Good News Translation (GNB)
34

The Shepherds of Israel

341The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the rulers of Israel. Prophesy to them, and tell them what I, the Sovereign LORD, say to them: you are doomed, you shepherds of Israel! You take care of yourselves, but never tend the sheep. 3You drink the milk, wear clothes made from the wool, and kill and eat the finest sheep. But you never tend the sheep. 4You have not taken care of the weak ones, healed those that are sick, bandaged those that are hurt, brought back those that wandered off, or looked for those that were lost. Instead, you treated them cruelly. 5

34.5:
Num 27.17
1 Kgs 22.17
Mt 9.36
Mk 6.34
Because the sheep had no shepherd, they were scattered, and wild animals killed and ate them. 6So my sheep wandered over the high hills and the mountains. They were scattered over the face of the earth, and no one looked for them or tried to find them.

7“Now, you shepherds, listen to what I, the LORD, am telling you. 8As surely as I am the living God, you had better listen to me. My sheep have been attacked by wild animals that killed and ate them because there was no shepherd. My shepherds did not try to find the sheep. They were taking care of themselves and not the sheep. 9So listen to me, you shepherds. 10I, the Sovereign LORD, declare that I am your enemy. I will take my sheep away from you and never again let you be their shepherds; never again will I let you take care only of yourselves. I will rescue my sheep from you and not let you eat them.

The Good Shepherd

11“I, the Sovereign LORD, tell you that I myself will look for my sheep and take care of them 12in the same way as shepherds take care of their sheep that were scattered and are brought together again. I will bring them back from all the places where they were scattered on that dark, disastrous day. 13I will take them out of foreign countries, gather them together, and bring them back to their own land. I will lead them back to the mountains and the streams of Israel and will feed them in pleasant pastures. 14I will let them graze in safety in the mountain meadows and the valleys and in all the green pastures of the land of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will find them a place to rest. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken.

16“I will look for those that are lost, bring back those that wander off, bandage those that are hurt, and heal those that are sick; but those that are fat and strong I will destroy, because I am a shepherd who does what is right.

17“Now then, my flock, I, the Sovereign LORD, tell you that I will judge each of you and separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. 18Some of you are not satisfied with eating the best grass; you even trample down what you don't eat! You drink the clear water and muddy what you don't drink! 19My other sheep have to eat the grass you trample down and drink the water you muddy.

20“So now, I, the Sovereign LORD, tell you that I will judge between you strong sheep and the weak sheep. 21You pushed the sick ones aside and butted them away from the flock. 22But I will rescue my sheep and not let them be ill-treated any more. I will judge each of my sheep and separate the good from the bad. 23

34.23:
Rev 7.17
I will give them a king like my servant David to be their one shepherd, and he will take care of them. 24
34.24:
Ezek 37.24
I, the LORD, will be their God, and a king like my servant David will be their ruler. I have spoken. 25I will make a covenant with them that guarantees their security. I will get rid of all the dangerous animals in the land, so that my sheep can live safely in the fields and sleep in the forests.

26“I will bless them and let them live round my sacred hill.34.26 sacred hill: See 20.40. There I will bless them with showers of rain when they need it. 27The trees will bear fruit, the fields will produce crops, and everyone will live in safety on his own land. When I break my people's chains and set them free from those who made them slaves, then they will know that I am the LORD. 28The heathen nations will not plunder them any more, and the wild animals will not kill and eat them. They will live in safety, and no one will terrify them. 29I will give them fertile fields and put an end to hunger in the land. The other nations will not sneer at them any more. 30Everyone will know that I protect Israel and that they are my people. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken.

31“You, my sheep, the flock that I feed, are my people, and I am your God,” says the Sovereign LORD.

35

God's Punishment of Edom

351

35.1–15:
Is 34.5–17
63.1–6
Jer 49.7–22
Ezek 25.12–14
Amos 1.11–12
Obad 1–14
Mal 1.2–5
The LORD spoke to me. 2“Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the country of Edom. 3Tell the people what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying:

“I am your enemy, mountains of Edom!

I will make you a desolate waste.

4I will leave your cities in ruins

And your land desolate;

Then you will know that I am the LORD.

5“You were Israel's constant enemy and let her people be slaughtered in the time of her disaster, the time of final punishment for her sins. 6So then — as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God — death is your fate, and you cannot escape it. You are guilty of35.6 One ancient translation are guilty of; Hebrew hate. murder, and murder will follow you. 7I will make the hill country of Edom a waste and kill everyone who travels through it. 8I will cover the mountains with corpses, and the bodies of those who are killed in battle will cover the hills and valleys. 9I will make you desolate for ever, and no one will live in your cities again. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

10“You said that the two nations, Judah and Israel, together with their lands, belonged to you and that you would possess them, even though I, the LORD, was their God. 11So then, as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God, I will pay you back for your anger, your jealousy, and your hatred towards my people. They will know that I am punishing you for what you did to them. 12Then you will know that I, the LORD, heard you say with contempt that the mountains of Israel were desolate and that they were yours to devour. 13I have heard the wild, boastful way you have talked against me.”

