23:1 Woe be to a the shepherds that destroy and scatter the
b sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
(a) Meaning the prince's governors and false prophets as in
(b) For which I have special care, and have prepared good
pastures for them.
23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the
shepherds that c feed my people; Ye have scattered my
flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them:
behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,
saith the LORD.
(c) Whose charge is to feed the flock but they eat the
fruit of it, (Eze 34:3).
23:3 And I will gather the d remnant of my flock from all
countries where I have driven them, and will bring them
again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and
(d) Thus the prophets always used to mix the promises with
the threatenings lest the godly should be too much
beaten down and therefore he shows how God will gather
his Church after this dispersion.
23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise to
David a righteous e Branch, and a King shall reign and
prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice upon the
23:9 My heart within me is broken because of the g prophets;
all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man
whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because
of the words of his holiness.
(g) Meaning, the false prophets who deceive the people: in
which appears his great love toward his nation, read
23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of
swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the
wilderness are dried up, and their h course is evil, and
their force [is] not right.
(h) They run headlong to wickedness and seek vain help.
23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; even, in my i
house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
(i) My temple is full of their idolatry and superstitions.
23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem k an
horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies:
they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none
doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them l
to me as Sodom, and the inhabitants of it as Gomorrah.
(k) They who should have profited by my rods against
Samaria, are become worse than they.
(l) Though to the world they seem holy fathers, yet I
detest them as I did these abominable cities.
23:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the
prophets; Behold, I will feed them with m wormwood, and
make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets
of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
23:18 For p who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and
hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his
word, and heard [it]?
(p) Thus they derided Jeremiah as though the word of God
was not revealed to him, so also spoke Zedekiah to
Micaiah, (1Ki 22:24).
23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he shall
have executed, and till he shall have performed the
thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye q shall
consider it perfectly.
(q) Both that God has sent me, and that my words will be
23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and r had caused my
people to hear my words, then they should have turned them
from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
(r) He shows the difference between the true prophets and
the false, between the hireling and the true minister.
23:23 [Am] I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God s
(s) Do I not see your falsehood, however you cloak it, and
wherever you commit it?
23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in
my name, saying, I t have dreamed, I have dreamed.
(t) I have a prophecy revealed to me as in (Nu 12:6).
23:27 Who think to cause u my people to forget my name by
their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour,
as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
(u) He shows that Satan raises up false prophets to bring
the people from God.
23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him x tell a dream;
and he that hath my word, let him speak my word
faithfully. y What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith
(x) Let the false prophet declare that it is his own
fantasy, and not slander my word as though it were a
cloak to cover his lies.
(y) Meaning, that it is not enough for God's ministers to
abstain from lies and to speak the word of God but
that there is judgment in alleging it, and that it
may appear to be applied to the same purpose that it
was spoken, (Eze 3:27, 1Co 2:13,4:2, 2Ti 2:25).
23:30 Therefore, behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the
LORD, that z steal my words every one from his
(z) Who set forth in my Name that which I have not
23:31 Behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that
use their tongues, and say, a He saith.
(a) That is, the Lord.
23:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall
ask thee, saying, What [is] the b burden of the LORD?
thou shalt then say to them, What burden? I will even
forsake you, saith the LORD.
(b) The prophets called their threatenings God's burden,
which the sinners were not able to sustain, therefore
the wicked in deriding the word, would ask of the
prophets, what was the burden as though they would
say, "You seek nothing else, but to lay burdens on our
shoulders" and thus they rejected the word of God as a
23:34 And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the people,
that shall say, The c burden of the LORD, I will even
punish that man and his house.
(c) Because this word was brought to contempt and
derision, he will teach them another manner of speech,
and will cause this word burden to cease and teach
them to ask with reverence, "What says the Lord?"
23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for
every man's d word shall be his burden; for ye have
perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of
hosts our God.
(d) The thing which they mock and contemn will come on