Welcome to our website
Jeremiah, Chapter 23
Theme: A bright light in a dark day
Prophecy of Christ and a Denunciation of False Prophets
The most important thing in this chapter is the glorious prophecy of Christ Jesus in Jer. 23:5-6. Beginning in Jer.23:9 and extending to the end of the chapter is a lengthy address against the false prophets.
The location of this chapter is important. Jeremiah had just concluded Chapter 22 in which he had severely condemned the sins of the wicked kings of Judah, with the exception of Zedekiah, during whose reign this chapter was evidently written. Since he was the reigning monarch, it is not surprising that his name does not take place here. Some believe that it was possible that the prophecy of Messiah came before Zedekiah came to the throne, and that this probably influenced Zedekiah in the choice of a throne name so closely resembling the glorious title, The LORD Our Righteousness mentioned in verse 6. Zedekiah means The LORD is righteous.
This whole chapter is a prophetic vision which viewed the Jews as already in a state of dispersion, which they were suffering as a punishment for the careless conduct of their shepherds (rulers).
In this chapter the prophet Jeremiah, in God's Name, brings His reproofs and threats: (I). Among the careless princes, or pastors of the people (vs.1-2), yet promising to take care of the flock, which they had been lacking in their duty to do (vs.3-8). (2). Among the wicked prophets and priests, whose bad character is here given in general in many different instances, especially their imposing upon the people with their pretended inspirations, at which the prophet is astonished, and for which they must expect to be punished (vs. 9-32). (3). The wicked people ridiculed God's prophets and mocked them (vs. 33-40). When they all had thus corrupted their way they all must expect to be told faithfully of it.
Every cloud has a silver lining, so the saying goes, and the dark clouds of the Chapter 22 also have a silver lining. It never got so dark that the prophets could not see light at the end of the tunnel. After chapter 22, which has the most severe judgment in the Bible against Coniah, the sun will break through eventually in this Chapter.
Woe be to the Unconcerned Princes and Pastors (Jer. 23:1-2)
Jer. 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. (KJV)
The pastors here are not preachers. He will speak about the religious rulers later. Here the pastors refer to the kings, the politicians and the people who are ruling, the ones who are responsible for the laws of the land. God says, Woe be unto them.
*****There is the similar woe against the pastors condemned in Ezekiel 34:2. Interpreters judge that the pastors are the civil magistrates, for in Jer. 23:9 he denounced the judgments of God against their ecclesiastical officers. The civil magistrates at this time in Judah were exceptional tyrants. God had committed His people (whom He calls the sheep of His pasture) to these rulers, that they should protect and govern them, and that they might live godly and peaceable lives, in all prosperity . . . but they had acted quite contrary to their trust, and acted like wolves to these people, instead of feeding them like shepherds. God always takes notice of His people’s oppressions, and by the prophet condemned this woe against them, to verify that of Solomon (Ecc.5:8).
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people . . . the LORD called them his people, his flock, the sheep of his pasture, with respect to the ancient covenant which God had made with their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Woe be to those therefore who are commanded to feed God's people, and pretend to do it, but instead . . .
Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away . . . they scatter the flock, and drive them away by their violence and oppression.
And have not visited them . . . nor had they taken any care for their welfare, nor did they concern themselves to do them any good whatsoever. When they did not visit them, nor do their duty to them, they did in effect scatter them and drive them away. The beasts of prey scattered them, and they (the shepherds) are to blame, who should have kept them together. Woe be to them when God will visit them because of all the evil of their doings and deal with them as they deserve. They would not visit the flock in a way of duty, and therefore God will visit them in a way of vengeance. God said He was going to judge them, and He did.
Now the sun breaks through.
Promising to Care for the Flock,
Which They Lacked in Their Duty (Jer.23:3-8)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them . . . this is a prophecy of the return of the righteous remnant from Babylon to Canaan, which in time, did come to pass.
And will bring them again to their folds . . . he means Jerusalem, and other cities, the towns of Judah which they had formerly inhabited.
And they shall be fruitful and increase . . . where they would once more be in prosperity. He speaks here concerning the return of this people out of the captivity of Babylon, although some think this means of the gathering together in one the people of God scattered abroad in and by Christ, according to the prophecy of Caiaphas (Jn.11:52).
*****There are two things that hinder the limitation of this prophecy to the physical return of a relatively few Jews from Baylonian captivity. These are: (1). the very limited number who returned, not from all the countries, but only from Babylon, and (2) the nearness of the Passage to the glorious prophecy of the Messiah in the same breath. The fulfillment of this prophecy in its importance occurred not in the pitiful remnant that returned from Babylon, but in the glorious gathering into the fold of God, Jews and Gentiles in the Kingdom of Christ.
Dear one, to be ‘in Christ’ is to be in the true Canaan. Gal. 3:24-29 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV)
God puts a difference between those that were misled by the examples of others, and the rulers who set them such a wrong example; he threatened Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, that they would return no more; but for the people, He did promise them a return, at least a remnant of them.
