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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Jeremiah 23:14

"Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in deceit; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
New American Standard Bible

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gomorrah;   Minister, Christian;   Sodom;   Scofield Reference Index - Israel;   Thompson Chain Reference - Leaders;   Ministers;   Religious;   The Topic Concordance - Evil;   Prophecy and Prophets;   Sending and Those Sent;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lying;   Prophecy;   Prophets, False;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Prophecy, prophet;   Sodom;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - False Prophet;   Genesis, Theology of;   Immorality, Sexual;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Gomorrah;   Sodom;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Vine;   Holman Bible Dictionary - False Prophet;   Homosexuality;   Jeremiah;   Lamentations, Book of;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Sodom and Gomorrah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Sodom;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Gomorrah;   Sodom;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Adultery;   Horrible;   Lie;   Micaiah;   Text of the Old Testament;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chastity;   Ethics;   Sodom;  

Clarke's Commentary

Verse Jeremiah 23:14. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem — That is, the prophets of Jerusalem, while professing a pure faith, have followed the ways, and become as corrupt as the prophets of Samaria.

They are all of them unto me as Sodom — Incorrigible, brutish sinners, who will as surely be destroyed as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​acc/​jeremiah-23.html. 1832.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

“And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal, and caused my people to err. In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a terrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies; and they strengthen the hands of evil-doers, so that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them become unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is ungodliness gone forth into all the land.”

In a word, the evil prophets shall suffer the summary judgment of God. The mention of Sodom and Gomorrah here is significant. Ezekiel even stated that Israel had become “worse” than Sodom and Gomorrah (Ezekiel 16).

“Prophets of Samaria… prophets of Jerusalem” Smith analyzed the denunciation of these prophets, noting that, “The prophets of Samaria were open idolaters, whereas the prophets of Jerusalem professed the true faith but led immoral lives and lived in hypocrisy. Therefore they were more strongly condemned than the prophets of Samaria.”Scribner’s Bible Commentary (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1898), p. 443.

Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bcc/​jeremiah-23.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rather, “But in the prophets of Jerusalem” etc. Their conduct is more strongly condemned than that of the Baal-priests.

They strengthen ... - First by neglecting to warn and rebuke sinners: secondly by the direct influence of their bad example.

They are all of them - They have become, “all of them,” i. e., the people of Jerusalem, and not the prophets only.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​jeremiah-23.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

It follows,They commit adultery, and walk in deception Expositors think that there is a change of number; but what if these words be applied to the people? as though Jeremiah had said, “When any one is an adulterer, when any one walks in deception, that is, when any one is fraudulent, they strengthen, the hands of the wicked.” And, doubtless, this sense seems here to be the most correct. Then Jeremiah shews how they surpassed other prophets in impiety, even because they dissimulated when they saw on one hand adulteries prevailing, and on the other frauds, plunders, and perjuries; and not only so, but they undertook the patronizing of the wicked, and strengthened the hands of the ungodly, and added audacity to their madness. For as fear weakens the hands, so does shame; as, then, these prophets removed shame as well as fear from the wicked and ungodly, so they strengthened their hands; that is, they gave them more confidence, so that they rushed headlong into every evil more freely and with greater liberty.

That they might not return, he says, every one from his wickedness This is added for the sake of explanation; for, as I have said, either the fear of God or shame from men might have checked their audacity; but when they were confirmed and countenanced, they broke out into all excesses, and hardened themselves in their obstinacy: That they might not return, every one from his wickedness.

In the last place he adds, They shall be to me all of them as Sodom, and its inhabitants as Gomorrah We see that the last clause is confined to the citizens of Jerusalem. Then God says, that these prophets would be like the Sodomites, and the citizens of Jerusalem like the citizens of Gomorrah. This is not to be understood only as to crimes, but also as to punishment; as though he had said, that there was no more hope of pardon for them than for the Sodomites, for they had provoked to the utmost the wrath of God, so that he could not now spare them. It then follows, —

Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​cal/​jeremiah-23.html. 1840-57.

Smith's Bible Commentary

Now in chapter 23 God speaks out against those

Pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:1 ).

God said, "They're My sheep, but these pastors are scattering them and destroying them."

Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:2 ).

Those wicked pastors who were not really feeding the flock of God, but rather seeking only to fleece the flock of God. A true shepherd seeks to feed His flock. A hireling always seeks to fleece the flock of God.

If these evangelists are writing to you and in every letter they send to you there is a direct or insinuated appeal for funds, know that they're not really writing unto you because they love you and care for you. Though they may say it, "Oh, I've been thinking about you this week. And God laid a heavy burden upon my heart for you. Is everything all right, brother? Please write and tell me what's wrong with you so I can pray for you. And I'm going to go and I'm going to fast and I'm going to pray and I'm going to bring your requests before God. Now make sure that you send your request in to me immediately and please mark off how much you can send in at this time, you know." That's all a bunch of goobledygook to get to the bottom line for you to send your bucks in. There's no real concern for the flock of God. There's no real attempt. You read the letter. There's nothing there to feed your spirit. The whole thing is designed to fleece you. The whole purpose is to fleece the flock of God. That's not a true shepherd and God speaks out, "Woe unto you, shepherds, not really feeding the flock. Scattering the flock. You're destroying the flock."

