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The Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherdss who are destroying and scatteringt the sheep of my pasture!”u declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherdsv who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flockw and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evilx you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnanty of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture,z where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherdsa over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraidb or terrified, nor will any be missing,c” declares the Lord.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when I will raise up for Davida a righteous Branch,d

a Kinge who will reignf wisely

and do what is just and rightg in the land.

In his days Judah will be saved

and Israel will live in safety.h

This is the namei by which he will be called:

The Lord Our Righteous Savior.j

“So then, the days are coming,”k declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’l 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.”m

Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heartn is broken within me;

all my bones tremble.o

I am like a drunken man,

like a strong man overcome by wine,

because of the Lord

and his holy words.p

10 The land is full of adulterers;q

because of the curseb r the land lies parched

and the pasturess in the wilderness are withered.t

The prophets follow an evil course

and use their power unjustly.

11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;u

even in my templev I find their wickedness,”

declares the Lord.

12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;w

they will be banished to darkness

and there they will fall.

I will bring disaster on them

in the year they are punished,x

declares the Lord.

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria

I saw this repulsive thing:

They prophesied by Baaly

and led my people Israel astray.z

14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem

I have seen something horrible:a

They commit adultery and live a lie.b

They strengthen the hands of evildoers,c

so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.d

They are all like Sodome to me;

the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”f

15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:

“I will make them eat bitter food

and drink poisoned water,g

because from the prophets of Jerusalem

ungodlinessh has spread throughout the land.”

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listeni to what the prophets are prophesying to you;

they fill you with false hopes.

They speak visionsj from their own minds,

not from the mouthk of the Lord.

17 They keep sayingl to those who despise me,

‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’m

And to all who follow the stubbornnessn of their hearts

they say, ‘No harmo will come to you.’

18 But which of them has stood in the councilp of the Lord

to see or to hear his word?

Who has listened and heard his word?

19 See, the stormq of the Lord

will burst out in wrath,

a whirlwindr swirling down

on the heads of the wicked.

20 The angers of the Lord will not turn backt

until he fully accomplishes

the purposes of his heart.

In days to come

you will understand it clearly.

21 I did not sendu these prophets,

yet they have run with their message;

I did not speak to them,

yet they have prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my council,v

they would have proclaimedw my words to my people

and would have turnedx them from their evil ways

and from their evil deeds.y

23 “Am I only a God nearby,z

declares the Lord,

“and not a God far away?

24 Who can hidea in secret places

so that I cannot see them?”

declares the Lord.

“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”b

declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy liesc in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream!d I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusionse of their own minds?f 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forgetg my name, just as their ancestors forgoth my name through Baal worship.i 28 Let the prophet who has a dreamj recount the dream, but let the one who has my wordk speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,”l declares the Lord, “and like a hammerm that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am againstn the prophetso who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’p 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,q” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astrayr with their reckless lies,s yet I did not sendt or appoint them. They do not benefitu these people in the least,” declares the Lord.

False Prophecy

33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the messagev from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsakew you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a messagex from the Lord,’ I will punishy them and their household. 35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’z or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distorta the words of the living God,b the Lord Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 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.’ 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and castc you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgraced—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”


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