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because I bring ruin upon them in the year of their visitation, is Yahveh's oracle. 13. Also in the prophets of Samaria I have seen provoking things: they prophesied by Baal, and led my people Israel astray. 14. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I saw horrible things: continual adultery and walking in falsehood, and they still strengthened the hands of evil-doers, so that they turned not again every one from his wickedness. They have altogether become to me like Sodom, and their inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15. On this account Yahveh of hosts has spoken thus against the prophets: Behold, I give them wormwood for food, and give them poison-water to drink; for pollution has gone forth from the prophets of Jerusalem into all the land. 16. Thus said Yahveh of hosts: Hearken not to the discourses of the prophets, who prophesy to you; they make you foolish; they utter the vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of Yahveh, 17. who say continually to my despisers: "Yahveh has said: You shall have peace;" and when one walks only in the stubbornness of his heart they say: "No evil shall come upon you." 18. For who stands in the counsel of Yahveh? Let him see and hear his word. Who has given heed to my
to Masoretes, instead of inr, thus from nm, to push, overturn, so that one falls (Ps. cxviii. 13); Niphal best as reflexive. rn refers to n^BK. Ver. 13. rtan, insipidity, is the name given here to the senseless, silly worship of strange, empty gods. Ver. 14. tbi applies not to the prophets, but as the parallel clause (her, i.e. Jerusalem's inhabitants) shows, to the whole people. God puts them on a footing with the most debased heathen. Ver. 15. See on viil 14, ix. 14. Ver. 16. Cf. xiv. 14. The Hiphil of ion, to make vain (comp. the Kal, ii. 5), to fill with empty fancies. Ver. 17. Cf. vi. 14, viii. 11. The Masoretic text is not to be changed into the tame reading 'n "D"t 'vKJD, with LXX, Syr., by which the thought, so important in the context, that this preaching of peace professes to be Yahveh's word, would be lost. Ver. 18. Similar line of thought as in ix. 11. One who stands in Yahveh's counsel must behold and hear His word, i.e. carefully receive it: and he who has perceived it must declare it to the nation. yDBfy to be read after ver. 22 (cf. ix. 11); for on the Masoretic reading the apodosis would be wanting, with yDCh the latter would be tautological with the protasis. The sense of the words is: These prophets declare not the true word? Let him hear it: 19. Behold, the whirlwind of Yahveh, burning wrath goes forth, a whirling tempest, it whirls round the head of the wicked. 20. Yahveh's wrath will not turn again until it accomplishes and until it brings to pass the purposes of his heart,—at the end of the days you shall well understand this. 21. I have not sent the prophets who run; I have not spoken to them who prophesy. 22. And if they had stood in my counsel, they would have made my people hear my words, and brought them back from their evil way, and from the wickedness of their deeds.
23. Am I then a God nigh at hand only, is Yahveh's oracle, and not a God afar off? 24. Or can a man hide himself in secret, that I shall not see him? is Yahveh's oracle. 25. I have heard what the prophets say, who prophesy falsely in my name, saying: "I have dreamed, I have dreamed." 26. How long yet? Have the prophets who prophesy falsely, and are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, this in mind,—27. do they purpose to make my people forget my name for their dreams, which they tell
(following in ver. 19 f.) word of the Lord, and are therefore not His trusty prophets. These. " stand in the counsel" of God; cf. xv. 19 and Isa. vi. It is not = sit in the counsel; ^y suggests a ministering attitude (cf. 1 Kings xvii. 1), as "HD3 does intimacy: both together excellently characterize the genuine prophet's relation to God. ""m unnecessarily changed by the Keri into n3n. Ver. 19 is closely connected, giving the matter of God's true word, which stands in terrible contrast to that preaching of peace. nDn, explanatory apposition. Cf. on ver. 19 f., xxx. 23 f. Ver. 20. I33i3nn strengthened by ru'l The "end of the days" (not merely "time following") is the conclusion of the whole dispensation known to the prophet (Orelli, 0. T. Prophecy, p. 33). Not only the judgment, but the salvation belongs to this period (Knobel). Whether the present hearers will witness the end is a secondary matter; the beginning of the end is near enough. The man who is not enlightened by God's word only comes to understand God's ways when everything has become evident. Ver. 23. 3npD God of the near distance, i.e. who only sees and hears near at hand. Ver. 26 f. The above translation corresponds to the reading MBTin proposed by De Dieu, and rightly approved by most moderns. '373 B" (synonymous with 3Cn), I have someevery one to his comrade, like as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
28. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has my word, let him speak my word truly: what has the straw in common with the wheat? is Yahveh's oracle. 29. Is not then my word like fire, is Yahveh's oracle, and like a hammer, that breaks rock in pieces? 30. Therefore, behold, I will (come) to the prophets, is Yahveh's oracle, who steal my words, every one from his comrade. 31. Behold, I will (come) to the prophets, is Yahveh's oracle, who take their own tongue and utter oracles. 3 2. Behold, I will (come) to those who prophesy deceitful dreams, is Yahveh's oracle, and tell them and lead my people astray by their treacheries and their boasting, whereas I sent them not, nor bade them; and they do this people no manner of good, is Yahveh's oracle.
