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Jeremiah 24:1-7

Context
Good Figs and Bad Figs

24:1 The Lord showed me two baskets of figs sitting before his temple. This happened after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon deported Jehoiakim’s son, King Jeconiah of Judah. He deported him and the leaders of Judah, along with the craftsmen and metal workers, and took them to Babylon. 1  24:2 One basket had very good-looking figs in it. They looked like those that had ripened early. 2  The other basket had very bad-looking figs in it, so bad they could not be eaten. 24:3 The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see figs. The good ones look very good. But the bad ones look very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”

24:4 The Lord said to me, 3  24:5 “I, the Lord, the God of Israel, say: ‘The exiles whom I sent away from here to the land of Babylon 4  are like those good figs. I consider them to be good. 24:6 I will look after their welfare 5  and will restore them to this land. There I will build them up and will not tear them down. I will plant them firmly in the land 6  and will not uproot them. 7  24:7 I will give them the desire to acknowledge that I 8  am the Lord. I will be their God and they will be my people. For they will wholeheartedly 9  return to me.’

1 sn See 2 Kgs 24:10-17 (especially vv. 14-16). Nebuchadnezzar left behind the poorest people of the land under the puppet king Zedekiah. Jeconiah has already been referred to earlier in 13:18; 22:25-26. The deportation referred to here occurred in 597 b.c. and included the priest Ezekiel.

2 sn See Isa 28:4; Hos 9:10.

3 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to me.”

4 tn Heb “the land of the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4.

5 tn Heb “I will set my eyes upon them for good.” For the nuance of “good” see Jer 21:10; Amos 9:4 (in these cases the opposite of harm; see BDB 375 s.v. טוֹבָה 1).

6 tn The words “There” and “firmly in the land” are not in the text but are implicit from the connection and the metaphor. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

7 sn For these terms see Jer 1:10.

8 tn Heb “I will give them a heart to know me that I am the Lord.” For the use of “heart” here referring to “inclinations, resolutions, and determinations of the will” see BDB 525 s.v. לֵב 4 and compare the usage in 2 Chr 12:14. For the use of “know” to mean “acknowledge” see BDB 384 s.v. יָדַע Qal.1.f and compare the usage in Jer 39:4. For the construction “know ‘someone’ that he…” = “know that ‘someone’…” see GKC 365 §117.h and compare the usage in 2 Sam 3:25.

9 tn Heb “with all their heart.”



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