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23
Woe to the Evil Shepherds
1“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh. 2Therefore#Literally “To thus” thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people, “You yourselves have scattered my flock, and you have driven them away, and you do not attend to them. Look, I will punish you for the evil of your deeds,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh. 3“Then I myself will gather together the remnant of my flock from all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their grazing place, and they will be fruitful, and they will become numerous. 4And I will raise up over them shepherds, and they will shepherd them, and they will no longer fear, and they will not be dismayed, and they will not be missing,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
The Righteous Branch
5“Look, days are coming,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“when I will raise up for David a righteous branch,
and he will reign as king, and he will achieve success,
and he will do justice and righteousness in the land.
6In his days Judah will be saved,
and Israel will dwell in safety,#Literally “with confidence”
and this is his name by which he will be called:
‘Yahweh is our righteousness.’
7“Therefore#Literally “To thus” look, days are coming,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “when they will no longer say, ‘As Yahweh lives,#Literally “the life of Yahweh” who led up the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” from the land of Egypt,’ 8but ‘As Yahweh lives,#Literally “the life of Yahweh” who led up, and who brought the offspring of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where he had driven them.’ Then they will live in their land.”
The Unfaithful Prophets
9Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken in my midst.
All my bones tremble.
I have become like a drunken man,
even like a man over whom wine has passed,
because of Yahweh,
and because of his holy words.#Literally “words of his holiness”
10For the land is full of adulterers;
for the land mourns because of a curse.
The pastures of the desert#Or “wilderness” are dry,
and their evil has been their way of running,
and their power is not right.
11“For both prophet as well as priest are godless,
even in my temple I have found their wickedness,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
12“Therefore#Literally “To thus” their way will be to them like the slippery places,
they will be pushed in the darkness,
and they will fall into it,
for I will bring disaster on them in the year of their punishment,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
13“Now in the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing.
They prophesied by Baal and they caused my people Israel to err.
14And in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible.
They commit adultery, and they walk in lies,#Hebrew “the lie”
and they make strong the hands of evildoers,
so that they have not turned back each from his wickedness.
All of them have become to me like Sodom,
and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
15Therefore#Literally “To thus” thus says Yahweh concerning the prophets,
“Look, I am going to let them eat wormwood
and I will give them water of poison to drink,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
went out ungodliness to all the land.”
16Thus says Yahweh of hosts,
“You must not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They are deluding you with visions of their mind,#Literally “heart”
They do not speak from the mouth of Yahweh.
17They are#Here the subject and verb are supplied from context in the English translation continually saying to those who disregard the word of Yahweh,
‘Peace it will be to you,’
and to each one#Literally “all” who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they say,
‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
18For who has stood in the council of Yahweh,
that he has seen and heard his word?
Who has listened attentively to his word
and heard it?#Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
19Look, the storm of Yahweh has gone forth in wrath,
even a whirling tempest.
It will whirl upon the head of the wicked.
20The anger#Literally “nose” of Yahweh will not turn back
until his doing and until his keeping the plans of his mind.#Literally “heart”
In latter days#Literally “In the last of the days” you will look closely at it with understanding.
21I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have caused them to turn from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.
23Am I a God from near,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh,
“and not a God from far?
24Or can a person hide himself in secret places
and I cannot see him?” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
“Do I not fill up the heaven and the earth?” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
25“I have heard what the prophets who prophesy lies#Hebrew “lie” have said in my name, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘I have dreamed! I have dreamed!’ 26How long#Literally “Until when” will this be in the hearts#Hebrew “heart” of the prophets who prophesy lies,#Hebrew “the lie” even the prophets of the deceitfulness of their hearts,#Hebrew “heart” 27who plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell each one to his neighbor, just as their ancestors#Or “fathers” forgot my name through Baal? 28The prophet who has with him a dream, let him tell the dream. But the prophet#Here the subject is supplied from context in the English translation who has my word with him, let him speak my word faithfully. What is straw compared to wheat?”#Literally “What to the straw in comparison with the wheat” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh. 29“Is not my word like fire?” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “and like a blacksmith’s hammer that breaks a rock into pieces?
