Ezekiel 34

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1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed the sheep?

3 You eat the fat, and you clothe yourself with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don't feed the sheep.

4 You haven't strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor you have ruled over them.

5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered.

6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought.

7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:

8 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn't feed my sheep;

9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:

10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.

11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13 I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them with good pasture; and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel.

15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord Yahweh.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.

17 As for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats.

18 Does it seem a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?

19 As for my sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.

20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

21 Because you thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad;

22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23 I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24 I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it.

25 I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil animals to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.

28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.

29 I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.

30 They shall know that I, Yahweh, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord Yahweh.

31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 157

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

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

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Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
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'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

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

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A 'surface' denotes the extreme.

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

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

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 741)

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Apocalypse Explained # 632

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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632. And the holy city shall they trample down, signifies that they will destroy all the doctrine of good and truth from the Word. This is evident from the signification of "the holy city," as being the doctrine of truth and good from the Word; in the sense of the letter "the holy city" means Jerusalem, which in the Word here and there is called "the holy city;" but "Jerusalem" means the church, and a "city" the doctrine of the church; that a "city" [civitas or urbs] signifies doctrine, see above n. 223; therefore "the holy city" signifies the doctrine of Divine truth, for Divine truth is what is called "holy" in the Word n. 204. This is evident also from the signification of "trampling down," as being to destroy altogether, in particular by means of things sensual and natural, consequently by means of fallacies, which are called the fallacies of the senses, from which when not explained mere falsities spring; such things are signified by "trampling down," because trampling is done by the soles of the feet, and "the soles of the feet" signify the external sensual things of man, and "feet" his natural things. That this signification of "soles" and of "feet" is from correspondence, see above (n. 65, 606; and in the work on Heaven and Hell 96).

(Odkazy: Revelation 11:2; The Apocalypse Explained 65, 204, 223, The Apocalypse Explained 606)

[2] It is said that "the nations shall trample down the holy city," because this follows after the words, "The court which is without the temple cast out, for it is given to the nations," and the "court" signifies the external of the Word, of the church, and of worship, and the external of the Word is what is perverted, and thus adulterated and falsified, by the nations, that is, by those who are in evils and falsities. For, as was said in the preceding article, the external of the Word, which is called the sense of its letter, is for children and the simple-minded, and is therefore written according to appearances, thus for those who are sensual and natural; for infants are first sensual, afterwards natural, and when they advance in age they become spiritual. But when a man does not become spiritual, as is the case with all who live in evil, he does not understand the Word spiritually, but only naturally and sensually, and he who so understands the Word perverts it, and explains it according to the falsities of his religion and according to the evils of his life. This is why it is said that "they shall trample it down. " Moreover, those who deny and despise the truths of heaven and the church appear in the spiritual world to trample them under the soles of the feet, and this, as was said above, because the external sensual of man corresponds to the soles of the feet, which are what trample down. It is said that the external sensual of man does this, but it is the sensual of those only who are merely sensual, who are such as deny the truths of heaven and the church, and who also believe nothing except what they can see with their eyes and touch with their hands.

[3] "To trample down" is predicated of such in the following passages also. In Luke:

They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem shall finally be trampled down by the nations, until the times of the nations shall be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

This has a similar signification as the passage in Revelation here explained, that "the court is given to the nations, and the holy city shall they trample down forty-two months;" for "they shall fall by the edge of the sword" signifies that they shall perish by falsities; "they shall be led captive among all nations" signifies that evils will make a prey of the goods and truths of the church; "Jerusalem shall be trampled down" signifies the destruction of the church in respect to doctrine; for "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine; "its being trampled down by the nations" signifies the total destruction of the church by evils of life and falsities of doctrine; "until the time of the nations shall be fulfilled" signifies until evil is consummated (see above, n. 624; this consummation is also signified by the "forty-two months." This, too, like what is said in Revelation, was said by the Lord respecting the time just preceding the Last Judgment.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 624)

[4] In Ezekiel:

Is this a small thing to you? Ye feed upon the good pasture, and trample down with your feet the remainder of your pastures; ye drink the sediment of the waters, ye stir up the remainder with your feet; and thus my flock feeds upon what ye have trampled down with your feet, and drink that which is stirred up by your feet (Ezekiel 34:18, 19).

