W O 1-7. Letter to the Captivity. P d1 8,9. Dehortation. False prophets. e1 10-14. Prophecy to captives. d2 15. Dehotation. False prophets. e2 16-19. Prophecy to residue. Evil. d3 20-29. Dehortation. False prophets. O 30-32. Message of Yahaveh to the Captivity.
1 Now these are the words (i.e. prophecies) of the writing that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders (cp. Ezek. 8:1; 14:1; 20:1) which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets (i.e. Ezekiel [1:1]; Daniel [1:6]), and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;
2 (After that Jeconiah (i.e. Jehoiachin) the king, and the queen-mother (Nahushta, the wife of Jehoiakim. Cp. 13:18. See 2 Kings 24;12,15), and the chamberlains, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the artificers (cp. 24:1), and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)
3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan (see 2 Kings 22:3. Cp. 26:24), and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah (as in 2 Kings 22:4), (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent (cp. 51:59) to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,
4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon;
5 'Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take you 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 you may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the welfare (cp. Ezra 6:10) of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives (for 63 years. From Jehoiachin's captivity to Cyrus [489-426 B.C. = 63]), and pray to the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.'
8 For thus says 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 you cause to be dreamed.
9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name: I have not sent them, says the LORD.'
10 For thus saith the LORD, 'That after seventy years (cp. 25:12) be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and end, yes, an end which I have caused you to hope for.
12 Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will hearken to you.
13 And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart. (See Deut. 4:29; 30:2.)
14 And I will be found of you, says the LORD: and I will turn back your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place where I caused you to be carried away captive.
15 Because you have said, 'The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;'
16 Know that thus says the LORD concerning the king that sits upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwells in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts; 'Behold, I will send upon them the sword (see Lev. 26:25,26. Deut. 28:21-24), the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like worthless figs (see 24:2, &c.), that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
18 And 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 an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations where I have driven them:
19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, says the LORD, which I sent to them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, says the LORD.'
20 Hear you therefore the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:
21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah (these were false prophets whom Nebuchadnezzar treated as stated in v.22) the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie to you in My name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
22 And of them shall be taken up a curse formula by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, 'The LORD make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;'
23 Because they have vileness in Israel (i.e. worshiping idols. See Gen. 34:7), 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 shall you also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite (or dreamer), saying,
25 'Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, 'Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
26 'The LORD has made you priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad (Cp. John 2:20; 10:20,29), and makes himself a prophet (cp. Matt. 21:11. John 8:53), that you should put him in prison, and in the stocks.
27 Now therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which makes himself a prophet to you?
28 For therefore he sent to us in Babylon, saying, 'This captivity is long: build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.' ' ' ' "
29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
30 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,
31 'Send to all them of the captivity, saying, 'Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; 'Because that Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to confide in a lie:
32 Therefore thus says the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, 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, says the LORD; because he has taught rebellion against the LORD.' ' " (See Deut. 13:5.)