Israel’s Shepherds: Good and Bad
1Open your gates, Lebanon,
and fire will consume your cedars.11:1 Jdg 9:15; 2Kg 19:23; Ps 29:5; Sg 5:15; Is 2:13
2Wail, cypress,11:2 Is 14:8 for the cedar has fallen;
the glorious trees are destroyed!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,11:2 Is 2:13; Ezk 27:6
for the stately forest has fallen!
3Listen to the wail11:3 Is 15:8; Zph 1:10 of the shepherds,11:3 Zch 10:2–3
for their glory is destroyed.
Listen to the roar of young lions,11:3 Jb 4:10; Ps 34:10; Is 5:29; Nah 2:11
for the thickets of the Jordan11:3 Jr 49:19 are11:3 Lit for the majesty of the Jordan is destroyed.
4The Lord my God says this: “Shepherd the flock intended for slaughter.
5Those who buy them slaughter them but are not punished.11:5 Ps 34:22 Those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord because I have become rich!’ Even their own shepherds have no compassion for them.
6Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land” — this is the Lord’s declaration. “Instead, I will turn everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue it from their hand.”11:6 Jr 13:14; Lm 2:2,17,21; Ezk 7:4,9
7So I shepherded the flock intended for slaughter, the oppressed of the flock.11:7 LXX reads slaughter that belonged to the sheep merchants I took two staffs, calling one Favor11:7 Ps 90:17; Zch 11:10 and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock.
8In one month I got rid of three shepherds. I became impatient with them, and they also detested me.
9Then I said, “I will no longer shepherd you. Let what is dying die, and let what is perishing perish; let the rest devour each other’s flesh.”
10Next I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, annulling the covenant I had made with all the peoples.
11It was annulled on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock11:11 LXX reads and the sheep merchants who were watching me knew that it was the word of the Lord.
12Then I said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed my wages, thirty pieces of silver.11:12 Ex 21:32
13“Throw it to the potter,”11:13 Syr reads treasury the Lord said to me — this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter.11:13 One Hb ms, Syr read treasury11:13 Mt 26:15; 27:3–10
14Then I cut in two my second staff, Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15The Lord also said to me, “Take the equipment of a foolish shepherd.
16I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost11:16 Or young or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy,11:16 Or exhausted but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep11:16 Ezk 34:3–4 and tear off their hooves.
17Woe to the worthless shepherd
who deserts the flock!11:17 Jr 23:2
May a sword strike11:17 Lit be against his arm
and his right eye!
May his arm wither away
and his right eye go completely blind!”