The Doomed Flock

Open your doors, Lebanon,

So that a fire may feed on your cedars.

Wail, juniper, because the cedar has fallen,

For the magnificent trees have been destroyed;

Wail, oaks of Bashan,

Because the [a]impenetrable forest has come down.

There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail,

For their splendor is ruined;

There is a sound of the young lions’ roar,

For the [b]pride of the Jordan is ruined.

This is what the Lord my God says: “Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them and [c]go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ And their own shepherds have no compassion for them. For I will no longer have compassion for the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord; “but behold, I will let the people fall, each into another’s [d]power and into the [e]power of his king; and they will crush the land, and I will not rescue them from their [f]power.”

So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, [g]therefore also the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called [h]Favor, and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock. Then I did away with the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also [i]was tired of me. Then I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, [j]let it die, and what is to perish, [k]let it perish; and [l]let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” 10 And I took my staff [m]Favor and cut it in pieces, to [n]break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was [o]broken on that day, and [p]so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. 12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, [q]never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. 14 Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 And the Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or provide for the one who is exhausted, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.

17 Woe to the worthless shepherd

Who abandons the flock!

A sword will be on his arm

And on his right eye!

His arm will be totally withered,

And his right eye will be [r]blind.”


  1. Zechariah 11:2 Another reading is forest of the vintage
  2. Zechariah 11:3 Or thicket
  3. Zechariah 11:5 Lit are not held guilty
  4. Zechariah 11:6 Lit hand
  5. Zechariah 11:6 Lit hand
  6. Zechariah 11:6 Lit hand
  7. Zechariah 11:7 Another reading is for the sheep dealers
  8. Zechariah 11:7 Or Pleasantness
  9. Zechariah 11:8 Or detested
  10. Zechariah 11:9 Or will die
  11. Zechariah 11:9 Or will perish
  12. Zechariah 11:9 Or those...will eat
  13. Zechariah 11:10 Or Pleasantness
  14. Zechariah 11:10 Or annul
  15. Zechariah 11:11 Or annulled
  16. Zechariah 11:11 Another reading is the sheep dealers who
  17. Zechariah 11:12 Lit cease
  18. Zechariah 11:17 Lit completely dimmed