|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:23-32 Men cannot be hidden from God's all-seeing eye. Will they never see what judgments they prepare for themselves? Let them consider what a vast difference there is between these prophecies and those delivered by the true prophets of the Lord. Let them not call their foolish dreams Divine oracles. The promises of peace these prophets make are no more to be compared to God's promises than chaff to wheat. The unhumbled heart of man is like a rock; if not melted by the word of God as a fire, it will be broken to pieces by it as a hammer. How can they be long safe, or at all easy, who have a God of almighty power against them? The word of God is no smooth, lulling, deceitful message. And by its faithfulness it may certainly be distinguished from false doctrines.
Verse 26. - How long shall this be in the heart, etc.? i.e. how long shall this be their purpose, viz. to prophesy lies? But this rendering leaves out of account a second interrogative which in the Hebrew follows "how long." It is better to translate this difficult passage, with De Dieu and many moderns, thus: "How long (quousque durabit haec ipsorum impudentia)? Is it in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies, and the prophets of the deceit of their own heart; are they thinking (I say) to cause my people to forget," etc.? On this view, ver. 27 resumes the question interrupted in ver. 26.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies?.... To invent such lies, and deceive the people, and turn them away from God; agreeably to the preceding and following verses: this shows that this was not through ignorance and inadvertence; it was a meditated and studied thing by them; they contrived it in their hearts, and they were resolute and bent upon it, and took much delight and pleasure in it; their hearts were in it, and it was in them to do as they did; and in this way they had been long, but should continue no longer. Or the words may be rendered, "how long?" (h) and a stop be put there, being a short abrupt expression, like that in Psalm 6:3; and the sense be, how long shall they go on thus, pretending to dreams, and visions, and revelations from the Lord, and so impose upon the people? shall they always go on after this manner? no, they shall not: and then the next words may be read, "is there any thing in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies?" (i) nothing that is good; truth is not there; nothing but lies and deceit; the word of God is not there, as it is with the true prophet of the Lord, "he that hath my word", as in Jeremiah 23:28; there is no fear of God, nor knowledge of him and his will, nor faith in him, nor love to him, or any regard to his honour and glory;
yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts; they prophesy nothing but what their own deceitful hearts suggest to them, whereby they are deceived themselves, and deceive others, 2 Timothy 3:13.
(h) "quousque?" Cocceius, Schmidt; "quousque tandem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "usque quando?" De Dieu. (i) "an est in corde prophetarum?", De Dieu, Gataker, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. prophets—a different Hebrew form from the usual one, "prophesiers." "How long," cries Jeremiah, impatient of their impious audacity, "shall these prophecy-mongers go on prophesying lies?" The answer is given in Jer 23:29-34.
Jeremiah 23:26 Parallel Commentaries
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