The Leaders Are like Shepherds
34 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 2 “·Human [T Son of man; 2:1], prophesy against the shepherds of Israel [C the leaders]. Prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Lord God says: ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] the shepherds of Israel who feed only themselves! ·Why don’t [Shouldn’t] the shepherds feed the flock? 3 You eat the ·milk curds [or fat], and you clothe yourselves with the wool. You kill the ·fat sheep [choice/fat ones], but you do not feed the flock. 4 You have not ·made the weak strong [strengthened the weak]. You have not healed the sick or put bandages on those that were hurt. You have not brought back those who strayed away or searched for the lost [Matt. 18:12; Luke 15:4]. But you have ruled the sheep with ·cruel force [violence and harshness]. 5 The sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for every wild animal. 6 My flock wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered all over the face of the earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
7 “‘So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord God says: 8 As surely as I live, my flock has ·been caught [become prey] and eaten by all the wild animals, because the flock has no shepherd. The shepherds did not search for my flock. No, they fed themselves instead of my flock. 9 So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Lord God says: [L Look; T Behold] I am against the shepherds. I will ·blame them for what has happened to my sheep [hold them accountable; L demand my sheep from their hand] and will not let them tend the flock anymore. Then the shepherds will stop feeding themselves, and I will ·take [rescue] my flock from their mouths so they will no longer be their food.
11 “‘This is what the Lord God says: I, myself, will search for my sheep and ·take care of [look after; or look for] them. 12 As a shepherd ·take care of [looks after; or looks for] his scattered flock when ·it is found [or they are with him], I will ·take care of [look after; or look for] my sheep. I will ·save [rescue] them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries. I will bring them to their own land and ·pasture [feed] them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines, and in all the places where people live in the land. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and they will ·eat grass [graze] on the ·high mountains [mountain heights] of Israel. They will lie down on good ·ground where they eat grass [pasture], and they will eat in rich grassland on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock and ·lead them to rest [have them lie down], says the Lord God [Ps. 23; Is. 40:11]. 16 I will search for the lost, bring back those that strayed away [v. 4], put bandages on those that were hurt, and make the weak strong. But I will destroy those sheep that are fat and strong. I will ·tend [shepherd; feed] the sheep with ·fairness [justice].
17 “‘This is what the Lord God says: As for you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the ·male sheep [rams] and the male goats [Matt. 25:32–33]. 18 Is it not enough for you to eat grass in the good ·land [pasture]? Must you ·crush [trample] the rest of the grass with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you make the rest of the water muddy with your feet? 19 Must my flock eat what you ·crush [trample], and must they drink what you make muddy with your feet?
20 “‘So this is what the Lord God says to them: [L Look; T Behold] I, myself, will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep. 21 You push with your side and with your shoulder, and you ·knock down [butt; thrust at] all the weak sheep with your horns until you have ·forced them away [or scattered them abroad]. 22 So I will save my flock; they will ·not be hurt anymore [L no longer be prey]. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 Then I will put over them one shepherd, my servant David [Is. 11:1; Jer. 30:9; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 5:2; C the Messiah envisioned as a new David]. He will feed them and tend them and be their shepherd. 24 Then I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a ·ruler [prince] among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.
25 “‘I will make an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] of peace with ·my sheep [L them] and will remove ·harmful animals [wild beasts] from the land. Then the sheep will live safely in the ·desert [wilderness] and sleep in the woods. 26 I will ·bless them and let them live around my hill [or make them and the regions around my hill a blessing]. I will cause ·the rains [showers] to come ·when it is time [in their season]; there will be showers to bless them. 27 Also the trees ·in the countryside [L of the field] will ·give [yield] their fruit, and the land will give its ·harvest [produce; increase]. And the sheep will ·be safe [live securely] on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their ·captivity [L yoke] and ·save [rescue] them from the ·power [L hand] of those who made them slaves. 28 They will not be ·led captive by [prey for] the nations again. The wild animals will not ·eat [devour] them, but they will live safely, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will give them a place famous for its good crops, so they will no longer ·suffer from hunger [be victims of famine] in the land. They will not suffer the insults of other nations anymore. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. The nation [L house] of Israel will know that they are my people, says the Lord God. 31 You, my sheep, are the human sheep ·I care for [L of my pasture; Ps. 95:7; 100:3], and I am your God, says the Lord God.’”