God Will Punish the Other Nations
1 Lebanon, open your gates so that the fire will come
and burn your cedar trees.* cedar trees In this poem, the trees, bushes, and animals are symbols for the leaders of the countries around Judah.
2 The cypress trees will cry because the cedar trees have fallen.
Those powerful trees will be taken away.
Oak trees in Bashan will cry
for the forest that was cut down.
3 Listen to the crying shepherds.
Their powerful leaders were taken away.
Listen to the roaring of the young lions.
Their thick bushes near the Jordan River have all been taken away.
4 The LORD my God says, “Care for the sheep that have been raised to be killed. 5 Buyers kill their sheep and are not punished. Those who sell the sheep say, ‘Praise the LORD, I am rich!’ The shepherds don’t feel sorry for their sheep. 6 And I don’t feel sorry for the people who live in this country.” This is what the LORD said: “Look, I will let everyone be under the control of their neighbor and king. I will let them destroy the country—I will not stop them!”
7 So I took care of the sheep that had been raised to be killed—those poor sheep. I found two sticks. I called one stick Favor, and I called the other stick Union. Then I began caring for the sheep. 8 I fired the three shepherds all in one month. I got angry at the sheep, and they began to hate me. 9 Then I said, “I quit! I will not take care of you! I will let those who want to die, die. I will let those who want to be destroyed, be destroyed, and those who are left will destroy each other.” 10 Then I took the stick named Favor, and I broke it. I did this to show that God’s agreement with his people was broken. 11 So that day the agreement was finished, and those poor sheep watching me knew that this message was from the LORD.
12 Then I said, “If you want to pay me, pay me. If not, don’t!” So they paid me 30 pieces of silver. 13 Then the LORD told me, “So that’s how much they think I’m worth. Throw that large amount of money† large amount of money The Lord was making fun of the people. This was only the amount of money a person paid for a slave. into the Temple treasury.” So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the treasury at the LORD’S Temple. 14 Then I cut the stick named Union into two pieces. I did this to show that the union between Judah and Israel had been broken.
15 Then the LORD said to me, “Now, get the things a foolish shepherd might use. 16 This will show that I will get a new shepherd for this country. But this young man will not be able to take care of the sheep that are being destroyed. He will not be able to heal the hurt sheep or feed those that are left alive. And the healthy ones will be eaten completely—only their hoofs will be left.”
17 Too bad for you, you worthless shepherd!
You abandoned my sheep.
Strike his arm and right eye with a sword.
His arm will be useless.
His right eye will be blind.
*11:1 cedar trees In this poem, the trees, bushes, and animals are symbols for the leaders of the countries around Judah.
†11:13 large amount of money The Lord was making fun of the people. This was only the amount of money a person paid for a slave.