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3:18 shepherds. A well-known metaphor for leaders indicates the subordinate rulers of the Assyrian king.
asleep . . . slumber. Striking euphemisms for death.
Your people . . . gather them. The pastoral image is extended to the people (or perhaps the army) as a flock of sheep. In the absence of shepherds, the people are scattered (cf. 1 Kin. 22:17).