Monday, February 21, 2011

Passing Under the Rod

And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: Ezekiel 20:37

A Christian missionary gives the following interesting explanation of this figurative expression:

" In Syria, just below my house, which stood facing the Mediterranean Sea, there was a sheepfold; a large area surrounded by high walls. It had but one entrance, a little gateway near the corner. It was low and narrow, and a man must stoop to get into it. Every night the shepherd brings home his flock from outside the city, or from the distant field, or the mountain side, to be gathered into this fold.

And as they pass into this narrow gateway, they must go one by one. No huddling, and crowding, and jostling, as boys do sometimes at play; and as they pass in, the shepherd stands by the gate and holds his crook over them, to count them one by one as they go in. Every night the shepherd does this, and so he knows if any are left out in the field or on the mountains.

And to this counting of the sheep as they pass under the rod, I wish to call attention. We have always supposed, and most people now think, that to pass under the rod means to pass under some affliction, to experience some great trial. Some one has written a touching piece of poetry, called, ' Passing under the Rod,' showing how one and another was afflicted, and made to pass under the rod of God's chastisement. It does not mean any such thing, as you will see by two passages of Scripture.

Leviticus 27: 32—' And concerning the tithe of the herd and of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.'

Jeremiah 33:13—'In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judca shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth (counteth) them.'

This is a work of restoration, and the fields there shall have flocks in great number, and they shall pass under the hand of the shepherd, who tells them one by one as he gathers them into the fold."


  1. I love having these things clarified. We so often think that God is going to make us pass through many more harsh things to "test" us than He does (Not that hard things are not necessary and good at times, of course).

  2. I know the scriptures have compared Christ's followers as sheep in a fold. This explanation makes that reference so much clearer. And yes, I always thought "the rod" was adversities but also something to help guide us. I had never heard of a shepherd's staff as a "rod." It makes a great visual to imagine us passing under our master's staff and counted as we enter his presence (if I make it that far.) Thank you, again!

  3. Being "TITHED OF THE LORD" takes on particular meaning when we consider that Ezekiel wrote that the Lord will gather us out of the countries wherein we have been scattered and cause us to pass under the rod (see Ezekiel 20:33-38). The staff under which the shepherd causes us to pass is the same staff held by Moses which caused the waters to part; that staff is "the word of God." "Today" is a day of sacrifice and a day for the tithing of God's people. And he/she that is TITHED, meaning identified by the Lord as His tenth (in Hebrew "tenth" means "riches"), shall not be burned at His coming.