Jeremiah 23:33
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the message from the LORD?' say to them, 'What message? I will forsake you, declares the LORD.'

New Living Translation
"Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, 'What prophecy has the LORD burdened you with now?' You must reply, 'You are the burden! The LORD says he will abandon you!'

English Standard Version
“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.’

New American Standard Bible
"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.'

King James Bible
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Now when these people or a prophet or a priest asks you, 'What is the burden of the LORD?' you will respond to them: What is the burden? I will throw you away"--this is the LORD's declaration.

International Standard Version
"Jeremiah, when these people, the prophet, or a priest ask you, 'What is the oracle of the LORD?' say to them, 'You are the burden, and I'll cast you out,'" declares the LORD.

NET Bible
The LORD said to me, "Jeremiah, when one of these people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, 'What burdensome message do you have from the LORD?' Tell them, 'You are the burden, and I will cast you away. I, the LORD, affirm it!

New Heart English Bible
'When this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, "What is the burden of the LORD?" Then you shall tell them, "You are the burden, and I will cast you off," says the LORD.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"When these people, the prophets, or the priests ask you, 'What revelation has the LORD burdened you with now?' say to them, 'You are the burden! I will abandon you, declares the LORD.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying: 'What is the burden of the LORD?' then shalt thou say unto them: 'What burden! I will cast you off, saith the LORD.'

New American Standard 1977
“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 shall abandon you.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when this people or the prophet or the priest shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will forsake you, said the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? you shall then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, says the LORD.

American King James Version
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? you shall then say to them, What burden? I will even forsake you, said the LORD.

American Standard Version
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of Jehovah? then shalt thou say unto them, What burden! I will cast you off, saith Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If therefore this people, or the prophet, or the priest shall ask thee, saying: What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt say to them: You are the burden: for I will cast you away, saith the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
And when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, ask thee, saying, What is the burden of Jehovah? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even cast you off, saith Jehovah.

English Revised Version
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? then shalt thou say unto them, What burden! I will cast you off, saith the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say to them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.

World English Bible
When this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of Yahweh? Then you shall tell them, What burden! I will cast you off, says Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
And when this people, or the prophet, Or a priest, doth ask thee, saying, What is the burden of Jehovah? Then thou hast said unto them: Ye are the burden, and I have left you, An affirmation of Jehovah.
Study Bible
False Oracles
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.…
Cross References
Isaiah 13:1
The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

Jeremiah 12:7
"I have forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; I have given the beloved of My soul Into the hand of her enemies.

Jeremiah 23:39
"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.

Nahum 1:1
The oracle of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Habakkuk 1:1
The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Zechariah 9:1
The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD),

Malachi 1:1
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.
Treasury of Scripture

And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? you shall then say to them, What burden? I will even forsake you, said the LORD.

What.

Jeremiah 17:15 Behold, they say to me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.

Jeremiah 20:7,8 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger …

Isaiah 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

Isaiah 14:28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.

Nahum 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Habakkuk 1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

I.

Jeremiah 23:39,40 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will …

Jeremiah 12:7 I have forsaken my house, I have left my heritage; I have given the …

Deuteronomy 31:17,18 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will …

Deuteronomy 32:19,20 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking …

2 Chronicles 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear you me, Asa, and …

Psalm 78:59,60 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel…

Hosea 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that …

(33) The burden of the Lord.--The English expresses the literal meaning of the word, "something lifted up, or borne." It passed, however, as the English equivalent has done, through many shades of meaning, and became, in the language of the prophets, one of the received terms for a solemn, emphatic utterance. In 1Chronicles 15:22; 1Chronicles 15:27 it is applied to the chanted music of the Temple. Isaiah had brought it into use (see Note on Isaiah 13:1), and employs it twelve times as the title of special prophecies. Jeremiah never uses it of his own messages, probably, as this verse indicates, because it had become a favourite formula with the false prophets. This seems a more rational view than that which assumes that the false prophets applied the words in mockery to his utterances as being "burdens" in the ordinary sense of the word, oppressive and intolerable.

What burden?--The false prophets had come, not without a supercilious scorn, asking, with affected grandeur, what burden, what oracle Jeremiah had from Jehovah. He repeats their question with a deeper scorn, and tells them that for them the "burden" tells of exile and shame. A different division of the words of the prophet's answer (which presents some exceptional grammatical difficulties) gives a rendering adopted by the LXX. and Vulgate, "Ye are the burden"--i.e., it is about you and for you.

