3:12 the shepherd rescues . . . a piece. According to ancient laws, shepherds were to demonstrate their diligence by rescuing a portion of a sheep taken by wild beasts (cf. Gen. 31:39 and note). The sheep of Israel will only be saved in a mutilated condition—in fact, the nation would be destroyed.
with the corner of a couch. The rich reclined idly on couches (as the Romans later did at their banquets), enjoying the luxury they extorted from the poor (6:4).