Jeremiah 23:28

28 “Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain!

Jeremiah 23:28 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 23:28

The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream
These words are directed not to a true prophet of the Lord, that has a dream from him, or something communicated to him in a dream by the Lord, which he is to deliver as such; but to a false prophet, that says he has dreamed; and if he has dreamed a dream, let him tell it as a "dream" F12; so some supply it, as the fruit of his own roving fancy and imagination in sleep; and not call it a revelation from the Lord, and impose it upon the people as such. The Septuagint version is, "let him tell his dream"; let him tell it as his own, and not as a dream from the Lord; and he that hath my word;
the word of prophecy by revelation, and under the influence of the Spirit of God, as the true prophets: "my word"; not the word of men, or the word spoken by angels, or the Scriptures in general; but the word of the Gospel, the word of peace and reconciliation, of righteousness, life, and salvation; the evangelical part of the word, though not to the exclusion of all the rest, but this chiefly: "he that hath it"; or "with whom", or "in whom it is" F13; who has it not only in his hands to read, nor merely in his head, so as to have speculative notions of it; but has it in his heart, where it is come with power, and is become the ingrafted word; and who has a large share of spiritual and experimental knowledge of it, and an ability and capacity to express it to the edification of others; let him speak my word faithfully;
or "truly" F14; as it is. Ministers of the word are stewards, and it is required of such that they be faithful, and a more honourable character they cannot well have; and then may the word of the Lord be said to be spoken faithfully, when nothing else is spoken but that; when there is no mixture of man's with it; and when the whole of it is spoken, and nothing kept back or concealed; when a man's views in it are sincere and upright, and he aims only at the glory of God; and the good of immortal souls; when it is spoken out, openly and boldly, not as pleasing men, but God, and as in his sight, to whom the account must be given: or, "let him speak my word, truth" F15; which is truth; or, for it is truth, as Kimchi; so this is a reason why it should be spoken freely, fully, publicly, and boldly, because it is truth, and nothing but truth: or, "let him speak my word as truth"; or as it is F16; it comes from the God of truth; if lies in the Scriptures of truth; the subject matter of it is truth, Christ, who is truth itself, and those doctrines, relative to his person, office, and grace, and salvation by him; and it is the Spirit of truth that directs into it, owns it, and makes it useful; what [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord;
there is no comparison between the one and the other; the one is greatly preferable to the other; there is as much difference between the dreams and lies of the false prophets and the word of God, as there is between chaff and wheat. False doctrine is as "chaff", light; when put into the balance of the sanctuary it is found wanting; it is of no value; it is as wood, hay, and stubble, in comparison of gold, silver, and precious stones; it is not fit for food, and has no nourishment in it, but the contrary, and its end is to be burned. Some doctrine is as "wheat", choice and excellent, pure, solid, substantial, and of a nourishing and strengthening nature. And what is the one to the other? or what have they to do with one another? they should not be mixed together, but separated. So the Syriac version, "why do ye mix the chaff with the wheat?" see ( 2 Corinthians 2:17 ) . The Targum interprets this of persons, paraphrasing the words thus,

``behold, as one separates between the chaff and the wheat, so I separate between the righteous and the wicked, saith the Lord.''
Wicked men are as "chaff"; such were the false prophets, and all ungodly men, for their emptiness, lightness, unprofitableness, and for their being fit fuel for everlasting burnings; see ( Psalms 1:5 ) ( Matthew 3:12 ) ; and good men, and true prophets of the Lord, and all the righteous, are as "wheat" for choiceness and excellency, purity and solidity; and these are not to be mixed together, should not now, nor will they be hereafter, ( Matthew 3:12 ) ( 13:30 ) .

F12 (Mwlx rpoy) "narret [ut] somnium", Grotius, Gataker, Schmidt.
F13 (wta yrbd rvaw) "et penes quem est verbum meum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "at cum quo est verbum meum", Schmidt; (kai en w o logov mou prov auton) , Sept.
F14 (tma) "vere", Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius; "veritate", Montanus, Schmidt.
F15 (tma yrbd rbdy) "narret meum verbum veritatem, quod est veritas", Kimchi, Ben Melech, Abarbinel.
F16 "Loquatur verbum meum sicuti est", Schmidt.

Jeremiah 23:28 In-Context

26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say.
27 By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.
28 “Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain!
29 Does not my word burn like fire?” says the LORD . “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?
30 “Therefore,” says the LORD, “I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me.