The Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds(A) who are destroying and scattering(B) the sheep of my pasture!”(C) declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds(D) who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock(E) and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil(F) you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant(G) of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture,(H) where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds(I) over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid(J) or terrified, nor will any be missing,(K)” declares the Lord.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch,(L)
a King(M) who will reign(N) wisely
    and do what is just and right(O) in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
    and Israel will live in safety.(P)
This is the name(Q) by which he will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.(R)

“So then, the days are coming,”(S) declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’(T) 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.”(U)

Lying Prophets

Concerning the prophets:

My heart(V) is broken within me;
    all my bones tremble.(W)
I am like a drunken man,
    like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
    and his holy words.(X)
10 The land is full of adulterers;(Y)
    because of the curse[b](Z) the land lies parched
    and the pastures(AA) in the wilderness are withered.(AB)
The prophets follow an evil course
    and use their power unjustly.

11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;(AC)
    even in my temple(AD) I find their wickedness,”
declares the Lord.
12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;(AE)
    they will be banished to darkness
    and there they will fall.
I will bring disaster on them
    in the year they are punished,(AF)
declares the Lord.

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria
    I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal(AG)
    and led my people Israel astray.(AH)
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen something horrible:(AI)
    They commit adultery and live a lie.(AJ)
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,(AK)
    so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.(AL)
They are all like Sodom(AM) to me;
    the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”(AN)

15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:

“I will make them eat bitter food
    and drink poisoned water,(AO)
because from the prophets of Jerusalem
    ungodliness(AP) has spread throughout the land.”

16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listen(AQ) to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
    they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions(AR) from their own minds,
    not from the mouth(AS) of the Lord.
17 They keep saying(AT) to those who despise me,
    ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’(AU)
And to all who follow the stubbornness(AV) of their hearts
    they say, ‘No harm(AW) will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council(AX) of the Lord
    to see or to hear his word?
    Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm(AY) of the Lord
    will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind(AZ) swirling down
    on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger(BA) of the Lord will not turn back(BB)
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send(BC) these prophets,
    yet they have run with their message;
I did not speak to them,
    yet they have prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,(BD)
    they would have proclaimed(BE) my words to my people
and would have turned(BF) them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.(BG)

23 “Am I only a God nearby,(BH)
declares the Lord,
    “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide(BI) in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”(BJ)
declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies(BK) in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream!(BL) I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions(BM) of their own minds?(BN) 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget(BO) my name, just as their ancestors forgot(BP) my name through Baal worship.(BQ) 28 Let the prophet who has a dream(BR) recount the dream, but let the one who has my word(BS) speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,”(BT) declares the Lord, “and like a hammer(BU) that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against(BV) the prophets(BW) 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.’(BX) 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,(BY)” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray(BZ) with their reckless lies,(CA) yet I did not send(CB) or appoint them. They do not benefit(CC) these people in the least,” declares the Lord.

False Prophecy

33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message(CD) from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake(CE) you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message(CF) from the Lord,’ I will punish(CG) 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?’(CH) 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(CI) the words of the living God,(CJ) 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(CK) you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace(CL)—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”

Two Baskets of Figs

24 After Jehoiachin[c](CM) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs(CN) placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early;(CO) the other basket had very bad(CP) figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see,(CQ) Jeremiah?”

“Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent(CR) away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.[d] My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back(CS) to this land. I will build(CT) them up and not tear them down; I will plant(CU) them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know(CV) me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people,(CW) and I will be their God, for they will return(CX) to me with all their heart.(CY)

“‘But like the bad(CZ) figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah(DA) king of Judah, his officials(DB) and the survivors(DC) from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.(DD) I will make them abhorrent(DE) and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword,(DF) a curse[e](DG) and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish(DH) them. 10 I will send the sword,(DI) famine(DJ) and plague(DK) against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.(DL)’”

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim(DM) son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar(DN) king of Babylon. So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah(DO) and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah(DP) son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,(DQ) but you have not listened.(DR)

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets(DS) to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.(DT) They said, “Turn(DU) now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land(DV) the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. Do not follow other gods(DW) to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused(DX) my anger with what your hands have made,(DY) and you have brought harm(DZ) to yourselves.”

