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?

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The rebellion (Jer 18:12-18:12)

“But they say.

‘It is no use!

We will follow our own plans.

Each of us will act

According to the stubbornness

Of our own evil way.’”

Jeremiah presents the clear and precise response of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. It was useless to talk anymore. They were going to follow their own rebellious plans. Each one would act stubbornly according to their own evil ways. There was no pretence of trying to reach an agreement. The die was cast.

Yahweh explains why he is doing this (Jer 9:13-9:14)

“Yahweh says.

‘They have forsaken my law

That I set before them.

They have not obeyed my voice.

They have not walked in accordance with it.

But they have stubbornly followed

Their own hearts.

They have gone after the Baals,

As their ancestors taught them.”

Yahweh explains why this punishment was about to take place. They simply have forsaken the law of Yahweh that he set before them. They have not obeyed his voice. They have not walked according to his ways. They have stubbornly followed their own hearts. They went to the pagan idol gods of Baal, like their ancestors. Yahweh clearly explained his reasoning.

Eliphaz instructs Job about the wicked ones (Job 15:20-15:27)

“The wicked men writhe in pain all their days.

All the years are laid up for the ruthless.

Terrifying sounds are in their ears.

In prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.

They despair of returning from darkness.

They are destined for the sword.

They wander abroad for bread, saying,

‘Where is it?’

They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand.

Distress and anguish terrify them.

Distress and anguish prevail against them.

They are like a king prepared for battle.

Because they stretched out their hands against God,

They bid defiance to the Almighty Shaddai.

They run stubbornly against him with a thick-bossed shield.

They have covered their faces with their fat,

They have gathered fat upon their loins.”

The wicked people are in pain all the time, just like Job. Terrifying sounds are in their ears. They live in darkness and are destined for death by the sword. They wander about looking for bread. Distress and anguish are part of their lives. They like getting ready for battle against God Shaddai, the Almighty one. They run stubbornly against shields with their fat faces and fat loins.