Well, I'll tell you, I don't want to stand in their shoes when they have to stand before the Lord and give an account.

God said,

I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which will feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:3-4 ).

God says, "The day will come I'll bring them back. My flock that's been scattered, I'll bring them back. And I'll give them shepherds in those days who will really feed them. They'll be fruitful. They'll increase."

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the eaRuth ( Jeremiah 23:5 ).

There will come a day I'll raise up from David a righteous Branch, and He will reign in righteousness, in justice and in truth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called [Jehovah Tsidkenu] THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS ( Jeremiah 23:6 ).

Who is that righteous Branch that God shall raise up from David? Who is that One who is coming and will reign in righteousness over the earth? None other than Jehovah Shua who will then be called Jehovah Tsidkenu. Jehovah Shua is another name for Jesus, Yashua.

This is a scripture that sort of boggles the Jehovah Witnesses, because in the context you have to realize and acknowledge that surely it is talking about Jesus Christ. But His name shall be called then that name that they use exclusively for the Father. His name shall be called Jehovah Tsidkenu. That's one they haven't been able to successfully explain.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD lives, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD lives, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land ( Jeremiah 23:7-8 ).

And so God is speaking of that day of future restoration that shall come to pass when Jesus comes again. And then shall the angels be sent to the four corners of the earth to gather God's elect, the Jews, from all of the areas to which they have been scattered and God will bring them back in that day and in that day all Israel shall be saved. For God shall bring the deliverer out of Zion who will have turned the hearts of the children to the fathers. So the glorious day of God's redemptive work for the nation Israel when Jesus comes again, the righteous Branch out of David to establish the throne of God and His kingdom upon the earth and to fulfill God's promise to these people.

Now God declares,

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets ( Jeremiah 23:9 );

Actually, this is Jeremiah speaking. "My heart within me is broken." You remember he's the weeping prophet. "My heart within me is broken because of the prophets."

all my bones shake: I am like a drunken man, I'm like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:9-12 ).

So God speaks of these wicked prophets and priests who have profaned their ministries and all and God said they're on a slippery plank in the dark. Boy, I mean, that's in a bad way. Can't see where you're going and you're walking on ice. Surely they shall fall.

And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, they walk in lies: they strengthen the hands of evildoers, that none does return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants of Gomorrah ( Jeremiah 23:13-14 ).

They're just irredeemable.

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walks after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you ( Jeremiah 23:15-17 ).

The prophets were prophesying lies. "It doesn't matter how you live. You're all right. God will accept you. God really doesn't care that you live after your flesh, that you disregard His law. Doesn't really matter. Peace. No evil is going to come upon you."

There are many churches today where there is really no strong preaching of the Word. The people go and are comforted. No matter, though they are walking after their own imagination, after their own lust, they go to church and they can come out feeling very comforted, very good, because there is no real conviction of sin. There's no real preaching of righteousness or holiness before God. And the tragic thing is that people are being comforted in their evil ways, being lulled into a false sense of security. A lot of ministers today will tell you there is no hell. All the hell you're ever going to get is right here on earth. All the heaven you're ever going to get is right here on earth. There is no future judgment. And there are ministers that make fun of and scoff at the idea of hell. "Peace in this place. Surely God won't visit you for the evil that you have done. No evil will come upon you."

For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? ( Jeremiah 23:18 )

These guys are speaking for the Lord but He said, "They never sat in My council. They don't know the things that I have determined. Yet they're speaking for Me, but they don't even know what they're talking about. They haven't been in My council. They haven't heard My word."

Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he has executed, and till he has performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly ( Jeremiah 23:19-20 ).

You'll understand it completely. Hindsight is always better than foresight. When it's happened you'll look back and then you'll understand that you were being deceived by those false prophets. You'll understand that it was a lie, that they were speaking in the name of the Lord, that you were duped. God is saying the day will come. You'll look back when the calamity is fallen, when the judgment is come, then you'll realize these men were lying to you the whole while who said no evil is going to come to this place. It's going to be peace and all.

For I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? ( Jeremiah 23:21-23 )

Aren't I not right present? I'm not far off someplace where you can't reach Me or where I don't know what's going on. God doesn't dwell in some remote corner of the universe. Paul said to those Epicurean philosophers there in Athens, "This is the God I want to talk to you about, for in Him we live, we move, we have our being" ( Acts 17:28 ). It's the God who pervades all of space. You can't escape His presence.

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? ( Jeremiah 23:24 )

There is no secret sin. There is no hidden sin. God sees everything we do. You think you're hiding yourself from God or your actions from God. You're only deceiving yourself.

Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. I have heard what the prophets said, that are prophesying lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal ( Jeremiah 23:24-27 ).

So these men are telling their fancy dreams and turning people away from God.

The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:28 ).

