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Ezekiel

The shepherds of Israel.  Eze.34.1-10

11These were the words of the LORD to me: 2Prophesy, man, against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, You shepherds, these are the words of the Lord GOD: How I hate the shepherds of Israel who care only for themselves! Should not the shepherd care for the sheep? 3You consume the milk, wear the wool, and slaughter the fat beasts, but you do not feed the sheep. 4You have not encouraged the weary, tended the sick, bandaged the hurt, recovered the straggler, or searched for the lost; and even the strong you have driven with ruthless severity. 5They are scattered, they have no shepherd, they have become the prey of wild beasts. 6My sheep go straying over the mountains and on every high hill, my flock is dispersed over the whole country, with no one to ask after them or search for them.

7Therefore, you shepherds, hear the words of the LORD. 8As surely as I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep are ravaged by wild beasts and have become their prey for lack of a shepherd, because my shepherds have not asked after the sheep but have cared only for themselves and not for the sheep— 9therefore, you shepherds, hear the words of the LORD. 10These are the words of the Lord GOD: I am against the shepherds and will demand my sheep from them. I will dismiss those shepherds: they shall care only for themselves no longer; I will rescue my sheep from their jaws, and they shall feed on them no more.

The good shepherd.  Eze.34.11-31

11For these are the words of the Lord GOD: Now I myself will ask after my sheep and go in search of them. 12As a shepherd goes in search of his sheep when his flock is dispersed all around him, so I will go in search of my sheep and rescue them, no matter where they were scattered in dark and cloudy days. 13I will bring them out from every nation, gather them in from other lands, and lead them home to their own soil. I will graze them on the mountains of Israel, by her streams and in all her green fields. 14I will feed them on good grazing-ground, and their pasture shall be the high mountains of Israel. There they will rest, there in good pasture, and find rich grazing on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my flock, I myself pen them in their fold, says the Lord GOD. 16I will search for the lost, recover the straggler, bandage the hurt, strengthen the sick, leave the healthy and strong to play, and give them their proper food.

17As for you, my flock, these are the words of the Lord GOD: I will judge between one sheep and another. You rams and he-goats! 18Are you not satisfied with grazing on good herbage, that you must trample down the rest with your feet? Or with drinking clear water, that you must churn up the rest with your feet? 19My flock has to eat what you have trampled and drink what you have churned up. 20These, therefore, are the words of the Lord GOD to them: Now I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean. 21You hustle the weary with flank and shoulder, you butt them with your horns until you have driven them away and scattered them abroad. 22Therefore I will save my flock, and they shall be ravaged no more; I will judge between one sheep and another. 23Then I will set over them one shepherd to take care of them, my servant David; he shall care for them and become their shepherd. 24I, the LORD, will become their God, and my servant David shall be a prince among them. I, the LORD, have spoken. 25I will make a covenant with them to ensure prosperity; I will rid the land of wild beasts, and men shall live in peace of mind on the open pastures and sleep in the woods. 26I will settle them in the neighbourhood of my hill and send them rain in due season, blessed rain. 27Trees in the country-side shall bear their fruit, the land shall yield its produce, and men shall live in peace of mind on their own soil. They shall know that I am the LORD when I break the bars of their yokes and rescue them from those who have enslaved them. 28They shall never be ravaged by the nations again nor shall wild beasts devour them; they shall live in peace of mind, with no one to alarm them. 29I will give prosperity to their plantations; they shall never again be victims of famine in the land nor any longer bear the taunts of the nations. 30They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they are my people Israel, says the Lord GOD. 31You are my flock, my people, the flock I feed, and I am your God. This is the very word of the Lord GOD.


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