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Jeremiah 29-30 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

29 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining exiled elders, the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah,[a] the queen mother, the court officials, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalsmiths had left Jerusalem. He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The letter stated:

This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Find wives for yourselves, and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. Pursue the well-being[b] of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive.”

For this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let your prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t listen to the dreams you elicit from them, for they are prophesying falsely to you in my name. I have not sent them.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

10 For this is what the Lord says: “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes[c] and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place from which I deported you.”

15 You have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon!” 16 But this is what the Lord says concerning the king sitting on David’s throne and concerning all the people living in this city—that is, concerning your brothers who did not go with you into exile. 17 This is what the Lord of Armies says: “I am about to send sword, famine, and plague against them, and I will make them like rotten figs that are inedible because they are so bad. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and plague. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse and a desolation, an object of scorn and a disgrace among all the nations where I have banished them. 19 I will do this because they have not listened to my words”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the words that I sent to them with my servants the prophets time and time again.[d] And you too have not listened.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

20 Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, the ones prophesying a lie to you in my name: “I am about to hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and he will kill them before your very eyes. 22 Based on what happens to them, all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will create a curse that says, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire!’ 23 because they have committed an outrage in Israel by committing adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken in my name a lie, which I did not command them. I am he who knows, and I am a witness.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

24 To Shemaiah the Nehelamite you are to say, 25 “This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: You[e] in your own name have sent out letters to all the people of Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying, 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of the priest Jehoiada to be the chief officer in the temple of the Lord, responsible for every madman who acts like a prophet. You must confine him in the stocks and an iron collar. 27 So now, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who has been acting like a prophet among you? 28 For he has sent word to us in Babylon, claiming, “The exile will be long. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”

29 The priest Zephaniah read this letter in the hearing of the prophet Jeremiah.

A Message about Shemaiah

30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send a message to all the exiles, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite. Because Shemaiah prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and made you trust a lie, 32 this is what the Lord says: I am about to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. There will not be even one of his descendants living among these people, nor will any ever see the good that I will bring to my people—this is the Lord’s declaration—for he has preached rebellion against the Lord.’”

Restoration from Captivity

30 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write on a scroll all the words that I have spoken to you, for look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when I will restore the fortunes[f] of my people Israel and Judah,” says the Lord. “I will restore them to the land I gave to their ancestors and they will possess it.”

These are the words the Lord spoke to Israel and Judah. This is what the Lord says:

We have heard a cry of terror,
of dread—there is no peace.
Ask and see
whether a male can give birth.
Why then do I see every man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor
and every face turned pale?
How awful that day will be!
There will be no other like it!
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it.
On that day—
this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies—
I will break his yoke from your neck
and tear off your chains,
and strangers will never again enslave him.
They will serve the Lord their God
and David their king,
whom I will raise up for them.
10 As for you, my servant Jacob,
do not be afraid—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
and do not be discouraged, Israel,
for without fail I will save you out of a distant place,
your descendants, from the land of their captivity!
Jacob will return and have calm and quiet
with no one to frighten him.
11 For I will be with you—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
to save you!
I will bring destruction on all the nations
where I have scattered you;
however, I will not bring destruction on you.
I will discipline you justly,
and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

Healing Zion’s Wounds

12 For this is what the Lord says:

Your injury is incurable;
your wound most severe.
13 You have no defender for your case.
There is no remedy for your sores,
and no healing for you.[g]
14 All your lovers have forgotten you;
they no longer look for you,
for I have struck you as an enemy would,
with the discipline of someone cruel,
because of your enormous guilt
and your innumerable sins.
15 Why do you cry out about your injury?
Your pain has no cure!
I have done these things to you
because of your enormous guilt
and your innumerable sins.
16 Nevertheless, all who devoured you will be devoured,
and all your adversaries—all of them—
will go off into exile.
Those who plunder you will be plundered,
and all who raid you will be raided.
17 But I will bring you health
and will heal you of your wounds—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
for they call you Outcast,
Zion whom no one cares about.

Restoration of the Land

18 This is what the Lord says:

I will certainly restore the fortunes[h] of Jacob’s tents
and show compassion on his dwellings.
Every city will be rebuilt on its mound;
every citadel will stand on its proper site.
19 Thanksgiving will come out of them,
a sound of rejoicing.
I will multiply them, and they will not decrease;
I will honor them, and they will not be insignificant.
20 His children will be as in past days;
his congregation will be established in my presence.
I will punish all his oppressors.
21 Jacob’s leader will be one of them;
his ruler will issue from him.
I will invite him to me, and he will approach me,
for who would otherwise risk his life to approach me?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
22 You will be my people,
and I will be your God.

The Wrath of God

23 Look, a storm from the Lord!
Wrath has gone out,
a churning storm.
It will whirl about the heads of the wicked.
24 The Lord’s burning anger will not turn back
until he has completely fulfilled the purposes of his heart.
In time to come you will understand it.

Footnotes:

  1. 29:2 = Jehoiachin
  2. 29:7 Or peace
  3. 29:14 Or will end your captivity
  4. 29:19 Lit prophets, rising up early and sending
  5. 29:25 Lit Because you
  6. 30:3 Or will end the captivity
  7. 30:13 Or No one pleads that your sores should be healed. There is no remedy for you.
  8. 30:18 Or certainly end the captivity
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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