Jeremiah 23 – New International Version (NIV)
The Righteous Branch
- “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord.
- Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord.
- “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.
- I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
- “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
- In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
- “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,’
- 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.”
- 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 Lord and his holy words.
- The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse[b] the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.
- “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord.
- “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.
- “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.
- 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.”
- Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from he prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
- 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.
- 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.’
- But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?
- See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.
- 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.
- I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.
- 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.
- “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away?
- 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.
- “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’
- How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?
- 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.
- 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.
- “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
- “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.
- Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’
- 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.
- “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.’
- If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ I will punish them and their household.
- This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’
- ut you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.
- This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’
- Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord.’
- Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors.
- I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jeremiah 23 – King James Version (KJV)
- Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
- Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
- And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
- And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
- Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
- In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
- Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
- but, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Unworthy Prophets and Priests (KJV)
- 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.
- For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
- For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
- Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
- And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
- I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
- Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
- Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
- They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
- For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
- Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
- The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
- I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
- But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
- Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
- Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
- I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
- How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
- which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
- The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
- Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
- Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
- Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
- Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
- And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.
- And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
- Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
- And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
- Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
- But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
- therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
- and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.