1 And these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders of the exiles, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon;
2 (After king Jechonyah and the queenmother, and the courtofficers, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the locksmiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)
3 By the hand of Elassah the son of Shaphan, and Gemaryah the son of Chilkiyah, whom Zedekiah the king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, saying,
4 Thus hath said the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all the exiles, whom I have caused to be carried into exile from Jerusalem unto Babylon,
5 Build ye houses, and dwell therein; and plant gardens, and eat their fruit;
6 Take ye 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 ye may multiply there, and not be diminished.
7 And seek the welfare of the city whither I have banished you, and pray in its behalf unto the Lord; for in its welfare shall ye fare well.
8 For thus hath said the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Let not your prophets, that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you, and do not hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamt;
9 For with falsehood do they prophesy unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.
10 For thus hath said the Lord, Because only after the accomplishment of seventy years for Babylon, will I visit you, and fulfill respecting you my good word, in causing you to return to this place.
11 For I alone know the thoughts that I entertain respecting you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a happy future and hope.
12 And you will call upon me, and ye will go and will pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye will seek me, and shall find me, for ye will search for me with all your heart.
14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord; and I will bring back your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will cause you to return unto the place whence I have banished you.
15 Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon.
16 But thus hath said the Lord concerning the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and concerning all the people that dwell in this city, your brethren that are not gone forth with you into exile;
17 Thus hath said the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will send out against them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; and I will render them like the detestable figs, that cannot be eaten, from being so bad.
18 And I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will make them a horror unto all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, and an astonishment, and a derision, and a disgrace, among all the nations whither I have driven them;
19 For the reason that they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, since I sent unto them my servants the prophets, causing them to rise up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord.
20 But yehear ye the word of the Lord, all ye exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
21 Thus hath said the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Achab the son of Kolayah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maasseyah, who prophesy unto you in my name falsehood, Behold, I will give them up into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon: and he shall smite them before your eyes.
22 And a curse shall be derived from them for all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, "May the Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Achab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;"
23 Because they have done scandalous deeds in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their neighbors, and have spoken in my name falsehood, which I had not commanded them; whereas I am the one that know, and am the witness, saith the Lord.
24 And to Shemayahu the Nechelamite shalt thou say, as followeth,
25 Thus hath said the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent in thy name letters unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephanyah the son of Maasseyah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
26 The Lord hath appointed thee priest in the place of Jehoyada the priest, that ye should be superintendents in the house of the Lord, for every man that is mad, and that prophesieth, that thou shouldst put him in the stocks, and in prison:
27 And now, why hast thou not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who prophesieth to you?
28 For the reason that he hath sent unto us to Babylon saying, It will last a long time: build ye houses, and dwell therein; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit thereof.
29 And Zephanyah the priest read the letter before the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
30 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,
31 Send to all the exiles, saying, Thus hath said the Lord concerning Shemayah the Nechlamite, Whereas Shemayah hath prophesied unto you, while I have not sent him, and he hath caused you to rely on a falsehood:
32 Therefore thus hath said the Lord, Behold, I will inflict punishment on Shemayah the Nechlamite, and on his seed; he shall not have a man to dwell in the midst of this people; and he shall not behold the good that I am doing for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath spoken revolt against the Lord.