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Jeremiah 23 Modern English Version (MEV)

The Righteous Branch

23 Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds that feed My people: You have scattered My flock and driven them away and have not visited them. I am about to punish you for the evil of your deeds, says the Lord. I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries wherever I have driven them and bring them again to their folds, and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will also set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they will fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor will they be missing, says the Lord.

The days are coming, says the Lord,
    that I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
and he shall reign as king and deal wisely,
    and shall execute justice and righteousness in the earth.
In his days Judah will be saved,
    and Israel will dwell safely.
And this is the name by which he will be called:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, surely the days are coming, says the Lord, when they will no more say, “As the Lord lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but, “As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all countries where I had driven them.” Then they will dwell in their own land.

Lying Prophets

My heart is broken within me,
    because of the prophets;
    all my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
    like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord,
    and because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
    for the land mourns because of the curse.
    The pleasant places of the wilderness have dried up.
And their course is evil
    and their might is not right.

11 For both prophet and priest are profane;
    indeed, in My house I have found their wickedness,
    says the Lord.
12 Therefore their way will be as slippery ways to them;
    they shall be driven into the darkness
    and fall in it;
for I will bring disaster upon them,
    even the year of their punishment,
    says the Lord.

13 In addition, I have seen folly
    in the prophets of Samaria.
They prophesied by Baal
    and caused My people Israel to err.
14 I have seen also among the prophets of Jerusalem
    a horrible thing.
    They commit adultery and walk in lies.
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    so that no one repents from his wickedness.
All of them are as Sodom to Me
    and her inhabitants as Gomorrah.

15 Therefore thus says the Lord of Hosts concerning the prophets:

“I will feed them with wormwood
    and make them drink the water of gall,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
    profaneness has gone out into all the land.”

16 Thus says the Lord of Hosts:

Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
    They lead you into vanity;
they speak a vision of their own heart
    and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
17 They still say to those who despise Me,
    “The Lord has said, ‘You will have peace’ ”;
and they say to everyone who walks after the imagination of his own heart,
    “No evil will come upon you.”
18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord
    and has perceived and heard His word?
    Who has given heed to His word and listened to it?
19 Look, a whirlwind of the Lord
    has gone forth in fury,
a tempestuous whirlwind.
    It will fall tempestuously upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until He has executed and performed
    the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days
    you will understand it perfectly.
21 I have not sent these prophets,
    yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them,
    yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in My counsel
    and had caused My people to hear My words,
then they would have turned them from their evil way
    and from the evil of their deeds.

23 Am I a God who is near,
    says the Lord,
    and not a God far off?
24 Can a man hide himself in secret places
    so that I do not see him?
    says the Lord.
    Do I not fill heaven and earth?
    says the Lord.

25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, “I had a dream, I had a dream!” 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who plan to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams, which they tell to their neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. 28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell his dream. And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? says the Lord. 29 Is not My word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

30 See, therefore I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal My words, each from his neighbor. 31 See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, “The Lord says.” 32 See, I am against those who prophesy false dreams, says the Lord, and recount them and cause My people to err by their lies and reckless boasting. Yet I sent them not nor commanded them. Therefore they shall not profit this people at all, says the Lord.

False Prophecy

33 When this people or the prophet or a priest asks you, saying, “What is the oracle of the Lord?” you shall then say to them, “What oracle? I will forsake you, says the Lord.” 34 As for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, “The oracle of the Lord,” I will punish that man and his house. 35 Thus each of you will say to his neighbor and to his brother, “What has the Lord answered?” and, “What has the Lord spoken?” 36 And the oracle of the Lord you shall mention no more, for every man’s word will be his oracle. For you have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of Hosts our God. 37 Thus you will say to that prophet, “What has the Lord answered you?” and, “What has the Lord spoken?” 38 But if you say, “The oracle of the Lord”; therefore thus says the Lord: Because you say this word, “The oracle of the Lord,” I have also sent to you, saying, You shall not say, “The oracle of the Lord.” 39 Therefore, surely, I, even I, will utterly forget you and cast you and the city that I gave you and your fathers out of My presence. 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you and perpetual shame which shall not be forgotten.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Jeremiah 23 New International Version (NIV)

The Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
    and do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
    and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.

“So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”

Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heart is broken within me;
    all my bones tremble.
I am like a drunken man,
    like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
    and his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers;
    because of the curse[b] the land lies parched
    and the pastures in the wilderness are withered.
The prophets follow an evil course
    and use their power unjustly.

11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;
    even in my temple I find their wickedness,”
declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;
    they will be banished to darkness
    and there they will fall.
I will bring disaster on them
    in the year they are punished,
declares the Lord.

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria
    I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal
    and led my people Israel astray.
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen something horrible:
    They commit adultery and live a lie.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.
They are all like Sodom to me;
    the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”

15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:

“I will make them eat bitter food
    and drink poisoned water,
because from the prophets of Jerusalem
    ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
    they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from their own minds,
    not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
    ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’
And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
    they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord
    to see or to hear his word?
    Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send these prophets,
    yet they have run with their message;
I did not speak to them,
    yet they have prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,
    they would have proclaimed my words to my people
and would have turned them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.

23 “Am I only a God nearby,
declares the Lord,
    “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.

False Prophecy

33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ I will punish them and their household. 35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord.’ 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 23:5 Or up from David’s line
  2. Jeremiah 23:10 Or because of these things
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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