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Jeremiah 23 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Evil Leaders of Judah

23 “·How terrible it will be for [Woe to] ·those [L the shepherds; C the leaders of Judah] who are scattering and destroying ·my people [L the sheep of my pasture],” says the Lord.

They are ·responsible for the people [L the shepherds who shepherd my people; Num. 27:7; Ps. 78:70–72; Ezek. 34], so the Lord, the God of Israel, says to them: “You have scattered my ·people [flock] and forced them away and not taken care of them. So I will ·punish [take care of] you for the evil things you have done,” says the Lord. “But I will gather ·those who are left alive [L the remnant of my flock] from all the lands where I have driven them and bring them back to their own ·country [flock]. Then they will ·have many children and grow in number [be fruitful and multiply]. I will ·place [raise up] ·new leaders over my people, who will take care of them [L shepherds who will shepherd them]. And my people will not be afraid or terrified again, and none of them will be lost,” says the Lord.

The Good Branch Will Come

“The days are coming,” says the Lord,
    “when I will raise up a ·good [righteous] branch ·in David’s family [L for David; Is. 4:2; Zech. 3:8; 6:12].
He will be a king who will rule in a wise way;
    he will do ·what is fair and right [justice and righteousness] in the land.
In his time Judah will be ·saved [rescued],
    and Israel will live ·in safety [with confidence].
This will be his name:
    The Lord ·Does What Is Right [L Our Righteousness].

“So the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when people will not say again: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought Israel out of Egypt….’ But people will say something new: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the ·descendants of Israel [L seed of the house of Israel] from the land of the north [C Babylon] and from all the countries where he had ·sent [driven] them away….’ Then the people of Israel will live in their own land [16:14–15].”

False Prophets Will Be Punished

A message to the prophets:

My heart is ·broken [L shattered within me].
    All my bones shake.
I’m like someone who is drunk,
    like someone who has been ·overcome [inebriated] with wine.
This is because of the Lord
    and his holy words.
10 The land [C of Judah] is full of people who are guilty of adultery.
    Because of the curse the land ·is sad [mourns],
    and the pastures of the ·desert [wilderness] have dried up.
The people [Their lives/L courses] are evil
    and ·they use their power in the wrong way [L their power is not right].

11 “Both the prophets and the priests are ungodly.
    I have found even in my own ·Temple [L house],” says the Lord.
12 “So their ·lives [L ways; paths] will be slippery and dark [C they will be in danger].
    They will ·be defeated [L fall].
I will bring ·disaster [evil; trouble] on them
    in the year I punish them,” says the Lord.

13 “I saw the prophets of Samaria [C capital of the northern kingdom destroyed in 722 bc]
    do something ·wrong [disgusting].
Those prophets prophesied by Baal
    and led my people Israel away [Deut. 13:1–5].
14 And I have seen the prophets of Jerusalem
    do ·terrible [shocking] things.
They are guilty of adultery
    and ·live [walk] by lies.
They ·encourage [strengthen] ·evil people to keep on doing evil [L the hands of evildoers],
    so the people don’t ·stop sinning [L turn back from their evil].
All of those people are like the city of Sodom.
    The people of Jerusalem are like the city of Gomorrah to me [C sinful and soon to be punished; Gen. 18–19]!”

15 So this is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says about the prophets:

“I will make those prophets eat ·bitter food [L wormwood; C the bitter tasting leaves of a shrub; 9:15]
    and drink poisoned water,
because the prophets of Jerusalem spread ·wickedness [godlessness]
    through the whole country.”

