Now these are the words of the 1letterwhichJeremiah the prophetsent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets and all the peoplewhomNebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
(This was afterKing2Jeconiah and the 3queenmother, the courtofficials, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.)
The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of 4Hilkiah, whomZedekiahking of Judahsent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzarking of Babylon, saying,
4"Thussays the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exileswhom I have 5sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon,
'6Buildhouses and live in them; and plantgardens and eat their aproduce.
6'Take7wives and bbecome the fathers of sons and daughters, and takewives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bearsons and daughters; and multiplythere and do not decrease.
'8Seek the cwelfare of the citywhere I have sent you into exile, and 9pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its dwelfare you will haveewelfare.'
"For thussays the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Do not let your 10prophetswho are in your midst and your diviners11deceive you, and do not listen to f12the dreamswhichgthey dream.
'For they 13prophesyfalsely to you in My name; 14I have not sent them,' declares the LORD.
"For thussays the LORD, 'When15seventyyears have beencompleted for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My 16goodword to you, to bring you back to thisplace.
'For I know the 17plans that I hhave for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for 18welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a 19hope.
'Then you will 20call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will 21listen to you.
'You will 22seek Me and find Me when you 23search for Me with all your heart.
'I will be 24found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will 25restore your ifortunes and will 26gather you from all the nations and from all the placeswhere I have driven you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will 27bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'
15"Because you have said, 'The LORD has raised up 28prophets for us in Babylon '-
for thussays the LORDconcerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerningall the people who dwell in thiscity, your brotherswho did 29not go with you into exile -
17thussays the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, I am sending upon them the 30sword, famine and pestilence, and I will make them like 31split-openfigs that cannot be eatendue to rottenness.
'I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will 32make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a 33curse and a horror and a 34hissing, and a reproach among all the nationswhere I have driven them,
19because they have 35not listened to My words,' declares the LORD, 'which I sent to them again and again by 36My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,' declares the LORD.
"You, therefore, hear the word of the LORD, all you exiles, whom I have 37sentaway from Jerusalem to Babylon.
21"Thussays the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerningAhab the son of Kolaiah and concerningZedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are 38prophesying to you falsely in My name, 'Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzarking of Babylon, and he will slay them before your eyes.
22'Because of them a 39curse will be jused by all the exiles from Judahwho are in Babylon, saying, "May the LORDmake you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon40roasted in the fire,
23because they have 41actedfoolishly in Israel, and 42have committedadultery with their neighbors'wives and have 43spokenwords in My namefalsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who 44knows and am a witness," declares the LORD.' "
To 45Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying,
25"Thussays the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Because you have sent46letters in your own name to all the peoplewho are in Jerusalem, and to 47Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
"The LORD has made you priestinstead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the k48overseer in the house of the LORD over every49madman who 50prophesies, to 51put him in the stocks and in the ironcollar,
27now then, why have you not rebukedJeremiah of 52Anathoth who prophesies to you?
"For he has 53sent to us in Babylon, saying, 'The exile will be 54long; 55buildhouses and live in them and plantgardens and eat their lproduce.' ""'
2956Zephaniah the priestreadthislettermto Jeremiah the prophet.
Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,
31"Send to 57all the exiles, saying, 'Thussays the LORDconcerning58Shemaiah the Nehelamite, "BecauseShemaiah has 59prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has 60made you trust in a lie,"
32thereforethussays the LORD, "Behold, I am about to 61punishShemaiah the Nehelamite and his ndescendants; he will 62not haveanyonelivingamongthispeople, 63and he will not see the good that I am about to do to My people," declares the LORD, "because he has o64preachedrebellionagainst the LORD.""'