Jeremiah 23:9-32

Lying Prophets

9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORDand his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse[a] the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.
11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD.
12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD.
13 “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom 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, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORDto see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the LORDwill burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send 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, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.
23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’
26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?
27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship.
28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD.
29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets 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.’
32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:9 in Other Translations

KJV
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
ESV
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words.
NLT
9 My heart is broken because of the false prophets, and my bones tremble. I stagger like a drunkard, like someone overcome by wine, because of the holy words the LORD has spoken against them.
MSG
9 My head is reeling, my limbs are limp, I'm staggering like a drunk, seeing double from too much wine - And all because of God, because of his holy words.
CSB
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me, and all my bones tremble. I have become like a drunkard, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord, because of His holy words.

Jeremiah 23:9-32 Meaning and Commentary

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.

Jeremiah 23:9-32 In-Context

7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’
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.”
9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORDand his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.
11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD.
12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD.
13 “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom 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, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORDto see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the LORDwill burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send 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, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.
23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’
26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?
27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship.
28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD.
29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets 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.’
32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.
33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the LORD?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.’
34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the LORD,’ I will punish them and their household.

Cross References 60

  • 1. S Jeremiah 4:19
  • 2. S Job 4:14
  • 3. Jeremiah 20:8-9
  • 4. S Jeremiah 9:2
  • 5. Deuteronomy 28:23-24
  • 6. Psalms 107:34; S Jeremiah 9:10
  • 7. S Jeremiah 4:26; S Jeremiah 12:11; Hosea 4:2-3
  • 8. Jeremiah 6:13; S Jeremiah 8:10; Zephaniah 3:4
  • 9. S 2 Kings 21:4; S Jeremiah 7:10
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 32:35; S Job 3:23; Psalms 35:6; Jeremiah 13:16
  • 11. Jeremiah 11:23
  • 12. S 1 Kings 18:22; Jeremiah 2:8
  • 13. ver 32; S Isaiah 3:12; Ezekiel 13:10
  • 14. S Jeremiah 5:30; Hosea 6:10
  • 15. Jeremiah 29:23
  • 16. ver 22; Ezekiel 13:22
  • 17. S Isaiah 5:18
  • 18. S Genesis 18:20; Matthew 11:24
  • 19. Isaiah 1:9-10; Jeremiah 20:16; Amos 4:11
  • 20. S Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 9:15
  • 21. S Jeremiah 8:10
  • 22. Jer 27:9-10,14; S Matthew 7:15
  • 23. S Jeremiah 14:14; Ezekiel 13:3
  • 24. Jeremiah 9:20
  • 25. ver 31
  • 26. S 1 Kings 22:8; S Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 8:11
  • 27. S Jeremiah 13:10
  • 28. Jeremiah 5:12; Amos 9:10; Micah 3:11
  • 29. S 1 Kings 22:19; S Romans 11:34
  • 30. Isaiah 30:30; Jeremiah 25:32; Jeremiah 30:23
  • 31. Zechariah 7:14
  • 32. S 2 Kings 23:26
  • 33. S Jeremiah 4:28; Jeremiah 30:24
  • 34. S Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 27:15
  • 35. S 1 Kings 22:19
  • 36. S Deuteronomy 33:10
  • 37. S 2 Kings 17:13; Jeremiah 25:5; Zechariah 1:4
  • 38. ver 14; Amos 3:7
  • 39. Psalms 139:1-10
  • 40. S Genesis 3:8; S Job 11:20; Job 22:12-14; S Ecclesiastes 12:14; S Isaiah 28:15; 1 Corinthians 4:5
  • 41. S 1 Kings 8:27
  • 42. ver 16; Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 27:10
  • 43. ver 28,32; S Deuteronomy 13:1; Jeremiah 27:9; Jeremiah 29:8
  • 44. S Isaiah 30:10; 1 Timothy 4:1-2
  • 45. Jeremiah 14:14; Ezekiel 13:2
  • 46. Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Jeremiah 29:8
  • 47. S Judges 3:7; S Judges 8:33-34
  • 48. S Jeremiah 2:23
  • 49. S ver 25
  • 50. S 1 Samuel 3:17
  • 51. S Psalms 39:3; Jeremiah 5:14; S 1 Corinthians 3:13
  • 52. Hebrews 4:12
  • 53. S Psalms 34:16
  • 54. ver 2; Deuteronomy 18:20; Jeremiah 14:15; S Jeremiah 21:13
  • 55. ver 17
  • 56. S ver 25
  • 57. S ver 13; S Jeremiah 50:6
  • 58. S Job 13:4; Ezekiel 13:3; Ezekiel 22:28
  • 59. S Jeremiah 14:14
  • 60. Jeremiah 7:8; Lamentations 2:14

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "because of these things"
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