Jeremiah 23:1-40, NLT
The Righteous Descendant
1“What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the Lord.
2Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: “Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them.
5“For the time is coming,”
says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant*23:5 Hebrew a righteous branch.
from King David’s line.
He will be a King who rules with wisdom.
He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
6And this will be his name:
‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’*23:6 Hebrew Yahweh Tsidqenu.
In that day Judah will be saved,
and Israel will live in safety.
7“In that day,” says the Lord, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’
Judgment on False Prophets
9My 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.
10For the land is full of adultery,
and it lies under a curse.
The land itself is in mourning—
its wilderness pastures are dried up.
For they all do evil
and abuse what power they have.
11“Even the priests and prophets
are ungodly, wicked men.
I have seen their despicable acts
right here in my own Temple,”
says the Lord.
12“Therefore, the paths they take
will become slippery.
They will be chased through the dark,
and there they will fall.
For I will bring disaster upon them
at the time fixed for their punishment.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13“I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil,
for they prophesied in the name of Baal
and led my people of Israel into sin.
14But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse!
They commit adultery and love dishonesty.
They encourage those who are doing evil
so that no one turns away from their sins.
These prophets are as wicked
as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.”
15Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says concerning the prophets:
“I will feed them with bitterness
and give them poison to drink.
For it is because of Jerusalem’s prophets
that wickedness has filled this land.”
16This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to his people:
“Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you,
filling you with futile hopes.
They are making up everything they say.
They do not speak for the Lord!
17They keep saying to those who despise my word,
‘Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!’
And to those who stubbornly follow their own desires,
they say, ‘No harm will come your way!’
18“Have any of these prophets been in the Lord’s presence
to hear what he is really saying?
Has even one of them cared enough to listen?
19Look! The Lord’s anger bursts out like a storm,
a whirlwind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked.
20The anger of the Lord will not diminish
until it has finished all he has planned.
In the days to come
you will understand all this very clearly.
21“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.
22If they had stood before me and listened to me,
they would have spoken my words,
and they would have turned my people
from their evil ways and deeds.
23Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord.
“No, I am far away at the same time.
24Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?
Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?”
says the Lord.
25“I have heard these prophets say, ‘Listen to the dream I had from God last night.’ And then they proceed to tell lies in my name.
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!
29Does 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.
False Prophecies and False Prophets
33“Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, ‘What prophecy has the Lord burdened you with now?’ You must reply, ‘You are the burden!*23:33 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads What burden? The Lord says he will abandon you!’
34“If any prophet, priest, or anyone else says, ‘I have a prophecy from the Lord,’ I will punish that person along with his entire family.
37“This is what you should say to the prophets: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’