Jeremiah's vision of figs
1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jeconiah away as his prisoner. Jeconiah was the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar also took all Jeconiah's officers and the workers in Judah who had special skills. He took them all away from Jerusalem to Babylon as his prisoners.
After that happened, the Lord showed me a vision. I saw two baskets of figs. Somebody had put them in front of the Lord's temple. 2 One basket had very good figs, like those that are ready to eat early in the year. The other basket had very bad figs. They were too bad to eat.
3 Then the Lord asked me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’
I answered, ‘Figs. The good figs are very good. But the bad figs are so bad that nobody can eat them.’
4 Then the Lord gave me this message:
5 ‘The Lord, Israel's God, says, “The people that I sent away from Judah to Babylon as prisoners are like the good figs. I see them as good. 6 I will watch them carefully and I will take care of them. I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and make them strong. I will not knock them down. I will help them to grow in the land, like plants with good roots. I will not pull them up. 7 I will cause them to want to know me. They will know that I am the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, because they will choose to return to me.”
8 But I, the Lord, also tell you this: “King Zedekiah of Judah and his officers are like the bad figs. That is true of the people who still live in Jerusalem, and those who have run away to Egypt to live there. They are all like the figs that are too bad to eat. 9 I will send great trouble to punish them. It will make everyone afraid. The people of all the kingdoms on the earth will think that they are disgusting. People will insult them. They will use them as an example in proverbs. They will use their name as a curse. That will happen in all the places where I send my people. 10 I will send war, famine and disease to kill them. I will destroy them all. They will disappear from the land that I gave to them and to their ancestors.” ’