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CHAPTER 34 Oct. 8 
Woe to the Shepherds of Israel
The word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed the sheep? 3You eat the fat and you clothe yourself with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don’t feed the sheep. 4You haven’t strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you caused to return that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigour you have ruled over them. 5They were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field and were scattered. 6My sheep wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill. Yes, My sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought them. 7Therefore you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: 8As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn’t feed My sheep; 9therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh. 10Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver My sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them. 11For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I Myself, even I, will search for My sheep, and will seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them with good pasture; on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be. There shall they lie down in a good fold; on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel. 15I Myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord Yahweh. 16I will seek that which was lost, and will cause to return that which was driven away. I will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice. 17As for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: See, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats. 18Does it seem a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the remainder  of your pasture; to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul what remains with your feet? 19As for My sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet. 20Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you thrust with side and with shoulder and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad; 22therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23I 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. 24I, Yahweh, will be their God, and My servant David prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it. 25I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause dangerous animals to cease out of the land; they shall dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing; I will cause the shower to come down in its season, there shall be showers of blessing. 27The tree of the field shall yield its fruit and the earth shall yield its increase and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them. 28They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more. 30They shall know that I, Yahweh their God, am with them; and that they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord Yahweh. 31You My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Yahweh.


34:4 Cause to return- The great restoration prophecies of Jer. 23:1-8 and Ez. 34:1-31 speak of the flock of Israel going astray due to bad shepherds, being saved by the good shepherd, being delivered / gathered, and then returning to the land. The Hebrew wordshub means both 'to return' in the sense of returning to the land, and 'turning' in the sense of repentance (see :4,16 and frequently in Ezekiel). But these restoration prophecies are packed with allusion to the great shepherd Psalm 23. Here, David says that the good shepherd 'causes me to repent' (Ps. 23:3 Heb.). This is matched in Ez. 36 by the idea of God giving Israel a new heart. And the parable of the good shepherd (Lk. 15:1-7) brings together Ps. 23 and also these restoration passages, in speaking of how He goes out and finds the lost sheep and brings it back home. The sheep is found, and accepts being found- there is no actual mention of repentance. Thus the 'return' of Judah to their land was intended as a work of God- He would make them return, He would give them repentance [note how Acts 11:18 speaks of God granting men repentance]. This is all such wonderful grace. The even more incredible thing, though, is that Judah refused to accept this grace; they didn't 'return' to the land because they saw no need to 'return' to God. They willingly forgot that they were only in Babylon because of their sins; to 'return' to the land was a 'return' to God, which He had enabled. But they were like the lost sheep refusing to sit on the shepherd's shoulders, preferring to sit in a hole and die... and this is the warning to us. For truly, absolutely all things have been prepared for us to enter the Kingdom. It's only those who don't want to be there who won't be.
34:5 Scattered because there was no shepherd- Good leadership produces unity; disunity amongst the sheep is therefore a reflection of poor shepherding. They scatter because they aren’t fed by the shepherds and go elsewhere for food (:9).
34:11 I Myself, even I, will search for My sheep- The passage in John 10 which Jesus speaks of Himself as the good shepherd who seeks out God’s sheep is full of allusion to this chapter. When He says “I and My Father are one” (Jn. 10:30), He is speaking in this context of His being the shepherd on God’s behalf. This principle of agency, of operating on behalf of God in His Name, doesn’t mean that Jesus was God Himself in person, but rather that He manifested the Father, so that God’s shepherding was achieved through the person and work of Jesus. 
34:20 Between the fat sheep and the lean sheep- The shepherds are here likened to fat sheep. Shepherds or pastors are themselves sheep and in that sense no different from those they are shepherding. This should result in an appropriate humility in all pastoral work.