Yahweh rails against the false prophets (Jer 14:14-14:16)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘The prophets are prophesying lies

In my name.

I did not send them.

I did not command them.

I did not speak to them.

They are prophesying to you

A lying vision,

A worthless divination,

The deceit of their own minds.

Therefore thus says Yahweh

Concerning the prophets

Who prophesy in my name,

Although I did not send them.’

They say.

‘Sword shall not come on this land.

Famine shall not come on this land.’

By sword and famine

Those prophets shall be consumed

By sword

Or with famine.

The people to whom they prophesy

Shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem.

They will be the victims of famine.

They will be the victims of the sword.

There shall be no one to bury them,

Themselves,

Their wives,

Their sons,

Their daughters.

I will pour out their wickedness

Upon them.”

Yahweh spoke again to Jeremiah about the false prophets who told them not to worry about the sword or famine. Yahweh said that they were lying false prophets pretending to prophesize in his name. Yahweh did not send them or command them to speak. They were, in fact, prophesying a lying vision or a worthless prediction. They were deceived in their own minds. He never told them that there would be no sword or famine. Instead, these prophets would be consumed by the sword or famine. Those listening to them will also be consumed, that includes themselves, their wives, and their children. Yahweh was going to pour out all their wickedness upon them.

The accusation response of Jeremiah (Jer 4:10-4:10)

“Then I said.

‘O Yahweh God!

How utterly you have deceived

This people!

How utterly you have deceived

Jerusalem!

Saying.

‘It shall be well with you.’

Even while the sword

Is at their throat!”

Jeremiah seems to rebuke Yahweh, his God. He claims that Yahweh has deceived him, as well as the people of Judah and Jerusalem. God had told them that all would be well with them, even as the sword of the destroyer was at their throat.

Senseless dreams (Sir 34:1-34:8)

“The senseless have vain hopes.

The senseless have false hopes.

Dreams give wings to fools.

As one who catches at a shadow,

As one who pursues the wind,

So is anyone who believes in dreams.

What is seen in dreams

Is but a reflection.

It is like a face

Looking at itself.

From an unclean thing

What can be clean?

From something false,

What can be true?

Divinations are unreal.

Omens are unreal.

Dreams are unreal.

Like a woman in labor,

The mind has fantasies.

Unless they are by intervention

From the Most High,

Pay no attention to them.

Dreams have deceived many.

Those who put their hope in them

Have failed.

Without such deceptions,

The law will be fulfilled.

Wisdom is complete

In the mouth of the faithful.”

Sirach takes on the role of dreams. The dreams of Joseph in Egypt played a major role in the Genesis story. However, Sirach seems to point holes in theory of dreams. He believes that the dreams of the senseless fools are in vain. They give false hope to these fools. They are like trying to catch a shadow or a gust of wind as they easily disappear. A dream is nothing more than a reflection of yourself. Your dreams are nothing more than looking at yourself. How can anything good or clean come from an unclean person? No truth can come from falsehood. Dreams are like unreal divinations and omens. They are like the fantasies of a woman in labor. Unless they are sent from the Most High God, dreams should be disregarded. Many people have been deceived by dreams. Sirach believes that the law and wisdom are more important than dreams.

Job maintains that he has not been fraudulent (Job 31:5-31:8)

“If I have walked with falsehood,

If my foot has hastened to deceit,

Let me be weighed in a just balance!

Let God know my integrity!

If my step has turned aside from the way,

If my heart has followed my eyes,

If any spot has clung to my hands,

Then let me sow!

Let another eat!

Let what grows for me be rooted out!”

The first question is falsehood. Has Job lied? Has Job cheated people? Job maintained that he had not deceived people. He had always used a just weight scale in his transactions. God knew his integrity. He had never turned from God’s way. If he has done anything wrong, let him be the sower and another person can eat of his crop. If he has been false and deceitful, whatever he has planted and grown should be rooted out.

The power of the wise God (Job 12:13-12:25)

“With God are wisdom and strength.

God has counsel and understanding.

If God tears down,

No one can rebuild.

If God shuts someone in,

No one can open up.

If God withholds the waters,

They dry up.

If God sends them out,

They overwhelm the land.

With God are strength and wisdom.

The deceived and the deceiver are his.

God leads counselors away stupid.

God makes fools of judges.

God looses the sash of kings.

God binds a waistcloth on their loins.

God leads priests away stripped.

God overthrows the mighty.

God deprives speech of those who are trusted.

God takes away the discernment of the elders.

God pours contempt on princes.

God looses the belt of the strong.

God uncovers the profound out of darkness.

God brings deep darkness to light.

God makes nations great.

God then destroys them.

God enlarges nations.

God then leads them away.

God strips understanding from the leaders of the earth.

God makes them wander in a pathless waste.

They grope in the dark without light.

God makes them stagger like a drunkard.”

God has wisdom, strength, counsel, and understanding. He tears down. He shuts people out. He sends water. He sends people out to do battle successfully. He controls both the deceiver and the deceived. He makes fools of judges, kings, and priests. He overthrows the mighty. He has control of speakers, elderly, princes, and the strong. He can make light into darkness and vice versa. He makes nations great and then destroys them. He enlarges and then strips them down. He makes the leaders of earth grope in the dark, wander, and stagger like they were drunk. God is all powerful.