Jeremiah 24

Two Baskets of Figs

1 After Jehoiachin[a] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the LORD showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the LORD.
2 One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten.
3 Then the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
5 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.[b]
6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.
7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
8 “ ‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the LORD, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.
9 I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse[c] and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them.
10 I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’ ”

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 26

  • 1. S 2 Kings 24:16; S 2 Chronicles 36:9; Jeremiah 29:2
  • 2. Exodus 23:19; Deuteronomy 26:2; Amos 8:1-2
  • 3. S Song of Songs 2:13
  • 4. S Isaiah 5:4
  • 5. Jeremiah 1:11; Amos 8:2
  • 6. Jeremiah 29:4,20
  • 7. S Jeremiah 30:3">Dt Jeremiah 30:3; Jeremiah 27:22; Jeremiah 29:10; Jeremiah 30:3; Ezekiel 11:17
  • 8. Jeremiah 33:7; Jeremiah 42:10
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 30:9; S Jeremiah 1:10; Amos 9:14-15
  • 10. S Isaiah 11:9
  • 11. S Leviticus 26:12; S Isaiah 51:16; Jeremiah 31:33; S Zechariah 2:11; Hebrews 8:10
  • 12. Jeremiah 32:40
  • 13. S 2 Chronicles 6:37; Ezekiel 11:19
  • 14. Jeremiah 29:17
  • 15. Jeremiah 32:4-5; Jeremiah 38:18,23; Jeremiah 39:5; Jeremiah 44:30
  • 16. Jeremiah 39:6
  • 17. Jeremiah 39:9
  • 18. Jeremiah 44:1,26; Jeremiah 46:14
  • 19. S Jeremiah 15:4; Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 34:17
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 28:25; S 1 Kings 9:7
  • 21. S 2 Kings 22:19; S Jeremiah 29:18
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 28:37; Daniel 9:7
  • 23. S Isaiah 51:19; S Jeremiah 9:16; Revelation 6:8
  • 24. Jeremiah 15:2
  • 25. Jeremiah 27:8
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 28:21

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew "Jeconiah," a variant of "Jehoiachin"
  • [b]. Or "Chaldeans"
  • [c]. That is, their names will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that they are cursed.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 24

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