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23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; 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 the words of his holiness.
23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
23:12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
23:15 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 profaneness gone forth into all the land.
23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
23:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 23:24 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.
23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 23:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
23:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.
23:34 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.
23:35 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? 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
23:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 23:38 But since 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; 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: 23:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

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Everything King James Bible:Jeremiah
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jeremiah
Book: Jeremiah
Chapter: 23

The restoration of the Jews to their own land. (1-8) The
wickedness of the priests and prophets of Judah, The people
exhorted not to listen to false promises. (9-22) The pretenders
to Inspiration threatened. (23-32) Also the scoffers at true
Prophecy. (33-40)

1-8 Woe be to those who are set to feed God's people, but take
No concern to do them good! Here is a Word of comfort to the
neglected Sheep. Though only a remnant of God's flock is left,
he will find them out, and they shall be brought to their former
habitations. Christ is spoken of as a Branch from David's
family. He is righteous himself, and through him all his people
are made righteous. Christ shall break the usurped power of
Satan. All the spiritual seed of believing Abraham and praying
Jacob shall be protected, and shall be saved from the guilt and
dominion of Sin. In the days of Christ's government in the soul,
the soul dwells at ease. He is here spoken of as "the Lord our
Righteousness." He is So our Righteousness as No Creature could
be. His obedience unto Death is the justifying Righteousness of
believers, and their title to heavenly happiness. And their
Sanctification, as the source of all their personal obedience is
the effect of their union with him, and of the supply of this
Spirit. By this name every true believer shall Call him, and
Call upon him. We have nothing to plead but this, Christ has
died, yea, rather is risen again; and we have taken him for our
Lord. This Righteousness which he has wrought out to the
satisfaction of Law and Justice, becomes ours; being a free Gift
given to us, through the Spirit of God, who puts it upon us,
clothes us with it, enables us to lay Hold upon it, and claim an
interest in it. "The Lord our Righteousness" is a sweet name to
a convinced sinner; to one that has felt the guilt of Sin in his
Conscience; seen his need of that Righteousness, and the worth
of it. This great Salvation is far more glorious than all former
deliverances of his Church. May our souls be gathered to Him,
and be found in him.

9-22 The false prophets of Samaria had deluded the Israelites
into idolatries; yet the Lord considered the false prophets of
Jerusalem as guilty of more horrible wickedness, By which the
people were made bold in Sin. These false teachers would be
compelled to suffer the most Bitter part of the Lord's
indignation. They made themselves believe that there was No harm
in Sin, and practised accordingly; then they made others believe
So. Those who are resolved to go On in evil ways, will justly be
given up to believe strong delusions. But which of them had
received any Revelation of God, or understood any thing of his
Word? There was a time coming when they would reflect On their
folly and unbelief with remorse. The teaching and Example of the
true prophets led men to Repentance, Faith, and Righteousness.
The false prophets led men to Rest in forms and notions, and to
be quiet in their sins. Let us take heed that we do not follow

23-32 Men cannot be hidden from God's all-seeing Eye. Will they
never see what judgments they prepare for themselves? Let them
consider what a vast difference there is between these
prophecies and those delivered By the true prophets of the Lord.
Let them not Call their foolish dreams Divine oracles. The
promises of peace these prophets make are No more to be compared
to God's promises than Chaff to Wheat. The unhumbled Heart of
Man is like a Rock; if not melted By the Word of God as a Fire,
it will be broken to Pieces By it as a Hammer. How can they be
long safe, or at all easy, who have a God of almighty power
against them? The Word of God is No smooth, lulling, deceitful
message. And By its faithfulness it may certainly be
distinguished from false doctrines.

33-40 Those are miserable indeed who are forsaken and forgotten
of God; and men's jesting at God's judgments will not baffle
them. God had taken Israel to be a people near to him, but they
shall now be cast out of his presence. It is a Mark of great and
daring impiety for men to jest with the words of God. Every idle
and profane Word will add to the sinner's Burden in the Day of
Judgment, when Everlasting shame will be his portion.

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