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Jeremiah Chapter 23 | Parsha:

1Ah, shepherds who let the flock of My pasture stray and scatter!—declares the Lord. 2Assuredly, thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who should tend My people: It is you who let My flock scatter and go astray. You gave no thought to them, but I am going to give thought to you, for your wicked acts—declares the Lord. 3And I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock from all the lands to which I have banished them, and I will bring them back to their pasture, where they shall be fertile and increase. 4And I will appoint over them shepherds who will tend them; they shall no longer fear or be dismayed, and none of them shall be missing—declares the Lord.

5See, a time is coming—declares the Lord—when I will raise up a true branch of David’s line. He shall reign as king and shall prosper, and he shall do what is just and right in the land. 6In his days Judah shall be delivered and Israel shall dwell secure. And this is the name by which he shall be called: “The Lord is our Vindicator.”

7Assuredly, a time is coming—declares the Lord—when it shall no more be said, “As the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt,” 8but rather, “As the Lord lives, who brought out and led the offspring of the House of Israel from the northland and from all the lands to which I have banished them.” And they shall dwell upon their own soil.

9Concerning the prophets.
My heart is crushed within me,
All my bones are trembling;
I have become like a drunken man,
Like one overcome by wine—
Because of the Lord and His holy word.

10For the land is full of adulterers,
The land mourns because of a curse;
The pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
For they run to do evil,
They strain to do wrong.

11For both prophet and priest are godless;
Even in My House I find their wickedness
—declares the Lord.

Their path shall become
Like slippery ground;
They shall be thrust into darkness
And there they shall fall;
For I will bring disaster upon them,
The year of their doom
—declares the Lord.

13In the prophets of Samaria
I saw a repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal
And led My people Israel astray.

14But what I see in the prophets of Jerusalem
Is something horrifying:
Adultery and false dealing.
They encourage evildoers,
So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
To Me they are all like Sodom,
And [all] its inhabitants like Gomorrah.

15Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts concerning the prophets:
I am going to make them eat wormwood
And drink a bitter draft;
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Godlessness has gone forth to the whole land.

16Thus said the Lord of Hosts:
Do not listen to the words of the prophets
Who prophesy to you.
They are deluding you,
The prophecies they speak are from their own minds,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.

17They declare to men who despise Me:
The Lord has said:
“All shall be well with you”;
And to all who follow their willful hearts they say:
“No evil shall befall you.”

18But he who has stood in the council of the Lord,
And seen, and heard His word—
He who has listened to His word must obey.

19Lo, the storm of the Lord goes forth in fury,
A whirling storm,
It shall whirl down upon the heads of the wicked.

20The anger of the Lord shall not turn back
Till it has fulfilled and completed His purposes.
In the days to come
You shall clearly perceive it.

21I did not send those prophets,
But they rushed in;
I did not speak to them,
Yet they prophesied.

22If they have stood in My council,
Let them announce My words to My people
And make them turn back
From their evil ways and wicked acts.

23Am I only a God near at hand
—says the Lord—
And not a God far away?

24If a man enters a hiding place,
Do I not see him?
—says the Lord.
For I fill both heaven and earth
—declares the Lord.

25I have heard what the prophets say, who prophesy falsely in My name: “I had a dream, I had a dream.” 26 How long will there be in the minds of the prophets who prophesy falsehood—the prophets of their own deceitful minds— 27the plan to make My people forget My name, by means of the dreams which they tell each other, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream; and let him who has received My word report My word faithfully! How can straw be compared to grain?—says the Lord. 29Behold, My word is like fire—declares the Lord—and like a hammer that shatters rock!

30Assuredly, I am going to deal with the prophets—declares the Lord—who steal My words from one another. 31I am going to deal with the prophets—declares the Lord—who wag their tongues and make oracular utterances. 32I am going to deal with those who prophesy lying dreams—declares the Lord—who relate them to lead My people astray with their reckless lies, when I did not send them or command them. They do this people no good—declares the Lord.

33And when this people—or a prophet or a priest—asks you, “What is the burden of the Lord?” you shall answer them, “What is the bur- den? I will cast you off”—declares the Lord.

34As for the prophet or priest or layman who shall say “the burden of the Lord,” I will punish that person and his house. 35Thus you shall speak to each other, every one to his fellow, “What has the Lord answered?” or “What has the Lord spoken?” 36But do not mention “the burden of the Lord“ any more. Does a man regard his own word as a “burden,” that you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of Hosts, our God? 37Thus you shall speak to the prophet: “What did the Lord answer you?” or “What did the Lord speak?” 38But if you say “the burden of the Lord“—assuredly, thus said the Lord: Because you said this thing, “the burden of the Lord,” whereas I sent word to you not to say “the burden of the Lord,” 39I will utterly forget you and I will cast you away from My presence, together with the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40And I will lay upon you a disgrace for all time, shame for all time, which shall never be forgotten.

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