*****Shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep (vs.1), whither I have driven them (vs.3). All through the Bible the same action is often credited to multiple sources. Here the sheep were scattered by the false shepherds . . . but the LORD also states that He had scattered them. Judicial hardening is done by God, and by Satan, and by men themselves. In the New Testament the crucifixion of Christ is said to have been done by (1). God; (2). by Christ; (3). by Satan; (4). by the Jews; (5). by the Romans, etc.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them . . . shepherds shall feed them (Jer.3:15; Eze.34:23-31). Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Maccabees were typical of the accomplishing fulfilment of these prophecies under Messiah.
And they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed . . . the day is coming when the LORD intends to take over, and when He does, the poor will be well care for.
Neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD . . . none shall be missing or detached from the rest: a prophecy never yet fully accomplished. It holds good also of the spiritual Israel, the elect of both Jews and Gentiles (Mal 3:16-17; Jn.10:28; 17:12). And to the literal Israel also (Jer. 32:37; Isa.54:13; 60:21; Eze.34:11-16).
*****The dispersed Jews shall one day return to their own land, and be happily settled there under a good government (vs. 3-4). Even though there shall be just a little remnant of God's flock left, that narrowly escaped destruction, the LORD will gather that tiny remnant, will find them wherever they are and find ways and means to bring them back out of all countries where He had driven them. It was the justice of God, for the sin of their shepherds that dispersed them; but the mercy of God shall gather in His sheep, when the shepherds that betrayed them are cut off. They shall be brought to their former residences, as sheep to their folds, and there they shall be fruitful, and increase in numbers. They former shepherds destroyed the sheep, but the LORD shall set shepherds over them who shall make sure to feed them. Before they were continually exposed and disturbed with some fear or trouble, but then they shall fear no more, nor be discouraged; they shall be in no danger from without, in no terror of any kind from within.
The LORD clearly states that the day is coming when He intends to take over, and when He does, all the poor will be taken care of. This refers specifically to the return of the Jews to their land after the present dispensation has closed and the church has been raptured (1 Thes.4:13-18; 1 Cor.15:51-57). At that time the King whom they once rejected will tenderly set over them faithful shepherds. It will be a completely different type of government from what we have in the world now. Come, LORD Jesus, come!
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch . . . unto David, some say that Isaiah dwells more on His prophetical and priestly office, which had already been partly set forth (Deu.18:18; Ps.110:4). Other prophets dwell more on His Kingly office. Therefore here He is associated with David the king: but in Isaiah 11:1 with the then poor and unknown Jesse. Righteous Branch . . . the Branch of righteousness (Jer. 33:15); The Branch (Zec.3:8; 6:12); The Branch of the LORD (Isa. 4:2).
And a King shall reign and prosper . . . success is applied to Messiah's undertaking (Isa. 52:13; 53:10). Righteousness or justice is the characteristic of Messiah elsewhere, too, in connection with our salvation or justification (Isa.53:11; Dan.9:24; Zec.9:9). In the New Testament, He is not only righteous Himself, but righteousness to us (1 Cor.1:30), so that we become the righteousness of God in Him (Rom.10:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Php.3:9).
And shall execute judgment and justice in the earth . . . (Ps.72:2; Isa.9:7; 32:1, 18). Not only a spiritual reign in the sense in which He is our righteousness, but a righteous reign in the earth (Jer. 3:17-18). In some passages He is said to come to judge, in others to reign. He is the King (Mat.25:34; Ps.9:7; Dan. 7:22, 26-27).
*****Branch, the Messiah is pictured as a branch (a shoot), out of David’s family tree (Jer.33:15-16; Isa. 4:2; 11:1-5; Zec. 3:8; 6:12-13), who will rule over God’s people in the future (Jer. 33:14-17), where the same Promise is repeated.
The phrase the days come refers to the Messianic era (Jer.31:27-40), when the Righteous Branch (Zec. 3:8; 6:12; Isa. 11:1), of the LORD (Isa. 4:2), will grow up unto David (Jer.33:15).
The Righteous Branch refers to the future Messiah who would be the rightful heir that would emerge from the line of David like a branch sprouting from a tree stump (Zec. 3:8; 6:12). Opposite of wicked King Zedekiah, whose name means The Lord our Righteousness, Jesus as Messiah will truly live up to His Name and will rule over His people in righteousness (Isa.11:4-5).
This is a prophecy about the Coming Messiah. Christ Jesus was their Messiah. He is the righteous Branch. He was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He was of the house of David. His Father was God. When it speaks of His reign, it is speaking of Him coming back to the Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim.6:15; Rev.17:14; 19:16). He (Christ Jesus), is the Righteous Judge.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. . . they shall dwell safely,
Compare: Jer. 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. (KJV)
And this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS . . . this bold emphasis stresses the righteousness of the Messiah’s fair and impartial shepherding in contrast with that of the false shepherds (verses 1-2, 11, 14). Judah and Israel will be reunited (Eze.37:15-23).
The Messiah’s title The Lord our Righteousness will also be given to Jerusalem (33:14-16), because the Righteous One will be there (Eze.48:35; Joel 3:17, 21). In the Old Testament, God’s Name is recorded as being on/in the Temple (7:10-14, 30; 32:34; 34:15; 1 Ki. 8:43; 2 Chr. 6:33), the city of Jerusalem (Jer.25:29; 33:14-16; Dan. 9:18), and His people, both Israel (Jer.14:9; 2 Chron. 7:14; Isa. 4:1; 63:19; Dan. 9:19), and among the Gentiles (Am. 9:12). Jeremiah also identifies himself by the title (Jer.15:16). In the New Testament that name becomes particularly identified with God’s Only Begotten Son, Christ Jesus (Acts 5:41; 3 Jn.7; Rev. 2:13; 3:12; 22:4).
