Exegetical Study of Ezekiel 34:25–31

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 1455

Textual Criticism of Ezekiel 34:25-31

Ezekiel 34:25-31 condemns the fellowship ministry (church) for failing to observe God’s command. The chapter talks of how the ministry is more concerned with paycheck and self than the members of the church, “Sheep.” God condemns such act as He reiterates that the church should be helping, healing, and leading the people to righteousness. He is upset with the shepherds who care more of themselves than for the sheep through abuse and abandonment. In Ezekiel 34:26, God promises to bless His faithful servants. The verse states that “And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing (of good insured by God’s favor) (Ballard 1).” However, He rejects false ministers who compromise the truth and teach what is wrong to retain their wages.

The book of Zechariah 11:3 dwells on the state of the church. The verse describes the church as a forsaken ministry that is ignoring the loss of its mistreated flocks. In Ezekiel 34:25-31, God admits the whole nation as His flock. This chapter also reveals how God differentiates the flock by deep waters and ‘good pastures.’ ‘Good pastures’ mean a pure word of God while deep waters refer to dispensing of Justice. Verses 25 to 31 entails Christ’s prophecy of him being the good Shepherd (Ballard 1). The church will be a blessing around the world under Christ being the Tree of life, bearing all fruits of salvation. Moreover, Christ is said to yield spiritual food to the people. Therefore, the book of Ezekiel 34:25-31 entail God’s manifestations to His followers.

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Exegetical Study (Biblical Context) of Ezekiel 34:25-31

Ezekiel 34:25-31 uses the metaphor of shepherding to condemn the wrong acts of the leaders of Israel. The leaders oppressed the people (flock) in God’s Kingdom. The metaphor as well also sends God’s promise of Judgement on the wicked rulers. This chapter describes leadership as an office of servanthood, which requires genuine people who care for the wellbeing of the whole nation (Peterson 11). A righteous and Godly leader should ensure that the subjects are well taken care of and that they flourish.

Ezekiel 34:25 declares that under Christ, the flock (People) will be delivered from hell and sin. They will safely be preserved in the church, and they shall not perish. According to Peterson (12), this verse illustrates God’s promise to the people. He makes a covenant of peace, which shall bring ‘all good.’ It also uses the term ‘evil beast,’ to refer to the bondage of Satan that destroyed men during the ‘Babylonish’ captivity. God’s deliverance of people entails spiritual redemption, which ensures excellent safety from all enemies and life troubles. In Hosea 2:20, Jehovah makes a covenant that shares the same meaning as Ezekiel 34:25. In Hosea, God promises to save his people from beasts of the field. However, in this case, the term ‘beasts’ is used figuratively to mean heathen assailants and foes. However, the book still makes reference to the flock as is the case in the book of Ezekiel 34:25.

The scripture of Ezekiel 28:26 also affirms God’s assurance of safety to his people. Ezekiel 28:26extends from verse 25 where it is stated that, “This is what the Lord GOD says: “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they have been scattered, I will show Myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will dwell in their land, which I have given to My servant Jacob (Peterson 13).” Verse 26 states that, “They will live there securely, build houses, and plant vineyards. They will dwell securely when I execute judgments against all around them who treat them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God (Peterson 13).” Just like in Ezekiel 34:25, verse 25 reveals God’s promise of safety to the Israelites.

In Ezekiel 34:26-28, God assures His people that they will flourish as they will be prey for no nation. God says that He will build them homes in safe places and that their lands will yield its produce. Verse 27states that the “yoke shall be broken (Chapman 88).” Such a statement shows that the Israelites will be delivered from their oppressors. The blessing foretold here relates to those of the old covenant, which entailed surety of security in the woods and wilderness. In verse 26, God promises to build for the Israelites places in the hills around. The ‘hills around’ refer to the church in that all the blessings shall come upon Christ’s Church and by Him. In verse 27, the line “and the tree of the field shall yield her fruit,” reveal that people rooted in Christ through the church will bear fruits of righteousness by him. The same context is expressed in Psalms 67: 1, which emphasizes the fruitfulness of the righteous people.

The book of Psalms denotes that God will be merciful and bless everyone. It also foretells the expansion of Christ’s kingdom when it talks of the conversion of the Gentiles. Therefore, Psalm 67:1 shows that the Old Testament saints were willing to share their blessings and advantages with others (Chapman 89). Finally, Ezekiel 34:28 reveals the rebuking nature of God as it warns those who isolate themselves and act peculiar and disrespectful after receiving God’s blessings.

