Israel’s Shepherds: Good and Bad
1 Open your gates, Lebanon, and fire will consume your cedars. 2 Wail, cypress, for the cedar has fallen; the glorious [trees] are destroyed! Wail, oaks of Bashan, for the stately forest has fallen! 3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds, for their glory is destroyed. Listen to the roar of young lions, for the thickets of the Jordan are destroyed.
4 The Lord my God says this: "Shepherd the flock intended for slaughter. 5 Those who buy them slaughter them but are not punished. Those who sell them say: Praise the Lord because I have become rich! Even their own shepherds have no compassion for them. 6 Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land"-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 deliver [it] from them."
7 So I shepherded the flock intended for slaughter, the afflicted of the flock. I took two staffs, calling one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of three shepherds. I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. 9 Then I said, "I will no longer shepherd you. Let what is dying die, and let what is going astray go astray; let the rest devour each other's flesh." 10 Next I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, annulling the covenant I had made with all the peoples. 11 It was annulled on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew that it was the word of the Lord. 12 Then I said to them, "If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep [them]." So they weighed my wages, 30 pieces of silver.
13 "Throw it to the potter," the Lord said to me-this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter. 14 Then I cut in two my second staff, Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 The Lord also said to me: "Take the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are going astray, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat [sheep] and tear off their hooves.