Jeremiah 23:9-32

Prophets who say things that are not true

9 I must speak about the prophets.

My mind is not happy.

My body feels weak and ill.

I am like a man who has drunk too much wine.

The Lord has spoken to me, and his words are holy.

10 The country is full of men who have sex with other men's wives.

Because of that, the country is as dry as dead bones.

And all the plants in the fields are dead.

The prophets are doing things that are wrong.

And they do not use their power in the right way.

11 ‘And the prophets and the priests do not give honour to me.

Even in my temple I see them. And they are doing things that are very wrong,’

says the Lord.

12 ‘Because of that, I will make it difficult for them to do their work.

I will send them away to a dark place where they will fall.

Many bad things will happen to them when I start to punish them,’

says the Lord.

13 ‘I saw a very bad thing that the prophets in Samaria did.

They were speaking the name of the false god, Baal when they were prophesying.

They did not tell my people things that were right.

So they caused them to do wrong things.

14 Some prophets in Jerusalem

were doing wrong things too.

I saw them having sex with other men's wives.

But they let people think that they were good.

They say that it is good for men to do evil things.

So they let them continue to do things that are wrong.

They seem as bad to me as were the people in Sodom.

The people in Jerusalem are as bad as the people in Gomorrah.’

23:14There were not even 10 good men in the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah. So the Lord had destroyed those cities. (See Genesis 18:20-33.) The men there had sex with other men and they wanted to cause male visitors to have sex with them. (See Genesis 19:5-9.)

15 So the great and powerful Lord says this about the prophets:

‘I will cause them to eat food that tastes bad.

And I will cause them to drink water that will make them ill.

That is because of the things that the prophets in Jerusalem have done.

They have caused all the people in the country to turn away from God.’

16 The great and powerful Lord says:

‘Do not listen to the words that the prophets are prophesying to you.

They cause you to believe things that are not true.

They tell you about pictures that they have made in their own minds.

They do not speak the words that come from the Lord's mouth.

17 They continue to think that I am worth nothing.

And they cause other people to think as they think.

They say that the Lord has said to them,

“You will have peace.

Nothing bad will happen to you.”

Some people refuse to change the things that they are doing.

But the prophets say those good things to all those people.

18 But none of them has been with the Lord.

They have not seen him and they have not heard his word.

They have not listened to him.

19 But you will see that the Lord will be very angry.

He will be angry like a storm and a strong wind.

He will knock down people who do wrong things.

20 Nothing will cause the Lord to stop being angry.

He will finish completely everything that he wants to do.

At a future time, you will understand all of this.

21 I did not send these prophets.

But they have still run to tell their message to you.

I did not speak to them,

but they have prophesied.

22 If they had met with me,

they would have spoken my words to the people.

Then my people would have turned away from the things that are wrong.

They would have stopped doing bad things.

23 I can see things that happen a long way away.

I do not see only what is near to me.

24 Nobody can hide in a secret place

so that I cannot see him,’ says the Lord.

‘I am in all the earth and in all the sky,’ says the Lord.

25 ‘I have heard the things that these prophets say. They say things that are not true. They give false messages. They say that they are messages from me. They say, “I had a dream.” 26 They should stop speaking false words. They make pictures in their own minds. And they say that they are prophecies. 27 They tell their dreams to each other. They think that their dreams will cause my people to forget my name. Then they would be like their ancestors who forgot me. They forgot me when they worshipped the false god, Baal. 28 A prophet may have a dream. That prophet can tell people that it is only a dream. But anyone who has heard my words must be sure to give my message to people. The dream and my message are very different. Their dream is nothing but my message is everything good,’ says the Lord. 29 ‘My word is like a fire,’ says the Lord. ‘It is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces.’

30 ‘The prophets take each other's words. Then they say that they came from me. That is why I am against them,’ says the Lord. 31 ‘Yes,’ says the Lord, ‘They tell people what they think. But they say, “The Lord says.” ’ 32 ‘Yes, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the Lord. ‘Those dreams that they tell to the people lead the people away from me. Their stories cause people to believe things that are not true. I did not send them and I did not give my authority to them. They do not help my people,’ the Lord says.