"Good pasture" signifies all that which spiritually nourishes, especially the Word and the knowledges of truth and good therefrom; "to feed upon it and to trample down the remainder with the feet" signifies to so do away with it that it does not appear, and to so destroy it that it is not, and this is done by reasonings from the corporeal-sensual, and from the natural man separated from the spiritual. This therefore is what is meant by "trampling down with the feet;" "the sediment of the waters" signify truths defiled by falsities, for "waters" mean truths, and "to drink thereof" signifies to learn and to receive; "to stir up the remainder of the waters with the feet" signifies to bring nevertheless into confusion by reasonings from the natural man the truths that are not defiled by falsities, "feet" signifying the natural things in man. From this what is signified by "my flock shall drink what is trampled down by the feet, and what is stirred up by the feet," can be seen.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 34:18-19)

[5] In Daniel:

The he-goat cast the ram to the earth and trampled him down, nor was there anyone to deliver the ram out of his hand; afterwards one horn waxed great from a little one; even to the host of the heavens, and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the earth and trampled them down (Daniel 8:7, 9, 10).

The "he-goat" here signifies faith separated from charity, and the "ram" signifies faith conjoined to charity, thus charity, the same as the "he-goats and sheep" in Matthew 25:31-46; "the one horn that waxed great from a little one" signifies justification by faith alone; "the host of the heavens" signifies all truths and goods of heaven and the church, and the "stars" signify the knowledges of good and truth; therefore "to trample down the ram" and also "the host of the heavens" signifies to destroy charity utterly, and with it all the truths and goods of heaven and the church, and this by the corporeal-sensual; for they who are in faith separated from charity, that is, who believe that they are saved by faith alone whatever their life may be, become corporeal-sensual, and are consequently in falsities in respect to all things of the Word and of the church; for they have no perception of the Word otherwise than according to the ultimate sense of its letter, seeing nothing interiorly in it; and even if they speak truths from the Word they nevertheless perceive them falsely; therefore this is what is signified by "the he-goat cast down to the earth some of the host of the heavens and some of the stars, and trampled them down. " That charity towards the neighbor, that is, the good of life, is in like manner destroyed, is meant by "the he-goat cast the ram to the earth and trampled him down;" for they who are in faith separated from charity, who are meant by the "he-goat," make faith the essential and charity the nonessential, therefore they live for the body and the world, and are solicitous about themselves only, and not at all about the neighbor; and those who do this cast charity (which is meant by the "ram, ") to the earth and trample it down.

(Odkazy: Daniel 8:9-10)

[6] In Luke:

Some seed fell upon the way and was trampled down, or the fowls of heaven devoured it (Luke 8:5).

"Seed" signifies Divine truth, or the truth of the Word; "to fall upon the way and be trampled down" signifies to be received only by the corporeal-sensual, and not interiorly; for that which is received in the spirit and in the heart is meant by "the seed that fell into the good earth." "The fowls of heaven that devoured it" signify falsities, for all evils and falsities therefrom have their seat in the corporeal-sensual, consequently unless a man becomes spiritual, and thinks from what is spiritual, he thinks nothing but falsities from evil. (What the corporeal-sensual is, and what sensual men are, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 50, also above, (n. 342, 543, 550, 552, 554, 556, 559, 563, 569, 570, 580)

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 342, 543, 550, 552, 554, 556, 559, 563, 569, 570, 580)

[7] In Isaiah:

I will make known to you what I will do to My vineyard; in taking away its hedge that it may be eaten up, and in breaking down its wall that it may be trampled down (Isaiah 5:5).

"Vineyard" here signifies the Lord's church, which is called a spiritual church; "to take away its hedge, and break down its wall," signifies to falsify and thus destroy the truths that defend the church; "the hedge and the wall about the vineyard" have a similar signification as "the wall and the bulwarks about Jerusalem;" "to eat up and trample down the vineyard" signifies to lay waste the church, so that no truth and good can spring up, and thus to destroy it.

[8] In Jeremiah:

Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trampled down My field, they have made the field of desire a wilderness of solitude (Jeremiah 12:10).

