Ezekiel 34

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

← Ezekiel 33   Ezekiel 35 →

1 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying,

2 `Son of man, prophesy concerning shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and thou hast said unto them: To the shepherds, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Wo [to] the shepherds of Israel, Who have been feeding themselves! The flock do not the shepherds feed?

3 The fat ye do eat, and the wool ye put on, The fed one ye slaughter, the flock ye feed not.

4 The weak ye have not strengthened, And the sick one ye have not healed, And the broken ye have not bound up, And the driven away have not brought back, And the lost ye have not sought, And with might ye have ruled them and with rigour.

5 And they are scattered from want of a shepherd, And are for food to every beast of the field, Yea, they are scattered.

6 Go astray do My flock on all the mountains, And on every high hill, And on all the face of the land have My flock been scattered, And there is none inquiring, and none seeking.

7 Therefore, shepherds, hear a word of Jehovah:

8 I live -- an affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, If not, because of My flock being for a prey, Yea, My flock is for food to every beast of the field, Because there is no shepherd, And My shepherds have not sought My flock, And the shepherds do feed themselves, And My flock they have not fed.

9 Therefore, O shepherds, hear a word of Jehovah:

10 Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I [am] against the shepherds, And have required My flock from their hand, And caused them to cease from feeding the flock, And no more do the shepherds feed themselves, And I have delivered My flock from their mouth, And they are not to them for food.

11 For thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I -- even I, have required My flock, And I have sought it out.

12 As a shepherd's searching of his drove, In the day of his being in the midst of his scattered flock, so I do seek My flock, And have delivered them out of all places, Whither they have been scattered, In a day of cloud and thick darkness.

13 And brought them out from the peoples, And have gathered them from the lands, And brought them unto their own ground, And have fed them on mountains of Israel, By streams, and by all dwellings of the land.

14 With good pasture I do feed them, And on mountains of the high place of Israel is their habitation, There do they lie down in a good habitation, And fat pastures they enjoy on mountains of Israel.

15 I feed My flock, and cause them to lie down, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

16 The lost I seek, and the driven away bring back, And the broken I bind up, and the sick I strengthen, And the fat and the strong I destroy, I feed it with judgment.

17 And you, My flock, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I am judging between sheep and sheep, Between rams and he-goats.

18 Is it a little thing for you -- the good pasture ye enjoy, And the remnant of your pasture ye tread down with your feet, And a depth of waters ye do drink, And the remainder with your feet ye trample,

19 And My flock the trodden thing of your feet consumeth, And the trampled thing of your feet drinketh?

20 Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah to them: Lo, I -- even I, have judged between fat sheep and lean sheep.

21 Because with side and with shoulder ye thrust away, And with your horns push all the diseased, Till ye have scattered them to the out-place,

22 And I have given safety to My flock, And they are not any more for prey, And I have judged between sheep and sheep.

23 And have raised up over them one shepherd, And he hath fed them -- my servant David, He doth feed them, and he is their shepherd,

24 And I, Jehovah, I am their God, And My servant David prince in their midst, I, Jehovah, have spoken.

25 And I have made for them a covenant of peace, And caused evil beasts to cease out of the land, And they have dwelt in a wilderness confidently, And they have slept in forests.

26 And I have given them, and the suburbs of my hill, a blessing, And caused the shower to come down in its season, Showers of blessing they are.

27 And given hath the tree of the field its fruit, And the land doth give her increase, And they have been on their land confident, And they have known that I [am] Jehovah, In My breaking the bands of their yoke, And I have delivered them from the hand of those laying service on them.

28 And they are no more a prey to nations, And the beast of the earth devoureth them not, And they have dwelt confidently, And there is none troubling.

29 And I have raised for them a plant for renown, And they are no more consumed by hunger in the land, And they bear no more the shame of the nations.

30 And they have known that I, Jehovah, their God, [am] with them, And they -- the house of Israel -- My people, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

31 And ye, My flock, the flock of My pasture, Men ye [are] -- I [am] your God, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah!'

