Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Reign of Christ A52


11 For thus says the LordA God:B, C I myself will searchD for my sheep,E and will seek them out.F 

Notes on verse 11

A “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
B “God” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
D “search” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.
E “sheep” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
F “seek…out” = baqar. 7x in OT. This is to plow or break forth. Figuratively, it is to inquire, inspect, seek out, admire, or consider.

12 As shepherdsG seek outH their flocksI whenJ they are among their scatteredK sheep,

Notes on verse 12a

G “shepherds” = ra’ah. This is to tend a flock, pasture, or graze. It can mean to rule or to associate with someone. Figuratively, it can be ruler or teacher.
H “seek out” = baqqarah. Related to “seek…out” in v11. 1x in OT. From baqar (see note F above). This is a seeking, to look after, care.
I “flocks” = eder. From adar (fail, missing) OR from adar (to dig, help, keep rank; properly, to muster troops as for battle; to miss or lack since you can see who is missing following muster; to arrange like a vineyard and so to hoe). This is arrangement – of animals, a flock or herd.
J “when” = yom. Literally “on the day.”
K “scattered” = parash. 5x in OT. This is to scatter, separate oneself, specify, declare, wound, sting.

so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescueL them from all the placesM to which they have been scatteredN on a day of clouds and thick darkness.O 

Notes on verse 12b

L “rescue” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
M “places” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
N “scattered” = puts. This is to dash in pieces, scatter, disperse, drive.
O “thick darkness” = araphel. 15x in OT. From araph (to droop, drip, drop). This is a cloud or deep darkness. It is gloom or gloomy as the sky being lowered.

13 I will bring them out from the peoplesP and gather them from the countries,Q and will bring them into their own land;R

Notes on verse 13a

P “peoples” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
Q “countries” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
R “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

and I will feedS them on the mountains of Israel,T by the watercourses,U and in all the inhabited partsV of the land.W 

Notes on verse 13b

S “feed” = ra’ah. Same as “shepherds” in v12. See note G above.
T “Israel” = yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
U “watercourses” = aphiq. 19x in OT. From aphaq (to be strong, force, control, hold). This is a channel, brook, stream, tube, river. It is something that contains so it is a tube or valley where a stream is. It can also be something strong or a hero.
V “inhabited parts” = moshab. From yashab (to sit and so to remain and so to dwell; sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly; can mean settling or marrying; continue, endure, or establish). This is dwelling, seat, assembly, settlement, population.
W “land” = erets. Same as “countries” in v13. See note Q above.

14 I will feed them with goodX pasture,Y and the mountain heightsZ of Israel shall be their pasture;AA

Notes on verse 14a

X “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
Y “pasture” = mireh. Related to “shepherd” in v12. 13x in OT. From ra’ah (see note G above). This is feeding place, pasture, or the act of feeding. It is also a place where wild animals live.
Z “heights” = marom. From rum (to be high, rise, exalted, become proud, display, offer, present, set apart, extol; to rise in a literal or figurative sense). This can be height, high place, or lofty. It can be either exalted or haughty/proud. It can refer to dignity or to heaven.
AA “pasture” = naveh. From navah (home, beautify, praise) This is home, place where shepherd or sheep live. It is at home – implies a lovely place or a place of satisfaction. It can also be used for the Temple or a pasture as the home of wild animals.

there they shall lie downBB in good grazing land,CC and they shall feed on richDD pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, saysEE the Lord God. 

Notes on verses 14b-15

BB “lie down” = rabats. This is crouched like an animal, lie down, lie stretch out, rest, sit, brood, lurk.
CC “grazing land” = naveh. Same as “pasture” in v14. See note AA above.
DD “rich” = shamen. 10x in OT. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, plenteous, rich, greasy, roust, lusty. It refers to rich food, fertile land, and strong people.
EE “says” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.

16 I will seekFF the lost,GG and I will bring backHH the strayed,II

Notes on verse 16a

FF “seek” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
GG “lost” = abad. To wander off, lose self. This implies to perish, destroy, die, vanish, or be broken or corrupt.
HH “bring back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
II “strayed” = nadach. This is scatter, seduce, banish, draw away, drive away, outcast, scatter. It means to push off in a literal or figurative sense so it could also be mislead, inflict, or withdraw.

and I will bind upJJ the injured,KK and I will strengthenLL the weak,MM

Notes on verse 16b

JJ “bind up” = chabash. This is to wrap tightly or bind, to bandage, or heal. It can be to saddle an animal or wrap a turban. Figuratively, it can mean to stop or to govern.
KK “injured” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
LL “strengthen” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
MM “weak” = chalah. Properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted. It can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat.

but the fatNN and the strongOO I will destroy.PP I will feed them with justice.QQ

Notes on verse 16c

NN “fat” = shamen. Same as “rich” in v14. See note DD above.
OO “strong” = chazaq. Related to “strengthen” in v16. From chazaq (see note LL above). This is strong, hard, powerful, loud, bold, violent, impudent. It is usually strong in a negative sense.
PP “destroy” = shamad. This is to demolish, destroy, perish, overthrow, pluck down.
QQ “justice” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.

20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them:RR I myself will judgeSS between the fatTT sheepUU and the lean sheep. 

Notes on verse 20

RR {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v11. See note C above.
SS “judge” = shaphat. Related to “justice” in v16. See note QQ above.
TT “fat” = bari. 14x in OT. From bara (to be fat); related to barah (to eat, choose, make clear). This is fat, firm, plenteous.
UU “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.

21 Because you pushedVV with flankWW and shoulder,XX and buttedYY at all the weak animals with your hornsZZ until you scattered them far and wide,AAA 

Notes on verse 21

VV “pushed” = hadaph. 11x in OT. This is to push away, thrust, reject, expel, push down, depose.
WW “flank” = tsad. Root may mean to sidle. This is a side or an arm. It can also be used to mean beside or, figuratively, an adversary.
XX “shoulder” = katheph. Root may mean to clothe. This is shoulder, side, corner.
YY “butted” = nagach. 11x in OT. This is to push, gore, collide, butt with horns. Figuratively, it can mean to go to war with.
ZZ “horns” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
AAA “far and wide” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.

22 I will saveBBB my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged;CCC and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 I will set upDDD over them one shepherd, my servantEEE David,FFF and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 

Notes on verses 22-23

BBB “save” = yasha. To deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free.
CCC “ravaged” = baz. From bazaz (to spoil, loot, pillage). This is robbery, spoil, booty, prey.
DDD “set up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
EEE “servant” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
FFF “David” = david. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”

24 And I, the Lord,GGG will be their God,HHH and my servant David shall be princeIII among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

Notes on verse 24

GGG “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
HHH “God” = Elohim.
III “prince” = nasi. From nasa (to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively; to carry, take, or arise; to bring forth, advance, accept). This is one lifted up or exalter. So, it could be prince, chief, ruler, captain, king, or vapor.

Image credit: “Good Shepherd” by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1902-1903.

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