The Doomed Flock
1Open your doors, O Lebanon,
That a fire may feed on your cedars.
2Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
Because the glorious trees have been destroyed;
Wail, O oaks of Bashan,
For the impenetrable forest has come down.
3There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail,
For their glory is ruined;
There is a sound of the young lions’ roar,
For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.
4Thus says the Lord my God, “Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter. 5Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ And their own shepherds have no pity on them. 6For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord; “but behold, I will cause the men to fall, each into another’s power and into the power of his king; and they will strike the land, and I will not deliver them from their power.”
7So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock. 8Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me. 9Then I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” 10I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11So it was broken on that day, and #Another reading is the sheep dealers whothus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. 12I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. 14Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15The Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.
17Woe to the worthless shepherd
Who leaves the flock!
A sword will be on his arm
And on his right eye!
His arm will be totally withered
And his right eye will be blind.”