The shepherds praise God (Lk 2:20-2:20)

“The shepherds

Returned.

They glorified God.

They praised God

For all they had heard

And seen,

Just as it had been told

To them.”

 

καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἶδον καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that these shepherds returned to their flocks of sheep (καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες).  They glorified (δοξάζοντες) and praised God (καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν) for all they had heard (ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν) and seen (καὶ εἶδον), just as it had been told to them (καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς).  These shepherds appear to be stand-ins for the people of Israel.  They had all this information about the baby child Messiah, Christ, Savior, and Lord.  They had actually seen him as they had glorified and praised God.  Nevertheless, they seemed to go about their business, as if nothing had happened.

The herdsmen in the city (Mt 8:33-8:33)

“The swine herdsmen ran off.

They went into the town.

They told

The whole story

About what had happened

To the demoniacs.”

 

οἱ δὲ βόσκοντες ἔφυγον, καὶ ἀπελθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἀπήγγειλαν πάντα καὶ τὰ τῶν δαιμονιζομένων.

 

All three synoptic gospels. Mark, chapter 5;14, and Luke, chapter 8:34, and Matthew here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story.  The shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off (οἱ δὲ βόσκοντες ἔφυγον) when they saw what had happened to their flocks.  They went into the town (καὶ ἀπελθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν), probably Gadara.  Then they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs (ἀπήγγειλαν πάντα καὶ τὰ τῶν δαιμονιζομένων) and their herd of pigs.  They were without a job.

The curse for the worthless shepherd (Zech 11:17-10:17)

“Cursed be my worthless shepherd!

They desert the flock!

May the sword

Strike his arm!

May the sword

Strike his right eye!

Let his arm

Be completely withered!

Let his right eye be

Utterly blinded!’”

Yahweh had a curse for the worthless shepherds, who had deserted their flocks.  Yahweh wanted the sword to strike their arms and right eyes.  Yahweh wanted their arms withered and their eyes blinded.

The failure of Ephraim (Hos 5:5-5:7)

“Israel’s pride

Testifies against him.

Ephraim stumbles

In his guilt.

Judah also shall stumble

With them.

With their flocks,

With their herds,

They shall go

To seek Yahweh.

But they will not find him,

He has withdrawn

From them.

They have dealt faithlessly

With Yahweh.

They have borne

Illegitimate children.

Now the new moon

Shall devour them

With their fields.”

Israel’s pride would testify against them. Ephraim would stumble with guilt. But Judah would also stumble with them. They would go with their flocks and herds seeking Yahweh, but they would not find him. Yahweh has withdrawn from them, because they did not treat Yahweh faithfully. They, thus, bore illegitimate children, so that the new moon festivals would devour them with their fields.

Yahweh will search for his scattered sheep (Ezek 34:11-34:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I myself

Will search

For my sheep.

I will

Seek them out.

As shepherds seek out

Their flocks,

When they are

Among their scattered sheep,

So will I

Seek out my sheep.

I will rescue them

From all the places

To which

They have been scattered

On a day of clouds,

On a day of thick darkness.’”

Yahweh God said, via Ezekiel, that he was himself going to search out for his scattered sheep. He was going to be like the shepherds with their flocks. Just as they went looking for their lost sheep, Yahweh was going to do the same. He was going to seek out his sheep and rescue them from all the places that they had been scattered during the cloudy days of thick darkness.

The war club of Yahweh (Jer 51:20-51:23)

“You are my war club!

You are my hammer!

My weapon of battle!

With you

I smash nations.

With you

I destroy kingdoms.

With you

I smash the horse.

With you

I smash its rider.

With you

I smash the chariot.

With you

I smash the charioteer.

With you

I smash men.

With you

I smash women.

With you

I smash the old man.

With you

I smash the boy.

With you

I smash the young man.

With you

I smash the girl.

With you

I smash the shepherds.

With you

I smash their flock.

With you

I smash the farmers.

With you

I smash their teams.

With you

I smash the governors.

With you

I smash their deputies.”

Yahweh is the war club or hammer that smashes everything. Thus with Yahweh, Jeremiah can smash nations, kingdoms, horses, riders, chariots, charioteers, men, women, old men, boys, young men, girls, shepherds, their flocks, farmers, their teams, governors, and their deputies. Yahweh is a strong weapon that can smash practically everything.

Escape from Babylon (Jer 50:8-50:8)

“Flee from Babylon!

Go out of the land

Of the Chaldeans!

Be like male goats!

Lead the flock!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah has a series of commands. Get out of town! They were to get out of the city of Babylon. They were to get out of the country of the Chaldeans. They should act like male goats, leading their flocks, not like lost sheep.