Ezekiel 34:29-31 show God’s love for the people as he acknowledges that He is their God. Verse 30 states that “And they shall acknowledge that I am the Lord their God and, that they, the Israelites are my people, proclaims the Lord Jehovah (Chapman 89).” This scripture denotes God’s presence in people lives. The line that ‘Jehovah is their God and they are his people,’ entails two different statements. First, God acknowledges that He is the God of the Israelites to whom they must turn through salvation. Therefore, the salvation which God foretells to the people will only be received and enjoyed by those who turn with sincerity to serve the Lord. Verse 29 rebukes people’s false reliance on Gods promises. The scripture denotes that such sinners will be destroyed by the Lord who holds supreme judgement.

Ezekiel 14:21 also affirms God’s promise to destroy sinners. The verse states that “those in the open country shall perish by wild beasts (Chapman 88).” The books of Exodus 23:19 also reveals God’s retribution to those who falsify His promises and use them as a means to conduct evil. The devastations foretold do not only refer to the time of Babylonian captivity, but it is also a warning that threatens the stability of Jerusalem. If people fail to serve the Lord in sincerity, they will be destroyed in various ways. For instance, God will let through oppressors and withdraw his blessings.

Translation of Ezekiel 34:25-31From Hebrew Bible to English Bible

Verse 25:כה וְכָרַתִּי לָהֶם בְּרִית שָׁלוֹם, וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי חַיָּה-רָעָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ; וְיָשְׁבוּ בַמִּדְבָּר לָבֶטַח, וְיָשְׁנוּ בַּיְּעָרִים.

I made a covenant of peace with them, and I returned an evil beast from the land, and they dwelt in the wilderness safely and slept in the forests

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Verse 26:כו וְנָתַתִּי אוֹתָם וּסְבִיבוֹת גִּבְעָתִי, בְּרָכָה; וְהוֹרַדְתִּי הַגֶּשֶׁם בְּעִתּוֹ, גִּשְׁמֵי בְרָכָה יִהְיוּ.

And I gave them and the surrounding areas of Giv’ati a blessing, and I brought down the rain;

Verse 27: כז וְנָתַן עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה אֶת-פִּרְיוֹ, וְהָאָרֶץ תִּתֵּן יְבוּלָהּ, וְהָיוּ עַל-אַדְמָתָם, לָבֶטַח; וְיָדְעוּ כִּי-אֲנִי יְהוָה, בְּשִׁבְרִי אֶת-מֹטוֹת עֻלָּם, וְהִצַּלְתִּים, מִיַּד הָעֹבְדִים בָּהֶם.

And the tree of the field gave its fruit, and the land gave its crops, and they were on their land for sure, and they knew that I was the LORD in the fragments of their gods, and the deliverables from the hand of the slaves therein.

Verse 28: כח וְלֹא-יִהְיוּ עוֹד בַּז לַגּוֹיִם, וְחַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לֹא תֹאכְלֵם; וְיָשְׁבוּ לָבֶטַח, וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד.

And there shall be no more contempt for the nations, and the livestock of the land shall not eat and shall dwell safely, and shall not be terrifying.

Verse 29: כט וַהֲקִמֹתִי לָהֶם מַטָּע, לְשֵׁם; וְלֹא-יִהְיוּ עוֹד אֲסֻפֵי רָעָב, בָּאָרֶץ, וְלֹא-יִשְׂאוּ עוֹד, כְּלִמַּת הַגּוֹיִם.

And I set up a grove for them there, and there shall be no more-hungry collectors in the land, nor shall the nations of the nation’s bear any more.

Verse 30:ל וְיָדְעוּ, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם–אִתָּם; וְהֵמָּה, עַמִּי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל–נְאֻם, אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה.

And they shall acknowledge that I am the Lord their God and, that they, the Israelites are my people, proclaims the Lord Jehovah.

Verse 31: לא וְאַתֵּן צֹאנִי צֹאן מַרְעִיתִי, אָדָם אַתֶּם: אֲנִי, אֱלֹהֵיכֶם–נְאֻם, אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה. {פ}

And you shall be my sheep, and I am the Lord your God, proclaims the Lord Jehovah.”

Works Cited

Ballard, Jordan P. “Biblical Theology of Ezekiel.” Bepress, 2012, https://works.bepress.com/jordan_ballard/4/download/. Accessed 28 June 2019.

Chapman, Colin. “4. Christian Interpretation of Ezekiel’s Prophecies.” Israelism and the Place of Christ: Christocentric Interpretation of Biblical Prophecy, vol. 34, 2017, pp. 88.

Peterson, Brian Neil. “Ezekiel in Context: Ezekiel’s Message Understood in its Historical Setting of Covenant Curses and Ancient Near Eastern Mythological motifs.” Wipf and Stock Publishers, vol. 182, 2012.

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