- Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders who were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon (after Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths were departed from Jerusalem), by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), saying, Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them; take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters, that you may be increased there and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall you have peace. For thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets and your diviners that are in your midst deceive you, neither listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name; I have not sent them, says the Lord. For thus says the Lord: that after seventy years are accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord — thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will listen unto you. And you shall seek me and find me when you shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, says the Lord. And I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you again into the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.
- Because you have said, The Lord has raised us up prophets in Babylon — know that thus says the Lord; of the king that sits upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwell in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity, thus says the Lord of Hosts: Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs that cannot be eaten they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth — to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations to which I have driven them, because they have not listened to my words, says the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, commanding them to rise early and sending them. But you would not hear, says the Lord. Hear therefore the word of the Lord, all you of the captivity whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon; thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie unto you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and he shall slay them before your eyes, and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captives of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name which I have not commanded them. Even I know and am a witness, says the Lord.
- Thus shall you also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, Thus speaks the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying: Because you have sent letters in your name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, The Lord has made you priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the Lord for every man that is mad and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison and in the stocks. Now therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you? For thus he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long, build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied unto you and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie, therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his seed; he shall not have a man to dwell among this people, neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, says the Lord, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord.