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.

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 title, from Jeremiah 23:15, is the LORD continuing from the previous post, here again speaking of the false prophets in church and state. These men’s lies have led the nation and world into mass delusion, constricting (puthon) divinations, like a python squeezing the life from them (breath). The demons in the minds of these men claim their squeeze is a hug, showing their love, because they care so much, which we will see are the “flatteries” spoken of in Daniel 11:34.

The loving Christians, the effeminate and afraid, show their love by telling God’s people to sit still and have peace in the serpent’s hold. They say God’s word is a burden, as they steal it away from His people to whom He sends it. Their words are the unbearable burden that crushes men’s lives: their falsely speaking for the LORD as self-appoint prophets resisting and opposing His deliverance. It is their words that are wormwood and gall, cursing and venom from every mouth, to whom the LORD sends cursing and venom. “With the pure you will show yourself pure; and with the froward [those who twist and pervert God’s truth – which includes all churches and denominations] you will show yourself unsavory.”

Jeremiah 23
1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.
2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, says 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, says the LORD.
5 Behold, the days come, says 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 [HE is the one whose ways are truth, correct, right, and just].
7 Therefore, behold, the days come, says the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD lives, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8 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.
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 has 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 mourns; 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, says 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, says 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 an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none does return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
15 Therefore thus says 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 says 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 has said, You shall have peace; and they say unto everyone that walks after the imagination of his own heart [the things they invent in their wicked minds], No evil shall come upon you.
18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard his word? who has 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 you 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, says the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? says the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? says 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 neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
28 The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? says the LORD.
29 Is not my word like as a fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbor.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He says.
32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, says 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, says the LORD.
33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? you shall then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, says the LORD.
34 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.
35 Thus shall you say every one to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, What has the LORD answered? and, What has the LORD spoken?
36 And the burden of the LORD shall you mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for you have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
37 Thus shall you say to the prophet, What has the LORD answered you? and, What has the LORD spoken?
38 But since you say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus says the LORD; Because you say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, You shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
39 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:
40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

The word describing the lies of these false prophets as “profaneness,” in the title verse, is the one-time used Hebrew word chanuphah. It is the feminine form of the eleven-times used word chaneph, which means “to soil, especially in a moral sense” and is referring to the effect of their poison on the mind. It’s the word used in verse 11 above, rendered “propane,” in telling us where these effeminate men think they are hidden from the LORD. “For both prophet and priest are profane [chaneph]; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, says the LORD.”

Jeremiah, the LORD in him raising His people with His rising, uses chaneph four other times, all in Jeremiah 3. There He is speaking to His people, all churches and denominations, Christian or Jew, and any who will join their ranks as friends.

Jeremiah 3
1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly [chaneph] polluted [chaneph]? but you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, says the LORD.
2 Lift up your eyes unto the high places, and see where you have not been lien with. In the ways have you sat for them, as the Arabian [as intermixing darkness with light {dusky}, lies with truth] in the wilderness; and you have polluted [chaneph] the land with your whoredoms [following other men, their corrupt ideas and ways – their invention which led you astray] and with your wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain [because you strayed, and put these men above Me, you haven’t been able to receive the word from heaven]; and you have a whore’s forehead [the mark of ignorance is in your mind, confusion that comes from following these men and their misleading], you refused to be ashamed [you refused to see the end, the salvation, they promise is unreachable, and instead leads to destruction – perdition].
4 Will you not from this time cry unto me, My father, you are the guide of my youth?
5 Will he reserve his anger forever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, you have spoken and done evil things as you could.
6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king [the days Jehovah laid the foundation, which is the health of His people], Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot.
7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn you unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah [the leaders of His people] saw it.
8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled [chaneph] the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks [in which there is no breath of life].
10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned unto me with her whole heart [they follow but don’t really believe it’s Jehovah’s presence, His salvation, risen in the flesh], but feignedly, says the LORD.
11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel has justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you backsliding Israel [all God’s people at large], says the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, says the LORD, and I will not keep anger forever.
13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD.
14 Turn, O backsliding children, says the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16 And it shall come to pass, when you be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem [His teaching, which is the only foundation of true peace and security]: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart [the things they invent in their own minds and make gods above God].
18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel [one church, one body of CHRIST – NEW JERUSALEM], and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.
19 But I said, How shall I put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, You shall call me, My father; and shall not turn away from me.
20 Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, says the LORD.
21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.
22 Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto you; for you are the LORD our God.
23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains [the high place of the earth, all the seats of power]: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
24 For shame has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covers us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

Friends, returning to the LORD, who Has never left us, is salvation now when it is most needed. These wicked men will continue in their wickedness and will destroy any that follow them. Their words, their flatteries, false love and feigned caring, are wormwood and gall: cursing men and poisoning minds. These wicked men are those Daniel describe in Daniel 11 as kings who rule over God’s people

Daniel 11
32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt [chaneph] by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide [as it is now divided] the land for gain.

The word rendered “flatteries” in verse 32 above is chalaqqah, a one-time used word, from the word chalaq, meaning they are smooth words, false promises, lies meant to separate or divide. The original meaning of chalaq is found when it is used in Genesis 49:7 to tell of when the LORD says of Simeon and Levi, “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel: I will divide [chalaq] them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

It is then used in Genesis 49:27 to tell of when Benjamin will divide the spoil. Here again is the chapter, with the deeper meaning found there, as we’ve discussed many times. It is telling of how God’s people were separated from Him and their true king (the shepherd who is their foundation stone), and when they are joined, as one, again.

