Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.CHAPTER 23:1-8
1. The false shepherds (Jeremiah 23:1-4)
2. The True Shepherd (Jeremiah 23:5-8)
Jeremiah 23:1-4. The word “pastors” means “shepherds.” Ezekiel received a larger message about these false shepherds, the hirelings who did not feed the flock. (See annotations of Ezekiel 34:1-31 The scattered remnant of the Lord’s flock (not the Church, but the remnant of Israel) will yet be gathered out of all countries, be fruitful and increase, no longer fearful, dismayed or in want. It is a prophecy concerning the time when the Shepherd of Israel, their King as well, is manifested.
Jeremiah 23:5-8. A great Messianic prophecy follows. “The Righteous Branch,” the Son of David, whose name is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jehovah Zdidkenu) is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the King who will reign and prosper, executing judgment and justice in the earth. The prophecy is unfulfilled. He came as the Son of David, the promised King. He offered that kingdom to Israel; they rejected Him. But He is coming again, and in that day of glory this great prediction will be accomplished. His people Israel will be saved Romans 11:25-36. Their wonderful restoration from the north and from all the countries will then take place.
Mine heart within me is broken because of the 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.CHAPTER 23:9-40
Condemnation of the False Prophets
1. Jeremiah’s lament on account of the false prophets (Jeremiah 23:9-14)
2. The condemnation of these prophets (Jeremiah 23:15-32)
3. Forgotten and forsaken (Jeremiah 23:33-40)
Jeremiah 23:9-14. The prophet is overwhelmed because of the wicked prophets, because in the LORD’s house wickedness was found. The false prophets of Samaria had led the people into idolatry and the prophets of Judah were guilty of all kinds of immoralities. Like priests, like people; they all became unto the Lord as Sodom, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem like Gomorrah.
Jeremiah 23:15-32. They will be fed with wormwood and will have to drink gall. On account of their false message of peace (Jeremiah 23:17-18), the whirlwind of divine judgment will fall upon them and upon the head of the wicked. They prophesied lies in the name of Jehovah; they were prophets of the deceit of their own heart. They tried to make the people forget the Name of Jehovah. Such is today still the work of apostate teachers, who speak out of the deceit of their hearts, who prophesy lies and who aim at the Name which is above every Name. How different is the word of the Lord, from the idle dreams of these false prophets. “Is not My word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29). Three times the Lord declares He is against these prophets (Jeremiah 23:30-32) .
Jeremiah 23:33-40. If they ask the question, “What is the burden of the LORD?” the answer is to be, “I will cast you off.” The burden, or word of the Lord is not to be mentioned again to them. They will be utterly forgotten and forsaken, with everlasting reproach and perpetual shame upon them.