There is a certain danger in our seeking after spiritual phenomena today whereby God might speak through a, say through, a man that is calling himself a prophet. And that you go to him and he lays his hand upon your head and begins to prophesy over you. Revealing to you things of your past. Revealing to you the things that nobody else knows until your heart is really confirmed. "Wow, this guy must really know what he's talking about."

There is in this area a few years back a lady who was doing just such a thing. She had a very uncanny ability to prophesy over people. And in her prophecy reveal secrets of their past. And many people were attracted to her and drawn to her because one of the large charismatic churches in the county featured her as the Sunday school teacher for a time. I had a young man, a minister, who had tremendous potential. I had worked with him in several summer camping programs. We had spent a lot of time together in the Word, in prayer. This young man was searching after God, seeking after God. And so he went and he heard this woman and he was attracted to her uncanny ability to be able to prophesy and to say so many things. And so he made an appointment and he went over to her house. And there she began to reveal to him all kinds of things about his past, about his beautiful, godly mother. And as she was relating these things to him he was captivated by her ability to be able to see so clearly and she began to prophesy directions and guidance for his life. She began to direct him into the contacting his mother through séances and into spiritism. And this young man who had such a tremendous potential and was used in such a glorious way by God in ministering to young people is today totally out of it. Led astray. He wouldn't listen to the counsel from the Word. This woman had really bewitched him by her gift that she possessed. But the gift really wasn't from God.

There is a danger in seeking to the supernatural phenomena for guidance or for direction rather than to God and to the Word of God. A person comes up and says, "Oh, I've had a dream. I want to tell you my dream. What does my dream mean?" Oh, I don't know. "He that has a dream let him tell his dream." To someone else. "But he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully." And yet there are those that talk about revelations from angels. Angels that visit them and sit on their beds and direct them. And people get all excited. "Oh, have you read Angels on Assignment? My!"

"He that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord." We have the Word of God. Nothing can be added to it or should be taken away from it. This is the wheat. This will produce spiritual growth. This will cause you to be strong in the Lord. This will build up your spiritual man. You may be running around looking for spiritual excitement. It's always a dangerous thing, looking for spiritual phenomena, because it's easy to be led astray. The Word of God will keep you on the path. You cannot grow by supernatural phenomena.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not opposed to the gifts and the working of the Holy Spirit. The true manifestation of the works of the Spirit are marvelous and I seek them. But all that comes must be measured and judged by the Word of God. We cannot allow experiences to become the basis for doctrinal truth. We cannot establish doctrine upon experiences. We can only establish doctrine on the sound Word of God and not upon any kind of supernatural phenomena.

A while back we had this plague of "demon, demon, who's got the demons?" And the groups were gathering together all over the United States to deliver one another from the burps or the lethargy or gluttonous demons. Tragic. Sad. People guiding each other by experiences and not by the Word of God.

But I read some of the books, and this one pastor who was heavy into this deliverance ministry was teaching the doctrine of demonology. And in the book, in the doctrine of demonology that he was teaching, he was teaching that we have the power to bind the demons and cast them into hell, into the pit. And that we should always bind the demons and cast them into the pit. Now how did he know we had that power? Because when he was exorcising a demon, the demon told him, "Don't cast me into the pit." And he said, "Oh, do I have that power?" The demon said, "Yes, you have that power to cast me in the pit. Please don't do it." So you have a doctrine that is based upon the word of a demon. Now Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. Surely the demons are liars, too. How can you base a doctrine upon what is said by a demon whose basic character is that of lying? But you see how easily you can be swayed to look to something else for the truth. "What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord."

Is not my word like a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? ( Jeremiah 23:29-37 )

Rather than saying, "What's the burden of the Lord, brother?" Just say, "What's the Lord answered you or what hath the Lord spoken?" Because this thing of the burden of the Lord, they were all the false prophets were using that.

But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD ( Jeremiah 23:38 );

A lot of people going around today saying, "Oh, the Lord lays such a heavy burden on me, man. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it. God laid this heavy burden on me." Are you sure? Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, My burden is light" ( Matthew 11:30 ). I think the people can lay heavy burdens on us. Many times the church lays heavy burdens on people. Many times we take heavy burdens on ourselves. Now let's not blame the Lord for it. God's not going to lay such a burden on you that it's going to drive you to a nervous breakdown. God's not going to lay such a burden on you that you can't really function with your family because you're so upset and so nervous and so uptight over this pressure that is on you. "But if I don't do it, you know, they're going to be calling me. And oh, I don't know what I'm going to do. This burden of the Lord, the burden of the Lord." No, no, no, it's not the burden of the Lord. It's something that man has laid on you, the church has laid on you. You take it on yourself, but God didn't lay it on you because Jesus said, "My burden is light, My yoke is easy."

Some people say to me, "I don't know how you can pastor a church with that many people." I say, "Well, I don't either." But it's really not difficult. It's not a heavy burden. I don't go around just, you know, pressed down and just groaning and just, "Hope I can make it another day." I don't feel it. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. There's no big pressure. There is no big deal because His yoke is easy, His burden is light. I've oftentimes told people it was much harder to pastor a little church of twenty-five people in Prescott than it is to pastor Calvary Chapel. I had many heavier burdens there than I have here. This is a piece of cake.

