Jeremiah 23 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Restoration after Exile
23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the Lord.
The Righteous Branch of David
5 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when men shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he[a] had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
False Prophets of Hope Denounced
9 Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me,
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
“Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to every one who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’”
18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord
21 “I did not send the prophets,
23 “Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies[b] in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams which they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Ba′al? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, ‘Says the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord.
33 “When one of this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,[c] and I will cast you off, says the Lord.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city which I gave to you and your fathers. 40 And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”