Jeremiah 24

The Lord shows another picture to Jeremiah

1 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took Jeconiah away to Babylon. Jeconiah was the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. He took with him all Jeconiah's officers and all the men who had clever hands. After that, the Lord showed two baskets of figs to me. 2 One basket had very good fruit, like the first fruit on a tree. The other basket had very bad fruit. It was so bad that nobody could eat it.

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 that nobody can eat them.’

4 Then the Lord spoke to me,

5 ‘The Lord, Israel's God, says, “The people that I sent away from Judah are like the good figs. I see them as good. I sent them away from this place to Babylon. 6 I will watch them, and I will cause good things to happen to them. I will bring them back to this country. I will build them like a strong building and I will not destroy them. I will put them where they can grow like a plant. And I will not pull them up. 7 I will cause them to want to know me, the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God. That will happen because they will completely return to me.

8-9 But Zedekiah, his officers and the people who are still in Jerusalem are like the bad figs. They are like the figs that nobody can eat. They may stay in this country or they may live in Egypt. But I will cause them to have to run from one country to another country. The people in all the kingdoms on the earth will hate them. People will not want them. And they will say that they are silly. And they will say bad things about them and they will curse them. They will do that in every place that I send them to. 10 I will send soldiers and illness to kill them. They will not have enough food to eat. So I will kill all the people still in the country that I gave to their ancestors.” ’