I will even forsake you.--Better, I will cast you off, with a play upon the literal sense of the word "burden." They have made themselves too grievous to be borne. Jehovah will disburden Himself of them.

Verses 33-40. - The abuse of a consecrated phrase. The prophets were accustomed to apply the term massa to their prophetic declarations in the sense of "oracle," or "utterance" - a sense derived from the use of the cognate verb for "to lift up the voice," i.e. to pronounce clearly and distinctly. But the word massa was also in common use for "load, burden," and hence the "false prophets" applied the term derisively to Jeremiah's discourses. "Rightly does he call his word a massa; it is not merely a solemn utterance, but a heavy burden; as De Wette puts it, not merely a Weissagung, but a Wehsagung. The passage is important as indicating the sense in which the true prophets understood the term. It should be added that the term mused is prefixed to at least four Biblical passages which, not being of threatening import, do not admit of being entitled "burdens" (Zechariah 9:1; Zechariah 12:1; Proverbs 30:1; Proverbs 31:1; comp. Lamentations 2:14). How remarkable is the line adopted by Jeremiah 1 He simply abandons the use Of the term massa, consecrated as it was by the practice of inspired men! Better to adopt a new phrase, than to run the risk of misunderstanding or, even worse, profanity. Verse 33. - What burden? etc. The Hebrew text, as usually read, is extremely difficult; the Authorized Version is entirely unjustifiable. It is just possible to explain, with Ewald, "As to this question, What is the burden? the true meaning of the word is that," etc. But how harsh and artificial! By a change in the grouping of the consonants (which alone constitute the text), we may read, Ye are the burden. So the Septuagint, Vulgate, Hitzig, Graf, Payne Smith. We must in this case continue, and I will cast you off, as the same verb is to be rendered in Jeremiah 7:29; Jeremiah 12:7. Instead of carrying you with the long-suffering of a father (Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 46:3, 4; Isaiah 63:9; Psalm 28:9), I will east you off as a troublesome load (Isaiah 1:14). And when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee,.... Any of the people, who were grown very profane; or any of the false prophets, who encouraged them in their irreligion and impiety; or any of the priests, who were in combination with them against the true prophets of the Lord; when any of these, in a scoffing jeering manner, should ask the Prophet Jeremiah,

saying, what is the burden of the Lord? or prophesy in the name of the Lord, as the Targum; and because some of the prophecies are called "burdens", see Isaiah 13:1; hence, by way of derision, they called every one so; and because many of these, though not all, were predictions of judgments and calamities that were to come on men; therefore they accounted all that the true prophets brought from the Lord as such, and sneering asked, what bad news do you bring now? what calamities are now to befall us? as if he was always a bringer of evil tidings;

thou shalt then say unto them, what burden? making as if he was ignorant of what they meant; or rather as expressing indignation and resentment at the question; do you ask me such a question? I will tell you what it is, as follows: though the words may be rendered without an interrogation, "thou shalt then say unto them, that which is a burden" (t); which will fall heavy upon them, and be a burden unto them, and sink them down into ruin and destruction;

I will even forsake you, saith the Lord; so that they should have no more of his presence among them, or of prophecy with them, or of his protection of them.

(t) "dicito ad eos quodnam onus sit", Schmidt. So the Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. 33. What is the burden—play on the double sense of the Hebrew: an oracle and a burden. They scoffingly ask, Has he got any new burden (burdensome oracle: for all his prophecies are disasters) to announce (Mal 1:1)? Jeremiah indignantly repeats their own question, Do you ask, What burden? This, then, it is, "I will forsake you." My word is burdensome in your eyes, and you long to be rid if it. You shall get your wish. There will be no more prophecy: I will forsake you, and that will be a far worse "burden" to you.23:33-40 Those are miserable indeed who are forsaken and forgotten of God; and men's jesting at God's judgments will not baffle them. God had taken Israel to be a people near to him, but they shall now be cast out of his presence. It is a mark of great and daring impiety for men to jest with the words of God. Every idle and profane word will add to the sinner's burden in the day of judgment, when everlasting shame will be his portion.
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