23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!”j This is the Lord’s declaration. 2 “Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who tend my people: You have scattered my flock,k banished them, and have not attended to them.l I am about to attend to you because of your evil acts”—this is the Lord’s declaration. 3 “I will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands where I have banished them,m and I will return them to their grazing land. They will become fruitful and numerous.n 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will tend them.o They will no longer be afraid or discouraged, nor will any be missing.”p This is the Lord’s declaration.
5 “Look, the days are coming”q—this is the Lord’s declaration—
“when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David.r
He will reign wisely as king
and administer justice and righteousness in the land.s
and Israel will dwell securely.t
This is the name he will be called:
7 “Look, the days are coming”v—the Lord’s declaration—“when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord livesw who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other countries where ID had banished them.’ They will dwell once more in their own land.”x
9 Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me,y
and all my bones tremble.
I have become like a drunkard,
like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord,
because of his holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;z
and the grazing lands in the wilderness have dried up.
Their way of lifeE has become evil,
and their power is not rightly used
11 because both prophet and priest are ungodly,ac
even in my housead I have found their evil.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
like slippery paths in the gloom.ae
They will be driven away and fall down there,
for I will bring disaster on them,
the year of their punishment.af
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I saw something disgusting:
and led my people Israel astray.a
I saw a horrible thing:b
They commit adultery and walk in lies.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
and none turns his back on evil.
They are all like Sodomc to me;
Jerusalem’s residents are like Gomorrah.
I am about to feed them wormwoodd
and give them poisoned water to drink,e
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodlinessA has spread throughout the land.
16 This is what the Lord of Armies says: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are deluding you. They speak visions from their own minds,f not from the Lord’s mouth.g 17 They keep on saying to those who despise me,h ‘The Lord has spoken: You will have peace.’i They have said to everyone who follows the stubbornness of his heart, ‘No harm will come to you.’ ”
18 For who has stood in the councilj of the Lord
to see and hear his word?
Who has paid attention to his word and obeyed?
19 Look, a storm from the Lord!k
Wrath has gone out,
a whirling storm.
It will whirl about the heads of the wicked.
20 The Lord’s anger will not turn awayl
until he has completely fulfilled the purposes of his heart.
In time to come you will understand it clearly.m
21 I did not send out these prophets,n
yet they ran.o
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
they would have enabled my people to hear my words
and would have turned them from their evil ways
and their evil deeds.p
23 “Am I a God who is only near”q—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and not a God who is far away? 24 Can a person hide in secret places where I cannot see him?”r—the Lord’s declaration. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?”s—the Lord’s declaration.
25 “I have heard what the prophets who prophesy a lie in my name have said: ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’t 26 How long will this continue in the minds of the prophets prophesying lies, prophets of the deceit of their own minds? 27 Through their dreams that they tell one another, they plan to cause my people to forget my name as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship.u 28 The prophet who has only a dream should recount the dream, but the one who has my word should speak my word truthfully, for what is straw compared to grain?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. 29 “Is not my word like fire”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and like a hammer that pulverizes rock? 30 Therefore, take note! I am against the prophets”v—the Lord’s declaration—“who steal my words from each other. 31 I am against the prophets”—the Lord’s declaration—“who use their own tongues to make a declaration. 32 I am against those who prophesy false dreams”w—the Lord’s declaration—“telling them and leading my people astray with their reckless lies. It was not I who sent or commanded them, and they are of no benefit at allx to these people”—this is the Lord’s declaration.
33 “Now when these people or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden* of the Lord?’ you will respond to them, ‘What is the burden? I will throw you away! This is the Lord’s declaration.’ 34 As for the prophet, priest, or people who say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will punish that man and his household. 35 This is what each man is to say to his friend and to his brother: ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But no longer refer toC the burden of the Lord, for each man’s word becomes his burden and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of Armies, our God. 37 Say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ then this is what the Lord says: Because you have said, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ and I specifically told you not to say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ 39 I will surely forget you.A I will throw you away from my presence—both you and the city that I gave you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace and humiliationa that will never be forgotten.”
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