Jeremiah 5:31

31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Jeremiah 5:31 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 5:31

The prophets prophesied falsely
That the people would have peace and prosperity, and not be carried captive into Babylon, as Jeremiah and other true prophets of the Lord had predicted: and the priests bear rule by their means;
or rather "the princes"; for the word signifies princes as well as priests, and to the former government more properly belongs; and so Jarchi interprets it of the judges of the people, and their exactors; these governed the people according to the words of the false prophets, as the same writer explains it; they were "under" their influence and direction, they went after them, as the phrase (ry le) is sometimes used; see ( 1 Chronicles 25:2 1 Chronicles 25:3 1 Chronicles 25:6 ) ( 2 Chronicles 17:14 ) ( 31:15 ) ( 2 Samuel 15:8 ) or, as Kimchi understands it, the priests received gifts by their hands to pervert judgment, and they declined doing justice, according to their will. The Targum is,

``the priests helped upon their hands;''
took the false prophets, as it were, and carried them in their hands. Some render it, "the priests remove, or depart by their means" F8; through their false prophesies they departed from the law, and the worship of God and his ordinances, from attending to them, and performing them in the manner appointed; in the whole it denotes great friendship, unity, and agreement between the priests, or princes, and the false prophets; they agreed together to keep the people in awe and in bondage; and what was of all the most surprising is what follows: and my people love to have it so;
both that the prophets prophesy smooth things to them, though false; and that the princes should govern as they directed: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
that these evils will bring unto; namely, the destruction of the city and nation. The meaning is, what will become of them at last? or what would they do, when this wicked government would come to an end, and they should be taken and carried captive by the Chaldeans? which would be their case; and how would they like that, who love to have things as they were, which would bring on their ruin?

F8 So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, for. 62. I.

Jeremiah 5:31 In-Context

29 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord, and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this?
30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:
31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or [rule by their own authority]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.