The Lord will care for Judah

10 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
    it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
    and plants of the field to everyone.
The idols speak deceitfully,
    diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
    they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
    oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

‘My anger burns against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
    for his flock, the people of Judah,
    and make them like a proud horse in battle.
From Judah will come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
from him the battle-bow,
    from him every ruler.
Together they[a] will be like warriors in battle
    trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
    and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.

‘I will strengthen Judah
    and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them
    because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
    I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
    and I will answer them.
The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
    and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
    their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
I will signal for them
    and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
    they will be as numerous as before.
Though I scatter them among the peoples,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
    and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt
    and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
    and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble;
    the surging sea will be subdued
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down
    and Egypt’s sceptre will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord
    and in his name they will live securely,’
declares the Lord.

11 Open your doors, Lebanon,
    so that fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen;
    the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan;
    the dense forest has been cut down!
Listen to the wail of the shepherds:
    their rich pastures are destroyed!
Listen to the roar of the lions;
    the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

Two shepherds

This is what the Lord my God says: ‘Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, “Praise the Lord, I am rich!” Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbours and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.’

So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favour and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.

The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them and said, ‘I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.’

10 Then I took my staff called Favour and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord.

12 I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’– the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.

14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.

15 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.

17 ‘Woe to the worthless shepherd,
    who deserts the flock!
May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!
    May his arm be completely withered,
    his right eye totally blinded!’

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 10:5 Or ruler, all of them together. / They

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