Jeremiah 29

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

1These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to a  the surviving elders of the exiles, and to b  the priests c  the prophets, and d  all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2This was after e  King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of f  Shaphan and Gemariah the son of g  Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 h  Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6Take 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. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and i  pray to the  Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8For thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: j  Do not let your prophets and k  your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream
Hebrew your dreams, which you cause to dream
9for m  it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; n  I did not send them, declares the  Lord.

10For thus says the  Lord: o  When seventy years are completed for Babylon p  I will visit you, q  and I will fulfill to you my promise r  and bring you back to this place. 11 s  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the  Lord, plans for welfare
Or peace
and not for evil u  to give you a future and a hope.
12 v  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, w  and I will hear you. 13 x  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me y  with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the  Lord, z  and I will restore your fortunes and aa  gather you from all the nations and all the places ab  where I have driven you, declares the  Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

15Because you have said, ‘The  Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16thus says the  Lord concerning ac  the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go out with you into exile: 17Thus says the  Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them ad  sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like ae  vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18I will pursue them with af  sword, famine, and pestilence, ag  and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, ah  to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations ai  where I have driven them, 19because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the  Lord aj  that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the  Lord.’ 20Hear the word of the  Lord, all you exiles ak  whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah al  who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them down before your eyes. 22 am  Because of them an  this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The  Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab ao  whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 23because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel ap  they have committed adultery with their neighborswives, and aq  they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. ar  I am the one who knows as  and I am witness, declares the  Lord.’”

Shemaiah’s False Prophecy

24To at  Shemaiah of Nehelam you shall say: 25Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have sent letters in your name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to au  Zephaniah the son of av  Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26‘The  Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to have aw  charge in the house of the  Lord ax  over every madman who prophesies, to put him in ay  the stocks and neck irons. 27Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah az  of Anathoth who is prophesying to you? 28For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, “Your exile will be long; ba  build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”

29 bb  Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 bc  Then the word of the  Lord came to Jeremiah: 31Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the  Lord concerning bd  Shemaiah of Nehelam: Because be  Shemaiah had prophesied to you bf  when I did not send him, and has made you trust in a lie, 32therefore thus says the  Lord: Behold, I will punish bg  Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people bh  and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the  Lord bi  for he has spoken rebellion against the  Lord.’”

Copyright information for ESV