The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
Word came to me from the Lord:
Now, son of man, prophesy doom to the rulers of Israel, the shepherds of my flock. This be thy message from the Lord God: Out upon Israel’s shepherds, that had a flock to feed, and fed none but themselves;
the milk drank, the wool wore, the fat lambs slaughtered, but pastured these sheep of mine never at all!
The wasted frame went unnourished, the sick unhealed; nor bound they the broken limb, nor brought strayed sheep home, nor lost sheep found; force and constraint were all the governance they knew.
So my sheep fell a-wandering, that shepherd had none; every wild beast fell a-preying on them, and they scattered far and wide.
All over the mountains they strayed, all over the high hills were scattered, this flock of mine, and no search was made for them, no search at all.
This doom, then, the Lord pronounces on yonder shepherds:
As I am a living God, I will have a reckoning for sheep of mine carried off, sheep of mine the wild beasts have preyed on, while they went all untended, with shepherds that would not go in search of them, shepherds that no flock would feed, but themselves only.
A word, shepherds, for your hearing,
a message from the Lord God: Out upon yonder shepherds! I will hold them answerable for the flock entrusted to them, and they shall have charge of it no more, feed themselves out of its revenues no more. From their greedy power I will rescue it; no longer shall it be their prey.
This is what the Lord God says: I mean to go looking for this flock of mine, search it out for myself.
As a shepherd, when he finds his flock scattered all about him, goes looking for his sheep, so will I go looking for these sheep of mine, rescue them from all the nooks into which they have strayed when the dark mist fell upon them.
Rescued from every kingdom, recovered from every land, I will bring them back to their own country; they shall have pasture on the hill-sides of Israel, by its watercourses, in the resting-places of their home.
Yes, I will lead them out into fair pastures, the high mountains of Israel shall be their feeding-ground, the mountains of Israel, with soft grass for them to rest on, rich feed for them to graze.
Food and rest, says the Lord God, both these I will give to my flock.
The lost sheep I will find, the strayed sheep I will bring home again; bind up the broken limb, nourish the wasted frame, keep the well-fed and the sturdy free from harm;✻ they shall have a true shepherd at last.
And what of you, my flock? I mean to do justice, the Lord God says, among the beasts themselves, give redress against the rams and the buck-goats.
What, was it not enough to have stripped the pasture-lands with your grazing, drunk all that was purest out of the stream, but you must trample and foul all that was left?
None but trampled fields must my sheep graze, none but fouled waters drink?
This is what the Lord God says: I mean to see justice done between fat beast and lean.
Thrust back with side and shoulder, gored with the horn, all the weaker of them have been driven away;
but now I mean to protect this flock of mine against your greed, give beast redress against its fellow.
They shall have a single shepherd to tend all of them now;✻ who should tend them but my servant David? He shall be their shepherd,
and I, the Lord, will be their God, now that he rules them on earth; such is my divine promise to them.
Such a covenant I will make as shall grant them security; beasts of prey there shall be none, safe resting, now, in the desert, safe sleeping in the woods;
on my hill-sides they shall dwell, a blessed people in a blessed home, rain in its season fall on them, and blessings all the while.
Wild trees their fruit, the earth its crops shall afford; undisturbed they shall dwell on their own lands, acknowledging my power at last, my power that severed strap of yoke, rescued them from the tyrant’s hand.
Forgotten, the enemies that despoiled, the wild beasts that preyed on them; they will live sheltered from all alarms.
Once more their renown shall burgeon;✻ never again the land starve with drought, never the alien’s taunts be heard.
None shall doubt that I, the Lord their God, am at their side, and they are my own people, the race of Israel, the Lord God says.
Flock of mine, the Lord God says, flock of my pasturing, you are but men,✻ yet I, the Lord, am your God.
The Holy Bible