Jeremiah 23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Message of Hope
The Lord said:
23 You leaders of my people are like shepherds that kill and scatter the sheep. 2 You were supposed to take care of my people, but instead you chased them away. So now I’ll really take care of you, and believe me, you will pay for your crimes!
3 I will bring the rest of my people home from the lands where I have scattered them, and they will grow into a mighty nation. 4 I promise to choose leaders who will care for them like real shepherds. All of my people will be there, and they will never again be frightened.
5 Someday I will appoint
7 A time will come when you will again worship me. But you will no longer call me the Living God who rescued Israel from Egypt. 8 Instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from the land in the north and from all the other countries where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land.
Jeremiah Thinks about Unfaithful Prophets
9 When I think of the prophets,
The Lord Will Punish Unfaithful Prophets
11 The Lord told me to say:
You prophets and priests
13 The prophets in Samaria
The Lord Gives a Warning
The Lord said:
16 Don’t listen to the lies
18 But I, the Lord, tell you
23 I am everywhere—
25 These unfaithful prophets claim that I have given them a dream or a vision, and then they tell lies in my name. 26 But everything they say comes from their own twisted minds. How long can this go on? 27 They tell each other their dreams and try to get my people to reject me, just as their ancestors left me and worshiped Baal. 28 Their dreams and my truth are as different as straw and wheat. But when prophets speak for me, they must say only what I have told them. 29 My words are a powerful fire; they are a hammer that shatters rocks.
30-32 These unfaithful prophets claim I give them their dreams, but it isn’t true. I didn’t choose them to be my prophets, and yet they babble on and on, speaking in my name, while stealing words from each other. And when my people hear these liars, they are led astray instead of being helped. So I warn you that I am now the enemy of these prophets. I, the Lord, have spoken.
News and Nuisance
The Lord said to me:
34 If any of you say, “Here is news from the Lord,” I will punish you and your families, even if you are a prophet or a priest. 35 Instead, you must ask your friends and relatives, “What answer did the Lord give?” or “What has the Lord said?” 36 It seems that you each have your own news! So if you say, “Here is news from the Lord,” you are twisting my words into a lie. Remember that I am your God, the Lord All-Powerful.
37 If you go to a prophet, it’s all right to ask, “What answer did the Lord give to my question?” or “What has the Lord said?” 38 But if you disobey me and say, “Here is news from the Lord,” 39 I will pick you up[i] and throw you far away. And I will abandon this city of Jerusalem that I gave to your ancestors. 40 You will never be free from your shame and disgrace.
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