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The Shepherds of Israel

34 The Lord spoke to me. “Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the rulers of Israel. Prophesy to them, and tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, say to them: You are doomed, you shepherds of Israel! You take care of yourselves, but never tend the sheep. You drink the milk, wear clothes made from the wool, and kill and eat the finest sheep. But you never tend the sheep. You have not taken care of the weak ones, healed the ones that are sick, bandaged the ones that are hurt, brought back the ones that wandered off, or looked for the ones that were lost. Instead, you treated them cruelly. (A)Because the sheep had no shepherd, they were scattered, and wild animals killed and ate them. So my sheep wandered over the high hills and the mountains. They were scattered over the face of the earth, and no one looked for them or tried to find them.

“Now, you shepherds, listen to what I, the Lord, am telling you. As surely as I am the living God, you had better listen to me. My sheep have been attacked by wild animals that killed and ate them because there was no shepherd. My shepherds did not try to find the sheep. They were taking care of themselves and not the sheep. So listen to me, you shepherds. 10 I, the Sovereign Lord, declare that I am your enemy. I will take my sheep away from you and never again let you be their shepherds; never again will I let you take care only of yourselves. I will rescue my sheep from you and not let you eat them.

The Good Shepherd

11 “I, the Sovereign Lord, tell you that I myself will look for my sheep and take care of them 12 in the same way as shepherds take care of their sheep that were scattered and are brought together again. I will bring them back from all the places where they were scattered on that dark, disastrous day. 13 I will take them out of foreign countries, gather them together, and bring them back to their own land. I will lead them back to the mountains and the streams of Israel and will feed them in pleasant pastures. 14 I will let them graze in safety in the mountain meadows and the valleys and in all the green pastures of the land of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will find them a place to rest. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.

16 “I will look for those that are lost, bring back those that wander off, bandage those that are hurt, and heal those that are sick; but those that are fat and strong I will destroy, because I am a shepherd who does what is right.

17 “Now then, my flock, I, the Sovereign Lord, tell you that I will judge each of you and separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. 18 Some of you are not satisfied with eating the best grass; you even trample down what you don't eat! You drink the clear water and muddy what you don't drink! 19 My other sheep have to eat the grass you trample down and drink the water you muddy.

20 “So now, I, the Sovereign Lord, tell you that I will judge between you strong sheep and the weak sheep. 21 You pushed the sick ones aside and butted them away from the flock. 22 But I will rescue my sheep and not let them be mistreated any more. I will judge each of my sheep and separate the good from the bad. 23 (B)I will give them a king like my servant David to be their one shepherd, and he will take care of them. 24 (C)I, the Lord, will be their God, and a king like my servant David will be their ruler. I have spoken. 25 I will make a covenant with them that guarantees their security. I will get rid of all the dangerous animals in the land, so that my sheep can live safely in the fields and sleep in the forests.

26 “I will bless them and let them live around my sacred hill.[a] There I will bless them with showers of rain when they need it. 27 The trees will bear fruit, the fields will produce crops, and everyone will live in safety on his own land. When I break my people's chains and set them free from those who made them slaves, then they will know that I am the Lord. 28 The heathen nations will not plunder them any more, and the wild animals will not kill and eat them. They will live in safety, and no one will terrify them. 29 I will give them fertile fields and put an end to hunger in the land. The other nations will not sneer at them any more. 30 Everyone will know that I protect Israel and that they are my people. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.

31 “You, my sheep, the flock that I feed, are my people, and I am your God,” says the Sovereign Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 34:26 See 20.40.

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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