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Jeremiah 23:9–40

The Unfaithful Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heart is broken in my midst.

All my bones tremble.

I have become like a drunken man,

even like a man over whom wine has passed,

because of Yahweh,

and because of his holy words.l

10 For the land is full of adulterers;

for the land mourns because of a curse.

The pastures of the desertm are dry,

and their evil has been their way of running,

and their power is not right.

11 “For both prophet as well as priest are godless,

even in my temple I have found their wickedness,” declaresn Yahweh.

12 Thereforeo their way will be to them like the slippery places,

they will be pushed in the darkness,

and they will fall into it,

for I will bring disaster on them in the year of their punishment,” declaresp Yahweh.

13 “Now in the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing.

They prophesied by Baal and they caused my people Israel to err.

14 And in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible.

They commit adultery, and they walk in lies,q

and they make strong the hands of evildoers,

so that they have not turned back each from his wickedness.

All of them have become to me like Sodom,

and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

15 Thereforer thus says Yahweh of hosts concerning the prophets:

“Look, I am going to let them eat wormwood

and I will give them water of poison to drink,

for from the prophets of Jerusalem

went out ungodliness to all the land.”

16 Thus says Yahweh of hosts:

“You must not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.

They are deluding you with visions of their mind,s

They do not speak from the mouth of Yahweh.

17 They aret continually saying to those who disregard the word of Yahweh,

‘Peace it will be to you,’

and to each oneu who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they say,

‘Calamity will not come upon you.’

18 For who has stood in the council of Yahweh,

that he has seen and heard his word?

Who has listened attentively to his word

and heard it?v

19 Look, the storm of Yahweh has gone forth in wrath,

even a whirling tempest.

It will whirl upon the head of the wicked.

20 The angerw of Yahweh will not turn back

until his doing and until his keeping the plans of his mind.x

In latter daysy you will look closely at it with understanding.

21 I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran.

I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my council,

then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,

and they would have caused them to turn from their evil way,

and from the evil of their deeds.

23 Am I a God from near,” declaresz Yahweh,

“and not a God from far?

24 Or can a person hide himself in secret places

and I cannot see him?” declaresa Yahweh.

Do I not fill up the heaven and the earth?” declaresb Yahweh.

25 “I have heard what the prophets who prophesy liesc have said in my name, saying,d ‘I have dreamed! I have dreamed!’ 26 How longe will this be in the heartsf of the prophets who prophesy lies,g even the prophets of the deceitfulness of their hearts,h 27 who plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell each one to his neighbor, just as their ancestorsi forgot my name through Baal? 28 The prophet who has with him a dream, let him tell the dream. But the prophetj who has my word with him, let him speak my word faithfully. What is straw compared to wheat?”k declaresl Yahweh. 29 Is not my word like fire?” declaresm Yahweh, “and like a blacksmith’s hammer that breaks a rock into pieces?

30 Thereforen look, I am against the prophets,” declareso Yahweh, “who steal my words each one from his neighbor. 31 Look, I am against the prophets,” declaresp Yahweh, “who take their tonguesq and declare as prophets, ‘Yahweh declares.’r 32 Look, I am against those who prophesy dreams of lies,”s declarest Yahweh, “and tell them, and they caused my people to err through their lies, and in their recklessness, when I myself have not sent them nor commanded them, so they profit not this people at all,” declaresu Yahweh.

33 “Now when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, ask you, saying,v ‘What is the burdenw of Yahweh?’ then you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,x and I will forsake you, declaresy Yahweh.’ 34 And the prophet, and the priest, and the people who say, ‘The burdenz of Yahweh,’ I will punish that man and his house. 35 Thus you shall say, each one to his neighbor and each one to his brother: ‘What has Yahweh answered?’ or, ‘What has Yahweh spoken?’ 36 But the burdena of Yahweh you shall not mention again, for the burdenb is to each one his word, and so you twist the words of the living God, Yahweh of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to that prophet: ‘What has Yahweh answered you?’ or, ‘What has Yahweh spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burdenc of Yahweh,’ therefored thus says Yahweh: ‘Because of your saying these words,e “The burdenf of Yahweh,” then I will send to you, saying,g “You shall not say, ‘The burdenh of Yahweh.’ ” ’ 39 Thereforei look, here I am, and I will surely lift you up and forsake you and the city that I gave to you and to your ancestorsj from my presence,k 40 and I will bring upon you an everlasting disgracel and an everlasting shamem that will not be forgotten.”

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