Ezekiel 34

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1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

1-4. Respecting teachers who regard their own good only, and not the good of the church. P. P.

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

2 See Chapter XXXII., 2, 18. L. 28.

3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep.

3 Wool signifies good in ultimates, therefore good is sometimes described in the Word by wool, and truth by linen, and by snow. E. 67.
By fat and fatness was signified the good of love, and all worship which is truly worship. E. 1159.

4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought back that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have ye ruled over them.

4 By sickness, wound, bruise, and sore are meant sins. A.8364.

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

5, 6. In consequence those who are of the church come into an evil life. P. P.
5,8. See Chapter XXIX., 5· R. 567.
These words signify that the goods of charity are destroyed by falsities, and altogether consumed by evils of every kind thence derived. By sheep in the Word are understood those who are in the good of charity, by shepherds those who by truth lead to good, and in the abstract the truths themselves, which are productive of good. Therefore to be without a shepherd signifies to be without such truths, and consequently the prevalence of what is false. E. 388.
See Chapter XXIX., 5. E. 650.

6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and there was none that did search or seek after them.

6 See Chapter VI., 3, 4. R. 336.
By the sheep going to every high hill, etc., is signified that they seek goods and truths, but do not find them, and instead thereof seize upon evils and falsities. By turning them away on the mountains is signified that instead of goods they only found evils. E. 405.
6, 26. The goods of celestial love are signified by mountains, also by hills, but in a lower degree. A. 6435.

7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:
8 As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely forasmuch as my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my sheep;
9 therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:
10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: 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.

7-10. Being such everything of the church is taken from them. P. P.

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

11, 12. By day and by time is meant the coming of the Lord. L.4.
See Chapter XXIV., 26, 27. R. 704.
Unless a way had been prepared for Jehovah, when He was descending into the world, by means of baptism, the effect of which was in heaven, so that the hells should be closed, and the Jews guarded against total destruction, all on earth must have perished. I. 689.
11-14. The throne in heaven and the lamb is the Lord as to His Divine Human. He who is in the inmost, and thus in all things, He alone feeds, that is, teaches all.
R. 383.
11-16. They also are here understood who were to be introduced from the earth into the church, and thence into heaven, after the coming of the Lord, not only where the Christian religion is received, but also every where else, where introduction into the land of Canaan is treated of. E. 433.
When the Lord comes into the world He will gather the church together, and will teach it Divine truths. P. P.
11, 13, 14. It is known in the church that to feed signifies to instruct, pasture instruction, and a pastor or shepherd an instructor. E. 482.
11, 14. Good and fat pasture upon the mountains of Israel means the goods of truth. A. 6078.

12 As a shepherd seeketh 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 whither they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
13 And 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 upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

12 See Chapter XXX., 18. E. 594.
The days of clouds and darkness. D. P., Page 27.
12, 13. See Chapter V., 10, 12, 15. A. 7051.

14 I will feed them with good pasture; and upon 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 upon the mountains of Israel.
15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord Jehovah.

14 Folds and pastures stand for the goods of love, of which fatness is predicated. A. 415.
The reason why feeding is spoken of in the Word is from its signification that when instruction or doctrine from the Word is spoken of in heaven, then in the world of spirits, where spiritual things appear naturally, are represented to the sight meadows green with grass, herbage, and flowers, with flocks therein, and this with every variety. A. 5201.

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 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the he-goats.

16, 17. The evil among them He will separate. P. P.
17 The he-goats in particular are those who are in the faith of no charity. In a good sense they mean those who are in the truth of faith, and thence in some charity, but, in the opposite sense, those who are in the faith of no charity, and reason about salvation from the principle that faith saves. A. 4 169.
Between cattle and cattle is between those who are in the interiors of good and of evil. Between the rams and the he-goats is between those who are in charity, and thence in faith; and those who are in the truths of faith without charity. A. 10042.
By the goats are to be understood those who are in faith separate from charity. E. 600.
By the rams are understood those who are in faith derived from charity, and by the he-goats those who are in faith separate from charity. E. 817.
17, 18, 21. By he-goats are signified those who are in faith separate, that is, who place doctrine before life, and at length have no care about life; when yet life, and not doctrine separate, makes the man. The life lemains after death, but not doctrine except so far as it partakes of the life. A. 4769.
They who are in faith separate see nothing else in the Word than what confirms their dogmas, for they have no interior insight. They who are not in the affection for charity have only an external sight, or from a lower point of view, from which no one can possibly see higher things, since they appear to him like darkness. By interpretations from the sense of the letter, they destroy the good pasture, and defile the clear waters of the sacred fountain of the Word. A. 4783.
17, 18, 21, 22 et seq. With those who are in faith separate from charity there is a neglect of works, in consequence of their denying that there is anything of salvation and of the church in them. F. 68.
Men disputing about faith conjoined with charity, and faith separated from charity make it plain that the justifying faith of this day is the he-goat, and faith conjoined with charity is the sheep. B. 86.

18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have fed upon the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?
19 And as for my sheep, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

18 See chapter XXXIV., 11, 14. A. 6078.
18, 19. See Chapter XXXII., 2. R. 49.
By the good pasture is signified all that spiritually nourishes, especially the Word, and the knowledges of truth and good thence derived. To eat it up and to tread it down with the feet signifies to destroy it, so that it does not appear, also to destroy it by reasonings from the corporeal, sensual, and from the natural man, separate from the spiritual. E. 632.
18-20. Evil shepherds destroy everything of the church. P. P.

