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Jeremiah Chapter 23

1 Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the LORD. {S} 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds that feed My people: Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not taken care of them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3 And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them, who shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be lacking, saith the LORD. {S} 5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD is our righteousness. {P}

7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say: 'As the LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt'; 8 but: 'As the LORD liveth, that brought up and that led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries whither I had driven them'; and they shall dwell in their own land. {P}

9 Concerning the prophets. My heart within me is broken, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome; because of the LORD, and because of His holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth, the pastures of the wilderness are dried up; and their course is evil, and their force is not right. 11 For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, in My house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery places in the darkness, they shall be thrust, and fall therein; for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. 13 And I have seen unseemliness in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied by Baal, and caused My people Israel to err. 14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies, and they strengthen the hands of evil-doers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them become unto Me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. {P}

15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is ungodliness gone forth into all the land. {P}

16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you, they lead you unto vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually unto them that despise Me: 'The LORD hath said: Ye shall have peace'; and unto every one that walketh in the stubbornness of his own heart they say: 'No evil shall come upon you'; 18 For who hath stood in the council of the LORD, that he should perceive and hear His word? Who hath attended to His word, and heard it? {S} 19 Behold, a storm of the LORD is gone forth in fury, yea, a whirling storm; it shall whirl upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have executed, and till He have performed the purposes of His heart; in the end of days ye shall consider it perfectly. 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they have stood in My council, then let them cause My people to hear My words, and turn them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. {S} 23 Am I a God near at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying: 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed.' 26 How long shall this be? Is it in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, and the prophets of the deceit of their own heart? 27 That think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word; let him speak My word faithfully. What hath the straw to do with the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not My word like as fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? {S} 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal My words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues and say: 'He saith.' 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy lying dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies, and by their wantonness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; neither can they profit this people at all, saith the LORD. 33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying: 'What is the burden of the LORD?' then shalt thou say unto them: 'What burden! I will cast you off, saith the LORD.' 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say: 'The burden of the LORD', I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother: 'What hath the LORD answered?' and: 'What hath the LORD spoken?' 36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more; for every man's own word shall be his burden; and would ye pervert the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God? 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet: 'What hath the LORD answered thee?' and: 'What hath the LORD spoken?' 38 But if ye say: 'The burden of the LORD'; therefore thus saith the LORD: Because ye say this word: 'The burden of the LORD', and I have sent unto you, saying: 'Ye shall not say: The burden of the LORD'; 39 therefore, behold, I will utterly tear you out, and I will cast you off, and the city that I gave unto you and to your fathers, away from My presence; 40 and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. {P}

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