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Thread: What does "burden of the Lord" mean?

  1. #1

    What does "burden of the Lord" mean?

    For the sake of context, I'll quote the parts of the chapter that are relevant. What does it mean when someone asks, "What is the burden of the Lord?" or says "The burden of the Lord...?"

    Why do they say this, what is the context, what is the meaning please? Thank you!



    11(A) "Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
    even(B) in my house I have found their evil,

    declares the LORD. 12(C) Therefore their way shall be to them
    like slippery paths(D) in the darkness,
    into which they shall be driven and fall,
    for I will bring disaster upon them
    (E) in the year of their punishment,

    declares the LORD. 13In the prophets of(F) Samaria
    (G) I saw an unsavory thing:
    (H) they prophesied by Baal
    (I) and led my people Israel astray.
    14But in the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen a horrible thing:
    (J) they commit adultery and walk in lies;
    (K) they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    so that no one turns from his evil;
    (L) all of them have become like Sodom to me,
    and its inhabitants like Gomorrah."
    15Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophetsM) "Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
    (N) and give them poisoned water to drink,
    for from the prophets of Jerusalem
    ungodliness has gone out into all the land."
    16Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you,(O) filling you with vain hopes.(P) They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD,(Q) 'It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who(R) stubbornly follows his own heart, they say,(S) 'No disaster shall come upon you.'"

    18For(T) who among them has stood in the council of the LORD
    to see and to hear his word,
    or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
    19(U) Behold, the storm of the LORD!
    Wrath has gone forth,
    (V) a whirling tempest;
    it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
    20(W) The anger of the LORD will not turn back
    until he has executed and(X) accomplished
    the intents of his heart.
    In the latter days you will understand it clearly.


    21(Y) "I did not send the prophets,
    yet they ran;
    I did not speak to them,
    yet they prophesied.
    22(Z) But if they had stood in my council,
    then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
    (AA) and they would have turned them from their evil way,
    and(AB) from the evil of their deeds.


    23(AC) "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? 24(AD) Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD.(AE) Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. 25I have heard what the prophets have said(AF) who prophesy lies in my name, saying,(AG) 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' 26How long shall there be lies in the heart of(AH) the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27who think to make my people forget my name(AI) by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their(AJ) fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28(AK)



    Let the prophet who has a dream(AL) tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.(AM) What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. 29(AN) Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and(AO) like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30(AP) Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the LORD.' 32Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and(AQ) lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when(AR) I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.


    33(AS) "When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, 'What is the burden of the LORD?' you shall say to them, 'You are the burden,[a] and(AT) I will cast you off, declares the LORD.' 34And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, 'The burden of the LORD,'(AU) I will punish that man and his household. 35Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, 'What has the LORD answered?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' 36But 'the burden of the LORD' you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and(AV) you pervert the words of(AW) the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.



    37Thus you shall say to the prophet, 'What has the LORD answered you?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' 38But if you say, 'The burden of the LORD,' thus says the LORD, 'Because you have said these words, "The burden of the LORD," when I sent to you, saying, "You shall not say, 'The burden of the LORD,'" 39therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and(AX) cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40(AY) And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'"
    Tit 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

  2. #2
    ThyWordIsTruth:
    What does "burden of the Lord" mean?
    In Jeremiah 23:38, the "burden of the LORD" refers to a prophecy from God. That's why the original Greek word translated as "burden" in Jeremiah 23:38 is translated as "prophecy" in Proverbs 30:1 and Proverbs 31:1, and why Isaiah the prophet used the same Hebrew word to refer to so many of his prophecies as "burdens" (Isaiah 13:1, 14:28, 15:1, 17:1, 19:1, 21:1, 22:1, 23:1, 30:6), and why Zechariah the prophet used the same Hebrew word to refer to a couple of his prophecies as the "burden" of the word of the LORD (Zechariah 9:1, 12:1).

    What does it mean when someone asks, "What is the burden of the Lord?"
    Jeremiah 23:33 refers to people coming to Jeremiah the prophet and asking him what prophecy he had received from God.

    Jeremiah 23:36 means that God wanted the Jews in Jeremiah's time to quit using the phrase "the burden of the Lord" when they asked various prophets in Judah what prophetic word they had received from God, because that phrase had become so grossly misused: most of the prophets in Jeremiah's time had become thoroughly corrupt and were giving out false prophetic messages and dreams that were not from God (Jeremiah 23:11-32).

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bible2 View Post
    In Jeremiah 23:38, the "burden of the LORD" refers to a prophecy from God. That's why the original Greek word translated as "burden" in Jeremiah 23:38 is translated as "prophecy" in Proverbs 30:1 and Proverbs 31:1, and why Isaiah the prophet used the same Hebrew word to refer to so many of his prophecies as "burdens" (Isaiah 13:1, 14:28, 15:1, 17:1, 19:1, 21:1, 22:1, 23:1, 30:6), and why Zechariah the prophet used the same Hebrew word to refer to a couple of his prophecies as the "burden" of the word of the LORD (Zechariah 9:1, 12:1).



    Jeremiah 23:33 refers to people coming to Jeremiah the prophet and asking him what prophecy he had received from God.

    Jeremiah 23:36 means that God wanted the Jews in Jeremiah's time to quit using the phrase "the burden of the Lord" when they asked various prophets in Judah what prophetic word they had received from God, because that phrase had become so grossly misused: most of the prophets in Jeremiah's time had become thoroughly corrupt and were giving out false prophetic messages and dreams that were not from God (Jeremiah 23:11-32).
    Is this word commonly used for the English word "prophecy" or is there another more common Hebrew word for prophecy?

    I'm just wondering if the translators translated it as burden to make a distinction from the word "prophecy."
    Tit 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

  4. #4
    ThyWordIsTruth:
    Is this word commonly used for the English word "prophecy" or is there another more common Hebrew word for prophecy?
    In the KJV there is another Hebrew noun (Strong's #5016) used to refer to a "prophecy", but it is used only three times: in 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 15:8; and Nehemiah 6:12. There is yet another Hebrew noun (Strong's #5030, which is almost always used to refer to a "prophet") which is translated as "prophecy" only one time: in Daniel 9:24.

    The Hebrew noun (Strong's #4853) translated as "burden" in your passage from Jeremiah 23 is translated as "prophecy" only twice: in Proverbs 30:1 and Proverbs 31:1. It is translated much more often as "burden", even when it is referring to a prophecy, such as in the following verses:

    Isaiah 13:1
    Isaiah 14:28
    Isaiah 15:1
    Isaiah 17:1
    Isaiah 19:1
    Isaiah 21:1,11,13
    Isaiah 22:1
    Isaiah 23:1
    Jeremiah 23:33,34,36,38
    Ezekiel 12:10
    Nahum 1:1
    Habakkuk 1:1
    Zechariah 9:1
    Zechariah 12:1
    Malachi 1:1

    I'm just wondering if the translators translated it as burden to make a distinction from the word "prophecy."
    No, because they also felt free to translate it as "prophecy" in Proverbs 30:1 and Proverbs 31:1. They probably kept it as "burden" all of the other times it was referring to a prophecy because the same Hebrew noun (Strong's #4853) was also used to refer to a literal, physical burden which was carried (e.g. Jeremiah 17:21-27).

    The question then becomes: why would the ancient Jews so often refer to a prophecy using the same word they used for a literal, physical burden? Because the prophet felt the "burden" of the prophecy upon his soul? And/or because the prophecy of doom became a mental "burden" upon the ones doomed by the prophecy?

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