Jeremiah 23 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
23 “It will be very bad for the shepherds of the people of Judah. They are destroying the sheep. They are making the sheep run from my pasture in all directions.” This message is from the Lord.
2 They are responsible for my people. And this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to them: “You shepherds have made my sheep run away in all directions. You have forced them to go away, and you have not taken care of them. But I will take care of you—I will punish you for the evil things you did.” This message is from the Lord: 3 “I sent my sheep to other countries. But I will gather together my sheep that are left, and I will bring them back to their pasture. When my sheep are back in their pasture, they will have many children and grow in number. 4 I will place new shepherds over my sheep. They will take care of my sheep, and my sheep will never again feel afraid. None of my sheep will be lost.” This message is from the Lord.
The Good “Branch”
5 This message is from the Lord:
7 “So the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when people will not make a promise by saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the one who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt ….’ 8 But people will say something new: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, the one who brought the Israelites out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had sent them ….’ Then the people of Israel will live in their own land.”
Judgments Against False Prophets
9 A message to the prophets:
13 “I saw the prophets of Samaria doing wrong things.
15 So this is what the Lord All-Powerful says about those Jerusalem prophets:
16 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says:
23 This message is from the Lord.
This message is from the Lord: 25 “There are prophets who tell lies in my name. They say, ‘I have had a dream! I have had a dream!’ I heard them say those things. 26 How long will this continue? They think up lies and then they teach them to the people. 27 They are trying to make the people of Judah forget my name by telling each other these false dreams. They are trying to make my people forget me, just as their ancestors forgot me and worshiped the false god Baal. 28 Straw is not the same as wheat! In the same way, the dreams of those prophets are not messages from me. If people want to tell about their dreams, let them. But those who hear my message must speak it truthfully.” This is what the Lord says. 29 Yes, the Lord says, “You must treat my message carefully, like a fire or like a hammer that can smash a rock.”
30 This message is from the Lord: “So I am against the false prophets. They keep stealing my words from each other.” 31 Yes, the Lord says, “I am against the false prophets. They use their own words and pretend that it is a message from me. 32 I am against the false prophets who tell false dreams.” This message is from the Lord. “They mislead my people with their lies and false teachings. I did not send them to teach the people. I never commanded them to do anything for me. They cannot help the people of Judah at all.” This message is from the Lord.
The Sad Message From the Lord
33 “The people of Judah, or a prophet, or a priest may ask you, ‘Jeremiah, what is the announcement of the Lord?’ You will answer them and say, ‘You are a heavy load[c], and I will throw down this heavy load.’ This message is from the Lord.
34 “A prophet, or a priest, or maybe one of the people might say, ‘This is an announcement from the Lord ….’ Because of that lie, I will punish that person and their whole family. 35 This is what you will say to one another: ‘What did the Lord answer?’ or ‘What did the Lord say?’ 36 But you will never again use the expression, ‘The announcement of the Lord.’ That is because his message should not be a heavy load for anyone. But you changed the words of our God. He is the living God, the Lord All-Powerful!
37 “If you want to learn about God’s message, ask a prophet, ‘What answer did the Lord give you?’ or ‘What did the Lord say?’ 38 But don’t say, ‘What was the announcement from the Lord?’ If you use these words, the Lord will say this to you: ‘You should not have called my message an “announcement from the Lord.” I told you not to use those words. 39 But you called my message a heavy load, so I will pick you up like a heavy load and throw you away from me. I gave the city of Jerusalem to your ancestors. But I will throw you and that city away from me, 40 and I will make you a disgrace forever. You will never forget your shame.’”