*****I believe this is looking ahead to the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ as King and LORD (Rev. 20:1-5). We do know that many times there is more than one meaning for a prophetic Scripture. Judah in the verse above, could be speaking of Judah and Benjamin coming back into their homeland after their captivity. There has really never been a time in the past when Judah was saved and Israel dwelled safely. I believe this could be speaking of that special time when Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Rev.20:7), and all who believe God and trust in Jesus, will reign on this Earth with Him (Rev.20:6). THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, dear one, Christ Jesus is RIGHTEOUSNESS and HE is our righteousness. He will reign as LORD of lords and King of kings during this special time. There will be perfect peace, because the King of Peace (Heb.7:2) will be here.
Jer. 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; (KJV)
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD . . . or, are coming and will begin to take place in a little while, upon the Jews' return from Babylon.
That they shall no more say, the LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt . . . the people of Israel in particular, or the LORD'S people in general, shall no more swear by the Living God . . . which, even though a wonderful deliverance, and never to be forgotten; yet not to be compared with the redemption and salvation made available by Christ the LORD our righteousness. That deliverance brought to us by Christ Jesus is far greater and from a more powerful enemy, from the bondage of sin, Satan and the Law. Not even the restoration of the Jews in the latter day, which will be a most wonderful and amazing event (Rom. 11:15) can top, what Jesus did for us on the cross.
*****Jeremiah 16:14-15 states pretty much the same thing as this verse. Jeremiah built up and intensified the greatness of that salvation, which would be brought by Christ Jesus to all the TRUE Israel of God (Gal.3:26-29), by comparing it with the deliverance of the ancient Israel of God, out of the land of Egypt; which He said would far exceed and excel that deliverance out of Egypt.
The prophet said the same things often, in order that his words might make a better impression, this same Promise is in Jeremiah 23:3-4. The wide dispersion of the Jews at the Babylon captivity predicts their present wider dispersion (Isa. 11:11; Joel 3:6). Their second deliverance is to far exceed the former one from Egypt. But the deliverance from Babylon was inferior to that from Egypt in respect to the miracles performed and the numbers delivered. The final deliverance under Messiah must, therefore, be meant, of which that from Babylon was the earnest.
2 Cor. 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (KJV)
2 Cor. 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (KJV)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Jer.23:7-8 repeated from: Jer.16:14-15 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. (KJV)
As one pointed out, the decision of throwing in a bright and encouraging prophecy right in the middle of very discouraging and gloomy prophecy agrees with Jeremiah's pattern of writing throughout the prophecy (Jer.3:14, 22).
The thing that confuses some, is the foolish and dangerous rule that denies the validity of this sacred pattern; but the pattern is not only found throughout the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament, where the LORD Jesus prophesied Heaven and Hell in the same verse.
Mat.11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (KJV)
Lk.10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. (KJV)
The pre-exilic prophets sprinkled their denunciations with expectations of a brighter future.
Joel 3:18-21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion. (KJV)
Amos 9:11-15 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. (KJV)
That brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north . . . this indicates that the second bringing up of Israel from captivity will outshine God's bringing them up from Egypt. But just as this promised deliverance will surpass the earlier one, so much more dreadful will the affliction of Israel be in the projected second captivity.
In this dark moment in Judah's history, God let Jeremiah see a brilliant future. It is as if he looks down the dark tunnel of the future and sees the light at the other end. It is interesting that this theme recurs throughout the writings of the prophets. It never got so dark that the prophets did not see the light that was coming, and the darker the night was, the brighter the light appeared to be. God says the day is coming when He will bring them back from captivity, back home to their own land.
*****Jer.23:7-8 This is one of the most remarkable prophecies in the Word of God. The oldest Jewish religious holiday celebrated today is the Jewish Passover. No matter whether the Jew is reformed or orthodox, he remembers the Passover, because it is the celebration of the miraculous deliverance of the Jews out of Egypt (Ex.12:21-28; Lev. 23:4-8). Now God is saying, the day is coming when I will bring them back into their land that they will forget the deliverance out of Egypt and they will remember this new deliverance which I intend to bring about. It will be that tremendous! Clearly God is not through with Israel.
Jeremiah Speaks to Wicked Prophets and Priests,
About their Bad Character (Jer.23:9-32)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets . . . Jeremiah had denounced the wrath of God against the wicked rulers of Judah under the idea of pastors, whose office it was, or who took upon themselves, to reveal the mind and will of God to people, and who were because of that account called prophets. For these he declares a great passion and trouble, for their sake, in view of the vengeance of God which he saw was about to be poured out upon them, and/or for the people's sake, who had been deceived by their unfaithful revelations of the Divine will, and led into wickedness by their vile examples.
All my bones shake . . . he said his heart was broken, and his bones shook.
I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome . . . Jeremiah was so astonished and dazed like a drunken man, he knew not what he did.
