Jeremiah 23:1-40 Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

The Righteous Branch
Comments for Study 18

Jeremiah 23:1-40
Memory Verse: 4

SORRY, THE COMMENTARY FOR THIS STUDY IS NOT FINISHED.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF BOOKS THAT ARE COMPLETED.

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW MAPS OF THE DIVIDED KINGDOM OF ISRAEL.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF ASSYRIA.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ISRAEL'S HISTORY.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF ISRAEL'S KINGS AND PROPHETS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS TIMELINE.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF MAJOR EVENTS FROM JEREMIAH'S TIME TO ROMAN TIMES.

I. The Righteous Branch (23:1-8)

>1. After the previous chapter that is about Judah's evil kings what does Jeremiah write about? (1-2)

* Jeremiah 23:1-2 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD."

* John 10:7-13 "Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."

*

*

*

*

>What would the Lord do for his flock? (3-4)

* Jeremiah 23:3-4 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD."

* John 10:1-5 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

*

*

*

*

Jesus the Branch

>Who is the righteous Branch? (5-6; Isaiah 4:2, 11:1-9; Jeremiah 33:14-16; John 15:1-4)

* Jeremiah 23:5-6 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness."

* Jeremiah 33:14-16 "'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.'"

* Isaiah 4:2 "In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel."

* Isaiah 11:1-9 "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

* Jeremiah 33:14-16 "'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.'"

* Zechariah 3:8 "'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch."

* John 15:1-4 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

* Romans 11:17-18 "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you."

* Luke 13:18-19 "Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

* "a righteous Branch" -Jesus is the branch. The theme of Isaiah chapters 40-55 is that the Messiah would be God's servant. Isaiah was a prophet two generations before Jeremiah.

>What does the Lord promise about Judah's future in verses 7 and 8?

* Jeremiah 23:7-8 "So then, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land."

* Jeremiah 16:14-15 "However, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when men will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers."

*

*

*

*

I. Lying Prophets (23:9-32)

>2. What caused Jeremiah to be lowly? (9)

* Jeremiah 23:9 "Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words."

*

*

*

*

*

>What was the result of unjust corrupt prophets? (10)

* Jeremiah 23:10 "The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the desert are withered. The [prophets] follow an evil course and use their power unjustly."

*

*

*

*

*

>Who else was like this? (11)

* Jeremiah 23:11 "Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness," declares the LORD."

*

*

*

*

*

>3. What were the prophets messages about? (13)

* Jeremiah 23:13 "Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray."

*

*

*

*

*

>How can religious leaders strengthen the hands of the wicked? (14; and 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

* Jeremiah 23:14 "And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.""

* 2 Timothy 4:1-5 "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

*

*

*

*

>4. What happens to religious leaders who pretend to be from God, but are only following their own desires? (12, 15)

* Jeremiah 23:12 "Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished," declares the LORD."

* Jeremiah 23:15 "Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets: "I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land."

*

*

*

*

*

>What did Jesus say about false prophets? (Matthew 7:15-20, 10:16; John 10:8, 11-13)

* Matthew 16:11b-12 "be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

* Matthew 10:16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

* John 10:8 "All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them."

* John 10:11-13 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."

*

*

>What did Jesus warn his disciples to watch out for? (Matthew 7:15-20, 23:2-12)

* Matthew 7:15-20 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

* Matthew 23:2-12 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

*

*

>5. What were the false prophets telling the people? (16-17)

* Jeremiah 23:16-17 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.'"

*

*

*

*

>Do speakers of false hopes receive their words from God? (18)

* Jeremiah 23:18 "But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?"

*

*

*

*

*

>What is the truth about all mankind that people must be preached? (19-20; Lamentations 2:14; Romans 1:18-19, 9:22-24; Colossians 3:5-6)

* Jeremiah 23:19-20 "See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly."

* Lamentations 2:14 "The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading."

* Romans 1:18-19 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them."

* Romans 9:22-24 "What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?"

* Colossians 3:5-6 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming."

*

>6. What does it mean to stand by the Lord's council? (21-22; and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15)

* Jeremiah 23:21-22 "I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds."

* 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 "But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

*

*

*

*

>Can anyone hide his motives from the Lord? (23-24; Luke 16:14-15; John 5:41-44)

* Jeremiah 23:23-24 "Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD."

