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Ezekiel 34:1-5

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 

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.



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