Message to the Exiles

29 Now these are the words of the (A)letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. (This was after King (B)Jeconiah and the (C)queen mother, the high officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalworkers had departed from Jerusalem.) The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of (D)Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles whom I have (E)sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: (F)Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their [a]produce. Take (G)wives and father sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may give birth to sons and daughters; and grow in numbers there and do not decrease. (H)Seek the [b]prosperity of the city where I have sent you into exile, and (I)pray to the Lord in its behalf; for [c]in its [d]prosperity will be your [e]prosperity.’ For this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Do not let your (J)prophets who are in your midst or your diviners (K)deceive you, and do not listen to their interpretations of (L)your dreams which you dream. For they (M)prophesy falsely to you in My name; (N)I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.

10 “For this is what the Lord says: ‘When (O)seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My (P)good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the (Q)plans that I [f]have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for [g](R)prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a (S)hope. 12 Then you will (T)call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will (U)listen to you. 13 And you will (V)seek Me and find Me when you (W)search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will let Myself be (X)found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will (Y)restore your fortunes and (Z)gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will (AA)bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

15 “Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up (AB)prophets for us in Babylon’— 16 for this is what the Lord says concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who live in this city, your brothers who did (AC)not go with you into exile— 17 this is what the Lord of armies says: ‘Behold, I am sending upon them the (AD)sword, famine, and plague; and I will make them like (AE)rotten figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with plague; and I will (AF)make them an object of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a (AG)curse and an object of horror and [h](AH)hissing, and a disgrace among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have (AI)not listened to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by (AJ)My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord. 20 ‘You, therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles, whom I have (AK)sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.

21 ‘This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are (AL)prophesying to you falsely in My name: “Behold, I am going to hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will kill them before your eyes. 22 Because of them a (AM)curse will be [i]used by all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon, saying, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon (AN)roasted in the fire,’ 23 because they (AO)acted [j]foolishly in Israel, and (AP)committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and falsely (AQ)spoke words in My name which I did not command them. I am He who (AR)knows, and a witness,” declares the Lord.’”

24 Now you shall speak to (AS)Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 25 “This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have sent (AT)letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to (AU)the priest Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying, 26 “The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the [k](AV)overseer of the house of the Lord for every (AW)insane person who (AX)prophesies, to (AY)put him in the stocks and in the iron collar. 27 So now, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of (AZ)Anathoth who prophesies to you, 28 seeing that he has (BA)sent word to us in Babylon, saying, ‘[l]The exile will be (BB)long; (BC)build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their [m]produce’?”’”

29 Now (BD)Zephaniah the priest read this letter [n]to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 31 “Send word to (BE)all the exiles, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says concerning (BF)Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Because Shemaiah has (BG)prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has (BH)made you trust in a lie,” 32 therefore this is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am going to (BI)punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his [o]descendants; he will (BJ)not have anyone living among this people, (BK)and he will not see the good that I am going to do for My people,” declares the Lord, “because he has (BL)spoken falsely against the Lord.”’”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 29:5 Lit fruit
  2. Jeremiah 29:7 Or peace
  3. Jeremiah 29:7 Or your prosperity will depend on its
  4. Jeremiah 29:7 Or peace
  5. Jeremiah 29:7 Or peace
  6. Jeremiah 29:11 Lit am planning
  7. Jeremiah 29:11 Or salvation
  8. Jeremiah 29:18 Or whistling
  9. Jeremiah 29:22 Lit taken
  10. Jeremiah 29:23 Or sacrilegiously
  11. Jeremiah 29:26 Lit overseers
  12. Jeremiah 29:28 Lit It
  13. Jeremiah 29:28 Lit fruit
  14. Jeremiah 29:29 Lit in the ears of
  15. Jeremiah 29:32 Lit seed