* Luke 16:14-15 "The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."

* John 5:41-44 "I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?"

*

*

*

>7. Why is trusting in dreams dangerous? (25-26)

* Jeremiah 23:25-26 "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!' How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?"

*

*

*

*

>What does dream telling produce? (27; and 1 Timothy 4:1-5)

* Jeremiah 23:27 "They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship."

* 1 Timothy 4:1-5 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer."

*

*

*

*

>What does a true servant of God base his messages on? (28-29; and 1 Thessalonians 2:13; and 2 Timothy 2:15, 4:1-2; Hebrews 4:12-13)

* Jeremiah 23:28-29 "Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?" declares the LORD. "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?"

* 1 Thessalonians 2:13 "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe."

* 2 Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

* 2 Timothy 4:1-2 "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."

* Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

*

>8. Does the Lord leave false prophets alone? (30-31)

* Jeremiah 23:30-31 "Therefore," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. "Yes," declares the LORD, "I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The LORD declares.'"

*

*

*

*

*

>Why? (32)

* Jeremiah 23:32 "Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," declares the LORD. "They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least," declares the LORD."

*

*

*

*

*

III. False Prophets (23:33-40)

>9. What are we to do when someone comes to us claiming to have the word of the Lord? (33-34; and 1 John 4:1-3)

* Jeremiah 23:33-34 "When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the oracle of the LORD?' say to them, 'What oracle? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.' If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' I will punish that man and his household."

* 1 John 4:1-3 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

*

*

*

>Where were they going to learn about God's words? (35-36)

* Jeremiah 23:35-36 "This is what each of you keeps on saying to his friend or relative: 'What is the LORD's answer?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' But you must not mention 'the oracle of the LORD' again, because every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God."

*

*

*

*

*

>What did Jesus give so his people can know God's words? (John 14:16-17, 15:26-27, 16:12-15)

* John 14:16-17 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."

* John 15:26-27 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."

* John 16:12-15 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

*

*

*

>10. What is an oracle and why is it dangerous? (37-40; Deuteronomy 18:10-15; John 6:44-47)

* Jeremiah 23:37-40 "This is what you keep saying to a prophet: 'What is the LORD's answer to you?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' Although you claim, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' this is what the LORD says: You used the words, 'This is the oracle of the LORD,' even though I told you that you must not claim, 'This is the oracle of the LORD.' Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your fathers. I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace--everlasting shame that will not be forgotten."

* "oracle" -Oracles are communications from God, usually directed toward Gentile nations. (Isaiah 13:1, 15:1; Zechariah 12:1; Malahi 1:1; Jeremiah 23:34-40) The term refers both to divine responses to a question asked of God and to pronouncements made by God without His being asked. In one sense, oracles were prophecies since they often referred to the future; but oracles sometimes dealt with decisions to be made in the present. Usually, in the Bible the communication was from Yahweh, the God of Israel. In times of idol worship, however, Israelites did seek a word or pronouncement from false gods (Hos. 4:12). Many of Israel’s neighbors sought oracles from their gods.

* Concordance study shows the following meaning and use of “oracle.” Sometimes “oracle” refers to the whole of a prophetic book (Mal. 1:1 NRSV) or a major portion of one (Hab. 1:1 NRSV). In Isaiah, several smaller prophecies of judgment or punishment are called “oracles” (13:1 NRSV; 14:28 NRSV). The NRSV also entitles Zechariah 9 and 12 “An Oracle.” Specific sayings about God’s judgment on Joram (2 Kings 9:25 NRSV) and Joash (2 Chron. 24:27 NRSV) are also called oracles. Other examples, although the word oracle is not used, include Elijah’s word to Ahab (1 Kings 21:17-19) and Elisha’s word to Jehoram (2 Kings 3:13-20). On the basis of these kinds of usages, many Bible students understand oracles to be divine words of punishment or judgment. However, Balaam’s oracle (Num. 24:3-9) is a blessing. Also references to Ahithophel’s counsel (2 Sam. 16:23) and to oracles in Jerusalem which were pleasing but false (Lam. 2:14) show us that prophetic pronouncements were not always negative. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* Deuteronomy 18:10-15 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him."

* John 6:44-47 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life."

*

*

>What motivates false prophets? (6-9)

* 2 Timothy 3:6-9 "They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."

*

*

*

*

*

CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE