Jeremiah 23:33-24:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
33 “Now when this people or a prophet or a priest asks you [in jest], ‘What is the [a]oracle of the Lord [the burden to be lifted up and carried]?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘What oracle [besides the one that declares you people to be the burden]!’ The Lord says, ‘I will unburden Myself and I will abandon you.’ 34 And as for the prophet, the priest, or [any of] the people, whoever says, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ [as if he knows God’s will], I will punish that man and his household. 35 [For the future, in speaking of the words of the Lord] thus each of you shall say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, [for as they mockingly call all prophecies oracles, whether good or bad, so will it prove to be to them; God will take them at their own word]; and you have perverted the words [not of a lifeless idol, but] of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you will [reverently] say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” when I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, I, even I, will assuredly forget you and send you away from My presence, you and the city (Jerusalem) which I gave to you and to your fathers. 40 And I will bring an everlasting disgrace on you and a perpetual humiliation (shame) which will not be forgotten.”
Baskets of Figs and the Returnees
24 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken Jeconiah [who was also called Coniah and Jehoiachin] the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah [along] with the craftsmen and smiths into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, the Lord showed me [in a vision] two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are the first to ripen; but the other basket had very bad figs, so rotten that they could not be eaten. 3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, so rotten that they cannot be eaten.”
4 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent from this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overwhelm them, and I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know Me, [understanding fully] that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
8 ‘And as for the bad figs, which are so rotten that they cannot be eaten,’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and those who live in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a focus of ridicule and disappointment [tossed back and forth] among all the kingdoms of the earth, a [notorious] disgrace, a byword, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and virulent disease among them until they are consumed from the land which I gave to them and to their fathers.’”
Jeremiah 29:1-31:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Message to the Exiles
29 Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders in exile and to the priests, the prophets and all the people whom [a]Nebuchadnezzar had taken into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 (This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the princes (court officials) of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.) 3 The letter was hand-carried by Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, 4 “So says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the captives whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 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 [in number]. 7 Seek peace and well-being for the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace (well-being) you will have peace.’ 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your [false] prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you; pay no attention and attach no significance to the dreams which they dream or to yours, 9 for they prophesy falsely to you in My Name. I have not sent them,’ says the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years [of exile] have been completed for Babylon, I will visit (inspect) you and keep My good promise to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
15 “Because you [who have remained in Jerusalem] have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16 thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who live in this city, your brothers (fellow people of Judah) who did not go with you into captivity— 17 thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold (listen very carefully), I am sending the sword, famine, and virulent disease (pestilence) on them, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with virulent disease; and I will make them a terror (warning) to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a horror, a hissing, and a disgrace among all the nations to which I have driven them, 19 because they have not listened to and honored My words,’ says the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets. Moreover, you [exiles] did not listen [either],’ says the Lord. 20 Hear, therefore, the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
21 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in My Name, ‘Behold, I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will slaughter them before your eyes [yes, all the false prophets in Babylon whom you follow shall die]! 22 Because of them, this curse shall be taken up and used by all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon, saying, “May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire, 23 because they have acted foolishly in Israel and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and in My Name have spoken false and concocted words, which I did not command them. I am He who knows and I am a witness,” says the Lord.’”
24 Also you shall speak to Shemaiah of Nehelam [among the exiles in Babylon], saying, 25 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 “The Lord has made you [Zephaniah] priest instead of Jehoiada the [deputy] priest, to be the overseer in the house of the Lord over every madman who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and in the iron collar, 27 now therefore [continued the letter from Shemaiah in Babylon to Zephaniah in Jerusalem], why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who prophesies to you? 28 For he has sent word to us in Babylon, saying, ‘This captivity [of yours] will be long; build houses and live in them and plant gardens and eat their fruit.’”’”
29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 31 “Send [this message] to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah of Nehelam, “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has made you trust in a lie,” 32 therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am about to punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He will not have anyone [born] to live among this people, nor will he see the good that I am about to do to My people,” says the Lord, “because he has spoken and preached rebellion against the Lord.”’”
Freedom from Captivity Promised
30 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. 3 For behold (hear this), the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return them to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they will take possession of it.’”
4 Now these are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
5 “Thus says the Lord,
‘We have heard a terrified voice
8 ‘It shall come about on that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will break the yoke off your neck and I will tear off your bonds and force apart your shackles; and strangers will no longer make slaves of the people [of Israel]. 9 But they shall serve the Lord their God and [the descendant of] David their King, whom I will raise up for them.
Restoration of Jacob
Israel’s Mourning Turned to Joy
31 “At that time,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
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