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Jeremiah 29

Jer 29, Je 29, Jr 29

Jeremiah 29

1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which 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;

2 (After that 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;)

3 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,

4 Thus saith 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;

5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

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 be increased there, and not diminished.

7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away 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 bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

15 Because ye have said, The LORD hath raised us up prophets in Babylon;

16 Know that thus saith the LORD of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;

17 Thus saith 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.

18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:

19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.

20 Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:

21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;

22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;

23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD.

24 Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying,

25 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,

26 The LORD hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks.

27 Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you?

28 For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.

30 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie:

32 Therefore thus saith 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, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD.

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Summary and the Meaning of the Chapter 29 of the Book of Jeremiah

The 29th chapter of the Book of Jeremiah in the King James Version of the Bible is a crucial part of the narrative that sets the foundation for understanding God's relationship with his people and the role of the prophet. The chapter primarily revolves around a letter sent by the prophet Jeremiah to the Jewish elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who were exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem to Babylon. The letter, as dictated by God, instructs the exiles on how to live in Babylon and assures them of God's plans for their future.

The chapter begins with the historical context of the letter. It was sent after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had been exiled from Jerusalem. The letter is an important communication from Jeremiah, serving as God's mouthpiece, to the exiles in Babylon.

The Command to Build and Plant

In the letter, Jeremiah instructed the exiles to "build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce" (Jeremiah 29:5). This directive was not just about physical construction and agriculture; it was symbolic of the call to establish their lives in Babylon, to seek stability and continuity in a foreign land. It was a call to adapt and survive, to maintain their identity and faith in the midst of a pagan society.

The Call to Marry and Multiply

The letter further instructs the exiles to marry, have sons and daughters, and find spouses for them so that they may increase in number and not decrease (Jeremiah 29:6). This command is significant as it shows God's intention for His people to grow and prosper, even in exile. This growth was not just quantitative but also qualitative, as it involved the strengthening of their community and faith.

The Command to Seek the Peace of the City

Jeremiah also urged the exiles to seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which they have been carried into exile and to pray to the Lord for it (Jeremiah 29:7). This command is striking because it asked the Israelites to pray for the well-being of the city that was essentially their captor. It emphasized the principle of loving one's enemies and showed that God's concern extended beyond His chosen people to all nations.

The Warning against False Prophets

The letter also contained a warning against false prophets who were spreading false hopes among the people (Jeremiah 29:8-9). These prophets were telling the exiles that their stay in Babylon would be short, contradicting God's directive through Jeremiah. By debunking these false predictions, Jeremiah established the importance of discerning and adhering to God's true word.

The Assurance of Restoration

In one of the most quoted verses, Jeremiah 29:11, God assures His people, "For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This verse is a powerful reminder of God's sovereignty and His benevolent plans for His people. It assures them that despite their current circumstances, God has a future of restoration and prosperity in store for them.

The Promise of Return

The chapter concludes with God promising that after seventy years are completed for Babylon, He will come to His people and fulfill His good promise to bring them back to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:10). This promise of return is the climax of the chapter, assuring the exiles that their situation is temporary and that God has not abandoned them.

The Prophetic Truths and Their Relevance Today

The truths revealed in Jeremiah 29 are as relevant today as they were in the time of the exiles. The chapter teaches us that God is in control, even in the midst of challenging circumstances. It encourages us to be productive and positive, to pray for and contribute to the well-being of the communities we live in, and to be discerning of false prophecies. Above all, it assures us of God's good plans for us, plans for our welfare and not for harm, to give us a future with hope.

In the broader context of the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29 serves as a turning point in the narrative. Up until this point, the primary focus had been on warning the people of Judah about the impending disaster due to their disobedience. However, with this chapter, the tone shifts to one of hope and future restoration. While the earlier chapters dealt with the consequences of disobedience, chapter 29 begins to reveal God's plans for the restoration of His people and their eventual return from exile.

In conclusion, Jeremiah 29 delivers a profound message of hope in the midst of adversity. It reminds us that God has plans for our future, even when our present circumstances seem bleak. It encourages us to trust in God's sovereignty, to seek the welfare of our communities, and to remain faithful even in the face of false prophecies. Above all, it assures us of God's unfailing love and His promise to restore us to a hope-filled future.

This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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