Study Guide

Book of Ezekiel God as Shepherd, Israelites as Sheep

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God as Shepherd, Israelites as Sheep

Frustrated with the way the bad shepherds—corrupt prophets and rulers and priests—have been misleading The House of Israel, God promises to help by taking the shepherd role and showing how it's done: 

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. (34:11-12)

From the viewpoint of most Christians, this clearly has a definite Jesus Christ feel to it, since Jesus is a tenderhearted shepherd of humanity. But from an orthodox Jewish perspective, it would refer to a promised future time where the House of David would be gathered back from exile and ignorance to be ruled by a righteous king anointed by God.

However you personally view it, it shows God taking on a more compassionate role. Up to this time, he was focused more on total destruction and wrath. But now he's starting to focus on what will happen after the Babylonian exile ends.

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