These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to 1the surviving elders of the exiles, and to 2the priests, 3the prophets, and 4all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
This was after 5King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem.
The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of 6Shaphan and Gemariah the son of 7Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
8Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.
Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and 9pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 10Do not let your prophets and 11your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,
for 12it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; 13I did not send them, declares the LORD.
"For thus says the LORD: 14When seventy years are completed for Babylon, 15I will visit you, 16and I will fulfill to you my promise 17and bring you back to this place.
18For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, 19to give you a future and a hope.
20Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, 21and I will hear you.
22You will seek me and find me, when you seek me 23with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the LORD, 24and I will restore your fortunes and 25gather you from all the nations and all the places 26where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.