The Lesson from the Good and Bad Figs
241 The Lord gave me a vision, and I saw two baskets full of figs put in front of the Temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, had taken prisoner Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the chiefs of Judah, and the expert workmen and metal-workers from Jerusalem, and had taken them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs which first come to growth: and the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they were of no use for food. 3 Then the Lord said to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs are very good, and the bad very bad, and of no use for food, they are so bad. 4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: Like these good figs, so in my eyes will be the prisoners of Judah, whom I have sent from this place into the land of the Chaldaeans for their good. 6 For I will keep my eyes on them for good, and I will take them back again to this land, building them up and not pulling them down, planting them and not uprooting them. 7 And I will give them a heart to have knowledge of me, that I am the Lord: and they will be my people, and I will be their God: for they will come back to me with all their heart. 8 And like the bad figs which are so bad that they are of no use for food, so I will give up Zedekiah, king of Judah, and his chiefs and the rest of Jerusalem who are still in this land, and those who are in the land of Egypt: 9 I will give them up to be a cause of fear and of trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth; to be a name of shame and common talk and a cutting word and a curse in all the places wherever I will send them wandering. 10 And I will send the sword, and need of food, and disease, among them till they are all cut off from the land which I gave to them and to their fathers.
Seventy Years of Desolation
251 The word which came to Jeremiah about all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah king of Judah; this was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon. 2 This word Jeremiah gave out to all the people of Judah and to those living in Jerusalem, saying, 3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, even till this day, for twenty-three years, the word of the Lord has been coming to me, and I have given it to you, getting up early and talking to you; but you have not given ear. 4 And the Lord has sent to you all his servants the prophets, getting up early and sending them; but you have not given attention and your ear has not been open to give hearing; 5 Saying, Come back now, everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your doings, and keep your place in the land which the Lord has given to you and to your fathers, from times long past even for ever: 6 Do not go after other gods to be their servants and to give them worship, and do not make me angry with the work of your hands, causing evil to yourselves. 7 But you have not given ear to me, says the Lord; so that you have made me angry with the work of your hands, causing evil to yourselves.
8 So this is what the Lord of armies has said: Because you have not given ear to my words, 9 See, I will send and take all the families of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, my servant, and make them come against this land, and against its people, and against all these nations on every side; and I will give them up to complete destruction, and make them a cause of fear and surprise and a waste place for ever. 10 And more than this, I will take from them the sound of laughing voices, the voice of joy, the voice of the newly-married man, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the stones crushing the grain, and the shining of lights. 11 All this land will be a waste and a cause of wonder; and these nations will be the servants of the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 And it will come about, after seventy years are ended, that I will send punishment on the king of Babylon, and on that nation, says the Lord, for their evil-doing, and on the land of the Chaldaeans; and I will make it a waste for ever. 13 And I will make that land undergo everything I have said against it, even everything recorded in this book, which Jeremiah the prophet has said against all the nations. 14 For a number of nations and great kings will make servants of them, even of them: and I will give them the reward of their acts, even the reward of the work of their hands.
The Cup of Wrath for the Nations
15 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said to me: Take the cup of the wine of this wrath from my hand, and make all the nations to whom I send you take of it. 16 And after drinking it, they will go rolling from side to side, and be off their heads, because of the sword which I will send among them. 17 Then I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and gave a drink from it to all the nations to whom the Lord sent me; 18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah and their kings and their princes, to make them a waste place, a cause of fear and surprise and a curse, as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his servants and his princes and all his people; 20 And all the mixed people and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon and Gaza and Ekron and the rest of Ashdod; 21 Edom and Moab and the children of Ammon, 22 And all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the lands across the sea; 23 Dedan and Tema and Buz, and all who have the ends of their hair cut; 24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people living in the waste land; 25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes; 26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 27 And you are to say to them, This is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, has said: Take of this cup and be overcome, and let it come out again from your lips, and from your fall you will never be lifted up again, because of the sword which I will send among you. 28 And it will be, if they will not take of the cup in your hand, then you are to say to them, This is what the Lord of armies has said: You will certainly take of it. 29 For see, I am starting to send evil on the town which is named by my name, and are you to be without any punishment? You will not be without punishment: for I will send a sword on all people living on the earth, says the Lord of armies.
