The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch
1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: "You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds," declares the LORD. 3 "Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 "I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.
5 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD,
"When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 "In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
`The LORD our righteousness.'
7 "Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when they will no longer say, `As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,' 8 but, `As the LORD lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.' Then they will live on their own soil."
False Prophets Denounced
9 As for the prophets:
My heart is broken within me,
All my bones tremble;
I have become like a drunken man,
Even like a man overcome with wine,
Because of the LORD
And because of His holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
For the land mourns because of the curse.
The pastures of the wilderness have dried up.
Their course also is evil
And their might is not right.
11 "For both prophet and priest are polluted;
Even in My house I have found their wickedness," declares the LORD.
12 "Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them,
They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it;
For I will bring calamity upon them,
The year of their punishment," declares the LORD.
13 "Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing:
They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.
14 "Also among the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen a horrible thing:
The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood;
And they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become to Me like Sodom,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
15 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets,
`Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood
And make them drink poisonous water,
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Pollution has gone forth into all the land.'"
16 Thus says the LORD of hosts,
"Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.
They are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 "They keep saying to those who despise Me,
`The LORD has said, "You will have peace"';
And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart,
They say, `Calamity will not come upon you.'
18 "But who has stood in the council of the LORD,
That he should see and hear His word?
Who has given heed to His word and listened?
19 "Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath,
Even a whirling tempest;
It will swirl down on the head of the wicked.
20 "The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 "I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
22 "But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.
23 "Am I a God who is near," declares the LORD,
"And not a God far off?
24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places
So I do not see him?" declares the LORD.
"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD.
25 "I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, `I had a dream, I had a dream!' 26 "How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, 27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28 "The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?" declares the LORD. 29 "Is not My word like fire?" declares the LORD, "and like a hammer which shatters a rock? 30 "Therefore behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who steal My words from each other. 31 "Behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who use their tongues and declare, `The Lord declares.' 32 "Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the LORD, "and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares the LORD.
33 "Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, `What is the oracle of the LORD?' then you shall say to them, `What oracle?' The LORD declares, `I will abandon you.' 34 "Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, `The oracle of the LORD,' I will bring punishment upon that man and his household. 35 "Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, `What has the LORD answered?' or, `What has the LORD spoken?' 36 "For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man's own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 "Thus you will say to that prophet, `What has the LORD answered you?' and, `What has the LORD spoken?' 38 "For if you say, `The oracle of the LORD!' surely thus says the LORD, `Because you said this word, "The oracle of the LORD!" I have also sent to you, saying, "You shall not say, `The oracle of the LORD!'"' 39 "Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 "I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten."
Baskets of Figs and the Returnees
1 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the LORD showed me: behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of the LORD! 2 One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten due to rottenness. 3 Then the LORD said to me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" And I said, "Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, which cannot be eaten due to rottenness."
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, `Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 `For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 `I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
8 `But like the bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness--indeed, thus says the LORD--so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and the ones who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9 `I will make them a terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them. 10 `I will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.'"