I, the prophet Jeremiah, sent a letter from Jerusalem to Babylonia. It was for the Jewish elders who were still alive there. It was also for the priests and prophets in Babylonia. And it was for all of the other people Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem to Babylon.
It was sent to them after King Jehoiachin had been forced to leave Jerusalem. His mother and the court officials were taken with him. The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem and all of the skilled workers had also been forced to go to Babylon.
I gave the letter to Elasah and Gemariah. Zedekiah, the king of Judah, had sent them to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. Elasah was the son of Shaphan. Gemariah was the son of Hilkiah. Here is what the letter said.
The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He speaks to all those he forced to go from Jerusalem to Babylon. He says,
"Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce.
Get married. Have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons. Give your daughters to be married. Then they too can have sons and daughters. Increase your numbers there. Do not let the number of your people get smaller.