20 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
21 Because ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

20, 24. A covenant is the love and faith in the Lord, which is with those who are to be regenerated. Here regeneration is treated of. A. 666.
21 With side and with shoulders means here with all the soul, and all the might. Pushing with their horns means with all the strength. A. 1085.
The shepherds who seduce by falsities are treated of, the horns stand for the power of falsity, the shoulders for all power. A. 2832.
Infernal spirits also sometimes exhibit a shoulder from fantasy, by which they cause force to be repelled; but this is only for those who are in such fantasy, and it cannot go beyond this; for they know that the shoulder corresponds to all power in the spiritual world A. 4937.
Speaking of those who with all their force and power destroy the truths and goods of the church by fallacious reasonings from the things of sense. To push with side and shoulder means with all force and power. A. 9081.
See Chapter LXIX., 6, 7. A. 9836.
Here horns signify power in both senses, namely, the power of truth against the false, and of the false against truth. A. 10182.
A horn signifies power. R. 270.
Here to thrust with side and with shoulder signifies to exert all their strength and effort; to push with their horns the diseased of the flock till they had scattered them abroad, means that they destroyed by false persuasions the simple and good who, although not yet in truths from good, are desirous of receiving them. E. 316.
And destroy the simple. P. P.

22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
23 And 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 And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Jehovah, have spoken it.
25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

22-25. When the Lord comes He will teach and save these. P. P.
23, 24. The Lord is called David. L. 43.
By David is here meant the Lord. T. 171.
23-25. They are utterly unwilling to hear that there by David is meant our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Jews are meant those who will be of His church. T. 844.
These things are said concerning the Lord. By David who shall feed them, and who shall be a prince in the midst of them is understood the Lord as to Divine truth. He is called a servant from serving. Conjunction with the Lord by Divine truth is understood by the covenant which He will make with them. It is called a covenant of peace, because by conjunction wi!h the Lord man has peace from the infestation of evil and the false from hell. E. 701.
I will set one shepherd over them who shall feed them even my servant David. I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them. D. P., Page 56.
23, 25. By David is, plainly meant the Lord, and His presence with the regenerate man is described by His feeding them. A. 1038.
23, 25, 28. In these places men as to their affections are signified by beasts. R. 567.
Concerning the advent of the Lord, and the blessed state of heaven and of those of the church who will come into the new heaven. By the servant David, the shepherd whom Jehovah will raise up, is understood the Lord, who is called servant from serving and ministering, that is, accomplishing uses. E. 650.
24 The Lord was the Divine truth itself, which is also the Word. From this He Himself was called the Prophet, and served in the world, and for ever serves all by teaching. R. 3.
By David in the Word is understood the Lord as to Divine truth, and it is Divine truth that serves, therefore David, where the Lord is understood by him, is called a servant. E. 409.
25 Here regeneration is treated of. A. 46.
25-27. Here the spiritual church is treated of. A. 2708.
25-27, 31. The state of the celestial man gifted with the tranquillity of peace, refreshed by the rain, and freed from the servitude of evil and falsity, is described by the Lord. A. 93.
25, 27. By peace are signified all things in the complex which are from the Lord, and thus of heaven and the church, and the blessedness of life in them. R. 306.
The advent of the Lord, and the establishment of a new church by Him is described. The conjunction of those who are of the church with the Lord is signified by the covenant of peace which He will then make with them. The protection and security thence derived against evils and falsities is meant, by causing the evil beasts to cease out of the land. The lust of evils shall no more infest them is meant by they shall dwell safely. E. 365.
25, 28. The wild beasts stand for the falsities and evils of the loves of self and of the world. A. 9335.
By the wild beasts in the land are signified lusts, and by those of the field falsities. The words relate to the coming of the Lord, and to His kingdom. E. 388.

26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.
27 And 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 Jehovah, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those that made bondmen of them.

26, 27. See Chapter XXII., 24, 25. R.496.
The earth stands for the church, as does also a garden in which there are trees. By the expression: “I will make the places round about my hill a blessing” is signified what is internal, and also what is external with the members of the church. E. 340.
By the circuit of the hill of Jehovah are understood all who are in the tru th of doctrine, and thence in the good of charity. By sending down the rain is meant the influx of Divine truth in conformity with the affection, and the will of receiving. The fruit of the tree means the multiplication of good, by the produce of the earth the multiplication of truth. E. 644.
26-31. He will both teach them, and protect them from falsities, and they will acknowledge Him. P.. P.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the beasts of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
29 And I will raise up unto 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 And they shall know that I, Jehovah, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord Jehovah.

28 See Chapter XXXI., 13. A. 908.
28, 29. They shall no longer be made destitute of knowledge of good and truth. A. 1460.

31 And ye my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord Jehovah.

31 Man stands for those who are in good, and thus for good, because man is man from good. But truth which is from good is called in the Word a man (vir. homo.), and also the son of man. A. 4287.
Wisdom is signified by a man. R. 243.
By man in the Word is signified the affection for truth, and thence wisdom. The flock of the pasture stands for spiritual good and truth. The pasture means the reception thereof from the Lord. E. 280.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)