We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 23:1 "Woe be unto the
pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the

     We decided in a previous lesson, that pastor meant the same thing
as shepherd. The false shepherd, whether then, or now, has no regard
for the sheep. He is interested only in his own welfare. I believe
this Scripture is speaking to the leaders of the people then, but also
to the leaders in our churches today. Notice 2 things these false
shepherds do; they scatter and destroy the sheep.

     Jeremiah 23:2 "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."

     The food, here, is the Word of God. It is extremely important to
bring the Word of God in absolute truth. The majority of the people
are greatly influenced by the message the shepherd brings. If the
message is truth, it brings life, and health, and joy in the LORD. If
the message they bring is not truth, then it brings death to the body
and the soul. The statement "LORD God of Israel" lets us know that the
crime against the evil shepherd is false religion. Israel did not, and
does not, have many gods. The LORD God is their only God. This is true
of the Jewish nation who is physical Isreal, and it is true of all
believers in Christ {spiritual Israel}. It was really the leaders who
had scattered the people to the foreign lands with their false

     Jeremiah 23:3 "And 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."

     God has always had a remnant of His people. This has more than
one fulfillment. We know that the very thing, this is speaking of,
happened at the end of the Babylonian captivity. The sheep came back
to Israel. It, also, is in the process of coming about today in
Israel. In 1948, Israel became a nation and ever since, Israelis from
all over the world have been coming to the homeland. There seems to be
a truth, also, to the fruitfulness of the Hebrews. They think children
are a blessing from God. They, also, feel as if God has not looked
kindly upon them, when they do not have children. The promised land
{Israel} is growing in population every day.

     Jeremiah 23:4 "And I will set up shepherds over them which shall
feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall
they be lacking, saith the LORD."

     God had miraculously provided for the Israelites over and over.
The best example was the 40 years they wandered on their way to the
promised land. God fed them with mannah from heaven.  God will choose
men of good character to lead His sheep. The great Shepherd {Jesus
Christ} is the real Shepherd. Others, who watch over smaller flocks
are actually subordinate to Him.

     Jeremiah 23:5  "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 earth."

     This is a prophecy about the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ was
their Messiah. He is the righteous Branch. He was the Lion of the
tribe of Judah. He was of the house of David. His Father was God. When
it speaks of His reign, it is speaking of Him coming back to the earth
as King of kings and Lord of lords. He {Jesus Christ} is the righteous

     Jeremiah 23:6 "In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall
dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE

     I personally believe this is looking ahead to the 1000 year
reign, of Jesus Christ as King and Lord. We do know that many times
there is more than one meaning for a prophetic Scripture. Judah, in
the verse above, could be speaking of Judah and Benjamin coming back
into their homeland, after their captivity. There has really never
been a time in the past when Judah was saved and Israel dwelled
safely. I believe this is speaking of that special time when Satan
will be bound for a thousand years, and all who believe in Jesus will
reign on this earth with Him. Notice, this special name, THE LORD OUR
RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus Christ is our righteousness. He will reign as
Lord of lords and King of kings during this special time. There will
be perfect peace, because the King of Peace will be here.

     Jeremiah 23:7 "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD,
that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the
children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;"  Jeremiah 23:8 "But, The
LORD liveth, 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."

     God is not the God of yesterday, He is the great I AM. He is God
of the present. He is alive. He eternally exists. Again, we see two
meanings here. God did bring them out of Babylon back to Jerusalem.
He, also, is bringing them from the lands all over the world right
now.  They shall dwell in their own lands.

     Jeremiah 23:9  "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."

     Jeremiah has jumped back to the way he was feeling in his own
heart about the false prophets who had led the people astray. His
bones shook from the weeping he was doing. Being like a drunken man,
or like a man whom wine has overcome, just means he could not control
his grief. Jeremiah is overwhelmed by the holiness of God, and cannot
understand why the false prophets are not overcome by God's holiness,
as well.

     Jeremiah 23:10 "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

     This adultery was both physical and spiritual. Swearing would be
connected with spiritual adultery. God tells us not to swear at all.
Swearing, then, would be breaking the commandments of God. One of the
false worship services, that had been going on, had to do with male
and female prostitutes. We can easily see why the curse of God would
be on the land.

