Good News Translation
Jeremiah's Letter to the Jews in Babylonia
29 (A)I wrote a letter to the priests, the prophets, the leaders of the people, and to all the others whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken away as prisoners from Jerusalem to Babylonia. 2 I wrote it after King Jehoiachin, his mother, the palace officials, the leaders of Judah and of Jerusalem, the engravers, and the skilled workers had been taken into exile. 3 I gave the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah was sending to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. It said:
4 “The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those people whom he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take away as prisoners from Jerusalem to Babylonia: 5 ‘Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them. 6 Marry and have children. Then let your children get married, so that they also may have children. You must increase in numbers and not decrease. 7 Work for the good of the cities where I have made you go as prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf, because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too. 8 I, the Lord, the God of Israel, warn you not to let yourselves be deceived by the prophets who live among you or by any others who claim they can predict the future. Do not pay any attention to their[a] dreams. 9 They are telling you lies in my name. I did not send them. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.’
10 (B)“The Lord says, ‘When Babylonia's seventy years are over, I will show my concern for you and keep my promise to bring you back home. 11 I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.[b] 12 Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. 13 (C)You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. 14 Yes, I say, you will find me, and I will restore you to your land. I will gather you from every country and from every place to which I have scattered you, and I will bring you back to the land from which I had sent you away into exile. I, the Lord, have spoken.’
15 “You say that the Lord has given you prophets in Babylonia.
New Revised Standard Version
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles in Babylon
29 These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said: 4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,[a] 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.
10 For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
15 Because you have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,”—Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 29:8 Cn: Heb your dreams that you cause to dream
Complete Jewish Bible
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.
Plans to Give You the Future You Hope For
29 1-2 This is the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to what was left of the elders among the exiles, to the priests and prophets and all the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon from Jerusalem, including King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the government leaders, and all the skilled laborers and craftsmen.
3 The letter was carried by Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah had sent to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The letter said:
4 This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 “Build houses and make yourselves at home.
“Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.
6 “Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.
7 “Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”
8-9 Yes. Believe it or not, this is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God: “Don’t let all those so-called preachers and know-it-alls who are all over the place there take you in with their lies. Don’t pay any attention to the fantasies they keep coming up with to please you. They’re a bunch of liars preaching lies—and claiming I sent them! I never sent them, believe me.” God’s Decree!
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
15-19 “But for right now, because you’ve taken up with these new-fangled prophets who set themselves up as ‘Babylonian specialists,’ spreading the word ‘God sent them just for us!’ God is setting the record straight: As for the king still sitting on David’s throne and all the people left in Jerusalem who didn’t go into exile with you, they’re facing bad times. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, ‘Watch this! Catastrophe is on the way: war, hunger, disease! They’re a barrel of rotten apples. I’ll rid the country of them through war and hunger and disease. The whole world is going to hold its nose at the smell, shut its eyes at the horrible sight. They’ll end up in slum ghettos because they wouldn’t listen to a thing I said when I sent my servant-prophets preaching tirelessly and urgently. No, they wouldn’t listen to a word I said.’” God’s Decree.Read full chapter