Jeremiah 23:21

21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.

Read Jeremiah 23:21 Using Other Translations

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied
"I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me. I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying.

What does Jeremiah 23:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 23:21

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran
They might be sent of men, and be encouraged by them; but they were not sent of God: it is not only necessary that men employed in religious affairs should have an external call, in an orderly way, from the church of God; but also an internal call from the Lord himself; he qualifying them with gifts, putting his word into their mouths, and inclining their hearts to publish it; see ( Hebrews 5:4 Hebrews 5:5 ) ; but these false prophets had no mission nor commission from the Lord, nor were they sent on any errand, or with any message from him; and yet they ran;
showed great diligence and zeal, and made haste to tell the people what the Lord had never said to them, but what were the warm imaginations of their own heads and hearts; they ran a race or course of ministry, but it was not good, as in ( Jeremiah 23:10 ) . The Targum adds,

``to do evil:''
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied;
wherefore what they prophesied was not the word of the Lord, but what they themselves devised; and so was what was false, as the Targum adds: it is a sad character of men when they speak in public neither by the will of God, nor according to the word of God.
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