1 Open your gateways, Lebanon, to let fire devour your cedars. 2 Lament, cypresses, for the cedar has fallen. The majestic ones have been brought low. Wail, oaks of Bashan, for the impenetrable forest has been cut down. 3 The sighs of the shepherds reecho because their beautiful plain has been ravaged. The young lions’ roar reechoes because the fruitful valley of the Jordan is laid waste.
The example of the good shepherd
4 Yahweh, my God, said to me: “Pasture the sheep to be slaughtered, 5 for their buyers slay them and get away with it, whereas those who sell them say: ‘Praised be Yahweh! I am rich!’ And their shepherds hardly give them a thought. 6 Yahweh says: I shall no longer give a thought to the inhabitants of this land, and I am handing over each one to the power of his shepherd; although their king may oppress the land, I shall not rescue this people from their power.”
7 So I became the shepherd of the sheep to be slaughtered and provided myself with two staffs – one I called Favor and the other Bonds. I then pastured my flock, 8 doing away with three leaders in one month. I lost patience with them and they, for their part, were disgusted with me. 9 So I said, “No longer shall I shepherd you: whatever is to die, let it die and let what is to perish, perish, and let those who are left devour each other’s flesh.” 10 Then I took and broke my staff Favor to break the covenant I had made with all nations. 11 It was broken off that day and the sheep merchants who watched knew it was Yahweh who had spoken.
12 I then said to them, “If you agree, give me my wages, otherwise let it go.” So they weighed out my wages, thirty pieces of silver. 13 And Yahweh said to me, “Throw it into the treasury, this splendid sum at which they valued me!” So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the treasury in Yahweh’s House.
14 I then snapped in two my second staff Bonds, doing away with the friendship between Judah and Israel.
15 Then Yahweh said to me, “Take another disguise, one that is fitting for a foolish shepherd 16 for I am going to raise up another shepherd who will care nothing for lost sheep nor will he search for strays, or bind up the injured and pasture those that survive. No, but he will eat the fat ones and tear off their hoofs.”
17 Woe to the worthless shepherd who abandons his flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm wither and his right eye be blind!