30 So, as a prophet, give out these words among them, and say to them, The voice of the Lord will be sounding like a lion from on high; he will send out his voice from his holy place, like the loud voice of a lion, against his flock; he will give a cry, like those who are crushing the grapes, against all the people of the earth. 31 A noise will come, even to the end of the earth; for the Lord has a cause against the nations, he will give his decision against all flesh; as for the evil-doers, he will give them to the sword, says the Lord. 32 This is what the Lord of armies has said: See, evil is going out from nation to nation, and a great storm will come up from the inmost parts of the earth. 33 And at that day, the bodies of those whom the Lord has put to death will be seen from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: there will be no weeping for them, their bodies will not be taken up or put to rest in the earth; they will be like waste on the face of the land. 34 Give cries of grief, you keepers of sheep; give cries for help, rolling yourselves in the dust, you chiefs of the flock: for the days of your destruction have fully come, and I will send you in all directions, and your fall will be like that of the males of the flock. 35 There will be no way of flight for the keepers of sheep, no road for the chiefs of the flock to get away safely. 36 A sound of the cry of the keepers of sheep, and the bitter crying of the chiefs of the flock! for the Lord has made waste their green fields. 37 And there is no sound in the fields of peace, because of the burning wrath of the Lord. 38 The lion has come out of his secret place, for the land has become a waste because of the cruel sword, and because of the heat of his wrath.
Jeremiah Threatened with Death
261 When Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, first became king, this word came from the Lord, saying, 2 This is what the Lord has said: Take your place in the open square of the Lord's house and say to all the towns of Judah, who come into the Lord's house for worship, everything I give you orders to say to them: keep back not a word; 3 It may be that they will give ear, and that every man will be turned from his evil way, so that my purpose of sending evil on them because of the evil of their doings may be changed. 4 And you are to say to them, This is what the Lord has said: If you do not give ear to me and go in the way of my law which I have put before you, 5 And give ear to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you, getting up early and sending them, though you gave no attention; 6 Then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this town a curse to all the nations of the earth.
7 And in the hearing of the priests and the prophets and all the people, Jeremiah said these words in the house of the Lord. 8 Now, when Jeremiah had come to the end of saying everything the Lord had given him orders to say to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people took him by force, saying, Death will certainly be your fate. 9 Why have you said in the name of the Lord, This house will be like Shiloh, and this land a waste with no one living in it? And all the people had come together to Jeremiah in the house of the Lord. 10 And the rulers of Judah, hearing of these things, came up from the king's house to the house of the Lord, and took their seats by the new door of the Lord's house. 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the rulers and to all the people, The right fate for this man is death; for he has said words against this town in your hearing. 12 Then Jeremiah said to all the rulers and to all the people, The Lord has sent me as his prophet to say against this house and against this town all the words which have come to your ears. 13 So now, make a change for the better in your ways and your doings, and give ear to the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will let himself be turned from the decision he has made against you for evil. 14 As for me, here I am in your hands: do with me whatever seems good and right in your opinion. 15 Only be certain that, if you put me to death, you will make yourselves and your town and its people responsible for the blood of one who has done no wrong: for truly, the Lord has sent me to you to say all these words in your ears.
16 Then the rulers and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, It is not right for this man to be put to death: for he has said words to us in the name of the Lord our God. 17 Then some of the responsible men of the land got up and said to all the meeting of the people, 18 Micah the Morashtite, who was a prophet in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, said to all the people of Judah, This is what the Lord of armies has said: Zion will become like a ploughed field, and Jerusalem will become a mass of broken walls, and the mountain of the house like the high places of the woodland. 19 Did Hezekiah and all Judah put him to death? did he not in the fear of the Lord make prayer for the grace of the Lord, and the Lord let himself be turned from the decision he had made against them for evil? By this act we might do great evil against ourselves. 20 And there was another man who was a prophet of the Lord, Uriah, the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath-jearim; he said against this town and against this land all the words which Jeremiah had said: 21 And when his words came to the ears of Jehoiakim the king and all his men of war and his captains, the king would have put him to death; but Uriah, hearing of it, was full of fear and went in flight into Egypt: 22 And Jehoiakim the king sent Elnathan, the son of Achbor, and certain men with him, into Egypt. 23 And they took Uriah out of Egypt and came back with him to Jehoiakim the king; who put him to death with the sword, and had his dead body put into the resting-place of the bodies of the common people. 24 But Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, gave Jeremiah his help, so that he was not given into the hands of the people to be put to death.