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29
After Seventy Years, a Future Hope
1Now these are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the elders remaining in exile, as well as to the kohanim, the prophets and to all the people Nebuchadnezzar had carried off captive from Jerusalem to Babylon
2(after Jeconiah the king, the queen-mother, the officers, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen and the smiths, had to leave Jerusalem). The letter was sent
3by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan, and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying,
4thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel, to all those in captivity, whom I removed as captives into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5“Build houses and live in them; also plant gardens and eat their fruit;
6take wives and have sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there, and do not decrease.
7Also seek the shalom of the city where I took you as captives in exile, and pray to Adonai for it—for in its shalom will you have shalom.”
8For thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: “Do not let your prophets who are among you or your diviners beguile you, and pay no attention to the dreams which you make them keep dreaming.
9For they prophesy falsely to you in My Name; I have not sent them.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
10For thus says Adonai: “After 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will visit you, and fulfill My good word toward you—to bring you back to this place.
11For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.
12“Then you will call on Me, and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.
14Then I will be found by you,” says Adonai, “and I will return you from exile, and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” says Adonai, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I removed you as captives into exile.”
15For you have said: “Adonai has raised up prophets for us in Babylon.”
16For thus says Adonai about the king who sits on the throne of David and about all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go with you into captivity,
17thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am about to send on them the sword, famine and pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so bad.
18I will pursue them with the sword, famine and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse and an astonishment, a hissing and a disgrace—among all the nations where I have driven them,
19because they have not listened to My words,” declares Adonai, “which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, sending them early and often, but you would not hear.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
20“But you, hear the word of Adonai, all you of the exile whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon,”
21thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel, “concerning Ahab son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in My name: I will soon deliver them into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon—and he will slay them before your eyes.
22So a curse will be taken up by everyone in exile from Judah who are in Babylon, saying: ‘May Adonai make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire’—
23because they have been disgraceful in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbors’ wives and speaking words in My Name falsely, which I did not command them. But I am the One who knows and I am witness.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
24Now concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite you will surely say,
25thus declares Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Israel, saying: “Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, to Zephaniah son of Maaseiah the kohen, and to all the kohanim, saying:
26Adonai has made you kohen instead of Jehoiada the kohen, so that there should be officers in the House of Adonai for every madman prophesying and so that you will put him in the stocks and iron collar.
27So now, why haven’t you rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself out to be a prophet to you?
28For he has sent word to us in Babylon, saying: “The exile will be long—build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.’”
29So Zephaniah the kohen read this letter in the ears of the prophet Jeremiah.
30Then the word of Adonai came to Jeremiah, saying:
31Send word to all of the captivity, saying, thus says Adonai concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie,”
32therefore thus says Adonai, “I will indeed punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his offspring. There will be none living among this people, and he will not see the good that I will do to My people,” declares Adonai, “because he has spoken rebellion against Adonai.”
29
Jeremiah's Letter to the Captives
1 # 2 Kgs 24.12-16; 2 Chr 36.10. Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnez´zar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; 2(after that Jeconi´ah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) 3by the hand of Ela´sah the son of Shaphan, and Gemari´ah the son of Hilki´ah, (whom Zedeki´ah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnez´zar king of Babylon) saying, 4Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; 5Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 6take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. 7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. 8For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. 9For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.
10 # 2 Chr 36.21; Jer 25.11; Dan 9.2. For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13#Deut 4.29. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
15Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; 16know that thus saith the Lord of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; 17thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 18And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: 19because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord. 20Hear ye therefore the word of the Lord, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolai´ah, and of Zedeki´ah the son of Ma-asei´ah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrez´zar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes; 22and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedeki´ah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire; 23because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.
24 Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemai´ah the Nehel´amite, saying, 25Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephani´ah the son of Ma-asei´ah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26The Lord hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoi´ada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the Lord, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks. 27Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of An´athoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you? 28For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
29And Zephani´ah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 30Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, 31Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the Lord concerning Shemai´ah the Nehel´amite; Because that Shemai´ah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie: 32therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will punish Shemai´ah the Nehel´amite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord.