheep, or fat goats and lean goats.

21 Because you push with side and with shoulder and thrust with your horns all those that have become weak and diseased, till you have scattered them abroad,

22 Therefore will I rescue My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23 And I will raise up over them one Shepherd and He shall feed them, even My Servant [a]David; He shall feed them and He shall be their Shepherd.(C)

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 confirm with them a covenant of peace and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land, and [My people] shall dwell safely in the wilderness, desert, or pastureland and sleep [confidently] in the woods.(D)

26 And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing [of good insured by God’s favor].

27 And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit and the earth shall yield its increase; and [My people] shall be secure in their land, and they shall be confident and know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the earth devour them, but they shall dwell safely and none shall make them afraid [in the [b]day of the Messiah’s reign].(E)

29 And I will raise up for them a planting of crops for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land nor bear the reproach of the nations any longer.

30 Then shall they know [positively] that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord God,

31 And that you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are [only] men and I am your God, says the Lord God.


  1. Ezekiel 34:23 The name of David is here put simply, as well as in Ezek. 34:24; Ezek. 37:24, 25; Jer. 30:9; Hos. 3:5, instead of the more usual designations of the Messiah as the Son (Matt. 1:1), the Branch (Jer. 23:5), the Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16). But there can be no possible doubt as to the meaning.... David, as the head of the theocracy and the ancestor of our Lord according to the flesh, constantly appears in the Scriptures as a type of the Messiah, and there can be no reasonable doubt that the prophecy would have been so understood, even at the time it was uttered (Charles Ellicott, A Bible Commentary).
  2. Ezekiel 34:28 One day when Jesus visited the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21), He was handed the roll of the book of Isaiah to read aloud. He deliberately turned to Isaiah 61, which tells in its eleven verses what His coming to the world would mean. But Jesus read only a few lines of the chapter, stopping in the midst of a sentence, and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21 kjv). He had just read of His coming to preach the Gospel, to proclaim release to the captives [of Satan], to give sight to the blind, to set at liberty the bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. But He had to stop there, for the rest of the chapter could not be fulfilled until His second coming, of which Isaiah’s prophecy tells. This section before us in Ezekiel (34:24-31) is telling of the same Messianic reign of which so many Scripture passages speak, the Messianic reign for which Jesus definitely promised to return to earth. Matt. 25:31-34; 24:30; Rev. 1:7, 8. (See also Luke 1:32, 33; Acts 1:10, 11).

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