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Jeremiah 23:1-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Branch of Righteousness

23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and [a]prosper,
And execute [b]judgment and righteousness in the [c]earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:

[d]THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

False Prophets and Empty Oracles

My heart within me is broken
Because of the prophets;
All my bones shake.
I am like a drunken man,
And like a man whom wine has overcome,
Because of the Lord,
And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
For because of a curse the land mourns.
The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course of life is evil,
And their might is not right.

11 “For both prophet and priest are profane;
Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord.
12 “Therefore their way shall be to them
Like slippery ways;
In the darkness they shall be driven on
And fall in them;
For I will bring disaster on them,
The year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
13 “And I have seen [e]folly in the prophets of Samaria:
They prophesied by Baal
And caused My people Israel to err.
14 Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
All of them are like Sodom to Me,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:

‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
And make them drink the water of gall;
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
[f]Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’ ”

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ’;
And to everyone who walks according to the [g]dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ”

18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 23:5 act wisely
  2. Jeremiah 23:5 justice
  3. Jeremiah 23:5 land
  4. Jeremiah 23:6 Heb. YHWH Tsidkenu
  5. Jeremiah 23:13 Lit. distastefulness
  6. Jeremiah 23:15 Or Pollution
  7. Jeremiah 23:17 stubbornness or imagination
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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