And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
This is one of my favorite word pictures in the Bible:
- God is our Shepherd (Psalm 23) and
- Jesus, our Good Shepherd. (John 10:1-14)
In Jeremiah we see MANY references to shepherds, both good and bad. I’ve listed these passages below. God promises not only to BE our Shepherd, but to provide shepherds for us. Shepherds after His own heart that will lead us into green pastures, where we will have the “great food” of knowledge and understanding. Beware of the false imitators: stupid shepherds (10:21) who destroy(12:10) and scatter (23:1-2) and lead astray(50:6)
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.
Jeremiah 6:3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; they shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, each in his place.
For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.
Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face.
The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and confounded because of all your evil.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord.
Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
“Wail, you shepherds, and cry out, and roll in ashes, you lords of the flock, for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come, and you shall fall like a choice vessel.
Jeremiah 25:35 No refuge will remain for the shepherds, nor escape for the lords of the flock.
A voice—the cry of the shepherds, and the wail of the lords of the flock! For the Lord is laying waste their pasture,
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks.
I shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd cleans his cloak of vermin, and he shall go away from there in peace.
Jeremiah 49:19 Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold.
Jeremiah 50:44 “Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
Jeremiah 51:23 with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team; with you I break in pieces governors and commanders.