23 1 Against false pastors. 5 A prophecy of the great Pastor Jesus Christ.

Woe be unto [a]the pastors that destroy and scatter the [b]sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto the pastors that [c]feed my people, Ye have scattered my flock, and thrust them out, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit you for the wickedness of your works, saith the Lord.

And I will gather the [d]remnant of my sheep out of all countries, whither I had driven them, and will bring them again to their folds, and they shall grow and increase:

And I will set up shepherds over them, which shall feed them: and they shall dread no more nor be afraid, neither shall any of them be lacking, saith the Lord.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous [e]branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and (A)Israel shall dwell safely, and this is the Name whereby they shall call him, (B)The Lord our righteousness.

Therefore behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The [f]Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

But the Lord liveth, which brought up and led the seed of the house of Israel out of the North country, and from all countries where I had scattered them, and they shall dwell in their own land.

Mine heart breaketh within me, because of the [g]prophets, all my bones shake: I am like a drunken man (and like a man whom wine hath [h]overcome) for the presence of the Lord and for his holy words.

10 For the land is full of adulterers, and because of oaths the land mourneth, the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their [i]course is evil, and their force is not right.

11 For both the Prophet and the Priest [j]do wickedly: and their wickedness have I found in mine [k]House, saith the Lord.

12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven forth and fall therein: for I will bring a plague upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

13 And I have seen foolishness in the prophets of Samaria that prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem [l]filthiness: they commit adultery and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of the wicked, that none can return from his wickedness: they are all [m]unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, Behold, I will feed them with [n]wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is [o]wickedness gone forth into all the land.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hear not the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you, and teach you vanity: they speak the vision of their own [p]heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye [q]shall have peace: and they say unto everyone that walketh after the stubbornness of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

18 For [r]who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord that he hath perceived, and heard his word? Who hath marked his word and heard it?

19 Behold, the tempest of the Lord goeth forth in his wrath, and a violent whirlwind shall fall down upon the head of the wicked.

20 The anger of the Lord shall not return until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye [s]shall understand it plainly.

21 (C)I have not sent these prophets, saith the Lord, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, and yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and [t]had declared my words to my people, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the wickedness of their inventions.

23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God [u]far off?

24 Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him, saith the Lord? Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?

25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesied lies in my Name, saying, I [v]have dreamed, I have dreamed.

26 How long? [w]Do the prophets delight to prophesy lies, even prophesying the deceit of their own heart?

27 Think they to cause [x]my people to forget my Name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their forefathers have forgotten my Name for Baal?

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him [y]tell a dream, and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully: [z]what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord?

29 Is not my word even like a fire, saith the Lord? and like an hammer, that breaketh the stone?

30 Therefore behold, I will come against the prophets, saith the Lord, that [aa]steal my word every one from his neighbor.

31 Behold, I will come against the prophets, saith the Lord, which have sweet tongues, and say, [ab]He saith.

32 Behold, I will come against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their flatteries, and I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they bring no profit unto this people, saith the Lord.

33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a Priest shall ask thee, saying, What is the [ac]burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.

34 And the prophet, or the priest, or the people that shall say, The [ad]burden of the Lord, I will even visit every such one, and his house.

35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and what hath the Lord spoken?

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s [ae]word shall be his burden: for ye have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts our God.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the Prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and what hath the Lord spoken?

38 And if you say, The burden of the Lord, Then thus saith the Lord, Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord.

