The new shepherd King David (Ezek 34:23-34:24)

“‘I will set up

Over them

One shepherd,

My servant David.

He shall feed them.

He shall feed them.

He shall be

Their shepherd.

I,

Yahweh,

Will be their God.

My servant David

Shall be the prince

Among them.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh’s solution to this problem of the good and bad Israelite sheep was a new shepherd, who is also the old King David (1010-970 BCE). This may be an allusion to a new monarchy in Israel. The new shepherd king would also feed them like Yahweh’s servant David had done for his people. There would be a new prince among the Israelites, like David, the shepherd king. Yahweh, their God, via Ezekiel, had spoken.

Some sheep were ruining their food and drink (Ezek 34:18-34:19)

“Is it not enough

For you

To feed

On the good pasture?

Must you tread down

With your feet

The rest of your pasture?

When you drink

Of clear water,

Must you foul

The rest

With your feet?

Must my sheep eat

What you have trodden

With your feet?

Must they drink

What you have fouled

With your feet?”

Some of the sheep were messing up the food supply for the other sheep. They had these wonderful pastures with plenty of food and drink. However, some of these sheep were walking all over the place keeping the grass from growing. They were also walking in the water holes, so that they became polluted. Pollution has always been a problem. In other words, Yahweh, via Ezekiel was complaining that some sheep were messing up the good clean drinking water and the lush green pastures by stomping all over them. Among the sheep of Israel, some were causing problems by fouling things up. The emphasis on their feet was an indication that the actions of these bad Israelite sheep were making it difficult for the good Israelite sheep to sustain their lives with good food and pure water.