The Bible – Old Testament
Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
1 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, in these words prophesy to them (to the shepherds): Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; my sheep were scattered over the whole earth, with no one to look after them or to search for them.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have been given over to pillage, and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd; because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus says the Lord GOD: I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep, that they may no longer be food for their mouths.
For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark.
I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel (in the land’s ravines and all its inhabited places).
In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal (but the sleek and the strong I will destroy), shepherding them rightly.
As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.
Was it not enough for you to graze on the best pasture, that you had to trample the rest of your pastures with your feet? Was it not enough for you to drink the clearest water, that you had to foul the remainder with your feet?
Thus my sheep had to graze on what your feet had trampled and drink what your feet had fouled.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now will I judge between the fat and the lean sheep.
Because you push with side and shoulder, and butt all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them out,
I will save my sheep so that they may no longer be despoiled, and I will judge between one sheep and another.
2 I will appoint one shepherd over them to pasture them, my servant David; he shall pasture them and be their shepherd.
I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I, the LORD, have spoken.
I will make a covenant of peace with them, and rid the country of ravenous beasts, that they may dwell securely in the desert and sleep in the forests.
I will place them about my hill, sending rain in due season, rains that shall be a blessing to them.
The trees of the field shall bear their fruits, and the land its crops, and they shall dwell securely on their own soil. Thus they shall know that I am the LORD when I break the bonds of their yoke and free them from the power of those who enslaved them.
They shall no longer be despoiled by the nations or devoured by beasts of the earth, but shall dwell secure, with no one to frighten them.
I will prepare for them peaceful fields for planting; they shall no longer be carried off by famine in the land, or bear the reproaches of the nations.
Thus they shall know that I, the LORD, am their God, and they are my people, the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.
(You, my sheep, you are the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.)
1  The shepherds of Israel: the leaders of the people.
2  One shepherd . . . my servant David: a messianic Davidic King who will rule over the restored Israel (⇒ Ezekiel 34:25-31) in the name of the Lord.