(This was after King Jehoiachina1 and the queen mother,2 the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.)
He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried3 into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
"Build4 houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.
Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.57
Also, seek6 the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray7 to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets8 and diviners among you deceive9 you. Do not listen to the dreams10 you encourage them to have.119
They are prophesying lies12 to you in my name. I have not sent13 them," declares the LORD.
This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years14 are completed for Babylon, I will come to you15 and fulfill my gracious promise16 to bring you back17 to this place.
For I know the plans18 I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper19 you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.2012
Then you will call21 upon me and come and pray22 to me, and I will listen23 to you.