← Ezekiel 33   Ezekiel 35 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 157


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 46, 93, 415, 666, 908, 1038, 1085, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 49, 243, 270, 306, 336, 383, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 86

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 28, 43

Faith 68

True Christian Religion 171, 689, 844


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 67, 280, 316, 340, 365, 388, 405, ...

Spiritual Experiences 4573

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 53

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 9:16

Exodus 29:45, 46

Leviticus 26:4, 6, 13

1 Kings 22:17

Job 5:23, 11:19, 34:29

Psalms 23:1, 2, 72:2, 78:71, 72, 84:7, 100:3, 119:176

Proverbs 3:24, 30:14

Isaiah 32:6, 18, 35:9, 40:11, 49:9, 51:18, 54:10, 55:3, 56:11, 61:8

Jeremiah 3:15, 10:21, 12:9, 10, 23:1, 3, 4, 5, 30:3, 8, 9, 10, 31:1, 10, 14, 33:12, 50:6, 19

Ezekiel 11:17, 13:23, 19:6, 7, 9, 20:5, 7, 36, 37, 38, 28:25, 26, 30:3, 36:6, 8, 15, 24, 30, 37:21, 24, 26, 38:8, 39:26

Hosea 2:20

Joel 23

Amos 4:1, 2, 5:11

Micah 2:12, 3:1, 4:6, 5:3, 7:3, 14

Zephaniah 3:13

Zechariah 8:12, 13, 9:16, 10:1, 2, 3, 11:5, 15

Matthew 9:12, 36, 18:12, 25:33

Luke 1:71, 15:4, 5

John 10:1, 8, 11, 12, 14

1 Peter 2:25, 5:1

Jude 1:12

Revelation 7:17

Word/Phrase Explanations

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

shepherds
The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

feeding
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

fat
'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

wool
The instruction not make clothing that mixes 'Woolen and linen' threads means, in the internal sense, that people's spiritual states of good and truth should...

Put on
'To put on' is communication and imbuement.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

slaughter
'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...

strengthened
To 'be strengthened,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies being supported.

Sick
'The sick,' as in Matthew 25:35, signify people in evil, and those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil.

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

scattered
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...

want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

hill
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

a day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

ground
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

dwellings
Habitation, as mentioned in Genesis 27:39, signifies life. The habitation of holiness signifies the celestial kingdom. The habitation of honorableness signifies the spiritual kingdom, as...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

pasture
Plants in the Bible generally represent facts, knowledge that can be gleaned from the world. Plants that can serve animals as food represent facts that...

Judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

judging
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

sheep
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

Rams
'Rams of the breed of Bashan,' as in Deuteronomy 32:14, signify celestial spiritual things.

remnant
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

Waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

drinketh
Food in the Bible represents the desire for good, and water and other drinks represent the understanding and true ideas we need to recognize what...

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

shoulder
'The shoulder' signifies all power. 'The shoulder,' as in Ezekiel 29:7, signifies the power or faculty of understanding truth. 'To dwell between his shoulders,' as...

horns
'A horn,' when spoken of the Lord, signifies omnipotence. 'The little horn that rose up,' as mentioned in Daniel 7:3-8, signifies the full perversion of...

Push
'To push' or 'to strike the people' denotes destroying falsities with truths.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

dwelt
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

forests
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

Come down
To come down (Gen. 11:5), is predicated of Jehovah, by reason of his being called the Highest. This is spoken according to appearance.

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

Bands of their yoke
The bands of their yoke (Ezekiel 34:27) are the pleasantnesses of evil derived from self-love and the love of the world.

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

plant
'A shrub' signifies the knowledges of truth.

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Heal Me (sheet music)
Song | Ages over 11

 I Will Save My Flock
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Lost Sheep
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Good Shepherd
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Shepherds Visit
The Word is the story of ourselves. What are our "sheep", "shepherds", and the miracle of the Lord's birth in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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