This is what the LORD my God says: "Go and care for a flock that is intended for slaughter.
The buyers will slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers will say, 'Praise the LORD, I am now rich!' Even the shepherds have no compassion for them.
And likewise, I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD. "I will let them fall into each other's clutches, as well as into the clutches of their king. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not protect them."
So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter -- the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd's staffs and named one Favor and the other Union.
I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month. But I became impatient with these sheep -- this nation -- and they hated me, too.
So I told them, "I won't be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And those who remain will devour each other!"
Then I took my staff called Favor and snapped it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations.
That was the end of my covenant with them. Those who bought and sold sheep were watching me, and they knew that the LORD was speaking to them through my actions.
And I said to them, "If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to." So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces a of silver.
And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potters b " -- this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potters in the Temple of the LORD.
Then I broke my other staff, Union, to show that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)