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"I will ... feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers" (Ezek. 34:13)—The word "'aphikim," here translated "rivers," refers properly to "channels, stream beds, or ravines" rather than to the "rivers" which flow in them (Brown, Driver, Briggs: Hebrew Lexicon, p. 67); consequently the Revised Version renders, "... by the water-courses;" and Moffatt, "Feeding them on the uplands of Israel, in the valleys;" while the Septuagint also has, "... in the valleys." It may be recalled that when the prophet Ezekiel wrote his book he was in exile, living on the level plains of Babylonia (cf. G. A. Smith: "Isaiah," Vol. II, p. 52), and commentators have noted how again and again in his predictions of future restoration the prophet includes references to the rugged mountains of his native land. It is the "mountains of Israel" that are called to "hear the word of the Lord" (Ezek. 6:3; 36:1), while in this same hill country the flocks are to "feed" in "a fat pasture" (Ezek. 34:14) and the mountains themselves are to be fruitful (Ezek. 36:8; cf. also Davidson: "Ezekiel," p. 64).
"I will feed my flock" (Ezek. 34:15)—The verb rendered "feed" means literally to "pasture, tend, or shepherd" (Brown, etc., op. cit., p. 944); while, in the original, the "I" is definitely emphatic. Hence Moffatt and Smith have: "I myself will tend my flock." The Septuagint, however, reads: "I will feed my sheep," and continues, "and will cause them to rest."
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