Ezekiel 34 – “Replacing Israel’s Leaders; Prophecy of Prosperity”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God will replace Israel’s leaders, gather in the exiles, and bring prosperity to the land.

II. Photo
God addresses Israel’s leaders: “Ah, you shepherds of Israel, who have been tending yourselves! Is it not the flock that the shepherds ought to tend?” (v. 2b)

III. Important Verses
2b-6: To the shepherds: Thus said the Lord GOD: Ah, you shepherds of Israel, who have been tending yourselves! Is it not the flock that the shepherds ought to tend? You partake of the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, and you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not tend the flock. You have not sustained the weak, healed the sick, or bandaged the injured; you have not brought back the strayed, or looked for the lost; but you have driven them with harsh rigor, and they have been scattered for want of anyone to tend them; scattered, they have become prey for every wild beast. My sheep stray through all the mountains and over every lofty hill; My flock is scattered all over the face of the earth, with none to take thought of them and none to seek them.
11-15: For thus said the Lord GOD: Here am I! I am going to take thought for My flock and I will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some [animals] in his flock have gotten separated, so I will seek out My flock, I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of cloud and gloom. I will take them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them to their own land, and will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses and in all the settled portions of the land. I will feed them in good grazing land, and the lofty hills of Israel shall be their pasture. There, in the hills of Israel, they shall lie down in a good pasture and shall feed on rich grazing land. I Myself will graze My flock, and I Myself will let them lie down — declares the Lord GOD.
23: Then I will appoint a single shepherd over them to tend them — My servant David. He shall tend them, he shall be a shepherd to them.

IV. Outline

    1-24a. Oracle #1: God will replace Israel’s leaders
        1-2a. Superscription: Prophecy to the “shepherds of Israel”
        2b-6. The “shepherds” have been neglecting the people’s needs
        7-10. Judgment speech
            7-10a. God addresses the “shepherds”
            10b. God will remove the shepherds from their post
        11-16. God will bring the “flock” to Israel and tend to it
        17-22. God will judge between the righteous and unrighteous “animals”
        23-24a. David will be the new shepherd and God will be the flock’s deity
        24b. Postscript
    25-30. Oracle #2: God will bring prosperity
        25-27a. God will bring prosperity to the land
        27b. Recognition of God formula
        28-29. The people will be free of oppression and famine
        30a. Recognition of God formula
        30b. Postscript
    31. Postscript
        31a. Summary statement
        31b. Postscript

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Allen, Leslie C. “Ezekiel 1-19” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 28 (Waco, Texas: Wordbook, 1994).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hals, Ronald M. “Ezekiel” The forms of the Old Testament Literature vol. 19 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1989)
Photo taken from http://magdelene.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/800px-rumunia_5806.jpg