The Prince of the Prophetic Word -- By: David L. Cooper

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:364 (Oct 1934)
Article: The Prince of the Prophetic Word
Author: David L. Cooper

The Prince of the Prophetic Word

David L. Cooper

President Biblical Research Society

There has been much discussion concerning the Prince spoken of by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Quite a few articles have been written on this subject. Some theories, which have far reaching effects in the general field of interpretation, have been advanced. In fact, one’s conception of the glorious reign of King Messiah is largely determined by his understanding of the predictions concerning this Prince. These facts make it at once evident that this subject is one of first importance.

I. The Prince of Ezekiel’s Message

In view of the facts mentioned in the paragraph above, it behooves the prophetic student, as far as time and opportunity allow, to investigate all of the evidence on this subject. The classic passage dealing with this theme is Ezekiel 34:23, 24. In order to see the significance of this prediction, one must study the entire oracle appearing in this chapter. To attempt to study it apart from its setting is to go at the task blindly and to miss the import of the verse. The various facts of the context shed their light upon this promise and enable one to see clearly the prophet’s meaning.

Ezekiel, a prophet of the priestly family, lived at the time of the Babylonian captivity. His heart was burdened over the failures of the people, especially the leaders. In the first paragraph of this chapter, vss. 1–6, he was commanded by the Lord to “prophesy against the shepherds of Israel” and to say unto them, “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.” From this quotation it is evident that those whom the Lord called shepherds had miserably failed in performing their duty. Who are these shepherds? The context indicates that the Lord is comparing the house of Israel to a flock of sheep. This figure was constantly used by the prophets in setting forth the Lord’s care for His people. Since the leaders, both political and ecclesiastical, were the ones who were supposed to look after the interest of the masses of the people, as the shepherds did for their flocks, it is clear that the...

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