Jeremiah 29

1. "And these are my instructions" -- letters that the Prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to Babylon, to the various elders that were taken captive, to the High Priest, to the Lying Prophets, and to the entire nation that Nebuchadnasser King of Babylon had taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon,
2. "After Jeconiah the king, and the queen had left, the faithful* and the leaders of Judea and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the horsemen from Jerusalem,
3. "By the hand of Elasa son of Shapan and Gamariah son of Halkial, who were sent by Sidqaiah king of Judea to Nebuchadnasser King of Babylon;"
4. Thus said the Supreme Lord God of Israel to all the captives exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon,
5. "Build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat their fruit,
6. "Take women [as wives] and give birth to sons and daughters, take women [in marriage] for your sons and give your daughters; you shall become bigger [in numbers] and there, and you will not become scattered.
7. "And greet the town to which I sent you captive with a greeting of peace and pray over it before the Lord, so as through its peace you shall also live in peace."*
8. Because thus said the Almighty Lord God of Israel, "Let neither prophets among you mislead* you, [nor heed your fortune tellers,] nor listen to their dreams that you dreamt."
9. "For it is in vain that they prophesy in my name; it is not I who sent them," said the Lord.
10. For thus said the Lord, "When your years in Babylon have reached seventy,* I shall save you and I shall utter the covenants of grace over you regarding your return to this country here."
11. "For I know the intentions of my plans* for you," said the Lord, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, so as I may bring you hope in the end.
12. "And when you call on me and [kneel down and pray] before me,
13. "And as you love me with all your heart, you shall find me," said the Lord.
14. "Then I shall return your captives and gather you from all the nations and from all the lands where I had scattered you," said the Lord, "and return you back from the countries where I had exiled you."
15. "Because you said that the Lord shall raise prophets for us in Babylon."
16. "Because thus said the Lord concerning* the King who sits on David's throne and concerning all the people that reside in this town, your brothers who did not go out with you to captivity --
17. "Thus said the Almighty Lord, 'Behold, I shall send against them the sword, famine and deadly [plagues,] and I shall make them like evil figs that cannot be eaten on account of their evil.
18. "And I shall have them chased by sword, famine and plagues, and I shall give them to be shaken in all the kingdoms of the earth, to be bewildered, cursed, ridiculed and whistled at in the lands where I scatter them,
19. "On account of they did not heed my instructions,* and I sent to them all my prophets, I raised* them and sent them, but they did not listen to them," said the Lord.
20. You, however, listen to the instructions of the Lord, all you captives that were taken as exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon,
21. Thus said the Almighty Lord God of Israel regarding Ahab son of Qolaiah and Sidqaiah son of Jaasseiah, who prophesied to you in vain, "Behold, I shall deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnasser, King of Babylon, and he shall kill them by the sword before your eyes.
22. "They shall become a curse to all the captives of Babylon, and they shall say, 'Your servants like Sidqaiah and Ahab, the King of Babylon [burned them at the stake,]
23. "On account of* they did the abominable over Israel,* and committed adultery with their friends' wives and pronounced oracles in my name, those that I did not command them to say; however, I know and I testify [to all that they did,]" said the Lord.
24. "And Shemaiah Nehamlaiah said it,
25. "Thus said the Almighty Lord, the God of Israel, and a letter [bearing] his name was sent to all the people of Jerusalem, and to Sapnaya son of Maaseiah the high priest,
26. "The Lord raised you as a high priest in place of Yaweeda'a the high priest, to become the leader* in the house of the Lord, over every man who prophesies and slips* into lying -- cast him in with the prisoners* and trouble makers.
27. "And now, wherefore do you not cry out against Jeremiah, who prophesied to you from Anatoth?
28. "Because, behold, we were sent to Babylon so as to survive there, build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat their fruits."
29. And Sapnayah the high priest read this letter into the ears of Jeremiah the Prophet.
30. And the manifestation* of the Lord was upon the Prophet Jeremiah to declare:
31. "Send forth to all the exiles, 'Thus said the Lord to Shamaiah Nehamlaiah regarding what Shamaiah prophesied to you, that which I did not send forth; you shall laugh in vain',
32. "Because of that thus said the Lord, 'Behold, I made it incumbent* over Shamaiah Nehamliah and his offspring* that he shall not have a man* that sits among* this nation, and that he shall not see according to the blessings that I performed for my people,' said the Lord, "because it was abomination that he spoke regarding the Lord.'"

*29:2 Lit. Ar. idiom Retained: "Loyalists."
*29:7 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And ask by the peace of the city where I have [sent] you captives there and pray [on your knees] over it before the Lord, so as through its peace you shall have peace."
*29:10 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "When filled to Babylon seventy years."
*29:11 Lit. Ar. id.: "The thinking that I think."
*29:19.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Oracles."
*29:19.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Upheld," or "Imagined."
*29:23.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Over."
*29:23.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Abominated by Israel."
*29:26.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Commander."
*29:26.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Becomes a liar."
*29:26.3 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Cast him with house of prisoners..."
*29:30 Lit. Ar. id.: or: "Oracle."
*29:32.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Commanded."
*29:32.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Seed."
*29:32.3 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Heir."
*29:32.4 Lit. Ar. id.: "Inside."

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