"I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash
and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare...
I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands,
and they will no longer fall prey to your power.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.
"By lying to My people, who listen to lies,
you have killed those who should not have died
and have spared those who should not live...
Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies,
when I had brought them no grief,
and because you encouraged the wicked
not to turn from their evil ways...
I will save My people from your hands."
"I will pour out My Spirit on My people,
and I will bring life to those who are thirsty.
But I will destroy what has been built with whitewash.
Do I delight in positive appearances? Do I look on the outside?
I am He who sees hearts, and I am He who knows what is kept secret.
And I judge in love—in the love I gave you on the Cross.
"I am sending messengers to the shepherds of My house,
to tell them when My people are hurting, and why.
I am rescuing My children from the abuse they have suffered
under the watch of shepherds who neglected and rejected them.
I am healing them from the wounds they received
when they were dismissed by proud shepherds
who do not want to change their ways.
"But will the shepherds acknowledge Me and listen to Me?
Will they reject Me as they have rejected My messengers?
Won't they only continue to punish their spiritual children?"
"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord,
because My flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered
and has become food for all the wild animals,
and because my shepherds did not search for My flock
but cared for themselves rather than for My flock,
therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
"This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for My flock.
I will remove them from tending the flock
so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves...
"For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them...
I will rescue them from all the places
where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness...
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.
I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.
I will shepherd the flock with justice."