39 Therefore behold, I, even I will utterly [af]forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence,

40 And will bring (D)an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall never be forgotten.


  1. Jeremiah 23:1 Meaning, the princes, governors and false prophets, as Ezek. 34:2.
  2. Jeremiah 23:1 For the which I have especial care, and have prepared good pastures for them.
  3. Jeremiah 23:2 Whose charge is to feed the flock, but they eat the fruit thereof, Ezek. 34:3.
  4. Jeremiah 23:3 Thus the Prophets ever used to mix the promises with the threatenings, lest the godly should be too much beaten down, and therefore he showeth how God will gather his Church after this dispersion.
  5. Jeremiah 23:5 This prophecy is of the restitution of the Church in the time of Jesus Christ, who is the true branch, read Isa. 11:1 and 45:8; Jer. 35:15; Dan. 9:24.
  6. Jeremiah 23:7 Read Jer. 16:14.
  7. Jeremiah 23:9 Meaning, the false prophets which deceive the people: wherein appeareth his great love toward his nation, read Jer. 14:13.
  8. Jeremiah 23:9 Hebrew, passed over or troubled.
  9. Jeremiah 23:10 They run headlong to wickedness, and seek vain help.
  10. Jeremiah 23:11 Or, are hypocrites.
  11. Jeremiah 23:11 My Temple is full of their idolatry and superstitions.
  12. Jeremiah 23:14 They which should have profited by my rods against Samaria, are become worse than they.
  13. Jeremiah 23:14 Though to the world they seem holy fathers, yet I detest them as I did these abominable cities.
  14. Jeremiah 23:15 Read Jer. 8:14.
  15. Jeremiah 23:15 Or, hypocrisy.
  16. Jeremiah 23:16 Which they have invented of their own brain.
  17. Jeremiah 23:17 Read Jer. 6:14 and 8:11.
  18. Jeremiah 23:18 Thus they did deride Jeremiah, as though the word of God were not revealed unto him: so also spake Zedekiah to Micaiah, 1 Kings 22:24.
  19. Jeremiah 23:20 Both that God hath sent me, and that my words shall be true.
  20. Jeremiah 23:22 He showeth the difference between the true Prophets and the false, between the hireling and the true minister.
  21. Jeremiah 23:23 Do I not see your falsehood, however you cloak it, and wheresoever you commit it?
  22. Jeremiah 23:25 I have a prophecy revealed unto me, as Num. 12:6.
  23. Jeremiah 23:26 Hebrew, Is it in the heart of the Prophets?
  24. Jeremiah 23:27 He showeth that Satan raiseth up false prophets to bring the people from God.
  25. Jeremiah 23:28 Let the false prophet declare that it is his own fantasy, and not slander my word as though it were a cloak to cover his lies.
  26. Jeremiah 23:28 Meaning, that it is not sufficient for God’s ministers to abstain from lies, and to speak the word of God: but that there be judgment in alleging it, and that it may appear to be applied to the same purpose that it was spoken, Ezek. 3:27; 1 Cor. 2:13 and 4:2; 2 Tim. 2:25; 2 Pet. 4:10, 11.
  27. Jeremiah 23:30 Which set forth in my Name that which I have not commanded.
  28. Jeremiah 23:31 To wit, the Lord.
  29. Jeremiah 23:33 The Prophets called their threatenings God’s burden, which the sinners were not able to sustain, therefore the wicked in deriding the word, would ask of the Prophets, what was the burden, as though they would say, You seek nothing else, but to lay burdens on our shoulders: and thus they rejected the word of God, as a grievous burden.
  30. Jeremiah 23:34 Because this word was brought to contempt and derision, he will teach them another manner of speech, and will cause this word burden to cease, and teach them to ask with reverence, What saith the Lord?
  31. Jeremiah 23:36 The thing which they mock and contemn, shall come upon them.
  32. Jeremiah 23:39 Or, take you away.

The Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds(A) who are destroying and scattering(B) the sheep of my pasture!”(C) declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds(D) who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock(E) and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil(F) you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant(G) of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture,(H) where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds(I) over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid(J) or terrified, nor will any be missing,(K)” declares the Lord.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch,(L)
a King(M) who will reign(N) wisely
    and do what is just and right(O) in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
    and Israel will live in safety.(P)
This is the name(Q) by which he will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.(R)

“So then, the days are coming,”(S) declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’(T) 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.”(U)

Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heart(V) is broken within me;
    all my bones tremble.(W)
I am like a drunken man,
    like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
    and his holy words.(X)
10 The land is full of adulterers;(Y)
    because of the curse[b](Z) the land lies parched
    and the pastures(AA) in the wilderness are withered.(AB)
The prophets follow an evil course
    and use their power unjustly.

11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;(AC)
    even in my temple(AD) I find their wickedness,”
declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;(AE)
    they will be banished to darkness
    and there they will fall.
I will bring disaster on them
    in the year they are punished,(AF)
declares the Lord.

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria
    I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal(AG)
    and led my people Israel astray.(AH)
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen something horrible:(AI)
    They commit adultery and live a lie.(AJ)
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,(AK)
    so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.(AL)
They are all like Sodom(AM) to me;
    the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”(AN)

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

“I will make them eat bitter food
    and drink poisoned water,(AO)
because from the prophets of Jerusalem
    ungodliness(AP) has spread throughout the land.”

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listen(AQ) to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
    they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions(AR) from their own minds,
    not from the mouth(AS) of the Lord.
17 They keep saying(AT) to those who despise me,
    ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’(AU)
And to all who follow the stubbornness(AV) of their hearts
    they say, ‘No harm(AW) will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council(AX) of the Lord
    to see or to hear his word?
    Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm(AY) of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind(AZ) swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger(BA) of the Lord will not turn back(BB)
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send(BC) 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,(BD)
    they would have proclaimed(BE) my words to my people
and would have turned(BF) them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.(BG)

23 “Am I only a God nearby,(BH)
declares the Lord,
    “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide(BI) in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”(BJ)
declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies(BK) in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream!(BL) I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions(BM) of their own minds?(BN) 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget(BO) my name, just as their ancestors forgot(BP) my name through Baal worship.(BQ) 28 Let the prophet who has a dream(BR) recount the dream, but let the one who has my word(BS) speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,”(BT) declares the Lord, “and like a hammer(BU) that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against(BV) the prophets(BW) 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.’(BX) 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,(BY)” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray(BZ) with their reckless lies,(CA) yet I did not send(CB) or appoint them. They do not benefit(CC) 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 message(CD) from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake(CE) you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message(CF) from the Lord,’ I will punish(CG) 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?’(CH) 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 distort(CI) the words of the living God,(CJ) 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 cast(CK) you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace(CL)—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”


  1. Jeremiah 23:5 Or up from David’s line
  2. Jeremiah 23:10 Or because of these things