     Jeremiah 23:11 "For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in
my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD."

     We studied in another lesson how the priest and the false
prophets were involved in idol worship. It had gotten so bad, they
were mixing it with worship in the temple.

     Jeremiah 23:12 "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."

     People, who are living for God, walk in the Light. We see their
walk was in darkness. This means they were not worshipping God. A
person will slip and fall in the darkness. God will bring the evil
upon them to punish them for their unfaithfulness. If the blind lead
the blind, they will both fall in the ditch. The priests were blind,
so they were leading the people into blindness, too.

     Jeremiah 23:13 "And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria;
they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err."

     Not only were the family of Judah and Benjamin following false
gods, but the false prophets of Samaria who believed in the worship of
the false god Baal, had led Israel astray.

     Jeremiah 23:14 "I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an
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."

     The false prophets in Jerusalem were leading their people into a
licentious religion of free sex. They were an adulterous group. In
Sodom and Gomorah, God could not find even 10 righteous. It appears,
it was that bad in Jerusalem. Most everyone was involved in the
worship of false gods.

     Jeremiah 23:15 "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."

     The false prophets were even more responsible for their sins,
than the people they prophesied to. Their punishment is more severe,
as well. "Wormwood" means bad water. Their punishment would be bitter
as gall. They really encouraged the sin of the people. They had
influenced the people to sin.

     Jeremiah 23:16 "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."

     The words Jeremiah prophesied had been put in his mouth by God.
They were actually God's Words in Jeremiah's mouth. These false
prophets were prophesying from their own evil thoughts. God says, "Do
not listen to the false prophets". Even today, we must be careful who
and what we listen to. The best rule is, if they recognize Jesus as
God manifest in the flesh, they are of God, if they do not, don't
listen to them. Check everything out with the Bible. Do not be

     Jeremiah 23:17 "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."

     It is dangerous to follow your own desires. The flesh will lead
you astray. It reminds me so much of our day. So many teach, if it
feels good, do it. That is a religion of the flesh, and not of the
spirit. We must not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We must conform to
the commandments of God.

     Jeremiah 23:18 "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]?"

     I really do not believe anyone can stand in the presence of God.
To be in the presence of God, would put you on your face before Him in
humble adoration. The false prophets had not been in the presence of
God. We know that some few, like Paul, had been in the presence of
God, but certainly none of these who brought the false religion, had
seen Him. Had they perceived {understood} His Word, they would not
have brought a false teaching. The answer to the question then, was
none of them.

     Jeremiah 23:19 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.

     The fury of the LORD descended upon the wicked, will appear to be
a terrible storm. There will be no way to stop it.
                         Jeremiah 24 Questions

1.  In verse 1, who is the woe spoken about?
2.  The __________ shepherd has no regard for the sheep.
3.  What are 2 things these shepherds do?
4.  What was the food in verse 2?
5.  A true message brings _______, ________, and ______.
6.  What does "LORD God of Israel" reveal to us about verse 2?
7.  Verse 3 says, He will gather the remnant from where?
8.  When are two different times this could be speaking of?
9.  How do Hebrews feel about having children?
10. Where will the shepherds come from, that will feed them properly?
11. Who is the great Shepherd?
12. What is verse 5 a prophecy of?
13. Who is the righteous Branch?
14. When it speaks of His reign, what time is it speaking of?
15. In verse 6, His name shall be called ________ ______ ______ ____.
16. What special time does the author believe verse 6 is speaking of?
17. What will they say, instead of saying the LORD that brought them
    out of Egypt?
18. God is not the God of __________.
19. He is the great __ ___.
20. How badly did Jeremiah feel about the false prophets?
21. The land is full of _____________--.
22. Swearing was associated with ____________ __________.
23. What was one of the false worship services involved with?
24. Who does verse 11 say is profane?
25. People, who are living for God, walk in the __________.
26. Verse 13 says, I have seen folly in the prophets of ________.
27. The evil, in verse 14, is compared to ________ and _________.
28. What would God give these false prophets to drink?
29. The false prophets' vision was from their own _______.
30. What would you be doing in the presence of God, rather than stand?
31. What appears to be a storm from the Lord in verse 19?