Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 14
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Ezekiel 34:1--36:38

Context
A Prophecy Against False Shepherds

34:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds 1  of Israel; prophesy, and say to them – to the shepherds: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the flock? 34:3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the choice animals, but you do not feed the sheep! 34:4 You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost, but with force and harshness 2  you have ruled over them. 34:5 They were scattered because they had no shepherd, and they became food for every wild beast. 3  34:6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over the entire face of the earth with no one looking or searching for them.

34:7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 34:8 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, my sheep have become prey and have become food for all the wild beasts. There was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my flock, but fed themselves and did not feed my sheep, 34:9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 34:10 This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; 4  the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them.

34:11 “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. 34:12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day. 5  34:13 I will bring them out from among the peoples and gather them from foreign countries; I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams and all the inhabited places of the land. 34:14 In a good pasture I will feed them; the mountain heights of Israel will be their pasture. There they will lie down in a lush 6  pasture, and they will feed on rich grass on the mountains of Israel. 34:15 I myself will feed my sheep and I myself will make them lie down, declares the sovereign Lord. 34:16 I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them – with judgment!

34:17 “‘As for you, my sheep, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? When you drink clean water, must you muddy the rest of the water by trampling it with your feet? 34:19 As for my sheep, they must eat what you trampled with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet!

34:20 “‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says to them: Look, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 34:21 Because you push with your side and your shoulder, and thrust your horns at all the weak sheep until you scatter them abroad, 7  34:22 I will save my sheep; they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.

34:23 I will set one shepherd over them, and he will feed them – namely, my servant David. 8  He will feed them and will be their shepherd. 34:24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince 9  among them; I, the Lord, have spoken!

34:25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and will rid the land of wild beasts, so that they can live securely 10  in the wilderness and even sleep in the woods. 11  34:26 I will turn them and the regions around my hill into a blessing. I will make showers come down in their season; they will be showers that bring blessing. 12  34:27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the earth will yield its crops. They will live securely on their land; they will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 34:28 They will no longer be prey for the nations and the wild beasts will not devour them. They will live securely and no one will make them afraid. 34:29 I will prepare for them a healthy 13  planting. They will no longer be victims 14  of famine in the land and will no longer bear the insults of the nations. 34:30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, 15  and that they are my people, the house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. 16  34:31 And you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are my people, 17  and I am your God, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

Prophecy Against Mount Seir

35:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 35:2 “Son of man, turn toward 18  Mount Seir, 19  and prophesy against it. 35:3 Say to it, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Look, I am against you, Mount Seir;

I will stretch out my hand against you

and turn you into a desolate ruin.

35:4 I will lay waste your cities;

and you will become desolate.

Then you will know that I am the Lord!

35:5 “‘You have shown unrelenting hostility and poured the people of Israel onto the blades of a sword 20  at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment. 35:6 Therefore, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will subject you to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. 35:7 I will turn Mount Seir into a desolate ruin; 21  I will cut off 22  from it the one who passes through or returns. 35:8 I will fill its mountains with its dead; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines, those killed by the sword will fall. 35:9 I will turn you into a perpetual desolation, and your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

35:10 “‘You said, “These two nations, these two lands 23  will be mine, and we will possess them,” 24  – although the Lord was there – 35:11 therefore, as surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I will deal with you according to your anger, and according to your envy, by which you acted spitefully against them. I will reveal myself to them when I judge you. 35:12 Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard all the insults you spoke against the mountains of Israel, saying, “They are desolate, they have been given to us for food.” 35:13 You exalted yourselves against me with your speech 25  and hurled many insults against me 26  – I have heard them all! 35:14 This is what the sovereign Lord says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will turn you into a desolation. 35:15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I deal with you – you will be desolate, Mount Seir, and all of Edom – all of it! Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”

Blessings on the Mountains of Israel

36:1 “As for you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! 36:2 This is what the sovereign Lord says: The enemy has spoken against you, saying “Aha!” and, “The ancient heights 27  have become our property!”’ 36:3 So prophesy and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Surely because they have made you desolate and crushed you from all directions, so that you have become the property of the rest of the nations, and have become the subject of gossip 28  and slander among the people, 36:4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the sovereign Lord: This is what the sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, and to the desolate ruins and the abandoned cities that have become prey and an object of derision to the rest of the nations round about – 36:5 therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Surely I have spoken in the fire of my zeal against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who with great joy and utter contempt have made my land their property and prey, because of its pasture.’

