Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets spake many things which are hard for people to understand. Why? “For they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.” 2 Nephi 25:1 Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others use the past events to prophesy the future. Jesus when speaking of Isaiah’s prophecy said, “. . . And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake.” 3 Nephi 23:1-3
The Jews understand this manner of prophesying. As gentiles, we might think that Jeremiah is only talking about the past. To help us along, Jeremiah tells us the timeframe for the fulfillment of this prophecy. “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.” Jeremiah 23:20
1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
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.
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.
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.
Who are the pastors that are suppose to feed the Lord’s people? What have the pastors been doing to the sheep? What is the Lord going to do about it? What have the sheep been afraid of? How many people believe they are damned without these pastors and their teachings? When the Lord sets up shepherds, who feed and care for the flock, what will be the result?
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.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.
Who is this king that shall reign and prosper?
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;
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.
Does this mean that there will be a deliverance that is greater than when Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt? What is this vast latter day deliverance? Who will be delivered from whom? Who will come to the rescue?
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.
What is Jeremiah experiencing? And why? Remember, he is seeing the latter days in vision.
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.
Where has the Lord found wickedness? If the Lord has found wickedness in his temple, why does He still call it “my house”? Who claims to be a prophet in these latter days? Who is the Lord talking about? What does He mean, “Their force is not right”? Are people going to individually be held accountable for following profane prophets?
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.
What are these slippery ways in the darkness? What is the Lord going to do? Are prophets and priests allowed to lead people astray before they’re punished? When is the year of their visitation?
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 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.