But God says, "Forget that burden of the Lord stuff. I'm tired of hearing that. I don't want to hear it anymore. Just say, 'What did the Lord say?' Or, 'How has the Lord answered you?' But don't, don't, don't use that burden of the Lord bit."

Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence ( Jeremiah 23:39 ):

If you use this term any more.

And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten ( Jeremiah 23:40 ).

So that's one phrase I'd sure stay away from if I were you.

"





Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​jeremiah-23.html. 2014.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Prophecies about false prophets 23:9-40

Having given a true prophecy about the future, Jeremiah proceeded to announce God’s judgment on the false prophets who were misleading His people with false prophecies (cf. Jeremiah 23:1). [Note: See Leon Wood, The Prophets . . ., ch. 7: "False Prophecy in Israel," for a good discussion of this subject, or Edward J. Young, My Servants the Prophets, ch. VII: "Prophets False and True."] This section consists of six different messages that Jeremiah delivered at various times, which the writer placed together in the text because of their common subject (Jeremiah 23:9-40).

The first pericope is a general indictment of the false prophets (Jeremiah 23:9-12).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​jeremiah-23.html. 2012.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

But the prophets of Jerusalem, the capital of the Southern Kingdom, had been even more unfaithful since they prophesied falsely in Yahweh’s name. They also committed spiritual (and physical) adultery, lived lies, and encouraged evildoers. Consequently, the Judahites had not repented of their wickedness but had become as wicked as the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah-who espoused departure from God’s will openly (Genesis 18:22 to Genesis 19:29; Ezekiel 16). Jerusalem could expect severe judgment since the Lord had judged these pagan cities severely.

"Along with easy views of sin go rosy views of judgment . . ." [Note: Kidner, p. 91.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​jeremiah-23.html. 2012.

Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing,.... Or "but", or "so have I seen", c. as before observed even in the prophets of Jerusalem, where the temple was, and where the pure worship of God was professed to be observed, and that now, at the present time; as he had formerly seen and observed what was foolish, ridiculous, and impious, in the prophets of the ten tribes, and had punished them for it; so now at this instant he sees that in the prophets of Judea which was enough to make a man's hair stand an end, as the word u signifies; or, as it may be derived from another root, what was "filthy" w and obscene; as follows:

they commit adultery; or, "in committing adultery" x; with their neighbours' wives; for this rather than idolatry or spiritual adultery seems to be meant:

and walk in lies; or, "walking in lies" y; constantly speaking lies in their common talk and conversation; so that they were not to be believed in anything they said; which was monstrous; and delivering out false doctrines in the name of the Lord, pretending they received them from him; which was worse than prophesying in the name of Baal:

they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they hardened them in sin; partly by their false doctrines, extenuating their sins, putting a false gloss upon them, and promising them peace, though they lived in sin; and partly by their own wicked examples; the people concluding that what the prophets did they might do also; so that they never thought of repentance for their sins, or amendment of their lives; but went on in sin without remorse or reformation; not thinking anything about it, and not seeing any need of it; see Ezekiel 13:22;

they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah; the prophets were all of them in God's account as the men of Sodom; who were exceeding great sinners before the Lord, daring and impudent in sinning; and the people, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that were led by them into the same wicked sentiments and practices, were like unto Gomorrah; and as they were like to them in sinning, So they would be in punishment; or a like punishment would be inflicted upon the prophets and people of Jerusalem as were upon Sodom and Gomorrah; see Isaiah 1:9.

u שערורה a שער, "pilus". w "Turpitudinem", Munster, Montanus. x נאוף "adulterando", Junius Tremellius, Schmidt. y והלך בשקר "et eundo in mendacio", Schmidt "et ambulando in falsitate", Junius & Tremellius.

Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​jeremiah-23.html. 1999.

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Guilt of False Prophets. B. C. 600.

      9 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.   10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.   11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.   12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.   13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.   14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.   15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.   16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.   17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.   18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?   19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.   20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.   21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.   22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.   23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?   24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.   25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.   26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;   27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.   28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.   29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?   30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.   31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.   32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

      Here is a long lesson for the false prophets. As none were more bitter and spiteful against God's true prophets than they, so there were none on whom the true prophets were more severe, and justly. The prophet had complained to God of those false prophets (Jeremiah 14:13; Jeremiah 14:13), and had often foretold that they should be involved in the common ruin; but here they have woes of their own.

      I. He expresses the deep concern that he was under upon this account, and what a trouble it was to him to see men who pretended to a divine commission and inspiration ruining themselves, and the people among whom they dwelt, by their falsehood and treachery (Jeremiah 23:9; Jeremiah 23:9): My heart within me is broken; I am like a drunken man. His head was in confusion with wonder and astonishment; his heart was under oppression with grief and vexation. Jeremiah was a man that laid things much to heart, and what was any way threatening to his country made a deep impression upon his spirits. He is here in trouble, 1. Because of the prophets and their sin, the false doctrine they preached, the wicked lives they lived; especially it filled him with horror to hear them making use of God's name and pretending to have their instruction from him. Never was the Lord so abused, and the words of his holiness, as by these men. Note, The dishonour done to God's name, and the profanation of his holy word, are the greatest grief imaginable to a gracious soul. 2. "Because of the Lord, and his judgments, which by this means are brought in upon us like a deluge." He trembled to think of the ruin and desolation which were coming from the face of the Lord (so the word is) and from the face of the word of his holiness, which will be inflicted by the power of God's wrath, according to the threatenings of his word, confirmed by his holiness. Note, Even those that have God for them cannot but tremble to think of the misery of those that have God against them.

