Jeremiah 23 (New International Version)

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The Righteous Branch

1 "Woe to the shepherds1 who are destroying and scattering2 the sheep of my pasture!"3 declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds4 who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock5 and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil6 you have done," declares the LORD. 3 "I myself will gather the remnant7 of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture,8 where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds9 over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid10 or terrified, nor will any be missing,11" declares the LORD 5 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to Davida a righteous Branch,12 a King13 who will reign14 wisely and do what is just and right15 in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.16 This is the name17 by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.18 7 "So then, the days are coming,"19 declares the LORD, "when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,'20 8 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."21

Lying Prophets

9 Concerning the prophets: My heart22 is broken within me; all my bones tremble.23 I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words.24 10 The land is full of adulterers;25 because of the curseb26 the land lies parchedc and the pastures27 in the desert are withered.28 The [ prophets] follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. 11 "Both prophet and priest are godless;29 even in my temple30 I find their wickedness," declares the LORD. 12 "Therefore their path will become slippery;31 they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,32" declares the LORD. 13 "Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal33 and led my people Israel astray.34 14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible:35 They commit adultery and live a lie.36 They strengthen the hands of evildoers,37 so that no one turns from his wickedness.38 They are all like Sodom39 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,40 because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness41 has spread throughout the land." 16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen42 to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions43 from their own minds, not from the mouth44 of the LORD. 17 They keep saying45 to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.'46 And to all who follow the stubbornness47 of their hearts they say, 'No harm48 will come to you.' 18 But which of them has stood in the council49 of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm50 of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind51 swirling down on the heads of the wicked 20 The anger52 of the LORD will not turn back53 until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send54 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,55 they would have proclaimed56 my words to my people and would have turned57 them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.58 23 "Am I only a God nearby,59" declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? 24 Can anyone hide60 in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?"61 declares the LORD. 25 "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies62 in my name. They say, 'I had a dream!63 I had a dream!' 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions64 of their own minds?65 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget66 my name, just as their fathers forgot67 my name through Baal worship.68 28 Let the prophet who has a dream69 tell his dream, but let the one who has my word70 speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?" declares the LORD. 29 "Is not my word like fire,"71 declares the LORD, "and like a hammer72 that breaks a rock in pieces? 30 "Therefore," declares the LORD, "I am against73 the prophets74 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.'75 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,76" declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray77 with their reckless lies,78 yet I did not send79 or appoint them. They do not benefit80 these people in the least," declares the LORD.

False Oracles and False Prophets

33 "When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the oracled81 of the LORD?' say to them, 'What oracle?e I will forsake82 you, declares the LORD.' 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, 'This is the oracle83 of the LORD,' I will punish84 that man and his household. 35 This is what each of you keeps on saying to his friend or relative: 'What is the LORD's answer?'85 or 'What has the LORD spoken?' 36 But you must not mention 'the oracle of the LORD' again, because every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort86 the words of the living God,87 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 the oracle of the LORD,' this is what the LORD says: You used the words, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' even though I told you that you must not claim, 'This is the oracle of the LORD. 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast88 you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your fathers. 40 I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace89--everlasting shame that will not be forgotten."
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