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now described, as carried on by One King, the representative of David, whose dominion should fulfill all the promises originally made to the man after God‘s own heart.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 »
Christ says, “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.” Verses 11-14. PP 191.1
Christ, the Chief Shepherd, has entrusted the care of His flock to His ministers as undershepherds; and He bids them have the same interest that He has manifested, and feel the sacred responsibility of the charge He has entrusted to them. He has solemnly commanded them to be faithful, to feed the flock, to strengthen the weak, to revive the fainting, and to shield them from devouring wolves. PP 191.2
To save His sheep, Christ laid down His own life; and He points His shepherds to the love thus manifested, as their example. But “he that is an hireling, ... whose own the sheep are not,” has no real interest in the flock. He is laboring merely for gain, and he cares only for himself. He studies his own profit instead of the interest of his charge; and in time of peril or danger he will flee, and leave the flock. PP 191.3
The apostle Peter admonishes the undershepherds: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2, 3. Paul says, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Acts 20:28, 29. PP 191.4Read in context »