1 A message from the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds who lead Israel. Prophesy and tell them that this is what the Lord God says: Disaster is coming to the shepherds of Israel, who only look after themselves, and not the sheep! Shouldn't shepherds make sure their flock is fed? 3 You eat the cream, you use the wool for clothes, and you slaughter the fattened sheep, but you don't feed the flock.
4 You haven't taken care of the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought home the strays, or looked for the lost. On the contrary, you ruled them using violence and cruelty. 5 They were scattered because they didn't have a shepherd. When they scattered they were preyed on by all the wild animals for food. 6 My sheep strayed, going to all the mountains and high hills. They were scattered everywhere, and there was no one to go and look for them.
7 So, you shepherds, listen to what the Lord has to say: 8 As I live, declares the Lord God, because my sheep didn't have a shepherd and were preyed on by all the wild animals for food, and because my shepherds didn't look after my sheep but instead only fed themselves, 9 so, you shepherds, you listen to what the Lord has to say!
10 This is what the Lord God says: Watch out, because I'm condemning the shepherds, and I will take my sheep back and stop them looking after the sheep so they won't be able to feed themselves anymore. I will take away my sheep from them, and I won't let them eat the sheep anymore.
11 For this is what the Lord God says: Watch as I myself will go looking for my sheep, searching to find them. 12 Just like a shepherd goes looking for his lost sheep when he is with the flock, so I will look for my sheep.
I will rescue them from everywhere they were scattered on a dark and dismal day. 13 I will take them out from among the other nations. I will gather them from the different countries, and bring them back to their own country. Like a shepherd I will have them feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and everywhere that people live in the country. 14 I will provide them with good pasture and places to graze in the high mountains of Israel. They will also be able to rest there in the good pasture and in the places to graze in mountains of Israel.
15 I myself will look after my sheep and give them a place to rest, declares the Lord God. 16 I will go looking for the lost, bring home the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak. However, I will destroy those who are fat and strong. Because I do what's right, I will be sure to take care of them.
17 My flock, this is what the Lord God says to you: Watch, because I will judge between one sheep and the next, between the rams and the goats. 18 Aren't you satisfied with feeding in good pasture? Do you have to trample down the rest of the pasture with your feet? Aren't you satisfied to drink the clear water? Do you have to muddy the rest of it with your feet? 19 Why does my flock have to feed on what your feet have trampled down, and drink the water that your feet have muddied?
20 That's why the Lord God says to them: Watch, because I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the skinny sheep. 21 Since you push others around with your sides and your shoulders, and use your horns to attack all the weak ones until you have chased them away, 22 I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be your victims. I will judge between one sheep and the next. 23 I will put one shepherd in charge of them, my servant David, and he will take care of them. He will take care of them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be their leader. I the Lord have spoken.
25 I will make an agreement of peace with them, and get rid of the wild animals from the country, so that they can live safely in the wilderness and sleep securely in the forest. 26 I will bless them and everywhere around my hill. I will send rain at the right time. They will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees in the orchards will produce their fruit; the earth will grow its crops; and my flock will be live in safety in their country. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I break their yokes of slavery, and set them free from those who made them slaves.
28 They won't be the victims of other nations anymore, and wild animals won't eat them. They will live in safety, and no one will terrorize them.
29 I will make their fields produce remarkable harvests, and they won't suffer famine in their country again or be mocked by others. 30 Then they will know that I am with them as the Lord their God, and that the people of Israel belong to me, declares the Lord God.
31 You are my sheep, the sheep that I feed. You are my people, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”