Jeremiah 29 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
29 Following is the text of the letter Yirmeyahu the prophet sent from Yerushalayim to the leaders remaining in exile, as well as to the cohanim, the prophets and all the people N’vukhadnetzar had carried off captive from Yerushalayim to Bavel. 2 This was after Y’khanyah the king, the queen mother, the officers, the leaders of Y’hudah and Yerushalayim, and the artisans and skilled workers had left Yerushalayim. 3 The letter was entrusted to El‘asah the son of Shafan and G’maryah the son of Hilkiyah; Tzidkiyah king of Y’hudah sent them to Bavel, to N’vukhadnetzar king of Bavel. The letter said:
4 “Here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says to all those in exile, whom I have caused to be carried off captive from Yerushalayim to Bavel: 5 ‘Build yourselves houses, and live in them. Plant gardens, and eat what they produce. 6 Choose women to marry, and have sons and daughters. Choose wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage to men, so that they can have sons and daughters — increase your numbers there, don’t decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city to which I have caused you to go in exile, and pray to Adonai on its behalf; for your welfare is bound up in its welfare.’ 8 For this is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘Don’t let your prophets who are living among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t pay attention to the dreams you urge them to dream. 9 For they are prophesying falsely in my name; I have not sent them,’ says Adonai.
10 “For here is what Adonai says: ‘After Bavel’s seventy years are over, I will remember you and fulfill my good promise to you by bringing you back to this place. 11 For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai,‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. 12 When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; 14 and I will let you find me,’ says Adonai. ‘Then I will reverse your exile. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you,’ says Adonai, ‘and bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’
15 “You say that Adonai has raised up prophets for you in Bavel. 16 But here is what Adonai says about the king occupying David’s throne and about all the people living in this city, your kinsmen who did not go into exile with you — 17 thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot: ‘I will attack them with sword, famine and plague; I will make them like bad figs, so bad they are inedible. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine and plague and make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth; and they will bring on themselves cursing, astonishment, ridicule and reproach among all the nations where I have driven them; 19 because they have not paid attention to my words,’ says Adonai, ‘which I sent to them through my servants the prophets. I sent them frequently, but you refused to listen,’ says Adonai.
20 “So pay attention now to the word of Adonai, all of you in exile, whom I sent away from Yerushalayim to Bavel. 21 Here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says about Ach’av the son of Kolayah and Tzidkiyahu the son of Ma‘aseiyah, who prophesy lies to you in my name: ‘I will hand them over to N’vukhadretzar king of Bavel, and he will put them to death before your eyes. 22 In fact, all those exiled from Y’hudah who are in Bavel will take up this formula for cursing: “May Adonai make you like Tzidkiyahu and Ach’av, whom the king of Bavel roasted in the fire!” 23 because they have done vile things in Isra’el, committing adultery with their neighbors’ wives and speaking words in my name, falsely, which I did not order them to say. For I am he who knows; I am witness to this,’ says Adonai.
24 “To Sh’ma‘yah the Nechelami you are to communicate this message: 25 ‘This is a word from Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, because of the letters you sent in your own name to all the people in Yerushalayim, including Tz’fanyah the son of Ma‘aseiyah the cohen and all the cohanim. 26 Your letter said, “Adonai has made you cohen in place of Y’hoyada the cohen, in order to have officials in Adonai’s house who will arrest any crazy person who makes himself out to be a prophet, so that you can restrain him in stocks and collar. 27 So why haven’t you rebuked Yirmeyahu of ‘Anatot, who makes himself out to be a prophet for you? 28 He even sends word to us in Bavel saying that the exile will last a long time; so build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat what they produce.” 29 Tz’fanyah the cohen read this letter to Yirmeyahu the prophet, and afterwards 30 the word of Adonai came to Yirmeyahu, 31 instructing him to send to all those in exile this message: “Here is what Adonai says about Sh’ma‘yah the Nechelami: ‘This Sh’ma‘yah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send him, and has caused you to put your trust in a lie. 32 Because of this,’ Adonai says, ‘I will punish Sh’ma‘yah the Nechelami and his offspring. He will not have a man to live among this people, and he will not see the good I am planning to do for my people,’ says Adonai, ‘because he has preached rebellion against Adonai.’”’”
Jeremiah 29 New International Version (NIV)
A Letter to the Exiles
29 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 (This was after King Jehoiachin[a] and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3 He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
15 You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16 but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse[c] and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19 For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22 Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23 For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.
Message to Shemaiah
24 Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, 25 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You sent letters in your own name to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the other priests. You said to Zephaniah, 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the Lord; you should put any maniac who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons. 27 So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth, who poses as a prophet among you? 28 He has sent this message to us in Babylon: It will be a long time. Therefore build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.’”
29 Zephaniah the priest, however, read the letter to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send this message to all the exiles: ‘This is what the Lord says about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send him, and has persuaded you to trust in lies, 32 this is what the Lord says: I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good things I will do for my people, declares the Lord, because he has preached rebellion against me.’”