Jeremiah 24

Listen to Jeremiah 24

The Good Figs and the Bad Figs

1 1After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem 2Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with 3the officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the LORD showed me this vision: behold, 4two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the LORD.
2 One basket had very good figs, 5like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had 6very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten.
3 And the LORD said to me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" I said, "Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten."
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
5 "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, 7whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.
6 8I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. 9I will build them up, and not tear them down; 10I will plant them, and not uproot them.
7 11I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, 12and they shall be my people 13and I will be their God, 14for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
8 "But thus says the LORD: Like 15the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat 16Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who 17dwell in the land of Egypt.
9 I will make them 18a horror[a] to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be 19a reproach, 20a byword, 21a taunt, and 22a curse in all the places where I shall drive them.
10 And I will send 23sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers."

Jeremiah 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Good and bad figs represent the Jews in captivity, and those who remain in their own land.

- The prophet saw two baskets of figs set before the temple, as offerings of first-fruits. The figs in one basket were very good, those in the other basket very bad. What creature viler than a wicked man? and what more valuable than a godly man? This vision was to raise the spirits of those gone into captivity, by assuring them of a happy return; and to humble and awaken the proud and secure spirits of those yet in Jerusalem, by assuring them of a miserable captivity. The good figs represents the pious captives. We cannot determine as to God's love or hatred by what is before us. Early suffering sometimes proves for the best. The sooner the child is corrected, the better effect the correction is likely to have. Even this captivity was for their good; and God's intentions never are in vain. By afflictions they were convinced of sin, humbled under the hand of God, weaned from the world, taught to pray, and turned from sins, particularly from idolatry. God promises that he will own them in captivity. The Lord will own those who are his, in all conditions. God assures them of his protection in trouble, and a glorious deliverance in due time. When our troubles are sanctified to us, we may be sure that they will end well. They shall return to him with their whole heart. Thus they should have liberty to own him for their God, to pray to him, and expect blessings from him. The bad figs were Zedekiah and those of his party yet in the land. These should be removed for their hurt, and forsaken of all mankind. God has many judgments, and those that escape one, may expect another, till they are brought to repent. Doubtless, this prophecy had its fulfilment in that age; but the Spirit of prophecy may here look forward to the dispersion of the unbelieving Jews, in all the nations of the earth. Let those who desire blessings from the Lord, beg that he will give them a heart to know him.

Cross References 23

  • 1. 2 Kings 24:12; 2 Chronicles 36:10
  • 2. Matthew 1:11; [Jeremiah 22:18, 24, 28]
  • 3. Jeremiah 29:2; 2 Kings 24:12, 14
  • 4. Amos 8:1, 2
  • 5. [Isaiah 28:4]
  • 6. Jeremiah 29:17
  • 7. Jeremiah 29:20
  • 8. [Amos 9:4]
  • 9. Jeremiah 12:15; Jeremiah 29:10
  • 10. Jeremiah 31:28; Jeremiah 42:10; [Jeremiah 1:10; Amos 9:15]
  • 11. Jeremiah 32:39; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26, 27
  • 12. See Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:33
  • 13. See Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:33
  • 14. Jeremiah 29:13; Joel 2:12, 13
  • 15. ver. 2; Jeremiah 29:17
  • 16. Jeremiah 21:1
  • 17. See Jeremiah 43 - 44
  • 18. See Jeremiah 15:4
  • 19. Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 49:13; Nehemiah 2:17; Isaiah 43:28
  • 20. Deuteronomy 28:37; 2 Chronicles 7:20
  • 21. Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 49:13; Nehemiah 2:17; Isaiah 43:28
  • 22. Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 29:22; 2 Kings 22:19
  • 23. See Jeremiah 14:12

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Compare Septuagint; Hebrew horror for evil

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a vision of two baskets of figs, representing the Jews both in captivity, and at Jerusalem. The vision is declared, Jer 24:1-3; where both time and place are pointed at, in which the vision was seen, and the nature of the figs described, and what passed between the Lord and the prophet concerning them. The explication of the vision begins, Jer 24:4; and continues to the end of the chapter. The good figs were an emblem of the good people that were carried captive with Jeconiah into Babylon, which the Lord says was for their good; and he promises to own them, and set his eyes upon them for good, and that they should return to their own land, and have a heart to know him as their God, and return unto him, Jer 24:5-7; the bad figs signify the people that were with Zedekiah at Jerusalem, and those that were in Egypt, who are threatened to be carried captive into all lands, and there live under the greatest reproach and disgrace; or be destroyed in their own land by the sword, famine, or pestilence, Jer 24:8-10.

Jeremiah 24 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.