The shepherds of Israel
1 The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, 2 Son of man, speak on my behalf against the shep herds of Israel! Say to the shepherds on my be half: Woe to the shepherds of Is rael who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? 3 But you feed on milk and are clothed in wool, and you slaughter the fattest sheep. You have not taken care of the flock, 4 you have not strengthened the weak, cared for the sick or band aged the injured. You have not gone after the sheep that strayed or searched for the one that was lost. Instead you ruled them harsh ly and were their oppressors. 5 They have scattered for want of a shepherd and became prey of wild animals. 6 My sheep wander over the mountains and high hills; and when they are scattered through out the land, no one bothers about them or looks for them.
7 Hear then shepherds, what Yahweh says: 8 As I live word of Yahweh, because my sheep have been the prey of wild animals and become their food for want of shepherds, because the shep herds have not cared for my sheep, because you shepherds have not bothered about them but fed yourselves and not the flocks, because of that, 9 hear the word of Yahweh. 10 This is what Yah weh says: I will ask an ac count of the shepherds and reclaim my sheep from them. No longer shall they tend my flock; nor shall there be shepherds who feed themselves. I shall save the flock from their mouths and no longer shall it be food for them.
11 Indeed Yahweh says this: I my self will care for my sheep and watch over them. 12 As the shepherd looks after his flock when he finds them scattered, so will I watch over my sheep and gather them from all the places where they were scattered in a time of cloud and fog. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from other countries. I will lead them to their own land and pasture them on the mountains of Israel in all the valleys and inhabited regions of the land. 14 I will take them to good pastures on the high mountains of Israel. They will rest where the grazing is good and feed in lush pastures on the heights of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and let them rest, word of Yahweh. 16 I will search for the lost and lead back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the fat and strong will be eliminated. I will shepherd my flock with justice.
17 As for you, my flock says Yahweh I will distinguish between one sheep and another, and set apart rams and goats. 18 Was it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Why did you trample under your feet the rest of the pasture? Were you not satisfied with drinking clear water? Why did you muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Must my sheep feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20 That is why thus says the Lord Yahweh to the shepherds: Here I am. I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean. 21 Because with flank, shoulder and horns you butt the weak sheep until you have driven them away, 22 I will rescue my flock and no longer will they be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.
23 Over them I will put one shepherd, my servant David who will tend them, pasture them and be a true shepherd for them. 24 I, Yahweh, will be their God and my servant David a ruler among them. I, Yahweh, have this to say: 25 I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts, so that they may live safely in the desert and sleep in forests. 26 I will settle them on my holy mountain, sending them rain in season, showers of rich blessings. 27 The trees of the field will give their fruit and the soil its produce, while they are safe in their land, and they will know that I am Yahweh.
27 I will break the bars of their yoke and free them from the power of those who enslave them. 28 No longer will they be plundered by the nations or ravaged by wild beasts. They will live in security without anyone causing them to fear. 29 I will give them splendid crops; peo ple will not die of hunger and no longer will you be scorned by other nations. 30 This people will know that I, Yahweh, am their God and that I am with them and that they, Israel, are my peo ple word of Yahweh. 31 You are my sheep, the flock of my pasture, and I am your God, declares Yahweh.