Ezekiel 34

1The word of the Lord came to me. He said, 2“Son of man, speak against the shepherds ˻(leaders)˼ of Israel for me. Speak to them for me. Tell them that the Lord and Master says these things, 'You shepherds of Israel have only been feeding yourselves. It will be very bad for you! Why don’t you shepherds feed the flock? 3You eat the fat sheep and use their wool to make clothes for yourselves. You kill the fat sheep, but you don’t feed the flock. 4You have not made the weak strong. You have not cared for the sick sheep. You have not put bandages on the sheep that were hurt. Some of the sheep wandered away, and you did not go get them and bring them back. You did not go to look for those lost sheep. No, you were cruel and severe—that’s the way you tried to lead the sheep! 5“'And now the sheep are scattered because there was no shepherd. They became food for every wild animal. So they were scattered. 6My flock wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My flock was scattered over all the face of the earth. There was no one to search or to look for them.’” 7So, you shepherds, listen to the word of the Lord. The Lord my Master says, 8“By my life, I promise this to you. Wild animals caught my sheep. Yes, my flock has become food for all the wild animals. Why? Because they did not have a real shepherd. My shepherds did not look out for my flock. No, those shepherds only killed the sheep and fed themselves. They did not feed my flock.” 9So, you shepherds, listen to the word of the Lord! 10The Lord says, “I am against those shepherds! I will demand my sheep from them. I will fire them! They won’t be my shepherds any more! Then the shepherds won’t be able to feed themselves. And I will save my flock from their mouths. Then my sheep won’t be food for them.” 11The Lord my Master says, “I, myself, will be their Shepherd. I will search for my sheep. I will look out for them. 12If a shepherd is with his sheep when they begin to wander away, then he will go searching for them. In the same way I will search for my sheep. I will save my sheep. I will bring them back from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13I will bring them back from those nations. I will gather them from those countries. I will bring them to their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, in all the places where people live. 14I will lead them to grassy fields. They will go to the place high on the mountains of Israel. There they will lie down on good ground and eat the grass. They will eat in rich grassland on the mountains of Israel. 15Yes, I will feed my flock and I will lead them to a place of rest.” The Lord my Master said those things. 16“I will search for the lost sheep. I will bring back the sheep that were scattered. I will put bandages on the sheep that were hurt. I will make the weak sheep strong. But I will destroy those fat and powerful ˻shepherds˼. I will feed them the punishment they deserve.” 17The Lord my Master says these things, “And you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another. I will judge between the male sheep and the male goats. 18You can eat the grass growing on the good land. So why do you also crush the grass that other sheep want to eat? You can drink plenty of clear water. So why do you also stir the water that other sheep want to drink? 19My flock must eat the grass you crushed with your feet, and they must drink the water you stir with your feet!” 20So the Lord my Master says to them: “I, myself, will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep! 21You push with your side and shoulder. You knock down all the weak sheep with your horns. You push until you have forced them away. 22So I will save my flock. They won’t be caught by wild animals any more. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23Then I will put one shepherd over them, my servant David. He will feed them and be their shepherd. 24Then I, the Lord and Master, will be their God. And my servant David will be the ruler living among them. I, the Lord, have spoken. 25“And I will make a peace agreement with my sheep. I will take harmful animals away from the land. Then the sheep can be safe in the desert and sleep in the woods. 26I will bless the sheep and the places around my hill ˻(Jerusalem)˼. I will cause the rains to fall at the right time. They will shower them with blessings. 27And the trees growing in the field will produce their fruit. The earth will give its harvest. So the sheep will be safe on their land. I will break the yokes on them. I will save them from the power of the people that made them slaves. Then they will know that I am the Lord. 28They won’t be caught like an animal by the nations any more. Those animals won’t eat them any more. But they will live safely. No one will make them afraid. 29I will give them some land that will make a good garden. Then they won’t suffer from hunger in that land. They won’t suffer the insults from the nations any more. 30Then they will know that I am the Lord their God. And they will know that I am with them. And the family of Israel will know that they are my people!” The Lord my Master said those things! 31“You are my sheep, the sheep of my grassland. You are only human beings. And I am your God.” The Lord my Master said those things.

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