Jeremiah 23; Jeremiah 24; Jeremiah 25

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Jeremiah 23

1 "How horrible it will be for the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep in my care," declares the LORD.
2 "This is what I, the LORD God of Israel, said to the shepherds who take care of my people: You have scattered my sheep and chased them away. You have not taken care of them, so now I will take care of you by punishing you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD.
3 "Then I will gather the remaining part of my flock from all the countries where I chased them. I will bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fertile and increase in number.
4 I will put shepherds over them. Those shepherds will take care of them. My sheep will no longer be afraid or terrified, and not one of them will be missing," declares the LORD.
5 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will grow a righteous branch for David. He will be a king who will rule wisely. He will do what is fair and right in the land.
6 In his lifetime, Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. This is the name that he will be given: The LORD Our Righteousness.
7 "That is why the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when people's oaths will no longer be, 'The LORD brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. As the LORD lives....'
8 Instead, their oaths will be, 'The LORD brought the descendants of the nation of Israel out of the land of the north and all the lands where he had scattered them. As the LORD lives....' At that time they will live in their own land.
9 "[Say this] about the prophets: I am deeply disturbed. All my bones tremble. I am like a drunk, like a person who has had too much wine, because of the LORD and his holy words.
10 The land is filled with adulterers. The land mourns because of the curse. Pastures in the wilderness have dried up. The people are evil, and they use their strength to do the wrong things.
11 The prophets and priests are godless. Even in my temple I've found them doing evil," declares the LORD.
12 "That is why their own way will become like slippery paths in the dark. They will be chased away, and they will fall down in the dark. I will bring disaster on them. It is time for them to be punished," declares the LORD.
13 "[Say this] about the prophets of Samaria: I saw something disgusting. The prophets of Samaria prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
14 "[Say this] about the prophets of Jerusalem: I see something horrible. The prophets of Jerusalem commit adultery and live a lie. They support those who do evil so that no one turns back from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me, and those who live in Jerusalem are like Gomorrah."
15 This is what the LORD of Armies says about the prophets: I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink. The prophets of Jerusalem have spread godlessness throughout the land.
16 This is what the LORD of Armies says: Don't listen to what the prophets are saying to you. They fill you with false hope. They speak about visions that they dreamed up. These visions are not from the LORD.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me, "The LORD says, 'Everything will go well for you.'" They tell all who live by their own stubborn ways, "Nothing bad will happen to you."
18 Who is in the LORD's inner circle and sees and hears his word? Who pays attention and listens to his word?
19 The storm of the LORD will come with his anger. Like a windstorm, it will swirl down on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has done everything he intends to do. In the last days you will understand this clearly.
21 I didn't send these prophets, yet they ran [with their message]. I didn't speak to them, yet they prophesied.
22 If they had been in my inner circle, they would have announced my words to my people. They would have turned back from their evil ways and the evil they have done.
23 "I am a God who is near. I am also a God who is far away," declares the LORD.
24 "No one can hide so that I can't see him," declares the LORD. "I fill heaven and earth!" declares the LORD.
25 "I've heard the prophets who speak lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!'
26 How long will these prophets continue to lie and deceive?
27 They tell each other the dreams they had, because they want to make my people forget my name, as their ancestors forgot my name because of Baal.
28 The prophet who has a dream should tell his dream. However, the person who has my word should honestly speak my word. What does grain have to do with straw?" asks the LORD.
29 "Isn't my word like fire or like a hammer that shatters a rock?" asks the LORD.
30 "I'm against the prophets who steal my words from each other," declares the LORD.
31 "I'm against the prophets who speak their own thoughts and say that they speak for me.
32 I'm against those who prophesy dreams they made up," declares the LORD. "They tell the dreams they made up and lead my people astray with their lies and their wild talk. I didn't send them or command them to go. They don't help these people at all," declares the LORD.
33 "When these people, the prophets, or the priests ask you, 'What revelation has the LORD burdened you with now?' say to them, 'You are the burden! I will abandon you, declares the LORD.'
34 Suppose the prophets, the priests, or these people say, 'This is the LORD's revelation!' I will punish them and their families.
35 They should ask their neighbors and their relatives, 'What is the LORD's answer?' and 'What did the LORD say?'
36 They should never again say, 'This is the LORD's revelation,' because each person's word becomes the revelation. They will twist the words of the living God, the LORD of Armies, our God.
37 "Jeremiah, say this to the prophets, 'What was the LORD's answer to you?' and 'What did the LORD say?'
38 Suppose they say, 'This is the LORD's revelation!' Then say, 'This is what the LORD says: Because you have said, "This is the LORD's revelation!" even though I commanded you not to repeat this saying,
39 I will certainly forget you. I will throw you out of my presence and out of the city that I gave you and your ancestors.
40 I will bring eternal disgrace and shame on you. It will never be forgotten.'"
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jeremiah 24

