1And these are the words of the letter which Yirmeyah the prophet sent from Yerushalayim to the rest of the elders of the exile, and to the priests, and to the prophets and to all the people whom Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar had exiled from Yerushalayim to Baḇel –
2after Yeḵonyah the sovereign, and the sovereigness mother, and the eunuchs, and the heads of Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim, and the craftsmen, and the smiths had gone into exile from Yerushalayim –
3by the hand of El‛asah son of Shaphan, and Gemaryah the son of Ḥilqiyah, whom Tsiḏqiyah sovereign of Yehuḏah sent to Baḇel, to Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar the sovereign of Baḇel, saying,
4“Thus said יהוה of hosts, Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, to all the exiles whom I exiled from Yerushalayim to Baḇel,
5Build houses and dwell in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit.
6Take wives and bring forth sons and daughters. And take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, and let them bear sons and daughters, and be increased there, and not diminished.
7And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you, and pray to יהוה for it, for in its peace you have peace.’
8“For thus said יהוה of hosts, Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, ‘Let not your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, neither listen to the dreams which you are dreaming.
9For they are prophesying falsely to you in My Name. I have not sent them,’ declares יהוה.
10“For thus said יהוה, ‘When seventy years are completed, at Baḇel I shall visit you and establish My good word toward you, to bring you back to this place.
11For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.
12Then you shall call on Me, and shall come and pray to Me, and I shall listen to you.
13And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.#See Deu. 4:29; Joel 2:12
14And I shall be found by you,’ declares יהוה, ‘and I shall turn back your captivity, and shall gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, declares יהוה. And I shall bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.’
15“Because you have said, ‘יהוה has raised up prophets for us in Baḇel’ –
16thus said יהוה concerning the sovereign who sits on the throne of Dawiḏ, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brothers who have not gone out with you into exile,
17thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘See, I am sending on them the sword, the scarcity of food, and the pestilence. And I shall make them like spoilt figs, so spoilt as to be uneatable.
18And I shall pursue them with the sword, with scarcity of food, and with pestilence. And I shall make them a horror among all the reigns of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them.
19For they did not heed My words,’ declares יהוה, ‘which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, yet you did not listen,’ declares יהוה.
20“You, therefore, hear the word of יהוה, all you exiles whom I have sent from Yerushalayim to Baḇel.
21“Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, concerning Aḥaḇ son of Qolayah, and Tsiḏqiyahu son of Ma‛asĕyah, who are prophesying falsely to you in My Name, ‘See, I am giving them into the hand of Neḇuḵaḏretstsar sovereign of Baḇel, and he shall strike them before your eyes.
22And because of them all the exiles of Yehuḏah who are in Baḇel shall use a curse, saying, “יהוה make you like Tsiḏqiyahu and Aḥaḇ, whom the sovereign of Baḇel roasted in the fire,”
23because they have done wickedness in Yisra’ĕl, and committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken a word in My Name falsely which I have not commanded them. And I am He who knows, and a witness,’ declares יהוה.
24“And speak to Shemayahu the Neḥelamite, saying,
25“Thus speaks יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people who are at Yerushalayim, to Tsephanyah son of Ma‛asĕyah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
26“יהוה has made you priest instead of Yehoyaḏa the priest, so that there are overseers in the House of יהוה over everyone who is mad and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in the stocks and in the iron collar.
27“So why have you not reproved Yirmeyahu of Anathoth who makes himself a prophet to you?
28“For he has sent to us in Baḇel, saying, ‘This captivity is long – build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit.’” ’ ”
29And Tsephanyah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Yirmeyahu the prophet.
30Then the word of יהוה came to Yirmeyahu, saying,
31“Send to all those in exile, saying, ‘Thus said יהוה concerning Shemayah the Neḥelamite, “Because Shemayah has prophesied to you, and I have not sent him, and he has made you to trust on falsehood,”
32therefore thus said יהוה, “See, I am bringing punishment upon Shemayah the Neḥelamite and his seed: he shall have no one to dwell among this people, nor is he to see the good that I am about to do for My people,” declares יהוה, “because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה.” ’ ”