30 These external demonstrations of the messianic gift of shalom are welcome, but Ezekiel’s portrayal of the new day climaxes with his announcement of the new covenant. Casting this promise in another modified form of the recognition formula, Ezekiel declares Yahweh’s true goal in his salvific activity: that the family of Israel might realize the presence of God among them, and the reestablishment of the covenant relationship between them and their God. The tragedy of 586 will finally be reversed. The signatory formula seals Ezekiel’s glorious promise with the divine imprimatur.
Ezekiel’s idyllic picture of the messianic age as a time of universal peace, involving even the animal world, recalls Isa. 11:6–9. But his association of covenant renewal with the taming of the wild animals and the rejuvenation of the vegetation bears even closer resemblance to Hos. 2:20–25 (Eng. 18–23), which portrays Yahweh not as a principal to the covenant but as a covenant mediator, establishing peace between feuding parties:
On that day, I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping creatures of the ground. I will also abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land. Thus I will permit them to lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; indeed, I will betroth you to me with righteousness and justice, with goodness and compassion. I will betroth you to me with faithfulness. Then you will know Yahweh. In that day I will respond—the declaration of Yahweh—I will respond to the sky, and it will respond to the earth. Then the earth will respond with new grain, wine, and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. And I will sow it for myself in the land. I will show mercy toward Lo-ruhamah, and say to Lo-ammi, “You are my people.” And he will say, “[You are] my God.”171
Some such covenant also underlies Job 5:23, which describes divine deliverance from a series of disasters:
From six calamities he will deliver you;
In seven no harm will touch you:
In famine he will ransom you from death;
In battle from the stroke of the sword.
You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,
And need not fear when destruction comes.
You will laugh at violence and starvation,
And have no fear of the wild animals.
For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field,
And the wild animals will be at peace with you.
Remarkably, this list is framed by the two elements found in Ezekiel’s picture of peace, suggesting that famine and dangerous animals function as shorthand for the full range of calamities.
34:30–31. In the millennial kingdom, under the leadership of the Good Shepherd, Son of David, peace at last will be a reality for Israel and the Jewish people, and they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people (vv. 27, 30, 31; Lv 26:11–12). God will restore Israel because of His faithful love for them and their unique relationship to Him. Israel will know they are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God (cf. vv. 7–8; Ps 100:3).
34:30 I … their God. An oft-repeated OT theme (cf. Ge 17:7, 8). This speaks of the ultimate salvation of Israel as in Ro 11:25–27.
34:30 And they shall know. See note 6:7.
with them … my people. The essence of God’s covenant with Israel was that the Lord would be their God, and they would be His people (11:20; 36:28; Ex. 6:7; Lev. 26:12; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 29:13; Ps. 50:7; Is. 51:22; Jer. 7:23; 11:4; 30:22; Joel 2:27).
34:30 This conclusion (they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them) reflects covenant language, as seen in the establishment of Israel’s relationship with Yahweh at the exodus (11:20; Ex 6:7; Hs 1:9).
Ver. 30.—The presence of God. I. God is peculiarly present with his people. We know that he is everywhere—on the desolate sea and the fair earth, in the high heavens and the dark regions of death (Ps. 139). Therefore if any would desire to escape from his presence, this is impossible. How, then, can God be said to be in an especial manner present with his people? Spiritual presence is spiritual manifestation. God is more fully present where he more completely manifests his power and grace. 1. He is present in the hearts of his people. He dwells in the contrite and humble spirit (Isa. 57:15). The Christian’s body is a “temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6:19). God comes into especially close contact with those who are reconciled to him, and who open their hearts to receive his Spirit. 2. He is present in the lives of his people. He shapes their lives with his providential guidance, and watches over them with tender care, warding off danger and supplying wants. Even when they forget him in the slumbers of the night and during the busy distractions of the day, he neither sleeps nor neglects his people. Ever with them to guide and help and save, as he was with Israel in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God overshadows and surrounds his people with his fostering presence.
- God’s people may recognize his presence. The verse which suggests these reflections is somewhat like a frequent expression in the prophecies of Ezekiel. After denunciations of wrath and judgment against the heathen nations, the conclusion repeatedly arrived at is, “And they shall know that I am the Lord” (e.g. ch. 30:25). In these cases the awful action of God in his wrath is to bring home to the heathen the fact of his existence and supremacy; but it is not said that they will know that God is with them. To Israel, however, this new thing is asserted. Israel will not merely know that God is the eternal Lord; she will know that God is present. This further knowledge belongs to Christians. They are not merely theists, who believe in the existence of God; they know his actual, living presence. It is not suggested that this knowledge is to be obtained by direct, mystical intuition; it is rather suggested that it is gathered from the experience of God’s goodness. Hagar recognized the presence of God when the angel addressed her (Gen. 16:13). Jacob perceived it on awakening from his dream (Gen. 28:16). The later Jews were to see it in their restoration from the Captivity. We are to acknowledge it in the experience of the Christian redemption. In this Christ will manifest himself to us as he does not unto the world (John 14:21, 22).
III. The recognition of God’s presence is accompanied by that of his ownership of his people. “And that they, even the house of Israel, are my people.” God is present with his people as their Owner. He comes to them to claim them. He visits his inheritance to take possession of it. When we perceive that God is with us we have to go further and acknowledge his relationship to us. It is much to acknowledge that we do not belong to ourselves, that we are God’s possession, bought with a great price, and valued by him as precious property is valued by its owner.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eze 34:30). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1189). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.