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The Cause of Judah’s Ruin

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 “Son of man, (A)they who inhabit those (B)ruins in the land of Israel are saying, (C)‘Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. (D)But we are many; the land has been given to us as a (E)possession.’

25 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: (F)“You eat meat with blood, you (G)lift up your eyes toward your idols, and (H)shed blood. Should you then possess the (I)land? 26 You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you (J)defile one another’s wives. Should you then possess the land?” ’

27 “Say thus to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely (K)those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field (L)I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and (M)caves shall die of the pestilence. 28 (N)For I will make the land most desolate, [a]her (O)arrogant strength shall cease, and (P)the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. 29 Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” ’

Hearing and Not Doing

30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they (Q)speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So (R)they come to you as people do, they (S)sit before you as My people, and they (T)hear your words, but they do not do them; (U)for with their mouth they show much love, but (V)their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do (W)not do them. 33 (X)And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then (Y)they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

Irresponsible Shepherds

34 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: (Z)“Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (AA)You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you (AB)slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. (AC)The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor (AD)sought what was lost; but with (AE)force and [b]cruelty you have ruled them. (AF)So they were (AG)scattered because there was no shepherd; (AH)and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep (AI)wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.

‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock (AJ)became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, (AK)but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am (AL)against the shepherds, and (AM)I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall (AN)feed themselves no more; for I will (AO)deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”

God, the True Shepherd

11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a (AP)shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on (AQ)a cloudy and dark day.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 33:28 Lit. pride of her strength
  2. Ezekiel 34:4 harshness or rigor