Ezequiel 34

1 Jehovah continued to speak to me:

2 »Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy to these shepherds. Tell them: ‘The Lord Jehovah says: »How horrible it will be for the shepherds of Israel who have been taking care of only themselves. Should shepherds take care of the sheep?

3 »‘»You eat the best parts of the sheep, dress in the wool, and butcher the finest sheep. Yet, you do not take care of the sheep.

4 »‘»You have not strengthened those that were weak, healed those who were sick, or bandaged those who were injured. You have not brought back those who strayed away or looked for those who were lost. You have ruled them harshly and violently.

5 »‘»They were scattered because there was no shepherd. They became food for every wild animal at the time they were scattered.

6 »‘»My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered throughout the entire earth. No one searched or looked for them.

7 »‘»You shepherds, listen to the word of Jehovah.

8 ‘»As I am alive, declares the Lord Jehovah, because there is no shepherd, my sheep have become prey. My sheep have become food for wild animals. My shepherds have not searched for my sheep. They have taken care of only themselves, not my sheep.« ’

9 You shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:

10 »The Lord Jehovah says: ‘I am against the shepherds! I will demand my sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will deliver my flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.’«

11 »‘The Lord Jehovah says: ‘I will search for my sheep. I will seek them out.

12 »As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for my sheep and will deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.

13 »I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel. I will feed them by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land.

14 »I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.«

15 »‘»I will feed my flock and I will lead them to rest,« declares the Lord Jehovah.

16 »I will seek the lost. I will bring back the scattered. I will bind up the broken and strengthen the sick. The fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.«

17 »‘As for you, my sheep, this is what the Lord Jehovah says: »I will judge disputes between one sheep and another, between rams and male goats.

18 »‘Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you trample the rest of the pasture with your feet? You drink clean water. Must you muddy the rest of the water with your feet?

19 »‘Must my sheep eat what your feet have trampled and drink what your feet have muddied?«

20 »‘This is what the Lord Jehovah says to them: I will judge disputes between the fat sheep and the skinny sheep.

21 »‘You fat sheep push the skinny sheep with your sides and shoulders. You knock down all the sick sheep with your horns. You have scattered them all over.

22 »‘So I will rescue my sheep, and they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.

23 »‘I will place one shepherd over them, my servant David. He will take care of them. He will take care of them and be their shepherd.

24 »‘I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David will be their prince. I, Jehovah, have spoken!

25 »‘»I will promise them peace. I will remove the wild animals from the land so that my sheep can live safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

26 »‘»I will bless them and the places around my hill. I will send rain at the right time. These showers will be a blessing to them.

27 »‘»Then the trees in the field will produce fruit, the land will yield crops, and my sheep will live safely in their land. Then they will know that I am Jehovah, because I will break off the bars on their yokes and rescue them from the people who made them slaves.

28 »‘»They will no longer be prey to the nations. Wild animals will no longer eat them. They will live safely, and no one will frighten them.

29 »‘»I will give them a place that is known for its good crops. They will no longer experience hunger in the land. They will no longer suffer the insults of other nations.

30 ‘Then they will know that Jehovah their God is with them. They will know that the people of Israel are my people,’ proclaims the Lord Jehovah.« ’

31 »‘You are my sheep, the sheep in my pasture. You are mortal, and I am your God,’ declares the Lord Jehovah.«