36:6 “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I have spoken in my zeal and in my anger, because you have endured the insults of the nations. 36:7 So this is what the sovereign Lord says: I vow 29  that the nations around you will endure insults as well.

36:8 “‘But you, mountains of Israel, will grow your branches, and bear your fruit for my people Israel; for they will arrive soon. 30  36:9 For indeed, I am on your side; 31  I will turn to you, and you will be plowed and planted. 36:10 I will multiply your people 32  – the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities will be populated and the ruins rebuilt. 36:11 I will increase the number of people and animals on you; they will increase and be fruitful. 33  I will cause you to be inhabited as in ancient times, and will do more good for you than at the beginning of your history. 34  Then you will know that I am the Lord. 36:12 I will lead people, my people Israel, across you; they will possess you and you will become their inheritance. No longer will you bereave them of their children.

36:13 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Because they are saying to you, “You are a devourer of men, and bereave your nation of children,” 36:14 therefore you will no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the sovereign Lord. 36:15 I will no longer subject you to 35  the nations’ insults; no longer will you bear the shame of the peoples, and no longer will you bereave 36  your nation, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

36:16 The word of the Lord came to me: 36:17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living on their own land, they defiled it by their behavior 37  and their deeds. In my sight their behavior was like the uncleanness of a woman having her monthly period. 36:18 So I poured my anger on them 38  because of the blood they shed on the land and because of the idols with which they defiled it. 39  36:19 I scattered them among the nations; they were dispersed throughout foreign countries. In accordance with their behavior and their deeds I judged them. 36:20 But when they arrived in the nations where they went, they profaned my holy name. It was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, yet they have departed from his land.’ 36:21 I was concerned for my holy reputation 40  which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went.

36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake that I am about to act, O house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy reputation 41  which you profaned among the nations where you went. 36:23 I will magnify 42  my great name that has been profaned among the nations, that you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the sovereign Lord, when I magnify myself among you in their sight.

36:24 “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. 36:25 I will sprinkle you with pure water 43  and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 36:26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone 44  from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 45  36:27 I will put my Spirit within you; 46  I will take the initiative and you will obey my statutes 47  and carefully observe my regulations. 48  36:28 Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 49  36:29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you. 36:30 I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the produce of the fields, so that you will never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 36:31 Then you will remember your evil behavior 50  and your deeds which were not good; you will loathe yourselves on account of your sins and your abominable deeds. 36:32 Understand that 51  it is not for your sake I am about to act, declares the sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and embarrassed by your behavior, O house of Israel.

36:33 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: In the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will populate the cities and the ruins will be rebuilt. 36:34 The desolate land will be plowed, instead of being desolate in the sight of everyone who passes by. 36:35 They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; the ruined, desolate, and destroyed cities are now fortified and inhabited.” 36:36 Then the nations which remain around you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken – and I will do it!’

36:37 “This is what the sovereign Lord says: I will allow the house of Israel to ask me to do this for them: 52  I will multiply their people like sheep. 53  36:38 Like the sheep for offerings, like the sheep of Jerusalem 54  during her appointed feasts, so will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

1 tn The term shepherd is applied to kings in the ancient Near East. In the OT the Lord is often addressed as shepherd of Israel (Gen 49:24; Ps 8:1). The imagery of shepherds as Israel’s leaders is also employed (Jer 23:1-2).

2 tn The term translated “harshness” is used to describe the oppression the Israelites suffered as slaves in Egypt (Exod 1:13).

3 tn As a case of dittography, the MT repeats “and they were scattered” at the end of the verse.

4 tn Heb “I will cause them to cease from feeding sheep.”

5 sn The imagery may reflect the overthrow of the Israelites by the Babylonians in 587/6 b.c.

6 tn Heb “good.”

7 tn Heb “outside.”

8 sn The messianic king is here called “David” (see Jer 30:9 and Hos 3:5, as well as Isa 11:1 and Mic 5:2) because he will fulfill the Davidic royal ideal depicted in the prophets and royal psalms (see Ps 2, 89).

9 sn The messianic king (“David”) is called both “king” and “prince” in 37:24-25. The use of the term “prince” for this king facilitates the contrast between this ideal ruler and the Davidic “princes” denounced in earlier prophecies (see 7:27; 12:10, 12; 19:1; 21:25; 22:6, 25).

10 tn The phrase “live securely” occurs in Ezek 28:26; 38:8, 11, 14; 39:26 as an expression of freedom from fear. It is a promised blessing resulting from obedience (see Lev 26:5-6).

