Jeremiah 14:13-18

Lying Prophets

13 Then I said: "Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets 1say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'"
14 And the LORD said to me: "The 2prophets are prophesying lies in my name. 3I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, 4worthless divination, and 5the deceit of their own minds.
15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although 6I did not send them, and who say, 7'Sword and famine shall not come upon this land': 8By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.
16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, 9with none to bury them--them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.
17 "You shall say to them this word: 10'Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin 11daughter of my people is shattered with a great wound, 12with a very grievous blow.
18 13If I go out into the field, behold, those pierced by the sword! 14And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! 15For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land and have no knowledge.'"

Jeremiah 14:13-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 14

This chapter contains prophecy of a drought, which produced a famine, Jer 14:1, and is described by the dismal effects of it; and general distress in the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, Jer 14:2, even the nobles were affected with it, whose servants returned without water ashamed, when sent for it, Jer 14:3, the ploughmen could not use their plough, their ground was so hard, Jer 14:4 and the very beasts of the field suffered much, because there was no grass, Jer 14:5,6, upon this follows a prayer of the prophet to the Lord, that he would give rain for his name's sake; he confesses the sins of the people, that they were many, and against the Lord; and testified against them, that they deserved to be used as they were; and he addresses the Lord as the hope and Saviour of his people in time past, when it was a time of trouble with them; and expostulates with him, why he should be as a stranger and traveller, and like a mighty man astonished, that either had no regard to their land any more than a foreigner and a traveller; or no heart to help them, or exert his power, than a man at his wits' end, though he was among them, and they were called by his name; and therefore he begs he would not leave them, Jer 14:7-9, but he is told that it was for the sins of the people that all this was, which the Lord was determined to remember and visit; and therefore he is bid not to pray for them; if he did, it would not be regarded, nor the people's fasting and prayers also; for they should be consumed by the sword, famine, and pestilence, Jer 14:10-12, and though the prophet pleads, in excuse of the people, that the false prophets had deceived them; yet not only the vanity and falsehood of their prophecies are exposed, and they are threatened with destruction, but the people also, for hearkening unto them, Jer 14:13-16, wherefore the prophet, instead of putting up a prayer for them, has a lamentation dictated to him by the Lord, which he is ordered to express, Jer 14:17,18, and yet, notwithstanding this, he goes on to pray for them in a very pathetic manner; he expostulates with God, and pleads for help and healing; confesses the iniquities of the people; entreats the Lord, for the sake of his name, glory, and covenant, that he would not reject them and his petition; and observes, that the thing asked for (rain) was what none of the gods of the Heathens could give, or even the heavens themselves, only the Lord; and therefore determines to wait upon him for it, who made the heavens, the earth, and rain, Jer 14:19-22.

Jeremiah 14:13-18 In-Context

11 The LORD said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people.
12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence."
13 Then I said: "Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'"
14 And the LORD said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not come upon this land': By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.
16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them--them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them.
17 "You shall say to them this word: 'Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is shattered with a great wound, with a very grievous blow.
18 If I go out into the field, behold, those pierced by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land and have no knowledge.'"
19 Have you utterly rejected Judah? Does your soul loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you.

Cross References 15

  • 1. [Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 6:14]
  • 2. See Jeremiah 5:31
  • 3. Jeremiah 23:21; Jeremiah 27:15; Deuteronomy 18:20; [Matthew 7:15; Mark 13:22]
  • 4. Ezekiel 13:6; [Jeremiah 27:9; Jeremiah 29:8]
  • 5. Jeremiah 23:26
  • 6. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 7. [See ver. 12 above]
  • 8. [Jeremiah 23:34]
  • 9. Psalms 79:3
  • 10. See Jeremiah 13:17
  • 11. See Jeremiah 8:21
  • 12. Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 30:12
  • 13. Ezekiel 7:15
  • 14. Ezekiel 7:15
  • 15. [Jeremiah 5:31]