The Shepherds and God’s Flock

34 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves!(A) Shouldn’t the shepherds feed their flock? You eat the fat, wear the wool, and butcher the fattened animals, but you do not tend the flock.(B) You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost.(C) Instead, you have ruled them with violence and cruelty. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd;(D) they became food for all the wild animals(E) when they were scattered. My flock went astray on all the mountains and every high hill.(F) My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and there was no one searching or seeking for them.

“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live—this is the declaration of the Lord God—because my flock, lacking a shepherd, has become prey and food for every wild animal, and because my shepherds do not search for my flock, and because the shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord!

10 “‘This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against the shepherds.(G) I will demand my flock from them[a] and prevent them from shepherding the flock. The shepherds will no longer feed themselves, for I will rescue my flock from their mouths so that they will not be food for them.

11 “‘For this is what the Lord God says: See, I myself will search for my flock and look for them. 12 As a shepherd looks for his sheep on the day he is among his scattered flock, so I will look for my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered(H) on a day of clouds and total darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples, gather them from the countries, and bring them to their own soil. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 I will tend them in good pasture, and their grazing place will be on Israel’s lofty mountains. There they will lie down in a good grazing place; they will feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will tend my flock and let them lie down.(I) This is the declaration of the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost,(J) bring back the strays, bandage the injured,(K) and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy[b] the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice.

17 “‘As for you, my flock, the Lord God says this: Look, I am going to judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and goats.(L) 18 Isn’t it enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of the pasture with your feet? Or isn’t it enough that you drink the clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Yet my flock has to feed on what your feet have trampled, and drink what your feet have muddied.

20 “‘Therefore, this is what the Lord God says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Since you have pushed with flank and shoulder and butted all the weak ones with your horns until you scattered them all over, 22 I will save my flock. They will no longer be prey, and I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will establish over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will shepherd them. He will tend them himself and will be their shepherd.(M) 24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David(N) will be a prince among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.

25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace(O) with them and eliminate dangerous creatures(P) from the land, so that they may live securely(Q) in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. 26 I will make them and the area around my hill(R) a blessing: I will send down showers in their season;(S) they will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit, and the land will yield its produce; my flock will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the power of those who enslave them.(T) 28 They will no longer be prey for the nations, and the wild creatures of the earth will not consume them. They will live securely, and no one will frighten them. 29 I will establish for them a place renowned for its agriculture,[c] and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land. They will no longer endure the insults of the nations.(U) 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people.(V) This is the declaration of the Lord God. 31 You are my flock, the human flock of my pasture, and I am your God. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”(W)

Footnotes

  1. 34:10 Lit their hand
  2. 34:16 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg read watch over
  3. 34:29 LXX, Syr read a plant of peace

The Lord Will Be Israel’s Shepherd

34 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?(A) You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.(B) You have not strengthened the weak or healed(C) the sick or bound up(D) the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.(E) So they were scattered because there was no shepherd,(F) and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.(G) My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill.(H) They were scattered(I) over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.(J)

“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered(K) and has become food for all the wild animals,(L) and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,(M) therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against(N) the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue(O) my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.(P)

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep(Q) and look after them. 12 As a shepherd(R) looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.(S) 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather(T) them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.(U) I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.(V) 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel(W) will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture(X) on the mountains of Israel.(Y) 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,(Z) declares the Sovereign Lord.(AA) 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up(AB) the injured and strengthen the weak,(AC) but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.(AD) I will shepherd the flock with justice.(AE)

17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.(AF) 18 Is it not enough(AG) for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet?(AH) Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.(AI) 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns(AJ) until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.(AK) 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend(AL) them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.(AM) 24 I the Lord will be their God,(AN) and my servant David(AO) will be prince among them.(AP) I the Lord have spoken.(AQ)

25 “‘I will make a covenant(AR) of peace(AS) with them and rid the land of savage beasts(AT) so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.(AU) 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a](AV) I will send down showers in season;(AW) there will be showers of blessing.(AX) 27 The trees will yield their fruit(AY) and the ground will yield its crops;(AZ) the people will be secure(BA) in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke(BB) and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.(BC) 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety,(BD) and no one will make them afraid.(BE) 29 I will provide for them a land renowned(BF) for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine(BG) in the land or bear the scorn(BH) of the nations.(BI) 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.(BJ) 31 You are my sheep,(BK) the sheep of my pasture,(BL) and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 34:26 Or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be named in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or I will cause them and the places surrounding my hill to be seen as blessed

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