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Jeremiah



The book of the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 23, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 23

New English Translation


   New Leaders over a Regathered Remnant
   1 The LORD says, "The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered. 2 So the LORD God of Israel has this to say about the leaders who are ruling over his people: "You have caused my people to be dispersed and driven into exile. You have not taken care of them. So I will punish you for the evil that you have done. I, the LORD, affirm it! 3 Then I myself will regather those of my people who are still alive from all the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their homeland. They will greatly increase in number. 4 I will install rulers over them who will care for them. Then they will no longer need to fear or be terrified. None of them will turn up missing. I, the LORD, promise it!
   5 "I, the LORD, promise that a new time will certainly come when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, a descendant of David. He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding and will do what is just and right in the land.
   6 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety and Israel will live in security. This is the name he will go by: 'The LORD has provided us with justice.'
   7 "So I, the LORD, say: 'A new time will certainly come. People now affirm their oaths with "I swear as surely as the LORD lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt." 8 But at that time they will affirm them with "I swear as surely as the LORD lives who delivered the descendants of the former nation of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them." At that time they will live in their own land.'"
   Oracles Against the False Prophets
   9 Here is what the LORD says concerning the false prophets: My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed. I tremble all over. I am like a drunk person, like a person who has had too much wine, because of the way the LORD and his holy word are being mistreated.
   10 For the land is full of people unfaithful to him. They live wicked lives and they misuse their power. So the land is dried up because it is under his curse. The pastures in the wilderness are withered. 11 Moreover, the LORD says, "Both the prophets and priests are godless. I have even found them doing evil in my temple!
   12 So the paths they follow will be dark and slippery. They will stumble and fall headlong. For I will bring disaster on them. A day of reckoning is coming for them." The LORD affirms it!
   13 The LORD says, "I saw the prophets of Samaria doing something that was disgusting. They prophesied in the name of the god Baal and led my people Israel astray.
   14 But I see the prophets of Jerusalem doing something just as shocking. They are unfaithful to me and continually prophesy lies. So they give encouragement to people who are doing evil, with the result that they do not stop their evildoing. I consider all of them as bad as the people of Sodom, and the citizens of Jerusalem as bad as the people of Gomorrah.
   15 So then I, the LORD who rules over all, have something to say concerning the prophets of Jerusalem: 'I will make these prophets eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment. For the prophets of Jerusalem are the reason that ungodliness has spread throughout the land.'"
   16 The LORD who rules over all says to the people of Jerusalem: "Do not listen to what those prophets are saying to you. They are filling you with false hopes. They are reporting visions of their own imaginations, not something the LORD has given them to say.
   17 They continually say to those who reject what the LORD has said, 'Things will go well for you!' They say to all those who follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts, 'Nothing bad will happen to you!'
   18 Yet which of them has ever stood in the LORD's inner circle so they could see and hear what he has to say? Which of them have ever paid attention or listened to what he has said?
   19 But just watch! The wrath of the LORD ill come like a storm! Like a raging storm it will rage down on the heads of those who are wicked.
   20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has fully carried out his intended purposes. In days to come you people will come to understand this clearly.
   21 I did not send those prophets. Yet they were in a hurry to give their message. I did not tell them anything. Yet they prophesied anyway.
   22 But if they had stood in my inner circle, they would have proclaimed my message to my people. They would have caused my people to turn from their wicked ways and stop doing the evil things they are doing.
   23 Do you people think that I am some local deity and not the transcendent God?" the LORD asks.
   24 "Do you really think anyone can hide himself where I cannot see him?" the LORD asks. "Do you not know that I am everywhere?" the LORD asks.
   25 The LORD says, "I have heard what those prophets who are prophesying lies in my name are saying. They are saying, 'I have had a dream! I have had a dream!' 26 Those prophets are just prophesying lies. They are prophesying the delusions of their own minds. 27 How long will they go on plotting to make my people forget who I am through the dreams they tell one another? That is just as bad as what their ancestors did when they forgot who I am by worshiping the god Baal. 28 Let the prophet who has had a dream go ahead and tell his dream. Let the person who has received my message report that message faithfully. What is like straw cannot compare to what is like grain! I, the LORD, affirm it! 29 My message is like a fire that purges dross! It is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces! I, the LORD, so affirm it! 30 So I, the LORD, affirm that I am opposed to those prophets who steal messages from one another that they claim are from me. 31 I, the LORD, affirm that I am opposed to those prophets who are using their own tongues to declare, 'The LORD declares
   33 The LORD said to me, "Jeremiah, when one of these people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, 'What burdensome message do you have from the LORD?' Tell them, 'You are the burden, and I will cast you away. I, the LORD, affirm it! 34 I will punish any prophet, priest, or other person who says "The LORD's message is burdensome." I will punish both that person and his whole family.'"
   35 So I, Jeremiah, tell you, "Each of you people should say to his friend or his relative, 'How did the LORD answer? Or what did the LORD say?' 36 You must no longer say that the LORD's message is burdensome. For what is 'burdensome' really pertains to what a person himself says. You are misrepresenting the words of our God, the living God, the LORD who rules over all. 37 Each of you should merely ask the prophet, 'What answer did the LORD give you? Or what did the LORD say?' 38 But just suppose you continue to say, 'The message of the LORD is burdensome.' Here is what the LORD says will happen: 'I sent word to you that you must not say, "The LORD's message is burdensome." But you used the words "The LORD's message is burdensome" anyway. 39 So I will carry you far off and throw you away. I will send both you and the city I gave to you and to your ancestors out of my sight. 40 I will bring on you lasting shame and lasting disgrace which will never be forgotten!'"

King James Version


   1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
   2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors 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 the LORD.
   3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
   4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
   5 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
   6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
   7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
   8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
   9 ¶ Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
   10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
   11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
   12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
   13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
   14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
   15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
   16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
   17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
   18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
   19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
   20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider 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 should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
   23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
   24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
   25 I have heard what the prophets 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? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
   27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten 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 chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
   29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
   30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
   31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
   32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
   33 ¶ And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.
   34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
   35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
   36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
   37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
   38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
   39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
   40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
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