Then the word of the LORD came to me:
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent1 away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.a6
My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back2 to this land. I will build3 them up and not tear them down; I will plant4 them and not uproot them.
I will give them a heart to know5 me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people,6 and I will be their God, for they will return7 to me with all their heart.88
" 'But like the poor9 figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,' says the LORD, 'so will I deal with Zedekiah10 king of Judah, his officials11 and the survivors12 from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.139
I will make them abhorrent14 and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword,15 an object of ridicule and cursing,16 wherever I banish17 them.
I will send the sword,18 famine19 and plague20 against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their fathers.21' "