Jeremias 23

1 »Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!« Says Jehovah.

2 This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says concerning the shepherds who are tending my people: »You have scattered my flock and driven them away. You have not attended to them. I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,« says Jehovah.

3 »Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture. Then they will be fruitful and multiply.

4 »I will also raise up shepherds over them who will tend them. They will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing, proclaims Jehovah.

5 »The days are coming,« declares Jehovah, »when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch. He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.

6 »In His days Judah will be saved. Israel will dwell securely. This is his name by which he will be called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.

7 »Therefore the days are coming,« declares Jehovah, »when they will no longer say, ‘As Jehovah lives, the one who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt.’

8 »‘Instead, ‘Jehovah lives, the one who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the northland and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.’«

9 My heart is broken within me. All my bones tremble! I have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine. This is because of Jehovah and because of his holy words.

10 The land is full of adulterers! The land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil and their might is not right.

11 »The prophets and priests are godless. Even in my Temple I have found them doing evil,« declares Jehovah.

12 »That is why their own way will become like a slippery path in the dark. They will be chased away, and they will fall down in the dark. I will bring disaster on them. It is time for them to be punished,« proclaims Jehovah.

13 »Say this about the prophets of Samaria: ‘I saw something disgusting. The prophets of Samaria prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.’

14 »Say this about the prophets of Jerusalem: ‘I see something horrible. The prophets of Jerusalem commit adultery and live a lie. They support those who do evil so that no one turns back from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me, and those who live in Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.’«

15 This is what Jehovah of Hosts says about the prophets: »I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink. The prophets of Jerusalem have spread godlessness throughout the land.«

16 This is what Jehovah of Hosts says: »Do not listen to what the prophets are saying to you. They fill you with false hope. They speak about visions that they dreamed up. These visions are not from Jehovah.

17 »They keep saying to those who despise me, Jehovah says: ‘Everything will go well for you.’ They tell all who live by their own stubborn ways: ‘Nothing bad will happen to you.’«

18 Who is in Jehovah’s inner circle and sees and hears his word? Who pays attention and listens to his word?

19 The storm of Jehovah vents his wrath. A whirling tempest will swirl down on the head of the wicked.

20 The anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he has performed and carried out the purposes intent of his heart. In the last days you will clearly understand it.

21 »I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.

22 »If they had stood in my council they would have announced my words to my people. They would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.«

23 »I am a God who is near,« declares Jehovah. »I am not a God far off!«

24 »Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?« asks Jehovah. »Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?« Declares Jehovah.

25 »I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in my name. They say: ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!«

26 »How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets, who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart?

27 »They think the dreams they tell will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name and turned to Baal worship.

28 »The prophet who has had a dream should say it is only a dream. The prophet who has heard my message should proclaim that message faithfully.« »What good is chaff compared with wheat?« Says Jehovah.

29 »My message is like a fire and like a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces.

30 »I am against those prophets who take each other's words and proclaim them as my message.«

31 »I am also against those prophets,« says Jehovah, »They speak their own words and claim they came from me!«

32 »Listen to what I, Jehovah, say! I am against the prophets who tell their dreams that are full of lies. They tell these dreams and lead my people astray with their lies and their boasting. I did not send them or order them to go. They are of no help at all to the people. I Jehovah have spoken!«

33 Jehovah said to me: »Jeremiah, when one of my people or a prophet or a priest asks you, what is Jehovah’s message? You are to say: ‘You are a burden to Jehovah, and he is going to get rid of you.’

34 »If any of my people or a prophet or a priest even uses the words: ‘Jehovah’s infallable utterance,’ I will punish them and their families.

35 »Each one of you should ask your friends and your relatives: What answer has Jehovah given? What has Jehovah said?

36 »So you must no longer use the words: ‘Jehovah’s infallable utterance,’ because if any of you do, I will make my message a real utterance to you. The people have perverted the words of their God, the living God, the Lord Jehovah.

37 »‘Jeremiah, ask the prophets: ‘What answer did Jehovah give you? What did Jehovah say?’«

38 »‘If you disobey my command and use the words: ‘Jehovah’s utterance,’ then hear this.

39 »‘»I will certainly pick you up and throw you far away from me, both you and the city that I gave to you and your ancestors.

40 »‘»I will bring on you everlasting shame and disgrace that will never be forgotten.« ’«