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of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 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.
6 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.
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 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.
9 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?
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 trans
[of God's ways.
gression: 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 righte ous, 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 again that he had robbed, walki 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 unt 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.
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 after ¦ his ways.
21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jeru salem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.
Ver. 8. Thou shalt surely die-Heb. " Dying thou shalt die." So ver. 8.
Ver. 13. He shall surely live."— Heb. “ Living, he shall live." So ver. 15.
Ver. 14. That which is lawful and right — Heh. "Judgment and justice."
22 Now the hand of the LORD was
Ver. 21: Twelfth year.-Syr. and eight MSS read "eleventh year," which is approved by Dathe, Do derlein, and others.
Ver. 22. Until he came—that is, his mouth cotinued open until, &c.
upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of 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.
25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat 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, work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour'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 be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength
[of the Jews.
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.
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 shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covet
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. (L)
(L) Prophets, watchmen of the house of Israel, their duty stated and enforced.— The same doctrine which had been advanced in chap. iii. is here repeated and amplified. God's ministers are like centinels on the walls of Zion, who, with the trumpet of the Gospel in their hands, are ordered to warn men of their danger, aud to guard them against the consequences of
their sin. Not to repeat the observations we have made on the chapter just referred to, we may here remark:-1. It is required of a watchman, as well as of a steward (1 Cor. iv. 2.), that he be found faithful; and God's ministers fulfilling both characters, under the New Testament, as well as under the Old, are under a double obligation to fidelity toward their people.-2. Though men are commanded to do works
Ver. 24. They that inhabit those wastes of the house of Israel-that is, those that remained in the land thought they should be suffered to occupy it unmolested." See Newcome, who thinks this was spoken to Ezekiel (ver. 23 to 33) before the messenger came: if so, it must be considered a distinct prophecy. Indeed these predictions seem to be arranged (as before mentioned) with little or no regard to the order of delivery, which, in many cases, can now be only guessed at.
Ver. 25. Ye eat with the blood.-This was not only contrary to the Mosaic, but to the patriarchal law, Gen. ix. 4. which shows their utter neglect of the divine commands.
Ver. 26. Ye stand upon your sword---Newcome, "With your sword." This is supposed to refer to some idolatrous rites performed with swords drawn; or else it means, to govern with the sword; that is, by might, and not by right.
Ver. 28. Most desolate---Newcome, “Desolation and an astonishment."
Ver. 39. Against thee---Marg. "Of thee." The prophet was a subject of curiosity and conversation, and even of admiration, though his precepts were utterly disregarded.
Ver.32. A very lovely song.---Among the Hebrews, singers generally accompanied themselves upon the harp, as the Greeks did upon the lyre.
A warning against]
2 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?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 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.. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they be
came meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
8 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:
9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Be hold, 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
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXXIII. Continued.
of righteousness, they are utterly forbidden to trust in them; for as Jeremiah says, (ch. xxiii. 6.) "The LORD is our righteousness ;" and as Isaiah teaches us, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isa. Ixiv. 6.)-3. Confidence in our own righteousness leads to a false security, and opens the door to apostacy and ruin. On the other hand, -4. Transgression, however provoking, will not be punished after being repented of and forsaken. Lastly, Punishment, in itself, is so far from affording pleasure to the Almighty, that it is his de fight to see sinners turn from their evil ways; and for this end he beseeches and conjures them to repent and to return; but warns them against hypocrisy, in imagining that they are righteous or religious, merely because they are charmed with the eloquence of a preacher, while (alas!) "their heart goeth after covetousness."
