Ezekiel 34-36

Taught by:  Carolyn Sissom

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ezekiel 34: 2:  “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, thus says the Lord God unto the shepherds; woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?”

This chapter deals with the wicked shepherds and God’s shepherd.  From this chapter on Ezekiel’s prophecies are mainly consolatory to Israel, telling of God’s grace toward His people and His faithfulness to His Covenant promises.  Before the destruction of Jerusalem the prophet Ezekiel, as did the prophet Jeremiah, dwelt on messages of judgment; once the judgment came to pass, the prophecies center about promises of blessing.  This is another undated prophecy which makes it timeless.  This elaborates on Jeremiah 23: 1-8.   “The true shepherd will gather and tend God’s sheep (Jn. 10) in contrast to the false shepherds who scatter them by their neglect.  The calamities of the people (23: 9-20) are attributed to the false prophets who led the people astray by their bad example and false messages of hope when judgment was pending.  These false prophets ran without being sent (Jer. 23:21); spoke without having heard (23:21); and prophesied words that were of no profit at all. (23; 32). 
These false prophets could have spoken in the Name of the Lord if they had given themselves unto God (23:22)  God is Omnipresent and heard whatever these prophets spoke in His Name without His authorization; therefore, they were unable to escape personal responsibility and divine retribution. (23:24) In 23:28-29, God gives the word that comes from false prophets:  (1) the Word of God is wheat that has substance and nourishes, not worthless chaff like the word of the false prophets; (2) The Word of God is like fire that kindles an awareness of God instead of leaving the hearer untouched and unaffected; and (3) the Word of God is like a powerful, effective hammer.  God will punish His people for saying “the burden of the Lord; because the phrase implied claim to speak with Divine authentication which they did not have.

Ezekiel 34:1-4 – The Fat and wool represent the best/finances.

You kill (sacrifice and eating – {pecking order”)

The diseased have you not strengthened neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken; neither have you brought again that which was driven away (by wicked pastors); neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them.

And they were scattered (to every denomination and every imagination!) because there is no shepherd, and they became meat (food, spoil) to all the beasts (demonic power) of the field…My sheep wandered through all the mountains (kingdoms of men) and none did search or seek after them…Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock…for I will deliver my flock from their mouth (pulpit), that they may not be meat for them.”

Here we see the condemnation of the false shepherds.  Specifically the tyrannical rulers are denounced for ministering to their self-indulgence rather than to the people; for neglecting their duty as shepherds to tend the flock of God; and for ruling God’s sheep with force and cruelty.

  Then Ezekiel speaks of the Good Shepherd (11-16).  God will care for His sheep and will intervene for them.  He will gather the scattered sheep and tend the oppressed sheep.

  Judgment among the flock takes place in verses 17-22.

Behold, I even I will both search My sheep, and seek them out, As a shepherd…that is among his sheep…and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them to their own land and feed them…by the rivers…I will feed them in a good pasture and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold (the Church) be; there (in Zion) shall they lie in a fat pasture and I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down…I will seek…bring again…bind up…strengthen…but I will destroy the fat and the strong (Those which oppress the rest of the flock) I will feed them with judgment.

Verses 20-31 go beyond Zerubbabel, the civil head of Judah at the time of the restoration from Babylon.  These verses are Messianic, referring to Jesus Christ, the son of David.  He is the plant of renown of Verse 29 and the true (genuine) vine of Jn. 15.  Men of all nations are the branches of that Planting.  This is the contrast that the prophet uses as he places the responsibility for the captivity of Israel at the door of the greedy ad cruel kings and priests who had exploited and led astray the people.  Under the True Shepherd, there shall be showers of blessing and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.  He will give them a True shepherd and deliver them from the oppressing shepherds who care more for themselves than for the sheep.

Read Verses 20-31:


Ezekiel 35:  This chapter contains the condemnation of Edom, also called Seir, and the descendants of Esau, and thus a type of the flesh.  Isaiah, Jeremiah and Obadiah also denounced Edom.  This prophecy is given here to contrast chapter 36 and show that Edom must be dealt with before the glories of the New covenant can be realized.  Some feel that (historically) Edom had aggravated its offenses against Israel.  some commentators feel it is evidence to take Edom as representative of all the enemies of God’s people.  As in most interpretations, I feel both are correct.

