Against the false prophets (Jer 23:30-23:32)

“‘See!

Therefore,

I am against the prophets.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They steal my words

From one another.

See!

I am against the prophets.’

Says Yahweh.

They use their own tongues

To say.

‘Says Yahweh!’

See!

I am against those who prophesy

Lying dreams.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They tell them.

They lead my people astray

By their lies,

By their recklessness.

I did not send them.

I did not appoint them.

They do not profit

This people at all.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has 3 more oracles of Yahweh against the false prophets. They have been stealing Yahweh’s words from one another. They use their tongues to pretend that their words are from Yahweh. They prophesize lying dreams. They have led his people astray with their lies and their recklessness. Yahweh never sent them or appointed them as prophets. They have not helped the people at all. Instead, they have been a detriment to the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

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The power of Yahweh’s word (Jer 23:28-23:29)

“‘Let the prophet

Who has a dream

Tell the dream.

But let the one

Who has my word,

Speak my word faithfully.

What has straw

In common with wheat?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Is not my word

Like fire?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Is not my word

Like a hammer

That breaks

A rock in pieces?’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, issued a series of oracles about the power of his word. If a prophet had a dream, let him tell that dream. However, anyone who had the word of Yahweh should also speak the word faithfully. Straw is dried up and useless, but wheat or grain is full of nourishment. The word of Yahweh was like fire or a hammer that could break any rock into pieces.

The lying prophets (Jer 23:25-23:27)

“I have heard

What the prophets have said.

They prophesy lies

In my name.

They say.

‘I have dreamed!

I have dreamed!’

How long

Will this last?

Will the hearts of the prophets

Ever turn back?

They prophesy lies!

They prophesy

The deceit of their own heart.

They plan to make my people

Forget my name,

By their dreams

That they tell one another.

They are just

Like their ancestors

Who forgot my name

For Baal.”

Yahweh complains about these lying prophets, since they prophesy and lie in his name. They claim that they have had dreams. Will these prophets ever return? They continue to lie and present the deceit for their own hearts. They want the people to forget the name of Yahweh with their dreams that they tell to one another. They are just like their ancestors who forgot the name of Yahweh and went to the Baal gods.

God is near and powerful (Jer 23:23-23:24)

“‘Am I a God nearby?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Am I not a God far off?

Who can hide

In secret places

So that I cannot see them?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’

Says Yahweh.”

There seems to be 3 oracles of Yahweh about his power and presence. First God, Yahweh, is near, close, or immanent. Secondly, he is far away, distant or transcendent. People cannot hide in secret places from him, since he can see them wherever they are. Finally, he fills both heaven and earth, since God is both omnipresent and omniscient.

Yahweh did not send false prophets (Jer 23:21-23:22)

“I did not send the prophets.

Yet they ran.

I did not speak to them.

Yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood

In my council,

Then they would have proclaimed

My words to my people.

They would have turned them

From their evil way,

From the evil of their doings.”

Yahweh clearly indicated that he had not sent these prophets who pretended to run and prophesize in his name. They were never part of his council. If they had been, they would have proclaimed to the people to turn away from their evil ways of doing things. However, they did not do that.

The wrath of Yahweh (Jer 23:19-23:20)

“Look!

The storm of Yahweh!

Wrath has gone forth!

It is a whirling tempest!

It will burst

Upon the head of the wicked.

The anger of Yahweh

Will not turn back

Until he has executed

The intents of his mind.

It will not turn back

Until he has accomplished

The intents of his mind.

In the latter days,

You will understand it clearly.”

The wrath of Yahweh was going to come forward like a whirling tempest storm. His wrath would burst upon the heads of the wicked. They cannot turn back the anger of Yahweh, their God, who wants to execute and accomplish what he intended to do. In the coming days, people will understand more clearly the powerful anger of God, Yahweh.

The false happy prophets (Jer 23:16-23:18)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Do not listen

To the words of the prophets

Who prophesy to you.

They are deluding you.

They speak visions

Of their own minds.

These are not

From the mouth of Yahweh.

They keep saying

To those

Who despise the word of Yahweh.

‘It shall be well with you.’

To those

Who stubbornly follow

Their own stubborn hearts,

They say.

‘No calamity

Shall come upon you.’

Who has stood

In the council of Yahweh?

Were they able to see his word?

Were they able to hear his word?

Who has given heed to his word?

Who has proclaimed it?”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, does not want the people to listen to the false prophets, because they are deluding the people with their lies and subjective visions. Their words are not from Yahweh. They keep telling people not to worry since everything will be okay, even though the people stubbornly follow their own hearts. They keep telling the people that no harm was going to come to them. These were the happy delusional prophets. Have they stood in the council of Yahweh? They never saw or heard the word of Yahweh. As they never followed the word of Yahweh, how were they able to proclaim it?