Jeremiah 24


Under the emblem of the good and bad figs is represented the

fate of the Jews already gone into captivity with Jeconiah,

and of those that remained still in their own country with

Zedekiah. It is likewise intimated that God would deal kindly

with the former, but that his wrath would still pursue the

latter, 1-10.


Verse 1. The Lord showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs]

Besides the transposition of whole chapters in this book, there is

not unfrequently a transposition of verses, and parts of verses.

Of this we have an instance in the verse before us; the first

clause of which should be the last. Thus:-

"After that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away

captive Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with the

carpenters and smiths from Jerusalem, and had brought them to

Babylon, the Lord showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were

set before the temple of the Lord."

Ver. 2. "One basket had very good figs, even like the figs

that are first ripe; and the other basket had very naughty figs,

which could not be eaten, they were so bad."

This arrangement restores these verses to a better sense, by

restoring the natural connexion.

This prophecy was undoubtedly delivered in the first year of the

reign of Zedekiah.

Under the type of good and bad figs, God represents the state of

the persons who had already been carried captives into Babylon,

with their king Jeconiah, compared with the state of those who

should be carried away with Zedekiah. Those already carried away,

being the choice of the people, are represented by the good figs:

those now remaining, and soon to be carried into captivity, are

represented by the bad figs, that were good for nothing. The state

also of the former in their captivity was vastly preferable to the

state of those who were now about to be delivered into the hand of

the king of Babylon. The latter would be treated as double rebels;

the former, being the most respectable of the inhabitants, were

treated well; and even in captivity, a marked distinction would be

made between them, God ordering it so. But the prophet

sufficiently explains his own meaning.

Set before the temple]-As an offering of the first-fruits of

that kind.

Verse 2. Very good figs] Or, figs of the early sort. The

fig-trees in Palestine, says Dr. Shaw, produce fruit thrice each

year. The first sort, called boccore, those here mentioned, come

to perfection about the middle or end of June. The second sort,

called kermez, or summer fig, is seldom ripe before August. And

the third, which is called the winter fig, which is larger, and of

a darker complexion than the preceding, hangs all the winter on

the tree, ripening even when the leaves are shed, and is fit for

gathering in the beginning of spring.

Could not be eaten] The winter fig,-then in its crude or

unripe state; the spring not being yet come.

Verse 5. Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge] Those

already carried away into captivity, I esteem as far more

excellent than those who still remain in the land. They have not

sinned so deeply, and they are now penitent; and, therefore, I

will set mine eyes upon them for good, Jer 24:6. I will watch

over them by an especial providence, and they shall be restored to

their own land.

Verse 7. They shall be my people] I will renew my covenant with

them, for they will return to me with their whole heart.

Verse 8. So will I give Zedekiah] I will treat these as they

deserve. They shall be carried into captivity, and scattered

through all nations. Multitudes of those never returned to Judea;

the others returned at the end of seventy years.

Verse 10. I will send the sword] Many of them fell by sword and

famine in the war with the Chaldeans, and many more by such means

afterwards. The first received their captivity as a correction,

and turned to God; the latter still hardened their hearts more and

more, and probably very many of them never returned: perhaps they

are now amalgamated with heathen nations. Lord, how long?

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