B S 1-16. False Shepherds. T 17-22. The Flock. False. S 23-30. True Shepherds. T 31. The Flock. True.
S U 1-3. The False Shepherds. V t 4. Their neglect. u 5,6. Consequent scattering of Flock. U 7-10. The False Shepherds. V u 11-16-. Subsequent gathering of Flock. t -16. Their punishment.
1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds (= rulers) of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds; 'Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill (for sacrifice) the fat ewe: but you feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have you ruled them.
5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yes, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after 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 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 [I repeat], O you 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; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
11 For thus says the Lord GOD; 'Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out.
12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day (see Gen. 2:17) 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 nations, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own soil, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the ravines, 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, says 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 (or, watch) the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
T v1 17. "I will judge". w1 18,19. Destructiveness. v2 20. "I judge". w2 21,22-. Voracity. v3 -22. "I will judge".
17 And as for you, O My flock,' thus says the Lord GOD; 'Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle (i.e. between the sheep and the goats: rams being the sheep, while the he-goats are set in contrast), between the rams and the he goats.
18 Seem it is a small thing to you (i.e. you goats. The verse goes on to describe the evil work of the goats in fouling the pastures of the sheep. There is a solemn application of this to the churches and congregations in the present day) to have eaten up the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?
19 And as for My flock, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet (i.e. the goats); 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 cattle and between the lean cattle.
21 Because you have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad;
22 Therefore will I bring salvation (or deliverance) to My flock, and they shall no more be a prey;
and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
S W x 23,24. The true Shepherd. y 25. Security. X a 26,27-. Prosperity. [Positive.] b -27. Purpose. W y 28. Security. x 29-. The plant of renown. X a -29. Prosperity. [Negative.] b 30. Purpose.
23 And I will set up one ruler over them (cp. Isa. 40:11. John 10:11), and he shall feed them, even My servant David (either David the king, or Messiah, of Whom he was the type); he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
24 And I the LORD will be their God, and My servant David a leader among them (cp. Isa. 9:6,7; 55:4); I the LORD have spoken it.
25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace (cp. 37:36), and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in a place of pasture (cp. Ps. 65:12. Not a barren place or desert, unless so stated or implied), 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 confident on their soil,
and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. (I.e. the false rulers.)
28 And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, 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 (referring to Messiah, as in vv.23,24) of renown (or fame),
and they shall be no more pinched 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, says the Lord GOD.
31 And you My flock, the flock of My pasture, you are men (i.e. human beings, not "sheep", as spoken of in this chapter), and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.' "