A reproof of the shepherds, 1-6. God's judgment against them, 7-10. His providence over his flock, 11-19. The kingdom of Christ, 20-31.
1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should the shepherds not feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill those that are fed, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The diseased you have not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost, but with force and with cruelty you have ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd. And they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill. My flock was even scattered upon all the face of the earth, and no one searched or sought for them."'"
7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD. 8 "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely because my flock became a prey and my flock became food 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 did not feed my flock, 9 Therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD. 10 'Thus says 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. The shepherds shall not feed themselves anymore, for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, so that they may not be food for them."'"
11 For thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I, even I, will both search for my sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so I will seek out my sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in 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 their fold shall be upon the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture they shall feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock 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 was driven away, and I will bind up that which was broken and strengthen that which was sick. But I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will feed them with judgment.
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 male goats. 18 Does it seem a small thing to you to have eaten up the good pasture? Must you tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? You have drank of the deep waters. Must you foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for my flock, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.'"
20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: "Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and between the lean sheep. 21 Because you have thrust with side and with shoulder and pushed all the diseased with your horns until you have scattered them abroad, 22 Therefore I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep.
23 "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 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 around my hill a blessing, and I will cause the shower to come down in its 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 they shall know that I am the LORD when I have broken the bars of their yoke and delivered them out of the hand of those who subjected them to service. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them, but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people," says the Lord GOD. 31 "And you my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God," says the Lord GOD.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezekiel, Chapter 34[➚]
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
In the former chapter the prophet prophesies against the people of the Jews, both those of the captivity and those who were not; and here against the shepherds of Israel. This he is bid to do (Ezekiel 34:1-2); whose cruelty to the flock, negligence and unfaithfulness are exposed (Ezekiel 34:3-6); for which reasons they are threatened to be deprived of their office (Ezekiel 34:7-10); and the Lord promises to take the care of the flock upon himself, to seek out his sheep, and feed them, and do every kind office to them (Ezekiel 34:11-16); and then the strong of the flock, that oppressed the weak, are threatened with punishment (Ezekiel 34:17-22); and the promise of the Messiah as the shepherd of the flock is made, under whom all prosperity and happiness might be expected (Ezekiel 34:23-31).
This chapter speaks of God bringing judgment upon the bad shepherds and rescuing His flock with the Good Shepherd. This Good Shepherd is of course Jesus Christ (see John 10:11-18). Throughout this chapter, we see several references to Christ our Good Shepherd, namely, verses 11-16, 23-24, and 29.
[v.14-15] - Reference, Psalm 23:2.
[v.16] - "I will seek that which was lost" - Reference, Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10.