Genesis 49
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
4 Unstable [pachaz – ebullition] as water [this tells of the advice of the serpent, as one of God’s children, with unbridled license, recklessly reinterpreting His word], you shall not excel; because you went up to your father’s bed [went into the women – God’s people who have His words]; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch [took God’s place].
5 Simeon and Levi are brethren [names meaning, those hearing and joining this teaching that replace God’s]; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
6 O my soul, come not you into their secret [their hidden counsel]; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not you united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they dug down a wall [by this they brought death on all man, and removed the protection found in the garden].
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide [chalaq] them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel [speaking of the continual scattering of God’s people into many sects].
8 Judah [the leaders God chooses], you are he whom your brethren shall praise: your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet [speaking of the Davidic king line], until Shiloh come [meaning peace and tranquility – the one {Joseph’s seed – the one separated} from who it will again flow – see Ezekiel 21:27 and the overturning]; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine [this speaking the lowly {Zechariah 9:9}, God’s elect remnant, outside the established sects, bound until Shiloh comes, when they are loosed]; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13 Zebulun [the lowly raised up at the LORD’s coming] shall dwell at the haven of the sea [safe from the masses]; and he shall be for an haven of ships [and saving any who come to the LORD through them]; and his border shall be unto Zidon [they will be the end of those who’ve hunted souls].
14 Issachar [through him will come the reward – the fruitful bough] is a strong ass [the LORD’s people, now become His goodly horse in the battle – Zechariah 10:3] couching down between two burdens:
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
16 Dan [the judge – speaking of strength returned and the righteous judgment of the world begins] shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way [as a serpent raised as a standard on a pole {nec}], an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels [this the heel bruised in the judgment, meaning the serpents among the people, are rendered without effect], so that his rider shall fall backward [so the body of Christ will return to the place from which she fell – see, in Isaiah 28:13, what causes them to fall backward].
18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad [the LORD’s army, overcome until their return to Him], a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 Out of Asher [happy] his bread shall be fat [happiness returns when the word of God prospers], and he shall yield royal dainties [ma’adan – speaking of the royal line again raised up – referring us to its use in Proverbs 29:17, telling us this is when rest returns, when we, by correction, give the Father “delight”].
21 Naphtali [by this wrestling – unknowingly with the LORD] is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words [our tongue {the word of God} is loosed and we teach it as received directly from Him].
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well [a tree of life by these waters of God]; whose branches run over the wall [the wall of lies men have created and teach]:
23 The archers [ba’al – the gods of this world whose teaching has blinded all from seeing the Father, in the son, the seed of the women who brings forth the man child – see Revelation 12:17] have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25 Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under [the deep meaning that lies below the surface], blessings of the breasts, and of the womb [seed, the son]:
26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors [all those who have come before us, and were only blessed with part of what is perfected in our return to the LORD] unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
27 Benjamin [the right hand of God’s power] shall ravin as a wolf [shall tear in pieces the wolf that has scattered the one flock]: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide [chalaq] the spoil. [These last words are referring us to Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the son spoken of in beginning Isaiah 8, his name meaning he hastes to the spoil and is quick to the prey. He is the son foretold as coming by the virgin, later called Immanuel, as the advice, teaching, of the LORD comes, when men have formed a confederacy listening to the dead gods of the world.]

The word rendered “flatteries” in Daniel 11:34 above is the four-times used word chalaqlaqqah, the same word appearing in Jeremiah 23:12 above. It is there rendered “slippery” in telling of these ways in darkness, in ignorance, wherein the wicked fall. “11 For both prophet and priest are profane [chaneph]; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, says the LORD. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery [chalaqlaqqah] 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, says the LORD.”

This slippery way is referring us back to the wormwood and gall the LORD says he will feed these men, which causes them to fall by their ignorance.

Amos 6
12 Shall horses run upon the rock [will they not slip if ignorant and do]? will one plow there with oxen [should these ignorant men work in such a slippery place]? for you have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock [la’anah – wormwood]:
13 You which rejoice in a thing of naught, which say, Have we not taken to us horns [the power to oppress God’s people] by our own strength?
14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, says the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath [their walled fortress of lies and deception – that have caused the mass delusion of an invisible monster] unto the river of the wilderness.

Amos 7
1 Thus has the LORD God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers [men as locust] in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowing [the destruction of economic growth by these tyrants who rule over God’s people as kings – with edicts for which they have no authority].
2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O LORD God, forgive, I beseech you: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
3 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, says the LORD.
4 Thus has the LORD God shewed unto me: and, behold, the LORD God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.

Amos 5
6 Seek the LORD, and you shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
7 You who turn judgment to wormwood [la’anah], and leave off righteousness in the earth,
8 Seek him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night: that calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
9 That strengthens the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
10 They hate him that rebukes in the gate, and they abhor him that speaks uprightly.

Psalms 35
1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am your salvation.
4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery [chalaqlaqqah]: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have dug for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he has hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto you, which delivers the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoils him?
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourns for his mother.
15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17 LORD, how long will you look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation: I will praise you among much people.
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye has seen it.
22 This you have seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O LORD, be not far from me.
23 Stir up yourself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my LORD.
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28 And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.