30“Therefore#Literally “To thus” look, I am against the prophets,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “who steal my words each one from his neighbor. 31Look, I am against the prophets,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “who take their tongues#Hebrew “tongue” and declare as prophets, ‘Yahweh declares.’#Literally “a declaration of” 32Look, I am against those who prophesy dreams of lies,”#Hebrew “lie” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh, “and tell them, and they caused my people to err through their lies, and in their recklessness, when I myself have not sent them nor commanded them, so they profit not this people at all,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
33“Now when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, ask you, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘What is the burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh?’ then you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,#Literally “What burden” and I will forsake you,’ ” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh. 34“And the prophet, and the priest, and the people who say, ‘The burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh,’ I will punish that man and his house. 35Thus you shall say, each one to his neighbor and each one to his brother: ‘What has Yahweh answered?’ or, ‘What has Yahweh spoken?’ 36But you shall not mention the burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh, for the burden#Or “oracle” is to each one his word, and so you twist the words of the living God, Yahweh of hosts, our God. 37Thus you shall say to that prophet, ‘What has Yahweh answered you?’ or, ‘What has Yahweh spoken?’ 38But if you say, ‘The burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh,’ therefore#Literally “to thus” thus says Yahweh, ‘because of your saying these words,#Hebrew “word” “The burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh,” then I will send to you, saying,#Literally “to say” “You shall not say, ‘The burden#Or “oracle” of Yahweh.’ ” ’ 39Therefore#Literally “To thus” look, here I am, and I will surely lift you up and forsake you and the city that I gave to you and to your ancestors#Or “fathers” from my presence#Literally “my face”, 40and I will bring upon you an everlasting disgrace#Literally “a disgrace of eternity” and an everlasting shame#Literally “a shame of eternity” that will not be forgotten.”
23
The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch
1 “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.
5 “Behold (listen closely), the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as King and act wisely
And will do [those things that accomplish] justice and righteousness in the land.
6 “In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called;
‘The Lord Our Righteousness.’
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
9 Concerning the prophets:
My heart [says Jeremiah] is broken within me,
All my bones shake;
I have become like a drunken man,
A man whom wine has overcome,
Because of the Lord
And because of His holy words [declared against unfaithful leaders].
10 For the land is full of adulterers (unfaithful to God);
The land mourns because of the curse [of God upon it].
The pastures of the wilderness have dried up.
The course of action [of the false prophets] is evil and they rush into wickedness;
And their power is not right.
11 “For both [false] prophet and priest are ungodly (profane, polluted);
Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord.
12 “Therefore their way will be to them like slippery paths
In the dark; they will be pushed and fall into them;
For I will bring disaster on them,
In the year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
13 “And I have seen a foolish and an offensive thing in the prophets of Samaria:
They prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to go astray.
14 “Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They encourage and strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become like Sodom to Me,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts in regard to the prophets,
‘Behold, I am going to feed them [the bitterness of] wormwood
And make them drink the poisonous water [of gall],
For from the [counterfeit] prophets of Jerusalem
Profaneness and ungodliness have spread into all the land.’”
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Do not listen to the words of the [false] prophets who prophesy to you.
They are teaching you worthless things and are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own mind and imagination
And not [truth] from the mouth of the Lord.
17 “They are continually saying to those who despise Me [and My word],
‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’;
And they say to everyone who walks after the stubbornness of his own heart,
‘No evil will come on you.’
18 “But who [among them] has stood in the council of the Lord,
That he would perceive and hear His word?
Who has marked His word [noticing and observing and paying attention to it] and has [actually] heard it?
19 “Behold, the tempest of the Lord has gone forth in wrath,
A whirling tempest;
It will whirl and burst on the heads of the wicked.
20 “The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has set in motion and accomplished the thoughts and intentions of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 “I did not send [these counterfeit] prophets,
Yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
Yet they prophesied.
22 “But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned My people from their evil way
And from the evil of their decisions and deeds.
23 “Am I a God who is at hand,” says the Lord,
“And not a God far away?”
24 “Can anyone 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 [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 #I.e. an urgent message the true prophet of God is under compulsion to proclaim.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.”