Jeremiah 23; Jeremiah 24; Jeremiah 25

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Jeremiah 23

1 "How terrible it will be for the leaders of Judah, who are scattering and destroying my people," says the Lord.
2 They are responsible for the people, so the Lord, the God of Israel, says to them: "You have scattered my people and forced them away and not taken care of them. So I will punish you for the evil things you have done," says the Lord.
3 "I sent my people to other countries, but I will gather those who are left alive and bring them back to their own country. Then they will have many children and grow in number.
4 I will place new leaders over my people, who will take care of them. And my people will not be afraid or terrified again, and none of them will be lost," says the Lord
5 "The days are coming," says the Lord, "when I will raise up a good branch in David's family. He will be a king who will rule in a wise way; he will do what is fair and right in the land.
6 In his time Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. This will be his name: The Lord Does What Is Right.
7 "So the days are coming," says the Lord, "when people will not say again: 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought Israel out of Egypt . . .'
8 But people will say something new: 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where he had sent them away. . .' Then the people of Israel will live in their own land."
9 A message to the prophets: My heart is broken. All my bones shake. I'm like someone who is drunk, like someone who has been overcome with wine. and his holy words.
10 The land of Judah is full of people who are guilty of adultery. Because of this, the Lord cursed the land. It has become a very sad place, and the pastures have dried up. The people are evil and use their power in the wrong way.
11 "Both the prophets and the priests live as if there were no God. I have found them doing evil things even in my own Temple," says the Lord.
12 "So they will be in danger. They will be forced into darkness where they will be defeated. I will bring disaster on them in the year I punish them," says the Lord.
13 "I saw the prophets of Samaria do something wrong. and led my people Israel away.
14 And I have seen the prophets of Jerusalem do terrible things. They are guilty of adultery and live by lies. They encourage evil people to keep on doing evil, so the people don't stop sinning. All of those people are like the city of Sodom
15 So this is what the Lord All-Powerful says about the prophets: "I will make those prophets eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because the prophets of Jerusalem spread wickedness through the whole country."
16 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Don't pay attention to what those prophets are saying to you. They are trying to fool you. They talk about visions their own minds made up, not about visions from me.
17 They say to those who hate me: 'The Lord says: You will have peace.' They say to all those who are stubborn and do as they please: 'Nothing bad will happen to you.'
18 But none of these prophets has stood in the meeting of angels to see or hear the message of the Lord. None of them has paid close attention to his message.
19 Look, the punishment from the Lord will come like a storm. His anger will be like a hurricane. It will come swirling down on the heads of those wicked people
20 The Lord's anger will not stop until he finishes what he plans to do. When that day is over, you will understand this clearly.
21 I did not send those prophets, but they ran to tell their message. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied anyway
22 But if they had stood in the meeting of angels, they would have told my message to my people. They would have turned the people from their evil ways and from doing evil.
23 "I am a God who is near," says the Lord. "I am also a God who is far away."
24 "No one can hide where I cannot see him," says the Lord. "I fill all of heaven and earth," says the Lord.
25 "I have heard the prophets who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I have had a dream! I have had a dream!'
26 How long will this continue in the minds of these lying prophets? They prophesy from their own wishful thinking.
27 They are trying to make the people of Judah forget me by telling each other these dreams. In the same way, their ancestors forgot me and worshiped Baal.
28 Is straw the same thing as wheat?" says the Lord. "If a prophet wants to tell about his dreams, let him! But let the person who hears my message speak it truthfully!
29 Isn't my message like a fire?" says the Lord. "Isn't it like a hammer that smashes a rock?
30 "So I am against the false prophets," says the Lord. "They keep stealing words from each other and say they are from me.
31 I am against the false prophets," says the Lord. "They use their own words and pretend it is a message from me.
32 I am against the prophets who prophesy false dreams," says the Lord. "They mislead my people with their lies and false teachings! I did not send them or command them to do anything for me. They can't help the people of Judah at all," says the Lord.
33 "Suppose the people of Judah, a prophet, or a priest asks you: 'Jeremiah, what is the message from the Lord?' You will answer them and say, 'You are a heavy load to the Lord, and I will throw you down, says the Lord.'
34 A prophet or a priest or one of the people might say, 'This is a message from the Lord.' That person has lied, so I will punish him and his whole family.
35 This is what you will say to each other: 'What did the Lord answer?' or 'What did the Lord say?'
36 But you will never again say, 'The message of the Lord,' because the only message you speak is your own words. You have changed the words of our God, the living God, the Lord All-Powerful
37 This is how you should speak to the prophets: 'What answer did the Lord give you?' or 'What did the Lord say?'
38 But don't say, 'The message from the Lord.' If you use these words, this is what the Lord says: Because you called it a 'message from the Lord,' though I told you not to use those words
39 I will pick you up and throw you away from me, along with Jerusalem, which I gave to your ancestors and to you.
40 And I will make a disgrace of you forever; your shame will never be forgotten."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 24

