Jeremiah 29
New American Standard Bible►► 

Message to the Exiles

1Now these are the words of the 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 Jeconiah and the queen mother, the high officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalworkers had departed from Jerusalem.) 3The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, 4“This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their [a]produce. 6Take wives and father sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may give birth to sons and daughters; and grow in numbers there and do not decrease. 7Seek the [b]prosperity of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD in its behalf; for [c]in its [d]prosperity will be your [e]prosperity.’ 8For this is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst or your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to their interpretations of your dreams which you dream. 9For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the LORD.

10“For this is what the LORD says: ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans that I [f]have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for [g]prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14I will let Myself be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

15“Because you have said, ‘The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon’— 16for this is what the LORD says concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who live in this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile17this is what the LORD of armies says: ‘Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine, and plague; and I will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. 18I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with plague; and I will make them an object of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and an object of horror and [h]hissing, and a disgrace among all the nations where I have driven them, 19because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the LORD, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the LORD. 20‘You, therefore, hear the word of the LORD, all you exiles, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.

21‘This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying to you falsely in My name: “Behold, I am going to hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will kill them before your eyes. 22Because of them a curse will be [i]used by all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon, saying, ‘May the LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,’ 23because they acted [j]foolishly in Israel, and committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and falsely spoke words in My name which I did not command them. I am He who knows, and a witness,” declares the LORD.’”

24Now you shall speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 25“This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to the priest Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying, 26“The LORD has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the [k]overseer of the house of the LORD for every insane person who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and in the iron collar. 27So now, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who prophesies to you, 28seeing that he has sent word to us in Babylon, saying, ‘[l]The exile will be long; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their [m]produce’?”’”

29Now Zephaniah the priest read this letter [n]to Jeremiah the prophet. 30Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 31“Send word to all the exiles, saying, ‘This is what the LORD says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has made you trust in a lie,” 32therefore this is what the LORD says: “Behold, I am going to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his [o]descendants; he will not have anyone living among this people, and he will not see the good that I am going to do for My people,” declares the LORD, “because he has spoken falsely against the LORD.”’”

[a] 5 Lit fruit
[b] 7 Or peace
[c] 7 Or your prosperity will depend on its
[d] 7 Or peace
[e] 7 Or peace
[f] 11 Lit am planning
[g] 11 Or salvation
[h] 18 Or whistling
[i] 22 Lit taken
[j] 23 Or sacrilegiously
[k] 26 Lit overseers
[l] 28 Lit It
[m] 28 Lit fruit
[n] 29 Lit in the ears of
[o] 32 Lit seed

New American Standard Bible
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