Yahweh’s punishment (Jer 23:15-23:15)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts

Concerning the prophets.

‘I am going to make them

Eat wormwood.

I give them poisoned water

To drink.

From the prophets of Jerusalem

Ungodliness has spread

Throughout the land.’”

The punishment of these Jerusalem prophets is clear, much like in chapter 9. Yahweh of hosts was going to feed these prophets, instead of his people as in chapter 9, with a bitter wormwood plant. He was going to make them drink poisoned water, since these ungodly prophets had spread evil throughout the whole land.

Advertisements

Comparisons to other evil people (Jer 23:13-23:14)

“In the prophets of Samaria,

I saw a disgusting thing.

They prophesied by Baal.

They led my people Israel astray.

But in the prophets of Jerusalem,

I have seen a more shocking thing.

They commit adultery.

They walk in lies.

They strengthen

The hands of evildoers.

Thus no one turns from wickedness.

All of them have become

Like Sodom to me.

Its inhabitants are

Like Gomorrah.”

Yahweh makes a comparison between the evil prophets of Jerusalem with the false prophets of Samaria as well as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is no doubt that the false prophets of Samaria worshipped and prophesized by Baal. Thus they led the Israelites astray by these disgusting practices. However, the prophets of Jerusalem have done a more shocking thing. They committed adultery and walked in lies. Thus they strengthened the hands of the evil doers. Thus, no one turned away from wickedness. They became like the famous sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in Genesis, chapter 19.

Against the false prophets (Jer 23:11-23:12)

“‘Both prophet

As well as priest

Are ungodly.

Even in my house

I have found

Their wickedness.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore their way

Shall be to them

Like slippery paths

In the darkness.

They shall be driven

Into them.

They shall fall.

I will bring disaster

Upon them

In the year of their punishment.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, condemns both the priests and prophets. They have brought their wickedness into the Lord’s house. Thus they will be driven into dark slippery paths where they will fall. At the time of the great punishment, disaster will come upon them. Yahweh was clearly opposed to these false prophets and evil priests.

The bad situation of Jeremiah (Jer 23:9-23:10)

“My heart is crushed

Within me

Concerning the prophets.

All my bones shake.

I have become

Like a drunken man

Because of Yahweh.

I have become

Like one overcome by wine

Because of his holy words.

The land is full of adulterers.

Because of the curse,

The land mourns.

The pastures of the wilderness

Are dried up.

Their course has been evil.

Their might is not right.”

Jeremiah complains about the terrible situation he is in. His heart is crushed. His bones shake. He has become like a drunkard, overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and his words. His land is full of adulterers. His land itself mourns as the pastures have dried up. There is evil all around. No one does the right thing. Jeremiah is worried.

The past and future Exodus (Jer 23:7-23:8)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore the days are surely coming,

When it shall no longer be said.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought the people of Israel

Up out of the land of Egypt.’

But they will say.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought out,

He led the offspring

Of the house of Israel

Out of the north,

Out of all the lands,

Where he had driven them.’

Then they shall live

In their own land.”

This is almost a word for word duplication from chapter 16 about the past and future Exodus. Instead of people talking about the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land as they had, now they will talk about returning to the Promised Land after the Exile. Thus, this passage assumes that the Exile will happen and come to an end. It is the living God, Yahweh, who brought them out of Egypt. So too, he will bring them back from the northern area and the other countries where they would have been driven into. They will once again have their own Promised Land, like their ancestors, to live in. In other words, there will be new Exodus.

The future good righteous king (Jer 23:5-23:6)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming,

When I will raise up for David

A righteous branch.

He shall reign as king.

He shall deal wisely.

He shall execute justice.

He shall execute righteousness

In the land.

In his days,

Judah will be saved.

Israel will live in safety.

This is the name

By which he will be called.

‘Lord is our righteousness.’”

Yahweh indicates, via Jeremiah, that a future Davidic king will rule in both Judah and Israel. This king would come from David’s righteous branch. As a king, he would rule wisely with justice and righteousness. Judah would be saved and Israel would be safe. The name of this future king would be “Lord of our righteousness.” Thus the future messianic Davidic king was important to the Israelites.

The future good shepherds (Jer 23:3-23:4)

“‘Then I myself

Will gather the remnant

Of my flock

Out of all the lands

Where I have driven them.

I will bring them back

To their fold.

They shall be fruitful.

They shall multiply.

I will raise up

Shepherds over them.

They will shepherd them.

They shall not fear any longer.

They shall not be dismayed.

None shall be missing.’

Says Yahweh.”

At some future time, Yahweh will gather the remnant of his flock from all the countries that they were driven into. He is going to bring them back into the fold where they will be fruitful and multiply. Moreover, he will then put good shepherd leaders over them. They will no longer fear or be dismayed. No one will be missing. Thus the future good times would have good leaders.