      II. He laments the abounding abominable wickedness of the land and the present tokens of God's displeasure they were under for it (Jeremiah 23:10; Jeremiah 23:10): The land is full of adulterers; it is full both of spiritual and corporal whoredom. They go a whoring from God, and, having cast off the fear of him, no marvel that they abandon themselves to all manner of lewdness; and, having dishonoured themselves and their own bodies, they dishonour God and his name by rash and false swearing, because of which the land mourns. Both perjury and common swearing are sins for which a land must mourn in true repentance or it will be made to mourn under the judgments of God. Their land mourned now under the judgment of famine; the pleasant places, or rather the pastures, or (as some read it) the habitations of the wilderness, are dried up for want of rain, and yet we see no signs of repentance. They answer not the end of the correction. The tenour and tendency of men's conversations are sinful, their course continues evil, as bad as ever, and they will not be diverted from it. They have a great deal of resolution, but it is turned the wrong way; they are zealously affected, but not in a good thing: Their force is not right; their heart is fully set in them to do evil, and they are not valiant for the truth, have not courage enough to break off their evil courses, though they see God thus contending with them.

      III. He charges it all upon the prophets and priests, especially the prophets. They are both profane (Jeremiah 23:11; Jeremiah 23:11); the priests profane the ordinances of God they pretend to administer; the prophets profane the word of God they pretend to deliver; their converse and all their conversation are profane, and then it is not strange that the people are so debauched. They both play the hypocrite (so some read it); under sacred pretensions they carry on the vilest designs; yea, not only in their own houses, and the bad houses they frequent, but in my house have I found their wickedness; in the temple, where the priests ministered, where the prophets prophesied, there were they guilty both of idolatry and immorality. See a woeful instance in Hophni and Phinehas, 1 Samuel 2:22. God searches his house, and what wickedness is there he will find it out; and the nearer it is to him the more offensive it is. Two things are charged upon them:-- 1. That they taught people to sin by their examples. He compares them with the prophets of Samaria, the head city of the kingdom of the ten tribes, which had been long since laid waste. It was the folly of the prophets of Samaria that they prophesied in Baal, in Baal's name; so Ahab's prophets did, and so they caused my people Israel to err, to forsake the service of the true God and to worship Baal, Jeremiah 23:13; Jeremiah 23:13. Now the prophets of Jerusalem did not do so; they prophesied in the name of the true God, and valued themselves upon that, that they were not like the prophets of Samaria, who prophesied in Baal; but what the better, when they debauched the nation as much by their immoralities as the other had done by their idolatries? It is a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem that they make use of the name of the holy God, and yet wallow in all manner of impurity; they make nothing of committing adultery. They make use of the name of the God of truth, and yet walk in lies; they not only prophesy lies, but in their common conversation one cannot believe a word they say. It is all either jest and banter or fraud and design. Thus they encourage sinners to go on in their wicked ways; for every one will say, "Surely we may do as the prophets do; who can expect that we should be better than our teachers?" By this means it is that none returns from his wickedness; but they all say that they shall have peace, though they go on, for their prophets tell them so. By this means Judah and Jerusalem have become as Sodom and Gomorrah, that were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly; and God looked upon them accordingly as fit for nothing but to be destroyed, as they were, with fire and brimstone. 2. That they encouraged people in sin by their false prophecies. They made themselves believe that there was no harm, no danger in sin, and practiced accordingly; and then no marvel that they made others believe so too (Jeremiah 23:16; Jeremiah 23:16): They speak a vision of their own heart; it is the product of their own invention, and agrees with their own inclination, but it is not out of the mouth of the Lord; he never dictated it to them, nor did it agree either with the law of Moses or with what God has spoken by other prophets. They tell sinners that it shall be well with them though they persist in their sins, Jeremiah 23:17; Jeremiah 23:17. See here who those are that they encourage--those that despise God, that slight his authority, and have low and mean thoughts of his institutions, and those that walk after the imagination of their own heart, that are worshippers of idols and slaves to their own lusts; those that are devoted to their pleasures put contempt upon their God. Yet see how these prophets caressed and flattered them: they should have been still saying, There is no peace to those that go on in their evil ways--Those that despise God shall be lightly esteemed--Woe, and a thousand woes, to them; but they still said, You shall have peace; no evil shall come upon you. And, which was worst of all, they told them, God has said so, so making him to patronize sin, and to contradict himself. Note, Those that are resolved to go on in their evil ways will justly be given up to believe the strong delusions of those who tell them that they shall have peace though they go on.

