The word of the Lord came to me:
Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep.
You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them.
So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals.
My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them.
Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep;
therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them.
For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.
I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God.
I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats:
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet?
And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?
Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide,
I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely.
I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
The trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them.
They shall no more be plunder for the nations, nor shall the animals of the land devour them; they shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid.
I will provide for them a splendid vegetation so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the insults of the nations.
They shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord God.
You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord God.
The word of the Lord came to me:
Mortal, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,
and say to it, Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, Mount Seir; I stretch out my hand against you to make you a desolation and a waste.
I lay your towns in ruins; you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord.
Because you cherished an ancient enmity, and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment;
therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed shall pursue you.
I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation; and I will cut off from it all who come and go.
I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your watercourses those killed with the sword shall fall.
I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall never be inhabited. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
Because you said, "These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them,"—although the Lord was there—
therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among you, when I judge you.
You shall know that I, the Lord, have heard all the abusive speech that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, "They are laid desolate, they are given us to devour."
And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it.
Thus says the Lord God: As the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
And you, mortal, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.
Thus says the Lord God: Because the enemy said of you, "Aha!" and, "The ancient heights have become our possession,"
therefore prophesy, and say: Thus says the Lord God: Because they made you desolate indeed, and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became an object of gossip and slander among the people;
therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the watercourses and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted towns, which have become a source of plunder and an object of derision to the rest of the nations all around;
therefore thus says the Lord God: I am speaking in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who, with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, took my land as their possession, because of its pasture, to plunder it.
Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the watercourses and valleys, Thus says the Lord God: I am speaking in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the insults of the nations;
therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer insults.
But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot out your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they shall soon come home.
See now, I am for you; I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown;
and I will multiply your population, the whole house of Israel, all of it; the towns shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt;
and I will multiply human beings and animals upon you. They shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
I will lead people upon you—my people Israel—and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance. No longer shall you bereave them of children.
Thus says the Lord God: Because they say to you, "You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,"
therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, says the Lord God;
and no longer will I let you hear the insults of the nations, no longer shall you bear the disgrace of the peoples; and no longer shall you cause your nation to stumble, says the Lord God.
The word of the Lord came to me:
Mortal, when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with their ways and their deeds; their conduct in my sight was like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual period.
So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for the idols with which they had defiled it.
I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them.
But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that it was said of them, "These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land."
But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes.
I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
I will save you from all your uncleannesses, and I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
I will make the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field abundant, so that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations.
Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your dealings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominable deeds.
It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and dismayed for your ways, O house of Israel.
Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the towns to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.
The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by.
And they will say, "This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified."
Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.
Thus says the Lord God: I will also let the house of Israel ask me to do this for them: to increase their population like a flock.
Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals, so shall the ruined towns be filled with flocks of people. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)