Jeremiah 23New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
The righteous branch
23 ‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: ‘Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,’ declares the Lord. 3 ‘I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,’ declares the Lord.
5 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
7 ‘So then, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when people will no longer say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,” 8 but they will say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.” Then they will live in their own land.’
9 Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me;
11 ‘Both prophet and priest are godless;
13 ‘Among the prophets of Samaria
15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:
‘I will make them eat bitter food
16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
23 ‘Am I only a God nearby,’
25 ‘I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, “I had a dream! I had a dream!” 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?’ declares the Lord. 29 ‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
30 ‘Therefore,’ declares the Lord, ‘I am against the prophets 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.” 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ declares the Lord. ‘They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,’ declares the Lord.
33 ‘When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, “What is the message from the Lord?” say to them, “What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord.” 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, “This is a message from the Lord,” I will punish 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?” 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 the words of the living God, 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 you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace – everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.’