11 Lebanon, open your gates so fire may burn your cedar trees.[a] 2 Cry, pine trees, because the cedar has fallen. The tall trees are ruined. Cry, oaks in Bashan, because the mighty forest has been cut down. 3 Listen to the shepherds crying. Their rich pastures are destroyed. Listen to the lions roaring. The thick bushes near the Jordan River are ruined.
4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Feed the sheep that are about to be killed. 5 Their buyers kill them and are not punished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord. I am rich.’ Even the shepherds don’t feel sorry for their sheep. 6 Even I don’t feel sorry anymore for the people of this country,” says the Lord. “I will let everyone be under the power of his neighbor and king. They will bring trouble to the country. And I will not stop them.”
7 So I fed the sheep about to be killed, particularly the weakest ones. Then I took two sticks. I called one Favor. I called the other Union. And I fed the sheep. 8 In one month I got rid of three shepherds. The flock hated me, and I got impatient with them. 9 I said, “I will no longer take care of you like a shepherd. Let those that are dying die. Let those that are to be destroyed be destroyed. Let those that are left eat each other.”
10 Then I broke the stick named Favor. This broke the agreement God made with his people. 11 That day it was broken. Those weak sheep were watching me. They knew this message was from the Lord.
12 Then I said, “If you want to pay me, then pay me. If not, then don’t.” So they paid me 30 pieces of silver.
13 The Lord said to me, “Throw the money to the potter.” That is how little they thought I was worth.[b] So I threw the money to the potter in the Temple of the Lord.
14 Then I broke the second stick named Union. This broke the tie between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Become a foolish shepherd again. 16 I am going to get a new shepherd for the country. He will not care for the dying sheep. He will not look for the young ones. He will not heal the injured ones. He will not feed the healthy. But he will eat the best sheep and tear off their hooves.
17 “How terrible it will be for the useless shepherd. He abandoned the flock. May war destroy his power and wisdom. May his power become useless. May his wisdom be taken away.”
11:1trees In this poem, trees, bushes and animals stand for leaders of countries around Judah.
11:13worth This was a small amount. It was about the price paid for a slave.
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