Matthew 9:35-38

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

35 (A)And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 (B)When he saw the crowds, (C)he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, (D)like sheep without a shepherd. 37 (E)Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore (F)pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to (G)send out laborers into his harvest.”

Ezekiel 34:1-16

Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel

34 The word of the Lord came to me: (A)“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: (B)Ah, shepherds of Israel (C)who have been feeding yourselves! (D)Should not shepherds feed the sheep? (E)You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, (F)you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. (G)The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, (H)the injured you have not bound up, (I)the strayed you have not brought back, (J)the lost you have not sought, and with force and (K)harshness you have ruled them. (L)So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and (M)they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, (N)with none to search or seek for them.

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: (O)As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because (P)my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, (Q)Behold, I am against the shepherds, and (R)I will require my sheep at their hand and (S)put a stop to their feeding the sheep. (T)No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. (U)I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

The Lord God Will Seek Them Out

11 “For thus says the Lord God: (V)Behold, I, I (W)myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on (X)a day of clouds and (Y)thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples(Z)and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on (AA)the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 (AB)I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. (AC)There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 (AD)I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, (AE)and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 (AF)I will seek the lost,(AG)and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and (AH)the fat and the strong I will destroy.[a] I will feed them in justice.


  1. Ezekiel 34:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate I will watch over


Isaiah 17:10-11

10 For (A)you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the (B)Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow[a] on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away[b]
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.


  1. Isaiah 17:11 Or though you carefully fence them
  2. Isaiah 17:11 Or will be a heap


Joel 3:9-14

Proclaim this among the nations:
(A)Consecrate for war;[a]
    stir up the mighty men.
Let all the men of war draw near;
    let them come up.
10 (B)Beat your plowshares into swords,
    and (C)your pruning hooks into spears;
    let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

11 (D)Hasten and come,
    all you surrounding nations,
    and gather yourselves there.
(E)Bring down your warriors, O Lord.
12 Let the nations stir themselves up
    and come up to (F)the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
(G)for there I will sit to judge
    all the surrounding nations.

13 (H)Put in the sickle,
    (I)for the harvest is ripe.
(J)Go in, tread,
    (K)for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
    for their evil is great.

14 Multitudes, multitudes,
    in the valley of decision!
For (L)the day of the Lord is near
    in the valley of decision.


  1. Joel 3:9 Or Consecrate a war

Revelation 14:14-16

The Harvest of the Earth

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one (A)like a son of man, (B)with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel (C)came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, (D)“Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for (E)the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.