      IV. God disowns all that these false prophets said to sooth people up in their sins (Jeremiah 23:21; Jeremiah 23:21): I have not sent these prophets; they never had any mission from God. They were not only not sent by him on this errand, but they were never sent by him on any errand; he never had employed them in any service or business for him; and, as to this matter, whereas they pretended to have instructions from him to assure this people of peace, he declares that he never gave them any such instructions. Yet they were very forward--they ran; they were very bold--they prophesied without any of that difficulty with which the true prophets sometimes struggled. They said to sinners, You shall have peace. But (Jeremiah 23:18; Jeremiah 23:18): "Who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord? Who of you has, that are so confident of this? You deliver this message with a great deal of assurance; but have you consulted God about it? No; you never considered whether it be agreeable to the discoveries God has made of himself, whether it will consist with the honour of his holiness and justice, to let sinners go unpunished. You have not perceived and heard his word, nor marked that; you have not compared this with the scripture; if you had taken notice of that, and of the constant tenour of it, you would never have delivered such a message." The prophets themselves must try the spirits by the touchstone of the law and of the testimony, as well as those to whom they prophesy; but which of those did so that prophesied of peace? That they did not stand in God's counsel nor hear his word is proved afterwards, Jeremiah 23:22; Jeremiah 23:22. If they had stood in my counsel, as they pretend, 1. They would have made the scriptures their standard: They would have caused my people to hear my words, and would have conscientiously kept closely to them. But, not speaking according to that rule, it is a plain evidence that there is no light in them. 2. They would have made the conversion of souls their business, and would have aimed at that in all their preaching. They would have done all they could to turn people from their evil way in general and from all the particular evil of their doings. They would have encouraged and assisted the reformation of manners, would have made this their scope in all their preaching, to part between men and their sins; but it appeared that this was a thing they never aimed at, but, on the contrary, to encourage sinners in their sins. 3. They would have had some seals of their ministry. This sense our translation gives it: If they had stood in my counsel, and the words they had preached had been my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way; a divine power should have gone along with the word for the conviction of sinners. God will bless his own institutions. Yet this is no certain rule; Jeremiah himself, though God sent him, prevailed with but few to turn from their evil way.

      V. God threatens to punish these prophets for their wickedness. They promised the people peace; and to show them the folly of that God tells them that they should have no peace themselves. They were very unfit to warrant the people, and pass their word to them that no evil shall come upon them, when all evil is coming upon themselves and they are not aware of it, Jeremiah 23:12; Jeremiah 23:12. Because the prophets and priests are profane, therefore their ways shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness. Those that undertake to lead others, because they mislead them, and know they do so, shall themselves have no comfort in their way. 1. They pretend to show others the way, but they shall themselves be in the dark, or in a mist; their light or sight shall fail, so that they shall not be able to look before them, shall have no forecast for themselves. 2. They pretend to give assurances to others, but they themselves shall find no firm footing: Their ways shall be to them as slippery ways, in which they shall not go with any steadiness, safety, or satisfaction. 3. They pretend to make the people easy with their flatteries, but they shall themselves be uneasy: They shall be driven, forced forward as captives, or making their escape as those that are pursued, and they shall fall in the way by which they hoped to escape, and so fall into the enemies' hands. 4. They pretend to prevent the evil that threatens others, but God will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, the time fixed for calling them to an account; such a time is fixed concerning all that do not judge themselves, and it will be an evil time. The year of visitation is the year of recompenses. It is further threatened (Jeremiah 23:15; Jeremiah 23:15), I will feed them with wormwood, or poison, with that which is not only nauseous, but noxious, and make them drink waters of gall, or (as some read it) juice of hemlock; see Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 9:15. Justly is the cup of trembling put into their hand first, for from the prophets of Jerusalem, who should have been patterns of piety and every thing that is praiseworthy, even from them has profaneness gone forth into all the lands. Nothing more effectually debauches a nation than the debauchery of ministers.

      VI. The people are here warned not to give any credit to these false prophets; for, though they flattered them with hopes of impunity, the judgments of God would certainly break out against them, unless they repented (Jeremiah 23:16; Jeremiah 23:16): "Take notice of what God says, and hearken not to the words of these prophets; for you will find, in the issue, that God's word shall stand, and not theirs. God's word will make you serious, but they make you vain, feed you with vain hopes, which will fail you at last. They tell you, No evil shall come upon you; but hear what God says (Jeremiah 23:19; Jeremiah 23:19), Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury. They tell you, All shall be calm and serene; but God tells you, There is a storm coming, a whirlwind of the Lord, of his sending, and therefore there is no standing before it. It is a whirlwind raised by divine wrath; it has gone forth in fury, a wind that is brought forth out of the treasuries of divine vengeance; and therefore it is a grievous whirlwind, and shall light heavily, with rain and hail, upon the head of the wicked, which they cannot avoid nor find any shelter from." It shall fall upon the wicked prophets themselves who deceived the people, and the wicked people who suffered themselves to be deceived. A horrible tempest shall be the portion of their cup,Psalms 11:6. This sentence is bound on as irreversible (Jeremiah 23:20; Jeremiah 23:20): The anger of the Lord shall not return, for the decree has gone forth. God will not alter his mind, nor suffer his anger to be turned away, till he have executed the sentence and performed the thoughts of his heart. God's whirlwind, when it comes down from heaven, returns not thither, but accomplishes that for which he sent it,Isaiah 55:11. This they will not consider now; but in the latter days you shall consider it perfectly, consider it with understanding (so the word is) or with consideration. Note, Those that will not fear the threatenings shall feel the execution of them, and will then perfectly understand what they will not now admit the evidence of, what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of a just and jealous God. Those that will not consider in time will be made to consider when it is too late. Son, remember.

