Jeremiah 23-25Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch
23 “Woe to the shepherds (civil leaders, rulers) who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, in regard to the shepherds who care for and feed My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; hear this, I am about to visit and attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” says the Lord. 3 “Then I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries to which I have driven them and bring them back to their folds and pastures; and they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them. And they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” says the Lord.
7 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but [they will say], ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries to which I had driven them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
False Prophets Denounced
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts in regard to the prophets,
‘Behold, I am going to feed them [the bitterness of] wormwood
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My Name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed [visions when on my bed at night].’ 26 How long [shall this state of affairs continue]? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, 27 who think that they can make My people forget My Name by their [contrived] dreams which each one tells another, just as their fathers forgot My Name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may tell his dream; but he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat [for nourishment]?” says the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the [most stubborn] rock [in pieces]? 30 Therefore behold (hear this), I am against the [counterfeit] prophets,” says the Lord, “[I am descending on them with punishment, these prophets] who steal My words from one another [imitating the words of the true prophets]. 31 Hear this, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their [own deceitful] tongues and say, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ 32 Hear this, I am against those who have prophesied false and made-up dreams,” says the Lord, “and have told them and have made My people err and go astray by their lies and by their reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them nor do they benefit and enhance [the life of] these people in the slightest way,” says the Lord.
33 “Now when this people or a prophet or a priest asks you [in jest], ‘What is the [a]oracle of the Lord [the burden to be lifted up and carried]?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘What oracle [besides the one that declares you people to be the burden]!’ The Lord says, ‘I will unburden Myself and I will abandon you.’ 34 And as for the prophet, the priest, or [any of] the people, whoever says, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ [as if he knows God’s will], I will punish that man and his household. 35 [For the future, in speaking of the words of the Lord] thus each of you shall say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, [for as they mockingly call all prophecies oracles, whether good or bad, so will it prove to be to them; God will take them at their own word]; and you have perverted the words [not of a lifeless idol, but] of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you will [reverently] say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” when I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, I, even I, will assuredly forget you and send you away from My presence, you and the city (Jerusalem) which I gave to you and to your fathers. 40 And I will bring an everlasting disgrace on you and a perpetual humiliation (shame) which will not be forgotten.”
Baskets of Figs and the Returnees
24 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken Jeconiah [who was also called Coniah and Jehoiachin] the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah [along] with the craftsmen and smiths into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, the Lord showed me [in a vision] two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are the first to ripen; but the other basket had very bad figs, so rotten that they could not be eaten. 3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, so rotten that they cannot be eaten.”
4 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent from this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overwhelm them, and I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know Me, [understanding fully] that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
8 ‘And as for the bad figs, which are so rotten that they cannot be eaten,’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and those who live in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a focus of ridicule and disappointment [tossed back and forth] among all the kingdoms of the earth, a [notorious] disgrace, a byword, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and virulent disease among them until they are consumed from the land which I gave to them and to their fathers.’”
Prophecy of the Captivity
25 The word that came to Jeremiah in regard to all the people of Judah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 3 “For these twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you over and over again, but you have not listened. 4 Although the Lord has persistently sent to you all His servants the prophets, you have not listened nor [even] inclined your ear to hear [His message], 5 saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and the evil of your actions [that you may not forfeit the right to] live in the land that the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; 6 and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ 7 Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “so that you have provoked Me to anger with the work (idols) of your hands to your own harm.
8 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, 9 behold (hear this), I will send for all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will send for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant [to enact My plan], and I will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these surrounding nations; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing [that is, an object of warning and ridicule] and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones [grinding meal] and the light of the lamp [to light the night]. 11 This whole land will be a waste and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon [b]seventy years.
Babylon Will Be Judged
12 ‘Then when seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonia),’ says the Lord, ‘for their wickedness, and will make the land [of the Chaldeans] a perpetual waste. 13 I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 (For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even the Chaldeans [who enslaved other nations]; and I will repay [all of] them according to their deeds and according to the work of their [own] hands.)’”
15 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”
17 Then I (Jeremiah) took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom the Lord had sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah [being most guilty because their privileges were greatest], its kings and princes, to make them a horror, a ruin, a hissing and a curse, as it is to this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, all his people, 20 and all the foreign (mixed) population, all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines (and [their cities of] Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the islands and the coastlands across the [Mediterranean] Sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz [the neighboring tribes north of Arabia], and all who clip off the side-growth of their hair; 24 all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign population who live in the desert; 25 all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam (Persia), and all the kings of Media; 26 all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another—and all the kingdoms of the world which are on the face of the earth. And the king of Sheshach (Babylon) shall drink after them.
27 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk, vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.”’ 28 And if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “You shall surely drink! 29 For behold, I am beginning to work disaster in the city which is called by My Name, and shall you go unpunished? You will not be exempt from punishment, for I am calling for a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” says the Lord of hosts.’
30 “Therefore prophesy all these words against them and say to them:
‘The Lord will roar from on high
33 “And those slain by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. They will not be lamented (mourned over with expressions of grief) or gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the ground.
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