It is plain that what is here said of watchmen and of the duty of attending to their warning must have been delivered prior to the fall of Jerusalem: yet the latter part of the chapter, from verse 20, was
evidently subsequent to that event. It is so difficult to account for 17 months elapsing after that event, ere the news should be brought to Babylon, that some read the cleventh year for the twelfth; but a learned and sensible writer, after remark ing that this address was delivered to the captive Jews in Babylon, adds: “ In order then that this address might make the stronger impression on them,....he im mediately subjoins au information which here presents itself, as having been just then received, of the actual capture Jerusalem, agreeably to his foregoing prophecies against it: the accomplishment of which prediction against the Jews, [with those alreadyfulfilled against the heathen] would completely establish the credit and veracity of his predictions against Egypt and other nations; and also prove, by a conspicuous example, the truth of that maxim, with which he had concluded his late address to the captive Jews-that God will judge every one after his ways, both Jews and heathens." (See Newcome ja loc.)
CHAP. XXXIV. Ver. 2. Shepherds of Israelincludes evidently both the rulers and teachers of the people. See verse 4. Also our Note on chap. xxiii. Should not the shepherds feed? &c.-A good king is the father of his people; and it is his 532
duty to feed them as well as to feed hintell with respect to teachers, they are not to cloure themselves with the wool, and leave the flock to starte
Ver. 5. There is no shepherd- Marg. They are without a shepherd." So ver. 8.
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 in 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 in the cloudy and dark 2day.
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.
114 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 moun
tains 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 again 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.
17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GoD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rains and the he-goats.
18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet
[the Good Shepherd.
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.
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.
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
Ver. 11. Seek them out seek them. " Ver. 12. As a shepherd seeketh-Heb. " According to the diligent seeking." The cloudy and dark day-that is, the day of calamity. See Joel ii. 2. Ver. 16. But I will destroy the fat and the strong. -In the early part of the chapter, the rulers of Israel are compared to shepherds, and the people to sheep. Here the allegory is changed: they are all considered as cattle; the oppressors as "great hegoats;" the oppressed, as lambs and kids. The
great Shepherd promises to treat the latter with great care and tenderness; but the former he will. "feed with judgment;" i, e. execute judgment_or justice on them. See Ps. ciii. 6; Amos iv. 1. For want of observing this, several ancient versions and
the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them,
28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, 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 heathen 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. (M)
MOREOVER, the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,
3 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.
4 I will lay thy cities waste, and
1 Mount Seir;
thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
5 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:
6 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GoD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thot hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.
7 Thus will I make mount Ser most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.
8 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
9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it, whereas the LORD was there:
11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord Gon, 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
(M) A Reproof to unfaithful shepherds, and a promise of the good shepherd-the Messiah-In this chapter God reproves the conduct of the rulers and guides of his people, under the metaphor of shepherds, and promises to take the charge of them himself; to gather them from their dispersions; and restore them to their own land under the Messiah; where their prosperity and permanent security is set forth by a variety of beautiful images, which must undoubtedly be referred to a period yet to
Michaelis thinks this prophecy followed immediately the preceding; and the judi cious writer quoted in our last chapter remarks, "Considering that in part the people suffered for the faults of their shepherds, mercy now urged the Prophet to declare from God that he would judge betwees them; save the flocks, and set up one shepherd over them, who should feed them, even his servant David," the Messiah. S far the Jews agree with us; but they vainly hope for a merely temporal Messiah; a mortal hero, and an earthly sovereign.
CHAP. XXXV. Ver. 3. Most desolate "Desolation and desolation." So ver. 7. Ver. 5. Perpetual hatred- Hatred of old." See chap. xxv. 12. And hast shed-Heb. "Hast poured out the children of Israel (i. e. their lives, or souls) by the hand of the sword;" i. e. by war, or murder.In the time that their iniquity had an end-Newcome, "In the time of the punishment of
iniquity, (even in) the end (thereof.)
Ver. 6. Blood (4. e. vengeance) skall pursue then. Sith (or "since") thou hast not hated-bat rsthet hast appeared to delight in blood.
Ver. 10. Whereas (or although) the Lord there. That is, there was no respect paid to the re sidence of Jehovah. See chap. xlvin. 35.
Ver. 12. To consume-Heb. "To devour."