“I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more” (Ezekiel 34:29).
This “plant of renown” is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, and this promise is the climax of one of the great Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, assuring Israel that her Messiah would deliver them some day from their long exile and bondage. David would again be their shepherd (v.23); there would be “showers of blessing” (v.26); and they would again be the people of the Lord (v.30).
The word “renown,” usually translated “name,” is actually the same as “Shem,” the name of the faithful son of Noah. This “plant of Shem” would fulfill God’s ancient prophecy, through Noah: “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem.” Japheth (progenitor of the Gentiles) would “dwell in the tents [that is, the spiritual family] of Shem” (Genesis 9:26,27).
The primary meaning, however, no doubt centers on this “plant of the name”—that is, that one whose name would be implanted firmly and permanently in the very ground He had created, in Israel. There, in that place of His choosing, He is the “true vine” (John 15:1), who will provide the true nourishment for His people forever.
And yet, at first, He must “grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). That is, He would appear first as a mere sprout out of a dead stump, “a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch . . . out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1). This “tender plant” would be badly “bruised” (Isaiah 53:5,10) for our iniquities, but then He shall “see His seed” (Isaiah 53:10), “prolong His days,” and become our plant of renown, forever. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). He is our very tree of Life! HMM