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Chapter 34

Parable of the Shepherds. The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds[a] of Israel. Prophesy and say to them: To the shepherds, thus says the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves!(A) Should not shepherds pasture the flock? You consumed milk, wore wool, and slaughtered fatlings, but the flock you did not pasture.(B) You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost but ruled them harshly and brutally.(C) So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. They were scattered(D) and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; over the entire surface of the earth my sheep were scattered. No one looked after them or searched for them.

Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live—oracle of the Lord God—because my sheep became plunder, because my sheep became food for wild beasts, for lack of a shepherd, because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep,(E)

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Footnotes

  1. 34:2 Shepherds: the leaders of the people. A frequent title for kings and deities in the ancient Near East; the ideal ruler took care of his subjects and anticipated their needs. Ezekiel’s oracle broadens the reference to include the whole class of Jerusalem’s leaders (v. 17). The prophet assures his audience, the exiles in Babylon, that God holds these leaders responsible for what has happened to Jerusalem and will give Israel a new shepherd worthy of the title.

Peter’s Denial Foretold. 31 (A)Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,[a] for it is written:(B)

‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’;

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Footnotes

  1. 26:31 Will have…shaken: literally, “will be scandalized in me”; see note on Mt 24:9–12. I will strike…dispersed: cf. Zec 13:7.

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