Jeremiah 23:1-40

23  Ha, shepherds that lose and scatter the sheep of my estate! quoth Jehovah. 2  So Israel’s God Jehovah says of the shepherds that shepherd my people, You have scattered my sheep and sent them astray and not attended to them. Here I am going to attend to you for the wickedness of your practices, quoth Jehovah, 3  and I myself will gather the remnant of my sheep out of all the countries I have sent them astray to, and will bring them back to their pasture, and they will breed and multiply, 4  and I will set up shepherds over them, who will shepherd them; and they shall not again be afraid or dismayed or missing, quoth Jehovah. 5  Here are days coming, quoth Jehovah, that I will bring up a new growth of David coming right, and a king will reign and reign well, and do justice and right in the country. 6  In his time Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in security; and this is the name he will be called by, Jehovah-is-Our-Rightness. 7  So here are days coming, quoth Jehovah, that they will no longer say “by Jehovah who brought up the sons of Israel out of Egypt” 8  but “by Jehovah who brought the stock of the house of Israel up and in out of the north country and out of all the countries he had sent them astray to,” and they shall live on their own soil. 9 ** For the prophets. My heart is broken up within me; all my joints are unstrung; I have been like a drunken man and like a man wine has come over, because of Jehovah and his holy words. 10  For the country is full of adulterers; for because of these the land is mourning, wilderness pastures are dried out, and their activities are harmful and their energies misdirected. 11  For both prophet and priest have grown irreligious; in my very house I find their wickedness, quoth Jehovah. 12  So their road will be to them like slippery places in murky darkness, they will bump and fall in it; for I will bring disaster upon them, the year of their punishment, quoth Jehovah. 13  And in Samaria’s prophets I have seen unsoundness: they prophesied by the Baal and misled my people Israel. 14 * And in Jerusalem’s prophets I have seen horrors: adultery and habitual falsehood, and encouraging evil-doers so that they should not turn back from their wickedness. They have all become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Ghomorrah. 15 * So Jehovah says, Here I am going to feed them wormwood and give them drink of poppy-juice, because from Jerusalem’s prophets irreligiousness has come out for all the country. 16  Says Jehovah of Armies, Do not listen to the words of the prophets that prophesy to you: they are running you into superstition; telling visions out of their own heads, not from Jehovah’s mouth. 17  They say to those who treat Jehovah’s word with contempt “You will be all right,” and to everyone who goes his willful way they say “No harm will come to you.” 18  For who has stood in Jehovah’s circle and seen, and heard his word? who has listened for my word and heard it? 19  Here has Jehovah’s tempest-blast come out in ire, a swirling tempest that will light on wicked men’s heads; 20  Jehovah’s anger will not turn back till he has executed and realized the designs of his heart. In the future days you will come to an understanding of it. 21  I had not sent the prophets, and they ran; I had not spoken to them, and they prophesied. 22 * And if they did stand in my circle, let them make my people hear my words and turn them back from the wickedness of their practices. 23  Am I a God nearby, quoth Jehovah, and not a God far off? 24  or will a man screen himself in places of concealment and I not see him? Do not I fill the heavens and the earth? quoth Jehovah. 25 * I hear what the prophets say that prophesy falsely in my name “I have dreamed, I have dreamed” 26 * —how long? Is it in the mind of the prophets, the prophesiers of falsehood and prophets of the humbug of their own hearts, 27  those who plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they recount to each other, as their fathers forgot my name by the Baal? 28  Let the prophet who is in possession of a dream recount his dream, and the one who is in possession of my word speak my word faithfully. What has the straw to do among the grain? quoth Jehovah. 29 * Does not my word sear like fire, quoth Jehovah, and break away cliffs like a sledgehammer? 30  So have at the prophets, quoth Jehovah, the stealers of my words from each other! 31  have at the prophets that take their tongues and bring out a “quoth”! 32  have at the prophesiers of false dreams, who have recounted them and misled my people with their falsehoods and their recklessness when I had not sent them nor commissioned them, and do this people good they will not! 33 ** And when this people or a prophet or a priest asks you “What is Jehovah’s loading?” say to them “You are the loading, and I will drop you, quoth Jehovah. 34  And whatever prophet or priest or people says ‘Jehovah’s loading,’ I will punish that man and his family. 35 ** You shall say man to man and brother to brother ‘What has Jehovah answered?’ and ‘What has Jehovah spoken?’ 36 * and not again mention Jehovah’s loading,’ for each man would have his own word as loading, and you would upset the words of a living God, our God Jehovah of Armies. 37  You shall say to this people ‘What has Jehovah answered?’ and ‘What has Jehovah spoken?’ 38  and if you say ‘Jehovah’s loading,’ therefore Jehovah says, Since you have said this word, Jehovah’s loading,’ and I have sent word to you ‘You are not to say “Jehovah’s loading,”’ 39  therefore here I am and will load myself up with you and drop you and the city I gave you and your fathers out of my way, 40  and will put upon you a perpetual ignominy and a perpetual, never-to-be-forgotten humiliation.”


23:9 Lit. all my bones are floating
23:9 Conj. that the last seven words do not belong here
23:14 Lit. and walking in falsehood
23:15 Var. Jehovah of Armies says of the prophets, Here
23:22 Var. from their wicked course and from the
23:25-26 Conj. “I have dreamed, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.” Is it
23:26 Or Is there anything in the hearts of
23:29 Codd. Is not such my word as (or as a) fire, quoth Jehovah, and as a sledgehammer that breaks away cliffs
23:33 Conj. this people or a priest asks
23:33 loading is the Hebrew word for boding
23:35 and 37 (answered) Or testified
23:35 and 37 (spoken) Or promised Or threatened
23:36-38 Var. omits much of these verses