1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jehoiakin (son of King Jehoiakim of Judah), the princes of Judah, the skilled workers, and the builders from Jerusalem into captivity and brought them to Babylon. After this, the LORD showed me two baskets of figs set in front of the LORD's temple.
2 One basket had very good figs, like figs that ripen first. The other basket had very bad figs. These figs were so bad that they couldn't be eaten.
3 Then the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I answered, "Figs. Figs that are very good. I also see figs that are very bad, so bad that they can't be eaten."
4 The LORD spoke his word to me,
5 "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: The captives of Judah, whom I sent away from here to Babylon, are like these good figs. I will look kindly on them.
6 I will watch over them for their own good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them.
7 I will give them the desire to know that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, because they will wholeheartedly come back to me.
8 "But this is what the LORD says about the bad figs that are so bad that they can't be eaten. The LORD says, 'Like these bad figs, I will abandon King Zedekiah of Judah, his princes, the remaining few in Jerusalem who stayed behind in this land, and those who are living in Egypt.
9 I will make them a horrifying sight to all the kingdoms of the earth. They will be a disgrace and an example. They will become something ridiculed and cursed wherever I scatter them.
10 I will send wars, famines, and plagues until they disappear from the land that I gave to them and their ancestors.'"
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jeremiah 25

1 The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah when Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was in his fourth year as king. (This was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.)
2 The prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to everyone who lived in Jerusalem. He said,
3 "For 23 years, from the time that Josiah, son of Amon, was in his thirteenth year as king of Judah until today, the LORD continued to speak his word to me. So I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.
4 "Even though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you, you haven't listened or paid attention to them.
5 The prophets said, 'Turn from your evil ways and the evil you have done, and live in the land that the LORD permanently gave to you and your ancestors.
6 Don't follow other gods to serve and worship them. Don't make me furious about the idols your hands have shaped. Then I won't harm you.
7 But you haven't listened to me, declares the LORD. You have made me furious about the idols your hands have shaped and [have brought] harm upon yourselves.'
8 "This is what the LORD of Armies says: You did not listen to my words,
9 so I'm going to send for all the families from the north. I will also send for my servant King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, declares the LORD. I will bring the families from the north to attack this land, its people, and all these surrounding nations. I'm going to destroy them and turn them into something terrible, something ridiculed, and something permanently ruined.
10 I will take from them the sounds of joy and happiness, the sounds of brides and grooms, the sound of mills, and the light of lamps.
11 This whole land will be ruined and become a wasteland. These nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.
12 "When the 70 years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation for their crimes, declares the LORD. I will turn Babylon into a permanent wasteland.
13 I will bring on that land all the disasters I threatened to do to it, everything that Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations, everything written in this book.
14 Many nations and great kings will make slaves of the people of Babylon, and I will pay them back for what they have done."
15 This is what the LORD God of Israel said to me: Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my fury, and make all the nations to whom I'm sending you drink from it.
16 When they drink from it, they will stagger and go insane because of the wars that I'm going to send them.
17 So I took the cup from the LORD's hand. I made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink from it:
18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah as well as its kings and officials. When they drank from it, they became wastelands and ruins, something ridiculed and cursed, until today.
19 [I also made these people drink from it:] Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, officials, all his people,
20 and all the foreign people living among them; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of Philistia, those from the cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron, and the people left in Ashdod;
21 Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon;
22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings on the seacoast;
23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who shave the hair on their foreheads;
24 all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the foreign people living in the desert;
25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media;
26 all the kings of the north, near and far, one after another--all the kingdoms of the earth. Last of all, the king of Sheshach will drink from the cup.
27 [The LORD said,] "Say to them, 'This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk, vomit, fall down, and don't get up because of the wars that I'm going to send you.'
28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink from it, say to them, 'This is what the LORD of Armies says: You must drink from it!
29 I am going to bring disaster on the city that is named after me. Do you think you'll go unpunished? You will not go unpunished! I'm declaring war on all those who live on earth, declares the LORD of Armies.'
30 "That is why you will prophesy all these things to them and say, 'The LORD roars from above. He thunders from his holy dwelling place. He roars against his land. He shouts like those who stomp grapes. He shouts against all those who live on earth.
31 The sound is echoing to the ends of the earth because the LORD has brought charges against the nations. He will judge all humans. He will kill the wicked, declares the LORD.'
32 "This is what the LORD of Armies says: Disaster is spreading from nation to nation. A great storm is brewing from the distant corners of the earth."
33 On that day those killed by the LORD will stretch from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned, taken away, or buried. They will become like manure on the ground.
34 Mourn, you shepherds, and cry. Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. The time has come for you to be slaughtered. The time has come for you to be scattered, and you will break like fine pottery.
35 There will be no place for the shepherds to flee, no escape for the leaders of the flock.
36 The shepherds are crying and the leaders of the flock are mourning because the LORD is stripping their pasture.
37 The peaceful pastures are destroyed by the LORD's burning anger.
38 He has left his lair like a lion. Their land has been ruined because of the heat of the oppressor, because of the fury of his anger.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.