Thus shall you say to the prophet, What has the LORD answered you? and, What has the LORD spoken?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thus shalt thou say to the prophet . . .—The verse repeats Jeremiah 23:35, with the one difference that men are to use this, the simpler form of language, when they come to the prophet, as well as when they are speaking one to another. The affectation of big words was equally out of place in either case. In modern phraseology, the whole passage is a protest against the hypocrisy which shows itself in cant—i.e., in the use of solemn words that have become hollow and unmeaning.
living God—not lifeless as their dumb idols, ever living so as to be able to punish.Thus shalt thou say to the prophet; to my true prophet. You shall speak to them reverently, and as becometh you.
what hath the Lord answered thee? and what hath the Lord spoken? this is repeated from Jeremiah 23:35; for the confirmation of it, and for the direction of the people, and to show how much the Lord approved of such a way of behaving towards his prophet, and himself by him.Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Jeremiah 23:29, but with the main idea of the previous verses, the conduct of the false prophets there exposed. הנני על, behold, I will be against them, will come upon them as an enemy; cf. Ezekiel 5:8. The practice of these prophets is characterized in three ways, yet without marking out three classes of unworthy men. One habit of theirs is that of stealing the word of God one from another. Not inspired of God themselves, they tried to appropriate words of God from other prophets in order to give their own utterances the character of divine oracles. Another is: they take their tongues and say, God's word, i.e., they use their tongues to speak pretended words from God. The verb ינאמוּ occurs only here; elsewhere only the participle נאם, and that almost always joined with יהוה in the sig. effatum Domini; here without it, but in the same sense. The root meaning of נאם is disputed. Connected etymologically with נהם, המה, it doubtlessly denotes originally, that which is whispered, Jahveh's secret confidential communication; but it is constantly used, not for the word of God as silently inspired by God, but as softly uttered by the prophet. The meaning is not: their prophesying is "mere wagging of the tongue, talk according to their own caprice" (Graf); but: they give out their sayings for God's, whereas God speaks neither to nor by them. Finally, their third way of doing consists in feigning revelations by means of dreams, which are but deceptive dreams. At this point the discourse falls back on the description in Jeremiah 23:26. The words "and lead my people astray" refer to all their three ways of acting before characterized. פּחזוּת is their boasting of revelations from God. Then comes
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