Zechariah 11
Contemporary English Version

Trouble for Israel's Enemies

1Lebanon, open your gates!

Let the fire come in

to destroy your cedar trees.

2Cry, you cypress trees!

The glorious cedars have fallen

and are rotting.

Cry, you oak trees of Bashan!

The dense forest

has been chopped down.

3Listen! Shepherds are crying.

Their glorious pastures

have been ruined.

Listen! Lions are roaring.

The forests of the Jordan Valley

are no more to be found.

Worthless Shepherds

4The Lord my God said to me:

Tend those sheep doomed for slaughter! 5The people who buy and butcher them go unpunished, while everyone who sells them says, “Praise the Lord! I'm rich.” Not even their shepherds have pity on them.

6Tend those sheep because I, the Lord, will no longer have pity on the people of this earth. I'll turn neighbor against neighbor and make them slaves of a king. They will bring disaster on the earth, and I'll do nothing to rescue any of them.

7So I became a shepherd of those sheep doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep dealers.+ And I gave names to the two sticks I used for tending the sheep: One of them was named “Mercy” and the other “Unity.” 8In less than a month, I became impatient with three shepherds who didn't like me, and I got rid of them. 9Then I said, “I refuse to be your shepherd. Let the sheep that are going to die, go on and die, and those that are going to be destroyed, go on and be destroyed. Then let the others eat one another alive.”

10On that same day, I broke the stick named “Mercy” to show that the Lord had canceled his agreement with all people. 11The sheep dealers who saw me knew at once that this was a message from the Lord. 12-13 I told them, “Pay me my wages, if you think you should; otherwise, forget it.” So they handed me my wages, a measly 30 pieces of silver.

Then the Lord said, “Throw the money into the treasury.”+ So I threw the money into the treasury at the Lord's temple. 14Then I broke the stick named “Unity” and canceled the ties between Judah and Israel.

15Next, the Lord said to me, “Act like a shepherd again—this time a worthless shepherd. 16Once more I am going to let a worthless nobody rule the land—one who won't care for the strays or search for the young or heal the sick or feed the healthy. He will just dine on the fattest sheep, leaving nothing but a few bones.”

17You worthless shepherd,

deserting the sheep!

I hope a sword

will cripple your arm

and blind your right eye.


11.7 by the sheep dealers: One ancient translation; Hebrew “especially the weak ones.”
11.12,13 Throw … treasury: Hebrew “Throw the money to the potter.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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