      VII. Several things are here offered to the consideration of these false prophets for their conviction, that, if possible, they might be brought to recant their error and acknowledge the cheat they had put upon God's people.

      1. Let them consider that though they may impose upon men God is too wise to be imposed upon. Men cannot see through their fallacies, but God can and does. Here,

      (1.) God asserts his own omnipresence and omniscience in general, Jeremiah 23:23; Jeremiah 23:24. When they told the people that no evil should befall them though they went on in their evil ways they went upon atheistical principles, that the Lord doth not see their sin, that he cannot judge through the dark cloud, that he will not require it; and therefore they must be taught the first principles of their religion, and confronted with the most incontestable self-evident truths. [1.] That though God's throne is prepared in the heavens, and this earth seems to be at a distance from him, yet he is a God here in this lower world, which seems to be afar off, as well as in the upper world, which seems to be at hand, Jeremiah 23:23; Jeremiah 23:23. The eye of God is the same on earth that it is in heaven. Here it runs to and fro as well as there (2 Chronicles 16:9); and what is in the minds of men, whose spirits are veiled in flesh, is as clearly seen by him as what is in the mind of angels, those unveiled spirits above that surround his throne. The power of God is the same on earth among its inhabitants that it is in heaven among its armies. With us nearness and distance make a great difference both in our observations and in our operations, but it is not so with God; to him darkness and light, at hand and afar off, are both alike. [2.] That, how ingenious and industrious soever men are to disguise themselves and their own characters and counsels, they cannot possibly be concealed from God's all-seeing eye (Jeremiah 23:24; Jeremiah 23:24): "Can any hide himself in the secret places of the earth, that I shall not see him? Can any hide his projects and intentions in the secret places of the heart, that I shall not see them?" No arts of concealment can hide men from the eye of God, nor deceive his judgment of them. [3.] That he is every where present; he does not only rule heaven and earth, and uphold both by his universal providence, but he fills heaven and earth by his essential presence, Psalms 139:7; Psalms 139:8, c. No place can either include him or exclude him.

      (2.) He applies this to these prophets, who had a notable art of disguising themselves (Jeremiah 23:25; Jeremiah 23:26): I have heard what the prophets said that prophesy lies in my name. They thought that he was so wholly taken up with the other world that he had no leisure to take cognizance of what passed in this. But God will make them know that he knows all their impostures, all the shams they have put upon the world, under colour of divine revelation. What they intended to humour the people with they pretended to have had from God in a dream, when there was no such thing. This they could not discover. If a man tell me that he dreamed so and so, I cannot contradict him; he knows I cannot. But God discovered the fraud. Perhaps the false prophets whispered what they had to say in the ears of such as were their confidants, saying, So and so I have dreamed; but God overheard them. The heart-searching eye of God traced them in all the methods they took to deceive the people, and he cries out, How long? Shall I always bear with them? Is it in the hearts of those prophets (so some read it) to be ever prophesying lies and prophesying the deceits of their own hearts? Will they never see what an affront they put upon God, what an abuse they put upon the people, and what judgments they are preparing for themselves?

      2. Let them consider that their palming upon people counterfeit revelations, and fathering their own fancies upon divine inspiration, was the ready way to bring all religion into contempt and make men turn atheists and infidels; and this was the thing they really intended, though they frequently made mention of the name of God, and prefaced all they said with, Thus saith the Lord. Yet, says God, They think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams. They designed to draw people off from the worship of God, from all regard to God's laws and ordinances and the true prophets, as their fathers forgot God's name for Baal. Note, The great thing Satan aims at is to make people forget God, and all that whereby he has made himself known; and he has many subtle methods to bring them to this. Sometimes he does it by setting up false gods (bring men in love with Baal, and they soon forget the name of God), sometimes by misrepresenting the true God, as if he were altogether such a one as ourselves. Pretenses to new revelation may prove as dangerous to religion as the denying of all revelation; and false prophets in God's name may perhaps do more mischief to the power of godliness than false prophets in Baal's name, as being less guarded against.