11 sn The woods were typically considered to be places of danger (Ps 104:20-21; Jer 5:6).

12 tn Heb “showers of blessing.” Abundant rain, which in turn produces fruit and crops (v. 27), is a covenantal blessing for obedience (Lev 26:4).

13 tc The MT reads לְשֵׁם (lÿshem, “for a name”), meaning perhaps a renowned planting (place). The translation takes this to be a metathesis of שָׁלֹם (shalom) as was read by the LXX.

14 tn Heb “those gathered” for famine.

15 sn A promise given to Abraham (Gen 15:7) and his descendants (Gen 15:8; Exod 6:7).

16 sn The blessings described in vv. 25-30 are those promised for obedience in Lev 26:4-13.

17 tn Heb, “the sheep of my pasture, you are human.” See 36:37-38 for a similar expression. The possessive pronoun “my” is supplied in the translation to balance “I am your God” in the next clause.

18 tn Heb “set your face against.”

19 sn Mount Seir is to be identified with Edom (Ezek 35:15), home of Esau’s descendants (Gen 25:21-30).

20 tn Or “gave over…to the power of the sword.” This phrase also occurs in Jer 18:21 and Ps 63:10.

21 tc The translation reads with some manuscripts לְשִׁמְמָה וּמְשַׁמָּה (lÿshimmah umÿshammah, “desolate ruin”) as in verse 3 and often in Ezekiel. The majority reading reverses the first mem (מ) with the shin (שׁ) resulting in the repetition of the word desolate: לְשִׁמְמָה וּשְׁמָמָה (lÿshimmah ushÿmamah).

22 tn Or “kill.”

23 sn The reference is to Israel and Judah.

24 tn Heb “it.”

25 tn Heb “your mouth.”

26 tn Heb “and you multiplied against me your words.” The Hebrew verb occurs only here and in Prov 27:6, where it refers to the “excessive” kisses of an enemy. The basic idea of the verb appears to be “to be abundant.” Here it occurs in the causative (Hiphil) stem.

27 tn Or “high places.”

28 tn Heb “lip of the tongue.”

29 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

30 tn Heb “they draw near to arrive.”

31 tn Heb “I (am) toward you.”

32 tn Heb “I will multiply on you human(s).”

33 sn These verbs occur together in Gen 1:22, 28; 9:1.

34 tn Heb “your beginning.”

35 tn Heb “cause you to hear.”

36 tc The MT reads תַכְשִׁלִי (takhshiliy), a metathesis for תַשְׁכִלִי (tashkhiliy) from the root שָׁכַל (shakhal) which is used in each of the previous verses.

37 tn Heb “way.”

38 sn See Ezek 7:8; 9:8; 14:19; 20:8, 13, 21; 22:22; 30:15.

39 sn For the concept of defiling the land in legal literature, see Lev 18:28; Deut 21:23.

40 tn Heb “name.”

41 sn In Ezek 20:22 God refrained from punishment for the sake of his holy name. Here God’s reputation is the basis for Israel’s restoration.

42 tn Or “sanctify,” Heb “make holy.”

43 sn The Lord here uses a metaphor from the realm of ritual purification. For the use of water in ritual cleansing, see Exod 30:19-20; Lev 14:51; Num 19:18; Heb 10:22.

44 sn That is, a heart which symbolizes a will that is stubborn and unresponsive (see 1 Sam 25:37). In Rabbinic literature a “stone” was associated with an evil inclination (b. Sukkah 52a).

45 sn That is, a heart which symbolizes a will that is responsive and obedient to God.

46 tn Or “in the midst of you.” The word “you” is plural.

47 tn Heb “and I will do that which in my statutes you will walk.” The awkward syntax (verb “to do, act” + accusative sign + relative clause + prepositional phrase + second person verb) is unique, though Eccl 3:14 contains a similar construction. In the last line of that verse we read that “God acts so that (relative pronoun) they fear before him.” However, unlike Ezek 36:27, the statement has no accusative sign before the relative pronoun.

48 tn Heb “and my laws you will guard and you will do them.” Jer 31:31-34 is parallel to this passage.

49 sn This promise reflects the ancient covenantal ideal (see Exod 6:7).

50 tn Heb “ways.”

51 tn Heb “Let it be known.”

52 tn The Niphal verb may have a tolerative function here, “Again (for) this I will allow myself to be sought by the house of Israel to act for them.” Or it may be reflexive: “I will reveal myself to the house of Israel by doing this also.”

53 sn Heb “I will multiply them like sheep, human(s).”

54 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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