After Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar had deported Judah's King Jeconiah, King Jehoiakim's son, and the Judean officials, as well as the craftsmen and metalworkers from Jerusalem to Babylon, the LORD showed me two baskets of figs set in front of the LORD's temple.
One basket was filled with fresh and ripe figs; the other basket was filled with rotten figs—too rotten to eat.
And the LORD asked me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I replied: "Figs! Some good ones and others very bad—so bad that they can't be eaten."
Then the LORD said to me:
The LORD, the God of Israel, proclaims: Just as with these good figs, I will treat kindly the Judean exiles that I have sent from this place to Babylon.
I regard them as good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not pull them down; I will plant them and not dig them up.
I will give them a heart to know me, for I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
And just like the rotten figs that are so bad that they can't be eaten, the LORD says, I will do to Judah's King Zedekiah and his officials, as well as the remaining few in Jerusalem and those who are living in Egypt.
I will make them an object of horror and evil to all the kingdoms of the earth. Wherever I scatter them, they will be disgraced and insulted, mocked and cursed.
I will send the sword, famine, and disease against them until they vanish from the fertile land that I gave to their ancestors.