The sins of Edom were here aid to Babylon (Verse 5) “Because you have had a perpetual hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end; therefore as I live, says the Lord god, I will prepare you unto blood, and blood shall pursue you;”

We have here the devastation of Edom and the restoration of Israel.  We can compare this to the first man Adam and the rising up on the last Adam. 

Read Verse 35: 11-15


36:1:  “Also, you Son of Man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say you mountains of Israel,, hear the Word of the Lord;  thus says the Lord God; Because the enemy has said against you , aha, even the ancient high places are our’s in possession:  therefore prophesy an say, thus says the Lord God:  Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and you are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people…Therefore you mountains of Israel hear the word of the Lord God:  Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and a derision to the residue of the heathen that are  round about.  Therefore thus says the Lord god; surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen and against all Idumea (Edom) which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.”

This is like reading the front page of the newspaper in May, 2008 as the nations gather in Israel for a summit to divide the nation.  We see daily the bombs exploding in Israel from Palestine.

(Verse 7) Therefore thus says the Lord god; I have lifted up my hand, surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.”

  I believe these promises have to do with the Nation of Israel as well as the Church.   (Gal. 3:16) “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He says not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to your seed, which is Christ…(17-29) And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years  after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is not more of promise: but god gave it to Abraham by promise.  Therefore then serves the law?  It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made, and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.”

The Holy Nation (Matt. 21: 42-43; 1 Pet. 2:9-10)

The Circumcision (Phil. 3:3)

The Heavenly Jerusalem (Jn. 4: 19-24)

The True Jew ( Rom 2:28-29) “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  But he is  a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men but of God.”

Romans 9: 6-8:  Not as though the word of God has taken none effect.  For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, they which are the children of the flesh, those are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

The Israel of God – (Gal. 6:16) “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”

I believe the church received the promises of God and the authority of throne rights to appropriate those promises which Jesus Christ secured.  (Romans 15:8) “Now I saw that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers;”

Throughout the early section of this chapter here is a studied contrast with what is stated of Edom in chapter 35.  thus, this chapter deals with a people of the SPIRIT!  The cleansing of the church in the Day of Atonement, which is discussed below, is a national cleansing.

Verse 8-10:  “But ye, Oh mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.  For behold I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and you shall be tilled and sown:  And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded.”

  The pre-eminent motive in this redemption is the Glory of God; ( verse 22 and 32)  “Therefore say unto the House of Israel, Thus says the Lord god; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, wherever you went.”... (32)Not for your sakes do I this, says the Lord God, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.”

There will be a hatred of sin:  (31-32) “Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings tat were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.”

Forgiveness of sin will be realized :( 25):  “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”

We will know ultimately that our God is the Lord. (38) As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filed with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost will be granted. (Verse 27) “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.”  There will be obedience to the Law of God.

The Word “I Will” is used 25 times.  Five is the number of Grace – Grace intensified and multiplied!

  1. 36:9 – “I will turn unto you.”
  2. 36:10 – “I will multiply men upon you.”
  3. 36:11 – “I will multiply upon you man and beast.”
  4. 36:11 – “I will settle you after your old estates.”
  5. 36:11 – “I will do better unto you that at your beginnings.”
  6. 36:12 – “I will cause men to walk upon you.”
  7. 36:15 – “Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame…”
  8. 36:23 -   “I will sanctify my great name.”
  9. 36:24 – “And will bring you into your own land.”
  10. 36:24 – “I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you.”
  11. 36:25 – “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you.”
  12. 36:25 – “And from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”
  13. 36:26 – “A new heart also will I give you.”
  14. 36:26 – “And a new Spirit will I put within you.”
  15. 36:26 – “I will give you a heart of flesh.”
  16. 36:26 – “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh.”
  17. 36:27 – “I will put My Spirit within you.”
  18. 36:28 – “I will be your God.”
  19. 36:29 - “I will also save you from your uncleanness’s.”
  20. 36:29 –“I will call for the corn, and will increase it.”
  21. 36:30 - “I will multiply the fruit of the tree.”
  22. 36:33 - “I will also cause you to dwell in the cities.”
  23. 36:36 -    “I will do it.”
  24. 36:37 -    “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel.”
  25. 36:37 - “I will increase them with men like a flock.”

Verse 31 is the revelation of the man of sin.  Verse 33 is the Day of atonement.  No more sin, no more death!  Back to the dominion of Eden we go. 

(35) :And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate  and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.”

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

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Scripture quotes from KJV and text from P.P.T.  comments and conclusions are my own
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