1 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon captured Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim and king of Judah, his officers, and all the craftsmen and metalworkers of Judah. He took them away from Jerusalem and brought them to Babylon. It was then that the Lord showed me two baskets of figs arranged in front of the Temple of the Lord.
2 One of the baskets had very good figs in it, like figs that ripen early in the season. But the other basket had figs too rotten to eat.
3 The Lord said to me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I answered, "I see figs. The good figs are very good, but the rotten figs are too rotten to eat."
4 Then the Lord spoke his word to me:
5 "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I sent the people of Judah out of their country to live in the country of Babylon. I think of those people as good, like these good figs.
6 I will look after them and bring them back to the land of Judah. I will not tear them down, but I will build them up. I will not pull them up, but I will plant them so they can grow.
7 I will make them want to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, because they will return to me with their whole hearts.
8 "'But the bad figs are too rotten to eat.' So this is what the Lord says: 'Zedekiah king of Judah, his officers, and all the people from Jerusalem who are left alive, even those who live in Egypt, will be like those rotten figs.
9 I will make those people hated as an evil people by all the kingdoms of the earth. People will make fun of them and tell jokes about them and point fingers at them and curse them everywhere I scatter them.
10 I will send war, hunger, and disease against them. I will attack them until they have all been killed. Then they will no longer be in the land I gave to them and their ancestors.'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 25

1 This is the message that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah. It came in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah and the first year Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.
2 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
3 The Lord has spoken his word to me again and again for these past twenty-three years. I have been a prophet since the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah. I have spoken messages from the Lord to you from that time until today, but you have not listened.
4 The Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you over and over again, but you have not listened or paid any attention to them.
5 Those prophets have said, "Stop your evil ways. Stop doing what is wrong so you can stay in the land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors to live in forever.
6 Don't follow other gods to serve them or to worship them. Don't make me, the Lord, angry by worshiping idols that are the work of your own hands, or I will punish you."
7 "But you people of Judah did not listen to me," says the Lord. "You made me angry by worshiping idols that were the work of your own hands, so I punished you."
8 So this is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Since you have not listened to my messages,
9 I will send for all the peoples of the north," says the Lord, "along with my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I will bring them all against Judah, those who live there, and all the nations around you, too. I will completely destroy all those countries and leave them in ruins forever. People will be shocked when they see how badly I have destroyed those countries.
10 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and happiness, the sounds of brides and bridegrooms, and the sound of people grinding meal. And I will take away the light of the lamp.
11 That whole area will be an empty desert, and these nations will be slaves of the king of Babylon for seventy years.
12 "But when the seventy years have passed, I will punish the king of Babylon and his entire nation for their evil," says the Lord. "I will make that land a desert forever.
13 I will make happen all the terrible things I said about Babylonia -- everything Jeremiah prophesied about all those foreign nations, the warnings written in this book.
14 Even the Babylonians will have to serve many nations and many great kings. I will give them the punishment they deserve for all their own hands have done."
15 The Lord, the God of Israel, said this to me: "My anger is like the wine in a cup. Take it from my hand and make all the nations, to whom I am sending you, drink all of my anger from this cup.
16 They will drink my anger and stumble about and act like madmen because of the war I am going to send among them."
17 So I took the cup from the Lord's hand and went to those nations and made them drink from it.
18 I served this wine to the people of Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and the kings and officers of Judah, so they would become a ruin. Then people would be shocked and would insult them and speak evil of them. And so it has been to this day.
19 I also made these people drink of the Lord's anger: the king of Egypt, his servants, his officers, all his people,
20 and all the foreigners there; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (the kings of the cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod);
21 the people of Edom, Moab, and Ammon;
22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; all the kings of the coastal countries to the west;
23 the people of Dedan and Tema and Buz; all who cut their hair short;
24 all the kings of Arabia; and the kings of the people who live in the desert;
25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media;
26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other. I made all the kingdoms on earth drink from the cup of the Lord's anger, but the king of Babylon will drink from this cup after all the others.
27 "Then say to them, 'This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: Drink this cup of my anger. Get drunk from it and vomit. Fall down and don't get up because of the war I am sending among you!'
28 "If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, say to them, 'The Lord All-Powerful says this: You must drink from this cup.
29 Look! I am already bringing disaster on Jerusalem, the city that is called by my name. Do you think you will not be punished? You will be punished! I am sending war on all the people of the earth, says the Lord All-Powerful.'
30 "You, Jeremiah, will prophesy against them with all these words. Say to them: 'The Lord will roar from heaven and will shout from his Holy Temple. He will roar loudly against his land. He will shout like people who walk on grapes to make wine; he will shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The noise will spread all over the earth, because the Lord will accuse all the nations. He will judge and tell what is wrong with all people, and he will kill the evil people with a sword,'" says the Lord.
32 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Disasters will soon spread from nation to nation. They will come like a powerful storm from the faraway places on earth."
33 At that time those killed by the Lord will reach from one end of the earth to the other. No one will cry for them or gather up their bodies and bury them. They will be left lying on the ground like dung.
34 Cry, you leaders! Cry out loud! Roll around in the dust, leaders of the people! It is now time for you to be killed. You will fall and be scattered, like pieces of a broken jar.
35 There will be no place for the leaders to hide; they will not escape.
36 I hear the sound of the leaders shouting. I hear the leaders of the people crying loudly, because the Lord is destroying their land.
37 Those peaceful pastures will be like an empty desert, because the Lord is very angry.
38 Like a lion, he has left his den. Their land has been destroyed because of the terrible war he brought, because of his fierce anger.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.