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Friday, November 27 2015

Ezekiel 34: The Shepherds Of Israel

"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?"

Sheep and goats were known to the people of Israel in their daily lives - and in the prophetic observances of the coming Kingdom of God. Two goats were used for the observance of the Day of Atonement - one portraying the Messiah, the other portraying Satan (Leviticus 16:7-10; see Putting Away Satan's Goat). The Passover lamb was to be taken from the sheep or the goats (Exodus 12:5; see The First Passover). The "trumpet" of the Feast of Trumpets, that prophesies the return of the Messiah, was made from a ram's horn (see The Christian Feast Of Trumpets: The First Day Of Salvation).

Shepherds too, were used as analogies of the servants of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) who served "the flock." Israel and Judah knew many "good shepherds" e.g. Moses, David, Ezra, Nehemiah - and Jesus Christ (John 10:1-18).

As Israel and Judah learned the hard way, shepherds can also be, or become, misleaders who serve only themselves (see the Fact Finder question below).


"34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 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? 34:3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 34:4 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. 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

34:7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 34:8 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; 34:9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 34:10 Thus saith 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.

34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 34:12 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. 34:13 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. 34:14 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. 34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 34:16 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.

34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 34:18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 34:19 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.

34:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 34:21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 34:22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 34:23 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. 34:24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

34:25 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. 34:26 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. 34:27 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 the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. 34:28 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. 34:29 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. 34:30 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. 34:31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 34:1-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "hireling shepherd" mean?
See Hireling Shepherds

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This Day In History, November 27

43 BC: Antony (see The Cleopatra Connection), Octavian (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) and Lepidus formed Rome's Triumvirate (see The Politics Of Rome).

25: Emperor Guangwu of Han proclaimed Luoyang to be the capital of the China's Eastern Han Dynasty.

The Stone Of Scoon 176: Emperor Marcus Aurelius promoted his son Commodus to the rank of Imperator ("empire maker) and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions (see Legions Of Men And Angels).

511: Clovis, founder of the Frankish monarchy, died at age 45. His European kingdom was then divided among his four sons (large areas of both France and Germany were settled or conquered by tribes of the Franks).

1095: At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). Its goals were to defend the Eastern Roman Empire from the Seljuk Turks and to open Jerusalem to "Christian" pilgrims.

1295: The first elected representatives of Lancashire were summoned to Westminster by King Edward I to attend The Model Parliament. It was Edward I who removed the famous Stone of Scone from Scotland to England where it was used as the "Coronation Stone" for all new British monarchs. It was returned to Scotland after 700 years in Britain.

1382: The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, defeated Flemish rebels in Flanders.

1701: Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature scale and the Celsius thermometer, was born in Sweden.

1868: In a "punitive" raid ordered by General Philip Sheridan for attacks committed by other warriors in the area who were still trying to defend their native homelands, George Custer's 7th Cavalry slaughtered elderly Chief Black Kettle (who had already signed a peace treaty with "the white devils," as he called them), his wife (both Black Kettle and his wife were shot in the back) and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children who couldn't outrun soldiers on horseback) in their winter encampment on the Washita River.

1895: Swedish inventor (e.g. of dynamite) and industrialist (e.g. manufacturing cannons and other war supplies) Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Prizes, including, ironically, the Nobel Peace Prize (considering how the originator of the prize made his fortune, and many of the war-making recipients of the "peace" prize ever since, some historians suggest that it should have been called the Nobel Hypocrite Prize).

1936: Prime Minister Anthony Eden warned Hitler that Britain would fight to protect Belgium.

1940: In Romania, the pro-Nazi Iron Guard slaughtered over 60 aides of the exiled king, including former prime minister Nicolae Jorga.

1942: The French navy at Toulon scuttled its own ships and submarines to prevent their capture by conquering German forces.

1967: French President Charles DeGaulle vetoed Britain's entry into the European Common Market.

1975: Ross McWhirter, co-editor and compiler of the Guiness Book of World Records, was shot dead in his home by "Irish Republican Army" gunmen.

1990: Britain's Conservative Party chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher as party leader and prime minister.

2006: The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to declare Quebec "a nation within a unified Canada."


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