I will make with them a covenant of peace - The original is emphatic: שלום ברית להם וכרתי vecharatti lahem berith shalom, "And I will cut with them the peace covenant;" that is, a covenant sacrifice, procuring and establishing peace between God and man, and between man and his fellows. I need not tell the reader that the cutting refers to the ancient mode of making covenants. The blood was poured out; the animal was divided from mouth to tail, exactly in two; the divisions placed opposite to each other; the contracting parties entered into the space, going in at each end, and met in the middle, and there took the covenant oath. He is the Prince of peace, and through him come glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will to men upon earth.
And will cause the evil beasts to cease - These false and ravenous pastors. Christ purges them out of his Church, and destroys that power by which they lorded it over God's heritage.
Yahweh having promised to be a Ruler of His people, the administration of the divine kingdom is now described, as carried on by One King, the representative of David, whose dominion should fulfill all the promises originally made to the man after God‘s own heart. Ezekiel does not so much add to, as explain and develope, the original promise; and as the complete fulfillment of the spiritual blessings, which the prophets were guided to proclaim, was manifestly never realized in any temporal prosperity of the Jews, and never could and never can be realized in any earthly kingdom, we recognize throughout the Sacred Volume the one subject of all prophecy - the Righteous King, the Anointed Prince, the Son and the Lord of David.
One shepherd - One, as ruling over an undivided people, the distinction between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah having been done away.
My servant David - David was a fit type of the True King because he was a true and faithful servant of Yahweh. That which David was partially and imperfectly, Christ is in full perfection (compare Matthew 12:18; John 5:30; Hebrews 10:7.)
The blessings here foretold are especially those of the old covenant. The wilderness (or, pasture-country) and the woods, the places most exposed to beasts and birds of prey, become places of security. Under the new covenant Sion and the hills around are representative of God‘s Church; and temporal blessings are typical of the blessings showered down upon Christ‘s Church by Him who has vanquished the powers of evil.
A plant - Equivalent to the “Branch,” under which name Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesy of the Messiah. The contrast in this verse to hunger seems to favor the idea that the “plant” was for food, i. e., spiritual food, and in this sense also, applicable to the Messiah (compare John 6:35.)
The shame of the pagan - The shameful reproaches with which the pagan assail them.
Translate “Ye are my flock, the flock of my pasture (compare Jeremiah 23:1); ye are men, and I am your God.”
Christ applied these prophecies to Himself, and He showed the contrast between His own character and that of the leaders in Israel. The Pharisees had just driven one from the fold, because he dared to bear witness to the power of Christ. They had cut off a soul whom the True Shepherd was drawing to Himself. In this they had shown themselves ignorant of the work committed to them, and unworthy of their trust as shepherds of the flock. Jesus now set before them the contrast between them and the Good Shepherd, and He pointed to Himself as the real keeper of the Lord's flock. Before doing this, however, He speaks of Himself under another figure. DA 477.1
He said, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” The Pharisees did not discern that these words were spoken against them. When they reasoned in their hearts as to the meaning, Jesus told them plainly, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” DA 477.2
Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace. Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ, and all who have interposed something to take the place of Christ, all who have tried to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers. DA 477.3Read in context »
I saw that we sensed and realized but little of the importance of the Sabbath, to what we yet should realize and know of its importance and glory. I saw we knew not what it was yet to ride upon the high places of the earth and to be fed with the heritage of Jacob. But when the refreshing and latter rain shall come from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power we shall know what it is to be fed with the heritage of Jacob and ride upon the high places of the earth. Then shall we see the Sabbath more in its importance and glory. But we shall not see it in all its glory and importance until the covenant of peace is made with us at the voice of God, and the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem are thrown open and swing back on their glittering hinges and the glad and joyful voice of the lovely Jesus is heard richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear bidding us enter. [I saw] that we had a perfect right in the city for we had kept the commandments of God, and heaven, sweet heaven is our home. Mar 245.3Read in context »
[Battle Creek, Michigan] Sabbath, January 1, 1859—Attended Preaching, a Baptism, and the Ordinances—It is the commencement of the new year. The Lord gave James liberty Sabbath afternoon in preaching upon the necessary preparation for baptism, and to partake of the Lord's Supper. There was much feeling in the congregation. At intermission, all repaired to the water, where seven followed their Lord in baptism. It was a powerful season and of the deepest interest. Two little sisters about eleven years old were baptized. One, Cornelia C., prayed in the water to be kept unspotted from the world. 3SM 261.1
In the eve the church followed the example of their Lord and washed one another's feet, and then partook of the Lord's Supper. There was rejoicing and weeping in that house. The place was awful, and yet glorious, on account of the presence of the Lord.—Manuscript 5, 1859. 3SM 261.2
[Otsego, Michigan] Sabbath, January 8, 1859—Traveled to Meeting by Sleigh and Spoke Some—It is the holy Sabbath. May we honor and glorify God today. We went with Brother Leighton in his sleigh to Otsego, four miles. It was very cold; could hardly keep comfortable. Found the meetinghouse not very warm. All were so cold. Must take time to get warm. Brother Loughborough preached upon the judgment. Then I said a few words. Not very free. Then the church readily gave in their testimonies.—Manuscript 5, 1859. 3SM 261.3Read in context »