New International Reader's Version

Zechariah 11

1Lebanon, open your doors!
    Then fire can burn up your cedar trees.
Juniper trees, cry out!
    The cedar trees have fallen down.
    The majestic trees are destroyed.
Cry out, you oak trees of Bashan!
    The thick forest has been cut down.
Listen to the shepherds cry out!
    Their rich grasslands are destroyed.
Listen to the lions roar!
    The trees and bushes along the Jordan River are gone.

The Two Shepherds

The Lord my God says, “Take care of the sheep that are set apart to be sacrificed. Those who buy them kill them. And they are not punished for it. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord! We’re rich!’ And their own shepherds do not spare them. I will no longer have pity on the people in the land,” announces the Lord. “I will hand all of them over to their neighbors and their king. They will destroy the land. And I will not save anyone from their power.”

So I took care of the sheep set apart to be sacrificed. I took special care of those that had been treated badly. Then I got two shepherd’s staffs. I called one of them Favor. I called the other one Union. And I took care of the flock. In one month I got rid of three worthless shepherds.

The sheep hated me, and I got tired of them. So I said, “I won’t be your shepherd anymore. Let those of you who are dying die. Let those who are passing away pass away. Let those who are left eat one another up.”

10 Then I got my staff called Favor. I broke it. That meant the covenant the Lord had made with all the nations was broken. 11 It happened that day. The sheep that had been treated badly were watching me. They knew it was the Lord’s message.

12 I told them, “If you think it is best, give me my pay. But if you don’t think so, keep it.” So they paid me 30 silver coins.

13 The Lord said to me, “Throw those coins to the potter.” That amount shows how little they valued me! So I threw the 30 silver coins to the potter at the Lord’s temple.

14 Then I broke my second staff called Union. That broke the family connection between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me, “Now pretend to be a foolish shepherd. Get the things you need. 16 I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land. He will not take care of those that are wounded. He will not look for the young ones. He will not heal those that are hurt. He will not feed the healthy ones. Instead, he will eat the best sheep. He will even tear their hooves off.

17 “How terrible it will be for that worthless shepherd!
    He deserts the flock.
May a sword strike his arm and his right eye!
    May his powerful arm become weak!
    May his right eye be totally blinded!”