Because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness . . . He was so troubled at the apprehensions of the wrath of the LORD ready to be revealed against them; and to consider what words the Holy God had put into his mouth to speak against them. Jeremiah is overwhelmed by the holiness of God and cannot understand why the false prophets are not overcome by God's holiness as well.
*****The messages concerning the false prophets probably came from Zedekiah's day when Jeremiah's confrontation with them was well known (Jer.27 & 28). The blame for the death of Judah is laid first on the monarchy and then on the false prophets. Jeremiah shows how he responded to God's Holy Word in comparison with the false prophets (Jer.23:10-11). His heart broken . . . not heartbroken, but instead quite disturbed in his mind. My bones shake . . .this is maybe better described as inner turmoil, such as: Hab. 3:16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. (KJV)
Like a drunken man . . . the LORD’S effect on Jeremiah is intoxicating, as was the impact of the Holy Spirit on the apostles at Pentecost. Acts 2:15-17 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (KJV) . . . In both cases stupor was produced. Dear one, the Word of God is indeed Holy, which clearly explains why Jeremiah reacts as he does.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
For the land is full of adulterers . . . spiritual adulterers, referring to the false prophets involved in Canaanite rites, maybe like those in Elijah's day. 1 Ki. 18:26-29 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. (KJV) . . . They did this to hopefully receive prophetic utterances, not seeking to obtain God’s Word (Jer.23:13).
For because of swearing the land mourneth, the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up . . . because of the covenant curses of God on it, the land mourns, it is parched by drought He had sent (Lev.26:14-33; Deut.28:15-68; Isa.24:6).
And their course is evil . . . the course of life which the false prophets run is completely evil.
And their force is not right . . . their powers were not used on the side of right, but on the side of falsehood and deceit.
Jer. 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. (KJV)
For both prophet and priest are profane . . . they were blasphemous and alienated from God.
Eze.23:39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house. (KJV)
Zep. 3:4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. (KJV)
Yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD . . . the Temple. They built altars to foreign gods even in the Temple of the Holy God. 2 Ki. 23:12And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. (KJV)
Ezekiel 8:3-16 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. 4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. 5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. 6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. 7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. 13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. 14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. 15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. (KJV)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness . . . their way is their false doctrine which proves fatal to them (Jer.13:16; Ps.35:6; Pro.4:19).
They shall be driven on, and fall therein . . . these deceptive, false ones would keep on in their wickedness but would most certainly fall.
For I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD . . . as a consequence of their unfaithfulness, God will visit Judah in judgment (Jer.11:23). Visitation: (Jer. 8:12; 10:15; 11:23; 23:12; 46:21; 48:44; 50:27; 51:18).
*****The priests, by their formality and hypocrisy, corrupted the ordinances of God which they had been selected to administer. These prophets, by their lies, false doctrine, and corrupt practice, profaned the Holy Word of God, which they pretended to deliver. Sad to say, in God’s own House, the LORD saw their wickedness. Even in God’s Holy Temple, where they assembled under the idea to worship and honor the LORD, they say and do so many things opposing God’s Law, and were guilty of many acts of wickedness and immorality. Such profaners of sacred things, as were in the past Hophni and Phinehas (1 Sam.1:3; 2:34; 4:11, 17). The priests and the false prophets were involved in idol worship, which had gotten so bad, they were mingling it with worship of the TRUE God in the Temple.
Jer. 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. (KJV)
Not only were the false prophets fools to prophecy in Baal’s name, but they led the people of Israel to sin right along with them.
Jer. 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 commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness. (KJV)
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing . . . prophets of Samaria and the prophets of Jerusalem . . . it offended God that the prophets from Israel prophesied in Baal's name (2 Chr.18:1-27), that these actual practices should be found in Jerusalem is hard to believe. These false prophets in Samaria led Israel to its destruction, and the Judean prophets did the same thing in Jerusalem. They were well aware of the tragic consequences brought upon Israel because of their false prophets.
They commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness . . . instead of speaking with prophetic clarity that condemned evil, their conduct and messages encouraged evildoers, such as Sodom and Gomorrah . . . these cities are prime examples of evil and God's judgment that followed (Gen.18).
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets . . . this is concerning the false prophets, their sin is before stated, and now their punishment.
Behold, I will feed them with wormwood . . . with bitter affliction and calamity; one states behold, I will bring upon them distress bitter as wormwood . . . they that had been fed with dainties, and lived upon the fat of the land. Their idea of pleasing the people, was that with their lies served to fill their own bellies, but the LORD will change that.
And make them drink the water of gall . . . or, the juice of hemlock, as some say; or poison, as others. They poisoned the people with their false doctrines, they shall drink poison themselves. They shall not only have that which is bitter and unpleasant, but that which is hurtful and deadly. Not just a bitter potion, but a destructive one.
For from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land . . . by their false doctrines, and bad examples, debauchery, irreligion and wickedness of all kinds, were encouraged, and spread all over the land. Jerusalem and the metropolis of the nation, being infected by them. The contagion spread from there throughout the country.
*****Evil teachers have a bad influence on all those around them. From these evil ones should have come correct doctrine and true religion but it was not so, for from them it was the source of all sinfulness and pollution.
