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.
2 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. 3 “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]. 4 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
5 “The days are coming,” says the Lord,
7 “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….’ 8 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
9 A message to the prophets:
My heart is ·broken [L shattered within me].
11 “Both the prophets and the priests are ungodly.
13 “I saw the prophets of Samaria [C capital of the northern kingdom destroyed in 722 bc]
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]
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.
23 “·I am [L Am I only…?] a God who is near,” 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.”