14The Sovereign LORD says, “I will make you so desolate that the whole world will rejoice at your downfall, 15just as you rejoiced at the devastation of Israel, my own possession. The mountains of Seir, yes, all the land of Edom, will be desolate. Then everyone will know that I am the LORD.”

36

God's Blessing on Israel

361The LORD said, “Mortal man, speak to the mountains of Israel and tell them to listen to the message which I, 2the Sovereign LORD, have for them: Israel's enemies gloated and said, ‘Now those ancient hills are ours!’

3“Prophesy, then, and announce what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying. When the neighbouring nations captured and plundered the mountains of Israel, all of them insulted Israel. 4So now listen to what I, the Sovereign LORD, say to you mountains and hills, to you brooks and valleys, to you places that were left in ruins, and to you deserted cities which were plundered and mocked by all the surrounding nations.

5“I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken out in the heat of my anger against the surrounding nations, and especially against Edom. With glee and contempt, they captured my land and took possession of its pastures.

6“So prophesy to the land of Israel; tell the mountains, hills, brooks, and valleys what I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying in jealous anger because of the way the nations have insulted and humiliated them. 7I, the Sovereign LORD, solemnly promise that the surrounding nations will be humiliated. 8But on the mountains of Israel the trees will again grow leaves and bear fruit for you, my people Israel. You are going to come home soon. 9I am on your side, and I will make sure that your land is ploughed again and that seeds are sown there. 10I will make your population grow. You will live in the cities and rebuild everything that was left in ruins. 11I will make people and cattle increase in number. There will be more of you than ever before, and you will have many children. I will let you live there as you used to live, and I will make you more prosperous than ever. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 12I will bring you, my people Israel, back to live again in the land. It will be your own land, and it will never again let your children starve.

13“I, the Sovereign LORD, say: it is true that people say that the land eats people, and that it robs the nation of its children. 14But from now on it will no longer eat people and rob you of your children. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken. 15The land will no longer have to listen to the nations mocking it or see the peoples sneer at it. The land will no longer rob the nation of its children. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken.”

Israel's New Life

16The LORD spoke to me. 17“Mortal man,” he said, “when the Israelites were living in their land, they defiled it by the way they lived and acted. I regarded their behaviour as being as ritually unclean as a woman is during her monthly period.36.17 ritually uncleanperiod: This is based on the view of ritual uncleanness described in the Law of Moses (see Lev 15.19). 18I let them feel the force of my anger because of the murders they had committed in the land and because of the idols by which they had defiled it. 19I condemned them for the way they lived and acted, and I scattered them through foreign countries. 20Wherever they went, they brought disgrace on my holy name, because people would say, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but they had to leave his land.’ 21That made me concerned for my holy name, since the Israelites brought disgrace on it everywhere they went.

22“Now then, give the Israelites the message that I, the Sovereign LORD, have for them: what I am going to do is not for the sake of you Israelites, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have disgraced in every country where you have gone. 23When I demonstrate to the nations the holiness of my great name — the name you disgraced among them — then they will know that I am the LORD. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken. I will use you to show the nations that I am holy. 24I will take you from every nation and country and bring you back to your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean from all your idols and everything else that has defiled you. 26

36.26–28:
Ezek 11.19–20
I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. 27I will put my spirit in you and I will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you. 28Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29I will save you from everything that defiles you. I will command the corn to be plentiful, so that you will not have any more famines. 30I will increase the yield of your fruit trees and your fields, so that there will be no more famines to disgrace you among the nations. 31You will remember your evil conduct and the wrongs that you committed, and you will be disgusted with yourselves because of your sins and your iniquities. 32Israel, I want you to know that I am not doing all this for your sake. I want you to feel the shame and disgrace of what you are doing. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken.”

33The Sovereign LORD says, “When I make you clean from all your sins, I will let you live in your cities again and let you rebuild the ruins. 34Everyone who used to walk by your fields saw how overgrown and wild they were, but I will let you farm them again. 35Everyone will say how this land, which was once a wilderness, has become like the Garden of Eden, and how the cities which were torn down, looted, and left in ruins, are now inhabited and fortified. 36Then the neighbouring nations that have survived will know that I, the LORD, rebuild ruined cities and replant waste fields. I, the LORD, have promised that I would do this — and I will.”

37The Sovereign LORD says, “I will once again let the Israelites ask me for help, and I will let them increase in numbers like a flock of sheep. 38The cities that are now in ruins will then be as full of people as Jerusalem was once full of the sheep which were offered as sacrifices at a festival. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”