For therefore he sent unto us [in] Babylon, saying
That is, Jeremiah the prophet; and this was the reason, because his mouth was not stopped, and he restrained from prophesying; so that Shemaiah lays all the blame on Zephaniah, and his brethren the priests; who, had they done their duty, would have prevented Jeremiah's letter to the captives, as he suggests; the purport of which was, this [captivity] is long;
so Kimchi, Abarbinel, and Ben Melech, supply it; or, "it [is] long" F13; it will be a long time before the captives shall return to their own land; and therefore they should not think of it, or provide for it; but, on the contrary, for their continuance in Babylon; giving the following advice: build ye houses, and dwell [in them]; and plant gardens, and eat the
fruit of them;
referring to Jeremiah's letter; (See Gill on Jeremiah 29:5).