The Good and Bad Figs
1I saw a vision after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim as a prisoner. Jehoiachin king of Judah and his officers were taken away from Jerusalem. They were taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also took away all the craftsmen and metalworkers of Judah. It was then that the Lord showed me these things: I saw two baskets of figs. They were arranged in front of the Temple of the Lord. 2One of the baskets had very good figs in it. They were like figs that ripen early in the season. But the other basket had rotten figs. They were too rotten to eat.
3The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I answered, “I see figs. The good figs are very good. But the rotten figs are too rotten to eat.”
4Then the Lord spoke his word to me. 5This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said: “I sent the people of Judah out of their country into Babylon. Those people will be like these good figs. I think of them as good. 6I will look after them. I will bring them back to the land of Judah. I will not tear them down. I will build them up. I will not pull them up. I will plant them so they can grow. 7I will make them want to know me. They will know that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God. This is because they will return to me with their whole hearts.
8“But the bad figs are too rotten to eat,” says the Lord. “Zedekiah king of Judah and his officers will be like those rotten figs. All the people from Jerusalem who are left alive will be like that. This will be true even if those people now live in Egypt. 9I will make those people hated as an evil people by all the kingdoms of the earth. People will make fun of the people from Judah and tell jokes about them. People will point fingers at them. They will curse them everywhere I scatter them. 10I will send war, hunger and disease against them. I will attack them until they have all been killed. Then they will no longer be in the land I gave to them and their ancestors.”