Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heart(A) is broken within me;
    all my bones tremble.(B)
I am like a drunken man,
    like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
    and his holy words.(C)
10 The land is full of adulterers;(D)
    because of the curse[a](E) the land lies parched
    and the pastures(F) in the wilderness are withered.(G)
The prophets follow an evil course
    and use their power unjustly.

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

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria
    I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal(L)
    and led my people Israel astray.(M)
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen something horrible:(N)
    They commit adultery and live a lie.(O)
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,(P)
    so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.(Q)
They are all like Sodom(R) to me;
    the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”(S)

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

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

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listen(V) to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
    they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions(W) from their own minds,
    not from the mouth(X) of the Lord.
17 They keep saying(Y) to those who despise me,
    ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’(Z)
And to all who follow the stubbornness(AA) of their hearts
    they say, ‘No harm(AB) will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council(AC) of the Lord
    to see or to hear his word?
    Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm(AD) of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind(AE) swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger(AF) of the Lord will not turn back(AG)
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send(AH) 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,(AI)
    they would have proclaimed(AJ) my words to my people
and would have turned(AK) them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.(AL)

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

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

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against(BA) the prophets(BB) 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.’(BC) 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,(BD)” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray(BE) with their reckless lies,(BF) yet I did not send(BG) or appoint them. They do not benefit(BH) 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(BI) from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake(BJ) you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message(BK) from the Lord,’ I will punish(BL) 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?’(BM) 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(BN) the words of the living God,(BO) 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(BP) you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace(BQ)—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”

Two Baskets of Figs

24 After Jehoiachin[b](BR) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs(BS) placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early;(BT) the other basket had very bad(BU) figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see,(BV) Jeremiah?”

“Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent(BW) away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.[c] My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back(BX) to this land. I will build(BY) them up and not tear them down; I will plant(BZ) them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know(CA) me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people,(CB) and I will be their God, for they will return(CC) to me with all their heart.(CD)

“‘But like the bad(CE) figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah(CF) king of Judah, his officials(CG) and the survivors(CH) from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.(CI) I will make them abhorrent(CJ) and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword,(CK) a curse[d](CL) and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish(CM) them. 10 I will send the sword,(CN) famine(CO) and plague(CP) against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.(CQ)’”

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim(CR) son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar(CS) king of Babylon. So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah(CT) and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah(CU) son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,(CV) but you have not listened.(CW)

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets(CX) to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.(CY) They said, “Turn(CZ) now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land(DA) the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods(DB) to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused(DC) my anger with what your hands have made,(DD) and you have brought harm(DE) to yourselves.”

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon(DF) all the peoples of the north(DG) and my servant(DH) Nebuchadnezzar(DI) king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[e](DJ) them and make them an object of horror and scorn,(DK) and an everlasting ruin.(DL) 10 I will banish from them the sounds(DM) of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,(DN) the sound of millstones(DO) and the light of the lamp.(DP) 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,(DQ) and these nations will serve(DR) the king of Babylon seventy years.(DS)

12 “But when the seventy years(DT) are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon(DU) and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[f] for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate(DV) forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written(DW) in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved(DX) by many nations(DY) and great kings; I will repay(DZ) them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”


  1. Jeremiah 23:10 Or because of these things
  2. Jeremiah 24:1 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant of Jehoiachin
  3. Jeremiah 24:5 Or Chaldeans
  4. Jeremiah 24:9 That is, their names will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that they are cursed.
  5. Jeremiah 25:9 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  6. Jeremiah 25:12 Or Chaldeans

Living to Please God

As for other matters, brothers and sisters,(A) we instructed you how to live(B) in order to please God,(C) as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

It is God’s will(D) that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;(E) that each of you should learn to control your own body[a](F) in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust(G) like the pagans,(H) who do not know God;(I) and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b](J) The Lord will punish(K) all those who commit such sins,(L) as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.(M) Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.(N)

Now about your love for one another(O) we do not need to write to you,(P) for you yourselves have been taught by God(Q) to love each other.(R) 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia.(S) Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,(T) 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands,(U) just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders(V) and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Believers Who Have Died

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed(W) about those who sleep in death,(X) so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.(Y) 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,(Z) and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.(AA) 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,(AB) will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.(AC) 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,(AD) with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel(AE) and with the trumpet call of God,(AF) and the dead in Christ will rise first.(AG) 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left(AH) will be caught up together with them in the clouds(AI) to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord(AJ) forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another(AK) with these words.

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  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or learn to live with your own wife; or learn to acquire a wife
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family.

Further Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of the wise:(A)

To show partiality(B) in judging is not good:(C)
24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”(D)
    will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
    and rich blessing will come on them.

26 An honest answer
    is like a kiss on the lips.

27 Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.

28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause(E)
    would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
    I’ll pay them back for what they did.”(F)

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,(G)
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest(H)
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.(I)

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