1The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the few surviving elders among the exiles, to the priests and the prophets, and to all the people Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon from Jerusalem. 2The letter was sent after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the court officials, the government leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen and smiths had left Jerusalem. 3It was delivered to Babylon by Elasah, Shaphan’s son, and Gemariah, Hilkiah’s son—two men dispatched to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar by King Zedekiah. 4The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims to all the exiles I have carried off from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and settle down; cultivate gardens and eat what they produce. 6Get married and have children; then help your sons find wives and your daughters find husbands in order that they too may have children. Increase in number there so that you don’t dwindle away. 7Promote the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because your future depends on its welfare. 8The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Don’t let the prophets and diviners in your midst mislead you. Don’t pay attention to your dreams. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I didn’t send them, declares the LORD. 10The LORD proclaims: When Babylon’s seventy years are up, I will come and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. 12When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. 14I will be present for you, declares the LORD, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile,#Or I will restore you to the place from which I exiled you. declares the LORD.