The false prophets were even more responsible for their sins, than the people they prophesied to. Their punishment is more severe as well. Wormwood means bad water. Their punishment would be bitter as gall. Gall, a kind of poison. Jer. 8:14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. (KJV) . . . They really encouraged the sin of the people.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you . . . God urges people to ignore the false and deceptive words of the false prophets.
They make you vain . . . the word vain is the same that is so often used in Ecclesiastes (Ecc.1:2, 14; 2:1, 11, 15), and literally means vapor or mist, something that quickly disappears, has no substance. Vanity and vain hopes is all that the false prophets can offer.
They speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD . . . of their own heart . . . of their own imagination (Jer.14:14; 23:21).
Jer. 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. (KJV)
They say still unto them that despise me . . . say repeatedly or say nonstop.
The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace . . . well-being and secure peace, instead of judgment and wrath, was their message (Jer.6:14; Eze.13:10:Zec.10:2).
And they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart . . . imagination meaning stubborn will. The words of the false prophets encouraged those who resisted God's Word as spoken by authentic prophets like Jeremiah, Uriah (Jer.26:20-24), and Habakkuk, who all prophesied during this general time period.
*****Jer.23:16-17. The false prophets persisted in prophesying peace. God rejects them. Today there are fools who are talking about how they are going to bring in world peace. Dear one, Almighty God very clearly says, you will NOT bring peace, you CANNOT bring peace.
Jer. 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. (KJV)
Isa. 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Eze. 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: (KJV)
Zec. 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. (KJV)
The problem is not that the people do not want peace; the trouble is that the heart of man is desperately wicked! Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV) . . . Very few people realize how bad we really are. There is NO wicked man in power today, anywhere on Earth, who can bring peace on this Earth. If they could, it would contradict the Holy Word of God, and that cannot be done, for God NEVER lies!
Tit. 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (KJV)
Heb. 6:17-18 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: (KJV) . . . Do you see this? It is impossible for God to lie. Believe it!
God now turns to the religious rulers.
Jer. 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? (KJV)
For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD . . . just as the ancient monarchs would give orders to their servants to enact, the TRUE prophet stood before God to receive divine prophecies.
And hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it . . . false prophets were not to be heeded because they did NOT stand in the counsel of the LORD, Who was the only source of TRUE prophetic words. Jer. 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. (KJV)
Job 15:8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? (KJV) . . . IF they had stood in the counsel of the LORD, IF they had heard the secrets of God, they would have changed their ways!
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury . . . The false prophets promise a future of prosperity for the people (verse 17), but it is the complete opposite, wrath is in store for them.
Even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked . . . grievous is related to the word swirl, whirling about, like a tornado. Jer. 30:23 Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. (KJV) . . . Continuing is substituted here for grievous. God's wrath is depicted as being violent and destructive.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
In the latter days ye shall understand it . . . the latter days is used to introduce the subject of the Messianic Kingdom, or the eschatological (end times) happenings; but here, it can hardly mean that. Here it seems to mean that when God's judgment falls on Judah, the whole nation at that time will understand perfectly what all the warnings of Jeremiah and the other prophets were speaking about. When the prophesies shall be fulfilled in their Babylonian exile, the people would consider and see by bitter experience, their sinful folly.
After God's destruction has taken place, the survivors will think back on what has happened and understand why it had to be. Daniel is one in Scripture who understood the religious significance of the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile (Dan.9:4-19). Just as a child may not understand parental discipline when it takes place, later in life he will realize the good it brought despite the pain it caused. Heb. 12:5-11 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (KJV)
Jer. 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. (KJV)
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran . . . even though the false prophets were not authorized or called by God (did not stand in His council), they were quick to speak.
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran . . . repetition in Scripture means to pay attention. The LORD has already said the political rulers could not be trusted. They cannot bring in peace. They ignore the poor. Now the LORD says that He did not send the gang of prophets that were filling the land. The LORD denies that the message they bring comes from Him. Almighty God rejected both the political rulers and the religious rulers.
*****In today’s world, I believe that God would say the same thing. WHO is seeking God in our day? Very few (Mat.7:14). The religious rulers of the world are out to make a dollar. They are so religious and so pious, but only a meager few seek out the Living and TRUE God! http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm
Jer. 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. (KJV)
But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words . . . IF they stood in My counsel (verse 18), they would have turned the people from their evil way. IF they had truly received God's counsel and given it to the people, the people would have turned from their sins (Jer.25:5; Isa.55:11), and would have escaped punishment.
Then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings . . . but the fact was that the people were deceived and misled, and the false prophets were mainly to blame, and as a result the strong rebuke in this extended section.
Jer. 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? (KJV)
This states that the false prophets CANNOT hide from God. He is not like one of their localized deities whom it is easy to avoid. The One and Only TRUE God is inescapable, immanent, superior, prevalent, all-powerful, ever-present and eternal; and He has heard all the lies of the false prophets and everyone else.
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD . . . again, this warns the false prophets that they CANNOT hide from God. NO one can hide from God.
Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD . . . the awesome LORD fills Heaven and Earth with His knowledge, wisdom, power and vibrant Being. 1 Ki. 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (KJV) . . . NO one can hide from God's Presence (Ps.139:1-12; Am. 9:2-3). God is everywhere!
Jer. 23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. (KJV)
Visions and dreams were two common ways by which God made Himself known in the Old Testament to His prophets. Sometimes, being awake, they would hear a voice; and sometimes it was joined with some visible appearance, sometimes not. At other times God caused them to sleep, to dream; and in their sleep revealing to them, what His will was that they should declare to His people.
The false prophets spoke only what came into their own heads, and best suited their own lust, and/or the lusts of a wicked people to whom they spoke. They would pretend that God had revealed to them in a dream, what they so spoke. God noticed their every deception by which they cheated the people. But saith God, I am a God that know afar off as well as at hand, and I have heard what they say, prophesying lies as from Me, and lying that I had in dreams revealed those lies to them.
Jer. 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; (KJV)
How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? . . . how long, cries Jeremiah, impatient of their impious boldness . . . how long shall these false prophecy peddlers go on prophesying lies? . . . The answer is given in Jer.23:29-34.
Jer 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. (KJV)
Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour . . . the false prophets wanted to make God's people utterly forget Him. But God’s will shall always be fulfilled. He shall send His TRUE prophets to oppose those evil dreamers.
As their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal . . . early in Israel's history, Baal had been the subject of devotion (Jud. 3:7; 8:33-34), and even then Baal worship persisted. But, the LORD would never allow His Name to be forgotten, even in the darkest days of Israel's history (1 Ki.19:11-18).
Jer. 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. (KJV)
The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream . . . the supposed dreams of the false prophets (then and now) is compared to chaff or straw. It has absolutely NO nutritional or spiritual value.
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD . . . God's Holy Word is like wheat which has nutritional and spiritual value. Man does not live by bread alone (Mat.4:4), but God's Word provides TRUE nourishment (Deut.8:3). The test is: devotion and loyalty to God, or forgetting God and His law (verse 27).
Jer. 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (KJV)
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD . . . just as fire consumes chaff or straw, so too shall God's Holy Word will consume the false prophets (Mat.3:12; Heb.4:12). and Like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? . . . and too, God's Word is a shattering hammer to the false prophets and their followers (2 Cor.2:16). The word of the false prophets may be known by its promise that all is well while sin abounds. God's Word is powerful and penetrates, bringing the results God intends. God’s Word certainly never encourages evil or disobedience to what God had already made very clear in the Law.
Jer. 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. (KJV)
There are different opinions as to what Jeremiah means by the prophets that stole the LORD'S Words from their neighbors. Some, by their neighbour, understand it to be the TRUE prophets, from whom they stole those forms of speech, which makes sense.
Others by neighbour understand it to be their comrades, and think that these false prophets united together as to what to say to deceive the people.
That steal my words every one from his neighbour . . . a twofold fraud may have been going on. First, a false prophet may have stolen from God by saying that his own word was God's Word, and second, a prophet may have taken God's authentic and TRUE Word and misused it to his own end.
*****Today’s liberal theologians are casting reflections on God’s Word, saying it is NOT the TRUE Word of God . . . thus stealing it out of the hearts of the people. Dear one, the LORD will NOT have mercy on the godless college professors and godless preachers who are destroying the faith of believers. BEWARE!!! These will have to stand at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev.20:11-15).
Do not be deceived because God's judgment against this wickedness is not executed speedily. Judgment day is coming. It is in the hearts of the sons of man to do evil. They think they are getting by with it. The time will come when God will judge the religious rulers. All wickedness shall be punished.
Jer. 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. (KJV)
A false prophet may end his message with the suitable process, such as thus says the LORD, but that is NO guarantee that he is speaking Truth. At all points in history, people must carefully decide what is said in the Name of the LORD, because it may NOT be true. Check out everything that you hear or read, including me.
How to decide the Truth: Jer. 28:5-9 Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD, 6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD'S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. 7 Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; 8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him. (KJV)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD . . . false dreams is speaking false things under the idea that God had revealed to them in their sleep. This is factually seen in the deaths of Hananiah (Jer.28:17), Ahab and Zedekiah (Jer.29:21-23).
And do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness . . .
. by lightness, some understand smoothness of tongue and speech (high pressure salesman); others think it is lasciviousness, lewd, lustful; others think it is light-heartedness and infidelity.
Yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD . . . God did NOT send them . . . so they shall not profit. No one can expect God's blessing on their ministry if they are not called and sent by God into the ministry.
Dealing with the Profane People, Who Ridiculed and
Mocked God's Prophets (Jer.23:33-40)
Jer. 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. (KJV)
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? . . . what is the burden . . . there is a wordplay using the double sense of the Hebrew word maššā, which means a prophecy and a burden. They scoff and ask, Has he got any new burden (burdensome oracle) to announce?
Thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD . . . What burden? Jeremiah tells them: YOU are the burden, God will forsake you. God's TRUE Word is that He will forsake Jerusalem.
