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 (Ezekiel
(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, (Ezekiel
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 increase.
(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 earth.
(e) This prophecy is of the restitution of the
Church in the time of Jesus Christ, who is the true branch, read (Isaiah
23:7 Therefore, behold, the
days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The f
LORD liveth, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
(f) Read (Jeremiah
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 (Jeremiah
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
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
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.
(m) Read (Jeremiah
23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not to
the words of the prophets that prophesy to you: they make you vain: they speak a
vision of their own n heart, [and] not
from the mouth of the LORD.
(n) Which they have invented of their own brain.
23:17 They say still to them that despise me, The
LORD hath said, Ye o shall have peace;
and they say to every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart,
No evil shall come upon you.
(o) Read (Jeremiah
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, (1 Kings
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 true.
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 afar off?
(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 (Numbers
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 the LORD.
(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
(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, (Ezekiel
3:27; 1 Corinthians
2:13,4:2; 2 Timothy
23:30 Therefore, behold, I
[am] against the prophets, saith the LORD, that z
steal my words every one from his neighbour.
(z) Who set forth in my Name that which I have
23:31 Behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith
the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, a
(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 grievous burden.
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
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 them.