Ezek 34:1-37:28

Israel's False Shepherds 1The word of the Lord came to me:2Mortal, 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?3You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep.4You 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.5So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals.6My 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.7Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:8As 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;9therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:10Thus 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.God, the True Shepherd 11For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.12As 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.13I 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.14I 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.15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.16I 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.17As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats:18Is 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?19And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?20Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.21Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide,22I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.23I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.24And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.25I 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.26I 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.27The 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.28They 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.29I 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.30They 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.31You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.Chapter 35Judgment on Mount Seir 1The word of the Lord came to me:2Mortal, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,3and 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.4I lay your towns in ruins; you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord.5Because 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;6therefore, 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.7I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation; and I will cut off from it all who come and go.8I 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.9I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall never be inhabited. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.10Because you said, “These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them,”—although the Lord was there—11therefore, 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.12You 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.”13And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it.14Thus says the Lord GOD: As the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.15As 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.Chapter 36Blessing on Israel 1And you, mortal, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.2Thus says the Lord GOD: Because the enemy said of you, “Aha!” and, “The ancient heights have become our possession,”3therefore 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;4therefore, 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;5therefore 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.6Therefore 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;7therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer insults.8But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot out your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they shall soon come home.9See now, I am for you; I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown;10and I will multiply your population, the whole house of Israel, all of it; the towns shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt;11and 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.12I 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.13Thus says the Lord GOD: Because they say to you, “You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,”14therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, says the Lord GOD;15and 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 Renewal of Israel 16The word of the Lord came to me:17Mortal, 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.18So 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.19I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them.20But 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.”21But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.22Therefore 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.23I 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.24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.26A 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.27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.28Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.29I will save you from all your uncleannesses, and I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.30I 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.31Then 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.32It 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.33Thus 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.34The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by.35And 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.”36Then 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.37Thus 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.38Like 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.Chapter 37The Valley of Dry Bones 1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord. The Two Sticks 15The word of the Lord came to me:16Mortal, take a stick and write on it, “For Judah, and the Israelites associated with it”; then take another stick and write on it, “For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with it”;17and join them together into one stick, so that they may become one in your hand.18And when your people say to you, “Will you not show us what you mean by these?”19say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am about to take the stick of Joseph (which is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with it; and I will put the stick of Judah upon it, and make them one stick, in order that they may be one in my hand.20When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes,21then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land.22I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.23They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their GOD.24My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes.25They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children's children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever.26I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore.27My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.28Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.