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The Shepherds of Israel

34 The Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, speak against the shepherds of Israel. Speak in My name and tell those shepherds, ‘The Lord God says, “It is bad for the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool. You kill the fat sheep without feeding the flock. You have not given strength to the weak ones. You have not healed the sick. You have not helped the ones that are hurt. You have not brought back those that have gone away. And you have not looked for the lost. But you have ruled them with power and without pity. They went everywhere because they had no shepherd. And they became food for every animal of the field. My flock went many different ways through all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were spread over all the earth, and there was no one looking for them.”’”

So, you shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord. “As I live,” says the Lord God, “My flock has been killed and become food for wild animals because they had no shepherd. My shepherds did not look for My flock. They fed themselves, but have not fed My flock.” So, you shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord. 10 The Lord God says, “I am against the shepherds, and I will ask them for My sheep. I will stop them from feeding the sheep, so they will no longer be able to feed themselves. I will save my sheep from their mouths, so that they will no longer be food for them.”

The Good Shepherd

11 For the Lord God says, “I Myself will look for My sheep and find them. 12 As a shepherd looks for his sheep when they are not together, so I will look for My sheep. And I will save them from all the places where they were spread out on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the people and gather them from the countries, and bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the places of the land where people live. 14 I will feed them in a good field. The ground they eat upon will be on the mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in a good field and feed on good grass on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My sheep, and give them rest,” says the Lord God. 16 “I will look for the lost, bring back those that have gone away, help those who have been hurt, and give strength to the sick. But I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will feed them with punishment.

17 “As for you, My flock, the Lord God says, ‘I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to eat in the good field? Must you crush under foot the rest of your fields? Is it not enough for you to drink of the clear waters? Must your feet fill the rest with mud? 19 Must My flock eat what you have crushed with your feet, and drink what you have made dirty with your feet?’”

20 So the Lord God says to them, “I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the weak sheep. 21 Because you push with your side and shoulder and run against all the weak with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save My flock. They will no longer be hurt. And I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them. He will feed them and be their shepherd. 24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be their leader. I, the Lord, have spoken.

25 “I will make a peace agreement with them and take away wild animals from the land. Then they will be safe as they live in the desert and sleep in the woods. 26 I will bring good to them and to the places around My hill. I will give them rain when they need it. Good will rain down upon them. 27 The trees of the field will give their fruit and the earth will give its food. They will be safe in their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the load from their backs and have saved them from those who made servants of them. 28 They will no longer be under the power of the nations. And the wild animals of the earth will not eat them. But they will be safe, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will give them a land well known for its fields of food. They will never suffer with hunger again, and will no longer be put to shame by the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the people of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God. 31 “You, My sheep, the sheep of My field, are people, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.