1-2 “Hey you! Leaders called to care for my people!” The Lord declares, “You’re doomed!” You were supposed to be shepherds watching over the sheep -- taking care of their needs -- making sure that they are in good pastures. Instead, you’re butchering my sheep for dinner and scattering the flock -- chasing them out into the open where they’re in danger of attack. You crooks need to know that I’m going to execute justice. You’ll pay for what you’ve done to them. 3 And I will directly take over the flock myself -- gathering the few surviving exiles from all the places where I have had to send them. I will bring them back to their home pasture. And there, they will fulfill the mission I gave them in Genesis 1. They will “be fruitful and multiply.” They will thrive. 4 And I promise that I will appoint new shepherds to oversee and care for them. Under the oversight of these real leaders my people will come back together and live without fear.
5 Indeed, someday I will appoint a righteous ruler -- a new shoot from the tree of King David -- which was cut down to a stump. But at that time a new sprig from the “dead” stump will appear. Unlike the current leaders he will be a wise king whose reign will be characterized by justice for all the people of the land. 6 Under his leadership both Israel and Judah will be safe and secure -- living in peace with each other and the world. This king will be known by the name “The Lord Gives Us Justice.”