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon(EA) all the peoples of the north(EB) and my servant(EC) Nebuchadnezzar(ED) king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy[f](EE) them and make them an object of horror and scorn,(EF) and an everlasting ruin.(EG) 10 I will banish from them the sounds(EH) of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,(EI) the sound of millstones(EJ) and the light of the lamp.(EK) 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,(EL) and these nations will serve(EM) the king of Babylon seventy years.(EN)

12 “But when the seventy years(EO) are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon(EP) and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,[g] for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate(EQ) forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written(ER) in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved(ES) by many nations(ET) and great kings; I will repay(EU) them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The Cup of God’s Wrath

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup(EV) filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send(EW) you drink it. 16 When they drink(EX) it, they will stagger(EY) and go mad(EZ) because of the sword(FA) I will send among them.”

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent(FB) me drink it: 18 Jerusalem(FC) and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin(FD) and an object of horror and scorn,(FE) a curse[h](FF)—as they are today;(FG) 19 Pharaoh king(FH) of Egypt,(FI) his attendants, his officials and all his people, 20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz;(FJ) all the kings of the Philistines(FK) (those of Ashkelon,(FL) Gaza,(FM) Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); 21 Edom,(FN) Moab(FO) and Ammon;(FP) 22 all the kings of Tyre(FQ) and Sidon;(FR) the kings of the coastlands(FS) across the sea; 23 Dedan,(FT) Tema,(FU) Buz(FV) and all who are in distant places[i];(FW) 24 all the kings of Arabia(FX) and all the kings of the foreign people(FY) who live in the wilderness; 25 all the kings of Zimri,(FZ) Elam(GA) and Media;(GB) 26 and all the kings of the north,(GC) near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms(GD) on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshak[j](GE) will drink it too.

27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk(GF) and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword(GG) I will send among you.’ 28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink(GH), tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it! 29 See, I am beginning to bring disaster(GI) on the city that bears my Name,(GJ) and will you indeed go unpunished?(GK) You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword(GL) on all(GM) who live on the earth,(GN) declares the Lord Almighty.’

30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:

“‘The Lord will roar(GO) from on high;
    he will thunder(GP) from his holy dwelling(GQ)
    and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread(GR) the grapes,
    shout against all who live on the earth.
31 The tumult(GS) will resound to the ends of the earth,
    for the Lord will bring charges(GT) against the nations;
he will bring judgment(GU) on all(GV) mankind
    and put the wicked to the sword,(GW)’”
declares the Lord.

32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Look! Disaster(GX) is spreading
    from nation to nation;(GY)
a mighty storm(GZ) is rising
    from the ends of the earth.”(HA)

33 At that time those slain(HB) by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered(HC) up or buried,(HD) but will be like dung lying on the ground.

34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;(HE)
    roll(HF) in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
For your time to be slaughtered(HG) has come;
    you will fall like the best of the rams.[k](HH)
35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,
    the leaders of the flock no place to escape.(HI)
36 Hear the cry(HJ) of the shepherds,(HK)
    the wailing of the leaders of the flock,
    for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste
    because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
38 Like a lion(HL) he will leave his lair,
    and their land will become desolate(HM)
because of the sword[l] of the oppressor(HN)
    and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.(HO)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 23:5 Or up from David’s line
  2. Jeremiah 23:10 Or because of these things
  3. Jeremiah 24:1 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant of Jehoiachin
  4. Jeremiah 24:5 Or Chaldeans
  5. Jeremiah 24:9 That is, their names will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that they are cursed.
  6. Jeremiah 25:9 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  7. Jeremiah 25:12 Or Chaldeans
  8. Jeremiah 25:18 That is, their names to be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, to be seen by others as cursed
  9. Jeremiah 25:23 Or who clip the hair by their foreheads
  10. Jeremiah 25:26 Sheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.
  11. Jeremiah 25:34 Septuagint; Hebrew fall and be shattered like fine pottery
  12. Jeremiah 25:38 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 46:16 and 50:16); most Hebrew manuscripts anger

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