Jeremiah 29:1-19Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles
29 This is the text of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exiles, the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah,[a] the queen mother, the court officials, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalsmiths had left Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah whom Zedekiah king of Judah had sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The letter stated:
4 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.”
8 For this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let your prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t listen to the dreams you elicit from them, 9 for they are prophesying falsely to you in My name. I have not sent them.” This is the Lord’s declaration.
10 For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes[b] and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”
15 You have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon!” 16 But this is what the Lord says concerning the king sitting on David’s throne and concerning all the people living in this city—that is, concerning your brothers who did not go with you into exile. 17 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: “I am about to send against them sword, famine, and plague and will make them like rotten figs that are inedible because they are so bad. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and plague. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse and a desolation, an object of scorn and a disgrace among all the nations where I have banished them. 19 I will do this because they have not listened to My words”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“that I sent to them with My servants the prophets time and time again.[c] And you too have not listened.” This is the Lord’s declaration.