The Lord spoke his word to me, saying:
"Human, prophesy against the leaders of Israel, who are like shepherds. Prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Lord God says: How terrible it will be for the shepherds of Israel who feed only themselves! Why don't the shepherds feed the flock?
You eat the milk curds, and you clothe yourselves with the wool. You kill the fat sheep, but you do not feed the flock.
You have not made the weak strong. You have not healed the sick or put bandages on those that were hurt. You have not brought back those who strayed away or searched for the lost. But you have ruled the sheep with cruel force.
The sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for every wild animal.
My flock wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered all over the face of the earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
"'So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord God says:
As surely as I live, my flock has been caught and eaten by all the wild animals, because the flock has no shepherd. The shepherds did not search for my flock. No, they fed themselves instead of my flock.
So, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.
This is what the Lord God says: I am against the shepherds. I will blame them for what has happened to my sheep and will not let them tend the flock anymore. Then the shepherds will stop feeding themselves, and I will take my flock from their mouths so they will no longer be their food.
"'This is what the Lord God says: I, myself, will search for my sheep and take care of them.
As a shepherd takes care of his scattered flock when it is found, I will take care of my sheep. I will save them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries. I will bring them to their own land and pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines, and in all the places where people live in the land.
I will feed them in a good pasture, and they will eat grass on the high mountains of Israel. They will lie down on good ground where they eat grass, and they will eat in rich grassland on the mountains of Israel.
I will feed my flock and lead them to rest, says the Lord God.
I will search for the lost, bring back those that strayed away, put bandages on those that were hurt, and make the weak strong. But I will destroy those sheep that are fat and strong. I will tend the sheep with fairness.
"'This is what the Lord God says: As for you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the male sheep and the male goats.
Is it not enough for you to eat grass in the good land? Must you crush the rest of the grass with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you make the rest of the water muddy with your feet?
Must my flock eat what you crush, and must they drink what you make muddy with your feet?
"'So this is what the Lord God says to them: I, myself, will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep.
You push with your side and with your shoulder, and you knock down all the weak sheep with your horns until you have forced them away.
So I will save my flock; they will not be hurt anymore. I will judge between one sheep and another.
Then I will put over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and tend them and be their shepherd.
Then I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a ruler among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.
"'I will make an agreement of peace with my sheep and will remove harmful animals from the land. Then the sheep will live safely in the desert and sleep in the woods.
I will bless them and let them live around my hill. I will cause the rains to come when it is time; there will be showers to bless them.
Also the trees in the countryside will give their fruit, and the land will give its harvest. And the sheep will be safe on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their captivity and save them from the power of those who made them slaves.
They will not be led captive by the nations again. The wild animals will not eat them, but they will live safely, and no one will make them afraid.
I will give them a place famous for its good crops, so they will no longer suffer from hunger in the land. They will not suffer the insults of other nations anymore.
Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. The nation of Israel will know that they are my people, says the Lord God.
You, my human sheep, are the sheep I care for, and I am your God, says the Lord God.'"