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The Leaders Are Like Shepherds

34 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said: “Human being, prophesy against the leaders of Israel, who are like shepherds. Prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the shepherds of Israel who feed only themselves! Why don’t the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the milk curds from the sheep. You clothe yourselves with the wool from the sheep. You kill the fat sheep. But you do not feed the flock. You have not made the weak strong. You have not healed the sick. You have not put bandages on those that were hurt. You have not brought back those who strayed away. You have not searched for the lost. You ruled the sheep with cruel force. The sheep were scattered because there was no shepherd. Then they became food for every wild animal. My flock wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over all the face of the earth. And no one searched or looked for them.

“‘So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord God says: As surely as I live, my flock has been caught. It has become food for all the wild animals. This is because the flock has no shepherd. The shepherds did not search for my flock. No, they fed themselves instead of my flock. So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Lord God says: I am against the shepherds. I will blame them for what has happened to my sheep. I will not let them tend the flock anymore. Then the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. And I will take my flock from their mouths. My sheep will no longer be their food.

11 “‘This is what the Lord God says: I, myself, will search for my sheep. I will take care of them. 12 A shepherd will take care of his scattered flock when it is found. In the same way I will take care of my sheep. I will save them from all the places where they are scattered. I will do this on a cloudy and dark day. 13 I will bring them out from the nations. I will gather them from the countries. I will bring them to their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains and in the ravines of Israel. And I will feed them in all the places where people live in the land. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture. They will eat grass on the high mountains of Israel. They will lie down on good ground where they eat grass. They will eat in rich grassland on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock and lead them to rest, says the Lord God. 16 I will search for the lost. I will bring back those that were scattered. I will put bandages on those that were hurt. I will make the weak strong. I will destroy those sheep that are fat and strong. I will tend the sheep with fairness.

17 “‘This is what the Lord God says: And as for you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another. I will judge between the male sheep and the male goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to eat grass in the good land? Must you crush 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? And must they drink what you make muddy with your feet?

20 “‘So this is what the Lord God says to them: I, myself, will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep. 21 You push with your side and with your shoulder. You knock down all the weak sheep with your horns. You do this until you have forced them away. 22 So I will save my flock. They will not be hurt anymore. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 Then I will put one shepherd over them, my servant David. He will feed them. He will tend them and will be their shepherd. 24 Then I, the Lord, will be their God. And my servant David will be a ruler among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.

25 “‘And I will make an agreement of peace with my sheep. I will remove harmful animals from the land. Then the sheep will live safely in the desert. And they will sleep in the woods without danger. 26 I will bless them and let them live around my hill. I will cause the rains to come when it is time for them. There will be showers to bless them. 27 Also the trees of the field will give their fruit. The land will give its harvest. And the sheep will be safe on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I will break the bars of their captivity. And I will save them from the power of those who made them slaves. 28 They will not be led captive by the nations again. The wild animals will not eat them. But they will live safely. No one will make them afraid. 29 I will give them a place famous for its good crops. Then they will no longer suffer from hunger 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 of Israel will know that they are my people, says the Lord God. 31 And you, my sheep, are the sheep of my pasture. You are my people and I am your God, says the Lord God.’”

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