Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Ezekiel Chapter 34
Metaphysically Interpreting Ezekiel 34:1-10
34:1And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 34:2Son 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? 34:3Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep. 34:4The 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. 34:5And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered. 34:6My 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.
34:7Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah: 34:8As 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; 34:9therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah: 34:10Thus 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.
Metaphysically Interpreting Ezekiel 34:11-31
34:11For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 34:12As 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. 34:13And 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. 34:14I 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. 34:15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord Jehovah. 34:16I 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.
34:17And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the he-goats. 34:18Seemeth 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? 34:19And 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.
34:20Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 34:21Because ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 34:22therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
34:23And 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. 34:24And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Jehovah, have spoken it. 34:25And 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.34:26And 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. 34:27And 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. 34:28And 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. 34:29And 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. 34:30And 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. 34:31And ye my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord Jehovah.
June 8, 1924: Ezekiel 34:11-16
What do the sheep represent in the affirmation of the Lord Jehovah: “Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out”? Sheep represent a combination of pure elemental life and substance of Spirit, which man, by his thoughts, appropriates and builds into his mentality and into his body.
Jesus used thought symbols to illustrate the gathering of the people of Israel. Give examples from the New Testament that bear out this point. Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd;” “the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost;” “I am the door of the sheep.” He also said: “All that came before me are thieves and robbers.”
What are represented by the sheep that are scattered abroad and lost in the cloudy and dark day? When we have failed to ask for divine guidance in the use of the universal substance and life, our way becomes obscured (cloudy and dark) and thoughts become scattered.
When we find ourselves in this state what should we do? We should appeal to the I AM, Jehovah within us, who will turn the searchlight of divine inspiration upon us. Then we shall be able to collect our scattered thoughts.
What is represented by the symbols in verse 13? “And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather 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”? The “peoples” represent the common, worldly thoughts. The “countries” represent thoughts that have become localized apart from the one divine substance. These are all to be gathered to their own land, and fed with spiritual food upon the mountains or Israel. The “watercourses” represents free-flowing spiritual life.
This lesson is incomplete without the preceding verses of this chapter. Give an epitome of those verses.
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, ... Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep. 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. And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered. 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.”
Who are the shepherds who eat the fat and clothe themselves in wool? The shepherds referred to are the false egos that have set up their rule in different phases of personality. They appropriate the substance and life, but do not feed the sheep, that is, they do not give anything in return, because they do not know how to draw upon the universal for life and substance.
Who are the diseased that the shepherds have not strengthened, the sick that they have not healed, the broken that they have not bound up, and the lost which they have not restored? Christian metaphysicians readily discern that the prophet was using the shepherd and his flock to represent man’s weak thoughts, his sick thoughts, his broken thoughts, and his scattered thoughts, which in his selfishness and ignorance he was ruling over with force and with rigor, yet not shepherding with the care and faithfulness of a true shepherd.
April 11, 1948: Ezekiel 34:11-16
Why is Jehovah represented as searching out the sheep? Our heart yearns for God and the truth that frees us from ignorance and darkness in the realm of sense. In the fold of divine love we feel safe and at home. The thought of God seeking us out to deliver us gives our whole being an uplift such as we can get in no other way.
Has heredity any authority over our religious nature? No. Everyone grows spiritually and learns to understand Truth in his own way and in his own right. “As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine.”
Can we trust divine love at all times? Yes. Despite the crushing weight of hard experience, we can always be sure that we are infolded in divine love and that our well-being is involved in and supported by it.
How are our spiritual thoughts and states of consciousness shepherded? By the Spirit of truth. When we devote our attention to building up the good within us, our thoughts are kept permanently uplifted (“upon the mountains of Israel ... and in all the inhabited places of the country”).
What are “the fat and the strong” that Jehovah will destroy? They are the erroneous ideas that seemingly have grown fat and strong on the substance and power that we should have given to the good and the true.
June 20, 1948: Ezekiel 34:23-28
What will transform human life into a spiritual experience in a heavenly setting? The spirit of the Christ will do this when men receive it into their heart and give it expression there.
What is foretold as fitted to bring about this transformation? The reign of love (“my servant David”). When men are moved by love for one another rather than by love of self, they will know peace and safety.
How is error in all its forms overcome? Divine Mind reveals the nothingness of error. “I ... will cause evil beasts to cease out of the band.”
Does the consciousness of perfection, as we learn to express it, affect more than the sentient being? Yes, it also affects non-sentient things. “There shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-28-2014