33. And if this people or the prophet or a priest inquires of thee, saying: "What is the burden of Yahveh?" thou shalt say to them: You are the burden, and I will cast you away, is Yahveh's oracle. 34. And the prophet, and the priest, and the people, which say: "Burden of Yahveh," I will visit that
thing in mind, 1 Sam. xiv. 7 and often. injr6, to be referred to a prophetical colleague. Such dreams are current in the body of prophets and repeated by every one. Ver. 30 ft'. The hs 'Mn thrice solemnly repeated. Ver. 31. DM here only as finite verb, denominative of DM, to utter oracles; the latter properly = something whispered. Taking ones own tongue implies arbitrariness. They prepare divine oracles of their own will, and with their own resources. Ver. 32. mTnS, here only, from TnB, to be overboiled, overweening, rash; here the presumption of false prophets, who are called D'TmB in Zeph. iii. 4 also. Ver. 33. KfrD, from KC3, sc. b^p, utterance, solemnly pronounced language, was a current phrase for a prophetic message, sanctioned by early prophets. But this sacred expression was distorted in Jeremiah's days (ver. 36), as if it meant a burden, which the word may also signify. Therefore Jeremiah forbids its use entirely. Instead of Ke'D nD nK read Kfran Dns«, which yields a pointed play of words, by which the prophet retorts the word-play of the inquirers. You yourselves are the "burden of Yahveh," which he is weary of bearman and his house. 35. Thus shall you say, every one to his comrade and every one to his brother: "What has Yahveh answered, and what has Yahveh said?" 36. But the "burden of Yahveh " you shall mention no more; for his own word shall be every one's burden, that you have perverted the words of the living God, Yahveh of hosts, our God. 37. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet: What has Yahveh answered thee, and what has Yahveh said? 38. But if you say: "Burden of Yahveh," for this reason thus says Yahveh: Because you utter this word "burden of Yahveh," and yet I sent to you with the warning: You shall not say " burden of Yahveh,"—39. for this reason, behold, I carry you forsooth and cast you and the city, which I gave to you and your fathers, away from my presence, 40. and I inflict upon you eternal disgrace and eternal reviling, which cannot be forgotten.
ing, and will throw away. Ver. 35. Instead of that ambiguous question, a simple one is proposed as seemly: What has the Lord answered or said without previous question? Ver. 36. His own word will be a burden to every one, i.e. here the word KBTS, which he uses in a bad sense, though with the appearance of reverence. This word will be a burden to them, i.e. a heavy responsibility. You have perverted the words of the living God, giving them a hateful or ludicrous sense, specifically the word KCD. Ver. 37. Ges. § 75. a. 19; Eng. § 74. Ver. 39. Read KfeO WfcW, as the play of words and context require (so LXX, Syr. Vulg.). Ver. 40. Cf. xx. 11.
Contents of ch. xxiii. 9-40. Prophets and Prophecy : a. the False Prophets at Jerusalem, vv. 9-22. b. Dream and Prophecy, vv. 23-32. c. the unbecoming word Massah, vv. 33-40.
The preceding series of prophecies about and against the kings is followed by a deliverance against the prophets, to which are added different explanations of prophecy. The date of this deliverance in all probability is the same as that of ch. xiv. f. (cf. xxiii. 10), therefore the earlier days of Jehoiakiin. With this agrees the confident tone still assumed by the false prophets (ver. 17 f.).
a. XXIII. 9-22. Jeremiah himself is completely crushed in spirit, the victim of a weakness and despondency which destroys his power of calm reflection, in consequence of divine messages in his bosom (cf. xx. 7 ff.). This certainly needs further explanation. Only because (ver. 10) the land is in such glaring contradiction with God's holy law, are God's words so terrible to the prophet who groans under the judgment beforehand. He discerns clearly that the drought, now oft recurring (cf. xii. 4, xiv. 1 ff.), is an effect of the curse lying on this adulterous generation. The pursuit of the people, i.e. their zealous effort, is in the service of sin, their strength in the service of falsehood (ver. 10a). But the worst sinners are the priests and prophets; from the house of God pollution instead of holiness penetrates the whole land (ver. 11). To strengthen the accusation (cf. the similar parallel, iii. 11), the prophets of Samaria are compared to those of Jerusalem; the latter are far the worst. To the former, indeed, belongs the guilt of seducing the people to the senseless worship of foreign gods; but the latter are guilty of the grossest immorality in conduct, and confirm all evil-doers in their wickedness by their deceitful encouragement. Thus they turn God's city into a Sodom. First of all, the origin of false prophecy is exposed in ver. 16. Those men utter what their own heart suggests and conceives, what has its origin in their own heart, a " vision" of their own heart. This passage, like xiv. 14, shows that the genuine prophet was conscious of a source of his revelations entirely different and easily distinguished from his own subjectivity. Again, as concerns the matter, they preach a flippant optimism (ver. 17), whereas every prophet really familiar with the Lord (cf. ver. 9) must know that now the judgment is bursting in like a tempest, and that, instead of passing quickly over, it will not rest until God's purposes are carried out (ver. 19 f.). The contradiction so