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CHAP. deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
Il 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 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 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
XXXIV. the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?
[the Good Shepherd.
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 - Newcome," Diligently 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 sneep. 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. eiii. 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 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 Seir 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 sword.
(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 un doubtedly 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 re marks, "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 betweek them; save the flocks, and set up one sher herd 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) shall pursue the Sith (or "since") thou hast not hated-bat rather hast appeared to delight in blood.
Ver. 10. Whereas (or although) the Lord was there. That is, there was no respect paid to the residence of Jehovah. See chap. xlvin. 35.
Ver. 12. To consume-Heb. "To devoar."
and in favour]
myself known among them, when I have judged thee.
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.
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 Idumeà, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD. (N)
LSO, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:
2 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha! even the ancient high places are our's in possession:
3 Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallow
[of Israel. ed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people :
4 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, aud 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 heathen that are round about;
5 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
6 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. heathen.
7 Therefore, thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
8 But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye
(N) Ezekiel resumes his prophecy against Edom.-Edom is here distinguished by the name of Mount Seir, which was the heritge of Esau, where he dwelt; (See Deut. i. 5.) God had already (ch. xxv. 12.) devoted Edom to destruction on account of s" perpetual hatred" against Israel, as we have before observed; for though other sations, as well as the Jews, are promised
the recovery of their freedom after the fall of Babylon, no such favour is in reserve for Edom. Accordingly the nation has been annihilated; many thousands of them being destroyed by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc. v.); and by this they were so weakened, that Hyrcanus, his nephew, compelled them to embrace the Jewish religion; after which we hear no more about them. (See Bishop Newton on the Proph. Diss. III.)
CHAP. XXXVI. Ver. 2. Ancient high placesat is, Zion and Jerusalem. Boothroyd. Ver. 3. Ye are taken up, &c.-Heb. "Are made o come np on the lip of the tongue;" i. e. because are made the theme of talkers, or gossippers. ee chap. xxxiii. 30.And are an infamy-NewAnd in the defaming of the people;" i. e. he common topic of the slanderer.
Ver. 5. With the joy, &c.-See chap. xxxv. 10, 12. Ver. 6, 7. Behold, I have spoken, &c.-Abp. Newcome says these verses may be thus pointed; "Be-: hold I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury. Because ye have borne the shame of the heathen, therefore thus saith the Lord," &c.—I have lifted up mine hand-that is, "I have sworn."
shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
9 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 builded.
11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings : and he shall know that I am the LORD.
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 inore 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 heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither
[restoration shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD. (O)
¶ 10 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
18 Wherefore 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 heathen, 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 heathen, 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.
21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, 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,
(0) Ver. 1 — 15. Farther Judgments against Edom and Judah, with the latter's restoration.-The Edomites (or Idumeans), during the Babylonish captivity, appear to have taken possession of the mountainous parts of Judea, and the fortified places on its borders, intending to exclude the Jews from returning at the conclusion of their captivity. The Prophet therefore uses the bold figure of prosopopia (or personification), and ascribing to them feelings similar to his own, congratulates them on the prospect of being rid of their tyrannical and idolatrous possessors, and of re
turning to their former state of fruitfulress and verdure, of which the crimes of the people had deprived them.
As we are now about to consider the final restoration of the Jews, a question here arises, whether their conversion is to take place before or after their return to their own land? But as it is promised even in this chapter, that when the children of Israel return to the Lord it shall be with one heart, and that a new heart, and under divine influences, we conceive this to be scarcely reconcileable with their coming back in a state of impenitence and unbe lief. But see Rom. xi. 25, &c.
Ver. 8. At hand to come - that is, to come back from Babylon.
Ver. 12. No more bereave them of men—that is, by thine idolatries.
Ver. 13. Thou land devourest up men.-See Num. xiii. 32.
Ver. 15, The shame- Newcome," The reproach."
Ver. 20. To them - Newcome, "Concerning them." The Hebrew admits of both scuses: they were doubtless pointed at by the heathen, and re proached, not only with their captivity, but with their idolatry, as the cause of it.
Ver. 23. In you-Boothroyd, "By you."
to the house] CHAP. which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen 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 heathen, 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 an 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 judginents, 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.
29 1 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 heathen.
31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe your
XXXVII. [of Israel. selves 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 builded.
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 is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that 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 enquired 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. (P)
THE hand of the LORD was upon
me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.
(P) Ver. 16-38. Israel's conversion and restoration. - We have above expressed our opinion that the Jews will return to their own land a converted people; and indeed we scarcely know any other motive that could induce them to return. The rich among them are the money-merchants of Europe, and have no taste for agriculture, nor wish to change their situation: the poor are reduced to the most sordid and mercenary habits: and by their own accounts, a great part of both rich and poor are sunk into principles of infidelity,
and weary of waiting for their Messiah. Nothing, therefore, short of the influences of God's Holy Spirit, vouchsafed in some remarkable inauner and degree, can be sufficient to excite them to brave the danger and fatigue of returning from the most distant parts of the world.
We must remember also, that this return implies a cordial and complete reconciliation with the converted Gentiles; for the blessings here promised are to the spiritual seed of Abraham and of the promise. (Rom, ix. 6~8.).