The Lord promises that both He and the Son of David will be a Shepherd for His people, prophesying the future Messiah.
Ezekiel prophecies against the “Shepherds:” politicians, religious leaders, and teachers who do not care for their flock spiritually or physically and instead only enjoy the privileges of leadership. Christianity has many modern examples among the clergy today.
Jerusalem has fallen, but the few survivors have not learned to change their ways. Just because they survived this onslaught does not mean they are free from God’s wrath if they continue to sin.
God takes no pleasure in killing the wicked, but in the wicked turning back from their evil ways. It’s not that we are trying to achieve a net positive when comparing sin and virtue, but whether we are turned toward Him or away from Him at the end.
The Lord offers hope beyond the punishment. He sets Ezekiel as a watchman, responsible for warning people if their sins will lead them to destruction. Whether or not they repent, if Ezekiel knows that they are in danger of destruction, and does not warn them, he is responsible. So are we also set as watchmen.
Egypt was one of the most prosperous ancient civilizations. The Lord plans on punishing Egypt for their duplicity in their military agreements with Israel. Babylon will come through and plunder Egypt, leaving it to forever be a shadow of its former glory.
The Lord compares the King of Tyre to Lucifer. The King’s hubris will lead him to challenge Babylon and lose. The Lord will judge all nations that coerce or attack innocent countries. He will deliver the innocent from the thorns that attack them, though this may not happen in this lifetime.
Tyre had vast access to many markets: Persia and many Africans. Tyre produced a royal purple dye from shellfish that was very valuable. Their markets had all kinds of exotic goods. Among other things, Tyre is a center for slave trade. The King of Tyre considers himself a god, and will soon find out how incorrect this is.
Tyre will suffer the rather of many nations as part of God’s punishment for their perverse pleasure in Israel’s demise. This prophecy is controversial, partially because Tyre is able to survive long sieges. However, over the course of history it faces opponent after opponent, eventually succumbing to Alexander the Great.
God intends to punish the Ammonites, the Edomites, and the Phillistines. Some of them are punished merely for an attitude of malicious glee at the punishment of Israel. This should make us think twice about our own attitudes about our enemies.