After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had deported Jeconiaha son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, the officials of Judah, and the craftsmen and metalsmithsb from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figsc placed before the temple of the Lord.
One basket [contained] very good figs, like early figs,d but the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they were inedible.
The Lord said to me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I said, "Figs! The good figs are very good, but the bad figs are extremely bad, so bad they are inedible."
The word of the Lord came to me:
"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Like these good figs, so I regard as good the exiles from Judah I sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.
I will keep My eyes on them for their good and will return them to this land. I will build them up and not demolish them; I will plant them and not uproot them.e7
I will give them a heart to know Me,f that I am the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.g8
"But as for the bad figs, so bad they are inedible, this is what the Lord says: in this way I will deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem-those remaining in this land and those living in the land of Egypt.
I will make them an object of horrorh and disaster to all the kingdoms of the earth, a disgrace, an object of scorn, ridicule,i and cursing, wherever I have banished them.
I will send the sword, famine, and plaguej against them until they have perished from the land I gave to them and their ancestors."