New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Two Baskets of Figs.[a] 1 The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord.(A) This was after Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had exiled from Jerusalem Jeconiah,[b] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, the artisans and smiths, and brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket contained excellent figs, those that ripen early. But the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten. 3 Then the Lord said to me: What do you see, Jeremiah?(B) “Figs,” I replied; “the good ones are very good, but the bad ones very bad, so bad they cannot be eaten.” 4 Thereupon this word of the Lord came to me: 5 Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, I will also regard with favor Judah’s exiles whom I sent away from this place into the land of the Chaldeans.(C) 6 I will look after them for good and bring them back to this land, to build them up, not tear them down; to plant them, not uproot them.(D) 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.(E) 8 But like the figs that are bad, so bad they cannot be eaten—yes, thus says the Lord—even so will I treat Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his princes, the remnant of Jerusalem remaining in this land and those who have settled in the land of Egypt.(F) 9 I will make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a taunt and a curse, in all the places to which I will drive them.(G) 10 I will send upon them sword, famine, and pestilence, until they have disappeared from the land which I gave them and their ancestors.(H)
- 24:1–10 For Jeremiah, as for Ezekiel, no good could be expected from the people who had been left in Judah under Zedekiah or who had fled into Egypt; a future might be expected only for those who would pass through the purifying experience of the exile to form the new Israel.
- 24:1 Jeconiah: alternative form of Jehoiachin (cf. note on 22:24).