*****The TRUE prophets, want to let the people know how little it pleases them to be the messengers of God's threats, to bring His judgments, which usually began their prophecies of that nature, calling them the burden of the LORD, as may be seen (Isa.13:1; 15:1; 22:1; Hab.1:1; Zec.9:1; Mal.1:1). The wicked people, false prophets and corrupt priests, did NOT want to hear their doom, and would usually mock the true prophets; and in scorn, ask them WHAT was the burden of the Lord? WHAT was the news they had for them next? God tells Jeremiah to tell them that He would forsake them, either as to the Spirit of prophecy, they should have no more prophets, or more probable as to His special providence, by which He had watched over, protected, and until now defended them; a burden heavy enough (Hos.9:12).
Jer. 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. (KJV)
The people . . . lay people is probably intended here. The burden . . . whosoever shall in mockery call the LORD'S Word a burden shall know God's righteous wrath. While the term burden is used of the statements of many of God’s TRUE prophets (Isa.13:1; Nah.1:1; Hab.1:1; Zec.12:1; Mal.1:1), it is absent in Jeremiah's writing. This may have been because it had become one of the main words of the false prophets, and so Jeremiah not only avoids it, but forbids the people to say it because it had been corrupted and deceitfully perverted (verse 36).
*****The prophet, and the priest, and the people . . . that shall continually and scornfully say the burden of the LORD, andmock and ridicule God’s threats and judgments . . . God would not only punish the person, but his whole family.
Jer. 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? (KJV)
The end result of God's judgments shall be that the people will consider and see the TRUE prophets with more respect. They would no longer call their words a burden, but would now pay attention to their words as the Divine and Holy Word of Almighty God. They finally will show that they really want to know what God has to say. They will speak more reverently of the LORD and His Word, and to His prophets.
*****Dear one, this world today needs to pay attention to what God says to the people in Jeremiah’s day, because day by day, the violence and wickedness grows in leaps and bounds! I cannot help but think of the following Passage. Gen. 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (KJV) . . . God’s wrath brought judgment!
God will tolerate wickedness just so long . . . and then He shall lower the boom! One day, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. If you are wise, you will do it now, before God’s wrath falls on you.
Isa. 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (KJV)
Rom. 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (KJV) https://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
Jer. 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. (KJV)
And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden . . . every man's word is his burden. The corrupt and perverted words of the false prophets will be a literal burden for the people. Only those prophets authorized to speak God's Word should have done so. This is a clear warning to all preachers and teachers of God’s Holy Word! We must rightly handle the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). We must never teach the commandments of men (Mat.15:9)! We must teach what God has clearly stated in His most Holy Book, never change it in any way!
For ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God . . .not in scorn and derision, as not believing there were any such judgments as they threaten; as if I sent you no other messages but burdens. These false and irreverent speeches, which are in every man's mouth, shall be burdensome to them, being such as shall bring down God’s vengeance upon them; because you have derided or misinterpreted the words of God, the living God; the sin of which is the more aggravated against you, because He is the Living, Mighty God, and because He has been our God.
Jer. 23:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? (KJV)
Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? . . . to God’s TRUE prophet.
And, What hath the LORD spoken? . . . you shall speak to them reverently, as becomes you.
*****Almighty God needs no one to help Him determine true and false prophets. The LORD hears the false prophets who claim, I have dreamed and laments the persistence of their lies. He asks if they will ever turn back . . . which would mean repentance and a new direction for their lives.
But the LORD can see that these false prophets have no plans for repentance. Quite the contrary! Instead of planning to repent and change their ways, they plan to make people forget God’s Name, to forget His vital character, to forget the relationship that exists between the LORD and Judah. That happened in the past, when the people of Israel forsook the LORD for Baal, and now it is happening again in today’s world!
Jer. 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; (KJV)
Because the false prophets kept scoffing and ridiculing God’s Word and His prophets; when He had clearly forbidden their profane speeches, or that mocking form of speech, which added further contempt to their former profaneness.
*****And I have sent unto you, saying, ye shall not say, the burden of the LORD . . . so they could not plead ignorance of God’s will, or excuse themselves, by saying they would have avoided it, had they known it was disagreeable to Him. Their repeating the burden of the LORD worsened their lack of reverence that they should stubbornly persist in it, after the LORD had made a strong critical protest against it by His messages to them by Jeremiah. They were saying their answers were from God, when in fact they were their own words. God warns these false prophets NOT to use His Name when declaring their falsehoods.
Jer. 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: (KJV)
Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you . . . I will take you up completely, and will cast you off together with the city.
And the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence . . . you are a burden to me: but I will gather you up, and throw you where I cannot see you. I will do with you as a man tired because of his burden will do; throw it off his shoulders and carry it no more.
*****I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you . . . there is great emphasis in the doubling of the pronoun, I, even I. I will forsake you as to the Presence of My special gracious providence. And do not sweet-talk yourselves into thinking that I will not do it, because of your fathers . . . or because I gave this city to your fathers, for from this very city I will remove My special providence, and the land, which before was called the land which the LORD Thy God careth for (Deu.11:12), upon which the Eyes of the LORD are always on, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. And I will also cast both the city and the people out of my gracious Presence; and I will no longer do good to them as I have done in the past.
The LORD is speaking to all of the people, as well as to the false prophets here. The city spoken of is Jerusalem. God had given the Promised Land to the children of Israel. Now He is saying, His protection and blessing on them will be no more.