Here, too, the "vineyard," like "field," signifies the Lord's church; "to destroy," "to trample down," and "to make a wilderness of solitude" signifies to so destroy that nothing of the good and truth of the church remains. In Isaiah:

Our enemies have trampled down our 1 sanctuary (Isaiah 63:18).

"Enemies" signify the evils of life; "to trample down the sanctuary" signifies to destroy the truths of doctrine from the Word, and this also by means of the corporeal-sensual, for all who are in evils of life are corporeal-sensual.

[9] In David:

The enemy pursueth my soul and overtaketh it, and trampleth down my life to the earth, and maketh my glory to dwell in the dust (Psalms 7:5).

Here, too, "enemy" signifies evil, in general the devil, that is, hell, from which evil comes; and "to trample down the life to the earth and make glory to dwell in the dust" signifies to destroy by means of the corporeal-sensual all truths of heaven and the church; for these constitute spiritual life, and are signified by "glory;" "dust," too, is predicated of the corporeal-sensual, and this is also meant by "walking upon the belly and eating dust," as is here and there said of the serpent.

[10] "To trample down" has a similar signification in the following passages. In Isaiah:

I will make the hypocritical nation to be trampled down like the clay of the streets (Isaiah 10:6).

In Micah:

The enemy of Jehovah shall be for a trampling down like the mire of the streets (Mic. Micah 7:10).

In Zechariah:

They shall be as the mighty ones trampling down the mire of the streets in the war, and they shall fight because Jehovah is with them, and they shall make ashamed them that ride upon horses (Zechariah 10:5).

In Malachi:

Then thou shalt 2 trample down the wicked, and they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I am making (Malachi 4:3).

In Isaiah:

The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, they shall be trampled down under the feet (Isaiah 28:3).

In the same:

I have trampled down the peoples in My anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I have made their victory to descend to the earth (Isaiah 63:6).

In David:

Through Thee will we push down our adversaries; in Thy name will we trample them down that rise up against us (Psalms 44:5).

In the same:

God will trample down our adversaries (Psalms 60:12; 108:13).

"To trample down" in these passages also signifies to destroy, which is done by those who are corporeal-sensual, for those who are such "trample down" all things of heaven and the church, for they are in what is lowest, and their thoughts cannot be elevated by the Lord, for they themselves let them down to the earth, and there they lick the dust. Such are all those that deny the Divine. For all the evils that a man has from birth have their seat in his natural and in his corporeal-sensual; consequently unless he suffers himself to be elevated out of them by the Lord, which is effected by Divine means, which are the truths and goods of faith and love, or by the truths and goods of doctrine and life, he remains in his evils, which are implanted in his natural and in his corporeal-sensual, and then he tramples down the celestial and spiritual things belonging to heaven and the church.

[11] "To tread upon the lion, the adder, serpents, and scorpions," means not only to destroy the evils and falsities that are signified by these, but also not to be hurt by them; this is meant in David:

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample down (Psalms 91:13).

In Luke:

Behold I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, that nothing may by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).

This is so said in the Word because those who are in the hells appear before the eyes of good spirits and angels sometimes in the forms of various beasts and serpents, according to the kind of evil and of falsity therefrom in which they are; their thoughts themselves, when they go forth from the intention of their will, present such appearances. Exhalations from their evils and falsities continually breathe forth through the lands that are over these hells, or by which these hells are covered; so that to walk upon such places is dangerous to those who are only natural, and still more to those who are corporeal-sensual; for an exhalation arises therefrom, and a contagion affects those who walk there. But those who are led by the Lord may safely tread upon that earth without infection or infestation, because the interiors that are of their mind, or of their thought and affection, are elevated by the Lord above their corporeal-sensual, which corresponds to the soles of the feet. This makes clear what is meant, in a strict sense, by "treading upon the lion, the adder, the serpents, and the scorpions without being hurt by them," also why it is so said in the Word. But what is signified by a "lion" and by "serpents and scorpions" has been told and shown elsewhere.


1.  The Hebrew has "thy," as also fund in Arcana Coelestia 9479.

2.  The Hebrew has "ye shall trample."


(Odkazy: Revelation 11:2)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 626, 708, 781

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.