      3. Let them consider what a vast difference there was between their prophecies and those that were delivered by the true prophets of the Lord (Jeremiah 23:28; Jeremiah 23:28): The prophet that has a dream, which was the way of inspiration that the false prophets most pretended to, if he has a dream, let him tell it as a dream; so Mr. Gataker reads it. "Let him lay no more stress upon it than men do upon their dreams, nor expect any more regard to be had to it. Let them not say that it is from God, nor call their foolish dreams divine oracles. But let the true prophet, that has my word, speak my word faithfully, speak it as a truth" (so some read it): "let him keep closely to his instructions, and you will soon perceive a vast difference between the dreams that the false prophets tell and the divine dictates which the true prophets deliver. He that pretends to have a message from God, whether by dream or voice, let him declare it, and it will easily appear which is of God and which is not. Those that have spiritual senses exercised will be able to distinguish; for what is the chaff to the wheat? The promises of peace which these prophets make to you are no more to be compared to God's promises than chaff to wheat." Men's fancies are light, and vain, and worthless, as the chaff which the wind drives away. But the word of God has substance in it; it is of value, is food for the soul, the bread of life. Wheat was the staple commodity of Canaan, that valley of vision, Deuteronomy 8:8; Ezekiel 27:17. There is as much difference between the vain fancies of men and the pure word of God as between the chaff and the wheat. It follows (Jeremiah 23:29; Jeremiah 23:29), Is not my word like a fire, saith the Lord? Is their word so? Has it the power and efficacy that the word of God has? No; nothing like it; there is no more comparison than between painted fire and real fire. Theirs is like an ignis fatuus--a deceiving meteor, leading men into by-paths and dangerous precipices. Note, The word of God is like fire. The law was a fiery law (Deuteronomy 33:2), and of the gospel Christ says, I have come to send fire on the earth,Luke 12:49. Fire has different effects, according as the matter is on which it works; it hardens clay, but softens wax; it consumes the dross, but purifies the gold. So the word of God is to some a savour of life unto life, to others of death unto death. God appeals here to the consciences of those to whom the word was sent: "Is not my word like fire? Has it not been so to you? Zechariah 1:6. Speak as you have found." It is compared likewise to a hammer breaking the rock in pieces. The unhumbled heart of man is like a rock; if it will not be melted by the word of God as the fire, it will be broken to pieces by it as the hammer. Whatever opposition is given to the word, it will be borne down and broken to pieces.

      4. Let them consider that while they went on in this course God was against them. Three times they are told this, Jeremiah 23:30; Jeremiah 23:31; Jeremiah 23:32. Behold, I am against the prophets. They pretended to be for God, and made use of his name, but were really against him; he looks upon them as they were really, and is against them. How can they be long safe, or at all easy, that have a God of almighty power against them? While these prophets were promising peace to the people God was proclaiming war against them. They stand indicted here, (1.) For robbery: They steal my word every one from his neighbour. Some understand it of that word of God which the good prophets preached; they stole their sermons, their expressions, and mingled them with their own, as hucksters mingle bad wares with some that are good, to make them vendible. Those that were strangers to the spirit of the true prophets mimicked their language, picked up some good sayings of theirs, and delivered them to the people as if they had been their own, but with an ill grace; they were not of a piece with the rest of their discourses. The legs of the lame are not equal, so is a parable in the mouth of fools,Proverbs 26:7. Others understand it of the word of God as it was received and entertained by some of the people; they stole it out of their hearts, as the wicked one in the parable is said to steal the good seed of the word, Matthew 13:19. By their insinuations they diminished the authority, and so weakened the efficacy, of the word of God upon the minds of those that seemed to be under convictions by it. (2.) They stand indicted for counterfeiting the broad seal. Therefore God is against them (Jeremiah 23:31; Jeremiah 23:31), because they use their tongues at their pleasure in their discourses to the people; they say what they themselves think fit, and then father it upon God, pretend they had it from him, and say, He saith it. Some read it, They smooth their tongues; they are very complaisant to the people, and say nothing but what is pleasing and plausible; they never reprove them nor threaten them, but their words are smoother than butter. Thus they ingratiate themselves with them, and get money by them; and they have the impudence and impiety to make God the patron of their lies; they say, "He saith so." What greater indignity can be done to the God of truth than to lay the brats of the father of lies at his door? (3.) They stand indicted as common cheats (Jeremiah 23:32; Jeremiah 23:32): I am against them, for they prophesy false dreams, pretending that to be a divine inspiration which is but an invention of their own. This is a horrid fraud; nor will it excuse them to say, Caveat emptor--Let the buyer take care of himself, and Si populus vult decipi, decipiatur--If people will be deceived, let them. No; it is the people's fault that they err, that they take things upon trust, and do not try the spirits; but it is much more the prophets' fault that they cause God's people to err by their lies and by their lightness, by the flatteries of their preaching soothing them up in their sins, and by the looseness and lewdness of their conversation encouraging them to persist in them. [1.] God disowns their having any commission from him: I sent them not, nor commanded them; they are not God's messengers, nor is what they say his message. [2.] He therefore justly denies his blessing with them: Therefore they shall not profit this people at all. All the profit they aim at is to make them easy; but they shall not so much as do that, for God's providences will at the same time be making them uneasy. They do not profit this people (so some read it); and more is implied than is expressed; they not only do them no good, but do them a great deal of hurt. Note, Those that corrupt the word of God, while they pretend to preach it, are so far from edifying the church that they do it the greatest mischief imaginable.

Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Jeremiah 23:14". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​jeremiah-23.html. 1706.
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