Jeremiah 29

Message to the Exiles

1Now 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. 2(This was after King b  Jeconiah and the c  queen mother, the court officials, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.) 3The 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, 4Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have e  sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5f  Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their
Lit fruit
produce.
6Take h  wives and
Lit beget
become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease.
7j  Seek the
Or peace
welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and l  pray to the  Lord on its behalf; for in its
Or peace
welfare you will have
Or peace
welfare.’
8For thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your o  prophets who are in your midst and your diviners p  deceive you, and do not listen to
Lit your
,
r  the dreams which
Lit you
they dream.
9‘For they t  prophesy falsely to you in My name; u  I have not sent them,’ declares the  Lord.

10For thus says the  Lord, ‘When v  seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My w  good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the x  plans that I
Lit am planning
have for you,’ declares the  Lord, ‘plans for z  welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a aa  hope.
12‘Then you will ab  call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will ac  listen to you. 13‘You will ad  seek Me and find Me when you ae  search for Me with all your heart. 14‘I will be af  found by you,’ declares the  Lord, ‘and I will ag  restore your
Or captivity
fortunes and will ai  gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the  Lord, ‘and I will aj  bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

15Because you have said, ‘The  Lord has raised up ak  prophets for us in Babylon’— 16for thus says the  Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did al  not go with you into exile 17thus says the  Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am sending upon them the am  sword, famine and pestilence, and I will make them like an  split-open figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. 18I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will ao  make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a ap  curse and a horror and a aq  hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19because they have ar  not listened to My words,’ declares the  Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by as  My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the  Lord. 20You, therefore, hear the word of the  Lord, all you exiles, whom I have at  sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.

21Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are au  prophesying to you falsely in My name, ‘Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will slay them before your eyes. 22Because of them a av  curse will be
Lit taken
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 ax  roasted in the fire,
23because they have ay  acted foolishly in Israel, and az  have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have ba  spoken words in My name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who bb  knows and am a witness,” declares the  Lord.’”

24To bc  Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying, 25Thus says the  Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have sent bd  letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to be  Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26“The  Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the
Lit overseers
,
bg  overseer in the house of the  Lord over every bh  madman who bi  prophesies, to bj  put him in the stocks and in the iron collar,
27now then, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of bk  Anathoth who prophesies to you? 28“For he has bl  sent to us in Babylon, saying, ‘The exile will be bm  long; bn  build houses and live in them and plant gardens and eat their
Lit fruit
produce.’”’”

29 bp  Zephaniah the priest read this letter
Lit in the ears of
to Jeremiah the prophet.
30Then came the word of the  Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 31Send to br  all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the  Lord concerning bs  Shemaiah the Nehelamite, “Because Shemaiah has bt  prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has bu  made you trust in a lie,” 32therefore thus says the  Lord, “Behold, I am about to bv  punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his
Lit seed
descendants; he will bx  not have anyone living among this people by  and he will not see the good that I am about to do to My people,” declares the  Lord, “because he has
Lit spoken
,
ca  preached rebellion against the  Lord.”’”
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