16 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:

“Don’t ·pay attention [listen] to what those prophets are ·saying [prophesying] to you.
    They are trying to ·fool [delude] you.
They talk about visions their own ·minds [L hearts] made up,
    not ·about visions from me [L from the mouth of the Lord].
17 They say to those who ·hate [despise] me:
    ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’
They say to all those who ·are stubborn and do as they please [L walk in the stubbornness of their heart]:
    ‘Nothing ·bad [evil; disastrous] will happen to you.’
18 ·But none of these prophets has stood in the meeting of angels [L Who has stood in the assembly/council of the Lord…?; 1 Kin. 22:19–23; Job 1—2; 15:8; Ps. 82; Is. 6:1–3]
    to see or hear the message of the Lord.
    ·None of them [L Who…?] has paid close attention to his message.
19 Look, the ·storm [whirlwind] of the Lord!
His anger will pour forth like a ·hurricane [storm; whirlwind].
    It will come swirling down on the heads of those wicked people [30:23].
20 The Lord’s anger will not ·stop [turn back]
    until he finishes what he plans to do.
When that day is over,
    you will understand this clearly [30:24].
21 I did not send those prophets,
    but they ran [C to tell their message].
I did not speak to them,
    but they prophesied anyway.
22 But if they had stood in ·the meeting of angels [L my assembly/council],
    they would have told my message to my people.
They would have turned the people from their evil ways
    and from doing evil.

23 “·I am [L Am I only…?] a God who is near,” says the Lord.
    “·I am [L And not…?] also a God who is far away.
24 ·No one [L Who…?] can hide
    where I cannot see him,” says the Lord.
    “·I [L Do I not…?] fill all of heaven and earth,” says the Lord.

25 “I have heard the prophets who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I have had a dream! I have had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the ·minds [L hearts] of these lying prophets? They prophesy from their own ·wishful thinking [L deceitful hearts]. 27 They are trying to make the people of Judah forget ·me [L my name] by telling each other these dreams. In the same way, their ·ancestors [fathers] forgot ·me [L my name] ·and worshiped [L for] Baal. 28 ·Is straw the same thing as [L What has straw in common with] wheat?” says the Lord. “If a prophet wants to tell about his dreams, let him! But let the person who hears my message speak it truthfully! 29 Isn’t my message like a fire?” says the Lord. “Isn’t it like a hammer that smashes a rock?

30 “So I am against the prophets [C false prophets],” says the Lord. “They keep stealing words from each other [C and say they are from God]. 31 I am against the prophets [C false prophets],” says the Lord. “They use their own ·words [L tongues] and ·pretend it is a message from me [L say, ‘Says the Lord’]. 32 I am against the prophets who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord. “They mislead my people with their lies and ·false teachings [recklessness]! I did not send them or command them to do anything for me. They can’t help the people of Judah at all,” says the Lord.

The Sad Message from the Lord

33 “Suppose this people [C of Judah], a prophet, or a priest asks you [C Jeremiah]: ‘What is the ·message [oracle; burden] from the Lord?’ You will answer them and say, ‘You are a heavy ·load [burden] to the Lord, and I will throw you down, says the Lord.’ 34 A prophet or a priest or one of the people might say, ‘This is a ·message [oracle; burden] from the Lord.’ I will punish him [C for lying that he has a message from God] and his whole family. 35 This is what you will say to each other: ‘What did the Lord answer?’ or ‘What did the Lord say?’ 36 But you will never again ·say [mention; remember], ‘The ·message [oracle; burden] of the Lord,’ because the only ·message [oracle; burden] you speak is your own words. You have ·changed [overturned; perverted] the words of our God, the living God, the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. 37 This is how you should speak to the prophets: ‘What answer did the Lord give you?’ or ‘What did the Lord say?’ 38 But don’t say, ‘The ·message [oracle; burden] from the Lord.’ If you use these words, this is what the Lord says: Because you called it a ‘·message [oracle; burden] from the Lord,’ though I told you not to use those words, 39 I will pick you up and ·throw [cast] you away from me, along with the city [C Jerusalem], which I gave to your ·ancestors [fathers] and to you. 40 And I will ·make a disgrace of [give shame to] you forever; your shame will never be forgotten.”

Expanded Bible (EXB)

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