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Jeremiah - Chapter 23

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1 'Disaster for the shepherds who lose and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Yahweh declares.

2 This, therefore, is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people, "You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken care of them. Right, I shall take care of you for your misdeeds, Yahweh declares!

3 But the remnant of my flock I myself shall gather from all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; they will be fruitful and increase in numbers.

4 For them I shall raise up shepherds to shepherd them and pasture them. No fear, no terror for them any more; not one shall be lost, Yahweh declares!

5 Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall raise an upright Branch for David; he will reign as king and be wise, doing what is just and upright in the country.

6 In his days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name he will be called, 'Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice.' "

7 'So, look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when people will no longer say, "As Yahweh lives who brought the Israelites out of Egypt,"

8 but, "As Yahweh lives who led back and brought home the offspring of the House of Israel from the land of the north and all the countries to which he had driven them, to live on their own soil." '

9 On the prophets. My heart is broken within me, I tremble in all my bones; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and his holy words:

10 'For the country is full of adulterers; yes, because of a curse, the country is in mourning and the pasturage in the desert has dried up; they are prompt to do wrong, make no effort to do right.

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11 Yes, even prophet and priest are godless, I have detected their wickedness in my own House, Yahweh declares.

12 Because of this, their way will prove treacherous going for them; in the darkness where they are driven, there they will fall. For I shall bring disaster on them, when the year for punishing them comes, Yahweh declares.

13 'In the prophets of Samaria I have seen insanity: they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people Israel astray.

14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: adultery, persistent lying, such abetting of the wicked that no one renounces his wickedness. To me they are all like Sodom and its inhabitants are like Gomorrah.

15 So this is what Yahweh Sabaoth says about the prophets, "Now I shall give them wormwood to eat and make them drink poisoned water, since from the prophets of Jerusalem godlessness has spread throughout the land."

16 'Yahweh Sabaoth says this, "Do not listen to what those prophets prophesy to you; they are deluding you, they retail visions of their own, and not what comes from Yahweh's mouth.

17 To those who despise me, they keep saying: Yahweh has spoken: you will have peace! and to all who follow their own stubborn inclinations: No disaster will touch you."

18 But who has been present in Yahweh's council and seen, and heard his word? Who has paid attention to his word and listened to it?

19 Look, Yahweh's hurricane, his wrath, bursts out, a fearsome hurricane, to burst on the heads of the wicked;

20 Yahweh's anger will not withdraw until he has performed, has carried out, what he has in mind. In the final days, you will understand this clearly,

21 'I did not send these prophets, yet they ran! I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied!

22 Had they been present in my council, they could have proclaimed my words to my people and turned them from their evil way and from the wickedness of their deeds!

23 'Am I a God when near, Yahweh demands, and not a God when far away?

24 Can anyone hide somewhere secret without my seeing him? Yahweh demands. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Yahweh demands.

25 'I have heard what the prophets say who make their lying prophecies in my name. "I have had a dream," they say, "I have had a dream!"

26 How long are there to be those among the prophets who prophesy lies and are in fact prophets of their own delusions?

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27 They are doing their best, by means of the dreams that they keep telling each other, to make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name in favour of Baal.

28 Let the prophet who has had a dream tell it for a dream! And let him who receives a word from me, deliver my word accurately! 'What have straw and wheat in common? Yahweh demands.

29 Is my word not like fire, Yahweh demands, is it not like a hammer shattering a rock?

30 'So, then, I have a quarrel with the prophets, Yahweh declares, that steal my words from one another.

31 I have a quarrel with the prophets, Yahweh declares, who wag their tongues to utter prophecies.

32 I have a quarrel with the prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, Yahweh declares, who recount them, and lead my people astray by their lies and their bragging. I certainly never sent them or commissioned them, and they serve no good purpose for this people, Yahweh declares.

33 'And when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, asks you, "What is Yahweh's burden?" you must answer, "You are the burden, and I shall get rid of you, Yahweh declares!"

34 'As for the prophet, the priest, or anyone else, who says, "Yahweh's burden", I shall punish that man, and his household too.

35 This is what you must say to one another, among yourselves, "What answer has Yahweh given?" or "What has Yahweh said?"

36 But stop using the expression "Yahweh's burden", for what each man says will be his own responsibility. And you twist the words of the living God, of Yahweh Sabaoth, our God.

37 This is the way to speak to a prophet, "What answer has Yahweh given?" or "What has Yahweh said?"

38 But if you say, "Yahweh's burden", then Yahweh says this, "Since you use the expression 'Yahweh's burden', when I have warned you to stop saying, 'Yahweh's burden',

39 believe me, I shall pick you up and fling you from my presence, you and the city I gave to you and to your ancestors.

40 I shall bring down everlasting shame on you, everlasting and unforgettable disgrace." '

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