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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 23\\

This chapter contains threatenings to the Jewish governors, and to
their priests and prophets, on account of their manifold sins;
intermixed with gracious promises to the Lord's people, and
particularly with a famous promise of the Messiah. The pastors or
governors of Israel are charged with scattering and driving away the
Lord's flock, for which they are threatened, \\#Jer 23:1,2\\; and a
promise is made of the gathering of the remnant of them, and of setting
up other shepherds over them, under whom they should increase, and be
comfortable, \\#Jer 23:3,4\\; particularly the Messiah is promised; as
David's righteous Branch; as a prosperous and righteous King; as the
author of righteousness to his people, under whom they should have
salvation and safety, \\#Jer 23:5,6\\; so that in comparison of this
salvation, the deliverance out of Egypt should not be spoken of,
\\#Jer 23:7,8\\; and then follows a sad complaint of the priests and
prophets; of their profaneness, their adultery, swearing, lying,
hypocrisy, and deception of the people; for all which they are severely
threatened, \\#Jer 23:9-15\\; wherefore the people are exhorted not to
hearken to them, promising them peace and safety; whereas, by attending
to the word of God, it might easily be seen that a storm of wrath was
gone forth, and was ready to break, and would fall upon the head of the
wicked, to the executing of the thoughts and purposes of God's heart,
\\#Jer 23:16-20\\; and the Lord declares he had not sent these
prophets, as might be known from their not turning the people from
their evil ways, \\#Jer 23:21,22\\; whose conduct and behaviour could not
be hid from the sight of the Lord, nor their prophecies from his ears,
which were no other than dreams, and the deceits of their own hearts;
and there was as great a difference between them and the word of the
Lord, as between chaff and wheat; seeing his word in his hand is of
great virtue and efficacy, whereas there was none in theirs,
\\#Jer 23:23-29\\; wherefore the Lord declares himself to be against these
prophets, for stealing his word from their neighbour; for making use of
his name, when they were not sent by him; and for causing the people to
err by their lies, \\#Jer 23:30-32\\; and both people, priest, and
prophet, are severely threatened for jeering and scoffing at the word
of the Lord, calling it the burden of the Lord; which phrase they are
forbid to use in a sneering way; and should they persist in it, they
are told that God would forsake and forget them, and cast them out, and
everlastingly punish them, \\#Jer 23:39,40\\.