The Good and Bad Figs
1 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away Jeconiah a son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, as well as the officials of Judah and the craftsmen and metalsmiths from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon, b 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, but the other basket contained very poor figs, so bad they could not be eaten.
3 “Jeremiah,” the LORD asked, “what do you see?”
“Figs!” I replied. “The good figs are very good, but the bad figs are very bad, so bad they cannot be eaten.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, so I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. c 6 I will keep My eyes on them for good and will return them 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, so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the LORD, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem—those remaining in this land and those living in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a horror and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a disgrace and an object of scorn, ridicule, and cursing wherever I have banished them. 10 And I will send against them sword and famine and plague, until they have perished from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.’ ”