Against the shepherds of Israel (Ezek 34:1-34:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man! 

Prophesy

Against the shepherds

Of Israel!

Prophesy!

Say to them!

Say to the shepherds!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Ah!

Shepherds of Israel!

You have been feeding

Yourselves!

Should not shepherds

Feed the sheep?’”

As usual, Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to prophesy. However, this time it is not against a country, but against the shepherds or leaders of Israel. The idea of the leader as shepherd was an ancient Middle Eastern concept that the early Christians also used with Jesus Christ as the good shepherd. These Israelite shepherds or leaders were not feeding their sheep. Instead, they were only feeding themselves.

Future blessings (Ps 144:12-144:14)

“May our sons

In their youth

Be like plants full grown!

May our daughters

Be like corner pillars,

Cut for the building of a palace!

May our barns be filled

With produce of every kind!

May our sheep increase by thousands,

By ten thousands in our fields!

May our cattle be heavy with young!

May there be no breach in the walls!

May there be no exile!

May there be no cry of distress in our streets!”

David, or this psalmist, asks and prays for future blessings. He wanted their sons to be like full grown plants. He wanted their daughters to be corner stones or pillars of a palace. He wanted their barns full of every kind of produce. He wanted their sheep to increase. He wanted his cattle to be heavy with young calves. He wanted no breach in the wall, no exile, and no distress in the streets. These future blessings would lead to an idyllic time with no problems.