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Jeremiah 23 American Standard Version (ASV)

23 Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith Jehovah. Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, against the shepherds that feed my people: Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith Jehovah. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and multiply. And I will set up shepherds over them, who shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be lacking, saith Jehovah.

Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous [a]Branch, and he shall reign as king and [b]deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: [c]Jehovah our righteousness. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that they shall no more say, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As Jehovah liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries whither I had driven them. And they shall dwell in their own land.

Concerning the prophets. My heart within me is broken, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of Jehovah, and because of his holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of [d]swearing the land mourneth; the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. And their course is evil, and their might is not right; 11 for both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith Jehovah. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery places in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein; for I will bring evil upon them, [e]even the year of their visitation, saith Jehovah.

13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. 14 In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies; and they strengthen the hands of evil-doers, so that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them become unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. 15 Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of [f]gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is ungodliness gone forth into all the land.

16 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they teach you vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Jehovah. 17 They say continually unto them that despise me, Jehovah hath said, Ye shall have peace; and unto every one that walketh in the stubbornness of his own heart they say, No evil shall come upon you. 18 For who hath stood in the council of Jehovah, that he should perceive and hear his word? who hath marked [g]my word, and heard it? 19 Behold, the tempest of Jehovah, even his wrath, is gone forth, yea, a whirling tempest: it shall burst upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of Jehovah shall not return, until he have [h]executed, and till he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall [i]understand it perfectly. 21 I sent not these prophets, yet they ran: I spake not unto them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, then had they caused my people to hear my words, and had turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God at hand, saith Jehovah, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? saith Jehovah. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith Jehovah. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, even the prophets of the deceit of their own heart? 27 that think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgat my name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the straw to the wheat? saith Jehovah. 29 Is not my word like fire? saith Jehovah; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith Jehovah, that steal my words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith Jehovah, that [j]use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy lying dreams, saith Jehovah, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their vain boasting: yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; neither do they profit this people at all, saith Jehovah.

33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of Jehovah? then shalt thou [k]say unto them, What burden! I will cast you off, saith Jehovah. 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of Jehovah, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What hath Jehovah answered? and, What hath Jehovah spoken? 36 And the burden of Jehovah shall ye mention no more: for every man’s own word [l]shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of Jehovah of hosts our God. 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath Jehovah answered thee? and, What hath Jehovah spoken? 38 But if ye say, The burden of Jehovah; therefore thus saith Jehovah: Because ye say this word, The burden of Jehovah, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of Jehovah; 39 therefore, behold, I will utterly forget you, and I will cast you off, and the city that I gave unto you and to your fathers, away from my presence: 40 and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 23:5 Or, Shoot. Or, Bud
  2. Jeremiah 23:5 Or, prosper
  3. Jeremiah 23:6 Or, Jehovah is our righteousness
  4. Jeremiah 23:10 Or, the curse
  5. Jeremiah 23:12 Or, in the year
  6. Jeremiah 23:15 Or, poison
  7. Jeremiah 23:18 Another reading is, his
  8. Jeremiah 23:20 Or, done it
  9. Jeremiah 23:20 Or, consider
  10. Jeremiah 23:31 Hebrew take.
  11. Jeremiah 23:33 Or, tell them what the burden is
  12. Jeremiah 23:36 Or, is his burden, and ye pervert etc.

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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