29 And these are the words of the letter the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the deportees and to the priests and the prophets and all the people that Nebucadnessar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon, 2 after King Jeconiah and the queen-mother and the eunuchs and the generals of Judah and Jerusalem and the carpenters and smiths had gone out of Jerusalem, 3 by Eleasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkijah, whom King Sidkijah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebucadnessar of Babylon: 4 * Says Israel’s God Jehovah of Armies to all the deportees whom I have deported from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 Build houses and live in them and plant gardens and eat their fruit; 6 take wives and have children, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands and let them have children, and multiply and do not dwindle; 7 and strive for the welfare of the country I have deported you to, and pray for it to Jehovah, because in its welfare you will have welfare. 8 For Israel’s God Jehovah of Armies says, Do not let your prophets that you have among you, and your soothsayers, delude you, and do not listen to their dreams that they have, 9 because they are prophesying falsely to you in my name; I did not send them, quoth Jehovah. 10 For Jehovah says, As soon as Babylon has had a full seventy years, I will look after you and keep my good word for you, bringing you back to this place. 11 * For I know the thoughts I am thinking about you, quoth Jehovah, thoughts of your welfare and not for mischief, to give you a future and a hope. 12 * And you shall call me and go and pray to me and I will listen to you, 13 and you shall look for me and find me because you resort to me with all your hearts. 14 And I will let myself be found by you, quoth Jehovah, and will bring you back from captivity and gather you out of all the nations and places to which I have banished you, quoth Jehovah, and bring you back to the place that I deported you from, 15 —because you say “Jehovah has raised up prophets for us at Babylon.” 16 For Jehovah says to the king that is sitting on David’s throne and to all the people that are living in this city, your brothers that did not go out into deportation with you 17 —says Jehovah of Armies, Here I am turning loose on them warfare, starvation, and pestilence, and will make them like horrible figs, uneatably bad, 18 and hunt them down with warfare, starvation, and pestilence, and give them as victims to all the kingdoms of the earth, a thing to be cursed by and to appall and to be whistled at and to be taunted among all the nations where I have banished them, 19 to pay for their not having listened to my words, quoth Jehovah, inasmuch as I sent them my servants the prophets, each one early—and you did not listen, quoth Jehovah. 20 Listen to Jehovah’s word, you, all the deportees that I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21 says Israel’s God Jehovah of Armies to Ahab the son of Kolaiah and to Sidkijah the son of Maʽasejah, who are prophesying falsely to you in my name, Here I am going to give them into the hands of King Nebucadressar of Babylon and he will kill them before your eyes, 22 and all the deportees of Judah in Babylon will use a curse taken from them, “Jehovah make you like Sidkijah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted at a fire,” 23 since they made a scandal in Israel and committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and spoke in my name a word which I had not commissioned them to, I knowing it and bearing witness of it, quoth Jehovah. 24 And Shemaʽiah the Nehelamite said 25 * “Says Israel’s God Jehovah of Armies” and sent letters in his name to all the people in Jerusalem and to Priest Sephaniah the son of Maʽasejah and to all the priests, 26 * “Jehovah has put you in as priest, Priest Jehojadaʽ’s successor, to be commissioner in Jehovah’s house for any man that goes insane and takes to prophesying, and to put him in the stocks and the bilboes. 27 Now why have you not checked Jeremiah the ʽAnathothite who has taken to prophesying to you, 28 seeing that he has sent word to us at Babylon ‘It will be long-lasting; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit’?” 29 And Priest Sephaniah read the letter to the prophet Jeremiah. 30 And Jehovah’s word came to Jeremiah, 31 “Send word to all the deportees, ‘Says Jehovah for Shemaʽiah the Nehelamite, Since Shemaʽiah has been prophesying to you when I had not sent him and making you put confidence in a falsehood, 32 therefore Jehovah says, Here I am going to punish Shema’iah the Nehelamite and his issue: he shall not have a man that will live among this people, and shall not have a sight of the good I am going to do to this people, quoth Jehovah, because he has spoken wrongfully against Jehovah.”’
^ 29:4 Var. who have been deported
^ 29:11 Lit. of welfare and
^ 29:12 Conj. call me and I will go, and you shall pray to me and
^ 29:25 Var. in his name to Priest Sephaniah the son of Maʽaseiah, “Jehovah
^ 29:26 (bilboes) Unc.