The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Zacharias
Fling thy gates wide, Lebanon, for the fire to come in, and devour thy cedars!
Lament, neighbour pine-tree, for cedar overthrown; here be lordly ones plundered; lament, oaks of Basan, for the secret forest that is cut down!
Hark, how the shepherd-folk lament, their fine mantle✻ gone, how roars lion for the thickets of Jordan stripped!
This message the Lord my God sent me:✻ To this flock that is a-fattening for slaughter thou must play the shepherd.
What, would they slay without remorse, yonder lords of the flock, sell carcase, and thank the Lord that so enriches them; are there shepherds so unmerciful?
Nay, I will be unmerciful too, the Lord says, to all that dwell on earth; I will leave every son of Adam at the mercy of his neighbour, or the king that rules over him; broken and bowed the land shall be, and no redress shall they have from me henceforward!
Poor sheep fattening for slaughter, take charge of your flock I must; and two staves I made me, for the better tending of it, one I called Beauty, and the other Cords.
Before a month was up, of three shepherds I had rid them, yet had I no patience with them, and they of me grew no less weary.
No more will I tend you, said I; perish all of you that will perish, be lost all that will be lost; and for the residue, let them devour one another; I care not.
With that, I took up the staff I called Beauty, and cut it in two; in token that my covenant with all the world should be null.
Null it was thenceforward; and doubt they might not, the starvelings of the flock that looked up to me, the Lord’s word had come to them.
… And now, said I, pay me my wages, if pay you will; if not, say no more. So they paid me for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
Why, the Lord said, here is a princely sum they rate me at! Throw it to the craftsman yonder. So there, in the Lord’s temple, I threw the craftsman my thirty pieces of silver …✻
Then I took my other staff, Cords, and cut it in two; in token that all brotherhood was at an end between Juda and Israel.✻
And the Lord said, Gear of a foolish shepherd thou must take to thee now.
See if I do not find me such a shepherd for this land of theirs, as will leave lost sheep uncounted, strayed sheep unsought, hurt sheep unhealed; and such as are left whole, feed he will not, but eat ever the fattest of them, tearing only the hoofs away.
Out upon the false shepherd✻ that abandons his flock! Sword shall pierce the arm of him, and the right eye of him, till arm is withered and eye darkened quite.
The Holy Bible