Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests and to the prophets and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;
(after Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)
by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,
Thus hath the LORD of the hosts the God of Israel said, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon,
Build houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them;
take wives and beget sons and daughters; give wives unto your sons and give husbands unto your daughters, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be multiplied there and not diminished.
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
For thus hath the LORD of the hosts the God of Israel said: Let not your prophets and your diviners that are in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye dream.
For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, said the LORD.
For thus hath the LORD said, That after seventy years are accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and quicken my good word upon you to cause you to return to this place.
For I know the thoughts that I think concerning you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you the end that you wait for.
Then ye shall call upon me, and ye shall walk in my ways and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, for ye shall seek me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, said the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the Gentiles and from all the places where I have driven you, said the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
But ye have said, The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
know that thus hath the LORD said of the king that sits upon the throne of David and of all the people that dwell in this city and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
thus hath the LORD of the hosts said: Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence and will make them like the evil figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will give them over as a reproach to all the kingdoms of the earth, as a curse, and as an astonishment, and a hissing, and an affront, unto all the Gentiles where I have driven them:
because they did not hearken unto my words, said the LORD, which I sent unto them by my slaves the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye did not hear, said the LORD.
Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have cast out of Jerusalem unto Babylon:
Thus hath the LORD of the hosts the God of Israel said regarding Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and regarding Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy falsely unto you in my name; Behold, I deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken a word falsely in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know and am a witness, saith the LORD.
Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying,
Thus hath the LORD of the hosts the God of Israel spoken, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem and to Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah and to all the priests, saying,
The LORD has made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should preside in the house of the LORD over every man that is furious and prophesies, putting him in the prison and in the stocks.
Now therefore why hast thou not reprehended Jeremiah of Anathoth, for prophesying falsely unto you?
For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build houses and dwell in them and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,
Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus hath the LORD said concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah has prophesied unto you, and I did not send him, and he caused you to trust upon a lie;
therefore thus hath the LORD said; Behold, I visit upon Shemaiah the Nehelamite and upon his generation: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold that good which I do unto my people, said the LORD, because he has spoken rebellion against the LORD.