Jer. 23:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. (KJV)
And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you . . . this reproach of having rebelled against such a Good God, and rejected so powerful a Saviour, shall follow them to this day, through all their dispersals, in every part of the livable Earth. Dear one, the Word of the LORD cannot fail, and will not fail ever.
And a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten . . . they shall be a reproach, not for just a few days, but forever; and a severe punishing shame, which neither you nor those that see or hear of it shall ever forget. Jer. 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. (KJV)
*****Seeing that all prohibitions of The burden of the LORD, and directions to stop, they still persisted to call prophecy by this name . . . and they did it in an ungodly and jesting way, asking for it and what it was, in a jeering manner.
Therefore thus saith the LORD, because you say this word, the burden of the Lord . . . they will continue to use it, even though it was so displeasing to God.
And I have sent unto you, saying, ye shall not say, the burden of the LORD . . . and therefore, they could not plead ignorance of His will, or excuse themselves, by saying they would have avoided it had they known it made Him unhappy. The aggravation of their lack of reverence, and the fact that they stubbornly persisted in it, after He had made a critical and forceful protest against it by His messages to them by Jeremiah.
The false prophets had been bringing messages as if they were directly from God. They were saying their answers were from God, when in fact they were their own words. God had warned these false prophets not to use His Name when proclaiming these falsehood then, and He also warns false prophets today. God does NOT change!
Description of God’s Word
1. The law of the LORD (Psalm 119:1, 18)
2. A record of His testimonies (Psalm 119:2, 14, 31, 36)
3. A revelation of His ways (Psalm 119:3, 15)
4. An array of His precepts (Psalm 119:4, 15)
5. A list of His statutes (Psalm 119:5, 33)
6. The sum of His commandments (Psalm 119:6, 32, 35, 86)
7. The righteous judgments of God (Psalm 119:7, 13, 62, 75, 106)
8. The source of cleansing (Psalm 119:9)
9. The Words of God (Psalm 119:11; 16, 57)
10. A ready counselor (Psalm 119:24)
11. The source of life (Psalm 119:25, 40, 50, 88)
12. A history of God's wondrous works (Psalm 119:27)
13. A tower of strength (Psalm 119:28)
14. The way of truth (Psalm 119:30, 142, 151)
15. The way of God (Psalm 119:1, 37)
16. The way of righteousness (Psalm 119:40)
17. The way of salvation (Psalm 119:41)
18. A true trust (Psalm 119:42)
19. The Word of truth (Psalm 119:43, 142, 151)
20. The source of hope (Psalm 119:49, 81, 114)
21. A source of comfort (Psalm 119:52)
22. The subject of songs (Psalm 119:54)
23. The foundation of good judgment and knowledge (Psalm 119:66, 130)
24. A source of delight (Psalm 119:70, 92)
25. Something better than riches (Psalm 119:72)
26. A book of promised mercies (Psalm 119:76)
27. The testimony of His mouth (Psalm 119:88)
28. An eternal plan (Psalm 119:89-91)
29. An unforgettable package of laws (Psalm 119:93)
30. Something infinite in its scope (Psalm 119:96)
31. A source of wisdom (Psalm 119:98)
32. A source of knowledge (Psalm 119:99, 104, 130)
33. Something sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103)
34. A lamp to the feet (Psalm 119:105)
35. A light to the pathway of life (Psalm 119:105)
36. An eternal heritage (Psalm 119:111)
37. A source of joy when obeyed (Psalm 119:111-112)
38. A stay in trouble (Psalm 119:116)
39. Something to be feared (Psalm 119:120)
40. The Word of God's righteousness (Psalm 119:123)
41. Something to be loved more than silver and gold (Psalm 119:127)
42. The source of light (Psalm 119:130)
43. A code of laws for the upright (Psalm 119:137)
44. A righteous and faithful testimony of God (Psalm 119:138)
45. The pure Word of God (Psalm 119:140)
Book of Jeremiah
Jer.Ch.1 . . Jer.Ch.2 . . Jer.Ch.3 . . Jer.Ch.4 . . Jer.Ch.5 . . Jer.Ch.6 . . Jer.Ch.7 . . Jer.Ch.8 . . Jer.Ch.9 . . Jer.Ch.10 . . Jer.Ch.11 . . Jer.Ch.12 . . Jer.Ch.13 . . Jer.Ch,14 . . Jer.Ch.15 . . Jer.Ch.16 . . Jer.Ch.17 . . Jer.Ch.18 . . Jer.Ch.19 . . Jer.Ch.20 . . Jer.Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Ch.23 . . Ch.24 . . Ch.25 . . Ch.26 . . Ch.27 . . Ch.28 . . Ch.29 . . Ch.30 . . Ch.31 . . Ch.32 . . Ch.33 . . Ch.34 . . Ch.35 . . Ch.36 . . Ch.37 . . Ch.38 . . Ch.39 . . Ch.40 . . Ch.41 . . Ch.42 . . Ch.43 . . Ch.44 . . Ch.45 . Ch.46 . . Ch.47 . . Ch.48 . . Ch.49 . . Ch. 50 . . Ch.51 . . Ch.52 . . Jer. End Times Signs . . Jer. Special Commemnts . . . Home Page