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Book of Jeremiah - Chapter 23 - Verse 21

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.


This verse from the Book of Jeremiah highlights the dangers of false prophets who claim to speak on behalf of God without actually being appointed or authorized by Him. In this passage, God is expressing His disapproval of prophets who are running around proclaiming messages in His name without His instruction or permission. These false prophets are spreading lies and leading people astray with their deceitful words. God is cautioning His people to be wary of those who claim to have divine revelation but are not truly connected to Him. The verse serves as a reminder to always discern the authenticity of prophetic messages and to test them against the truth of God's Word. Through this verse, God is warning His followers to be vigilant and discerning in order to avoid being misled by those who profess to have divine insight but lack the true authority of God.

Theological Overview

When examining the theological interpretation of Jeremiah 23:21, it is crucial to understand the context of the verse within the larger narrative of false prophets misleading the people of Israel. The verse serves as a rebuke from God to those prophets who claim to speak in His name without receiving any divine commission. The imagery of prophets running and prophesying without being sent or spoken to by God underscores the seriousness of their deception. These false prophets were driven by their own ambitions and desires, seeking to gain influence and power by falsely claiming to speak on behalf of the Lord.

Through word studies, we can delve deeper into the meaning of the verse. The word 'prophets' in this context refers to those who claim to have insight into the divine will but actually speak falsehood. The word 'ran' conveys a sense of urgency and zeal in propagating their deceitful messages. The word 'prophesied' underscores the act of making predictions or declarations about the future under the guise of divine inspiration. By examining these words in their original Hebrew context, we gain a clearer understanding of the deceptive practices of these false prophets and the gravity of their actions in the eyes of God.

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