Jeremiah 29Good News Translation (GNT)
Jeremiah's Letter to the Jews in Babylonia
29 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.’
The Letter of Shemaiah
24-25 The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, gave me a message for Shemaiah of Nehelam, who had sent a letter in his own name to all the people of Jerusalem and to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah and to all the other priests. In this letter Shemaiah wrote to Zephaniah:
26 “The Lord made you a priest in place of Jehoiada, and you are now the chief officer[d] in the Temple. It is your duty to see that every crazy person who pretends to be a prophet is placed in chains with an iron collar around the neck. 27 Why haven't you done this to Jeremiah of Anathoth, who has been speaking as a prophet to the people? 28 He must be stopped because he told the people in Babylonia that they would be prisoners there a long time and should build houses, settle down, plant gardens, and eat what they grow.”
29 Zephaniah read the letter to me, 30 and then the Lord told me 31-32 to send to all the prisoners in Babylon this message about Shemaiah: “I, the Lord, will punish Shemaiah and all of his descendants. I did not send him, but he spoke to you as if he were a prophet, and he made you believe lies. He will have no descendants among you. He will not live to see the good things that I am going to do for my people, because he told them to rebel against me. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
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