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Jeremiah 29:1–14

JEREMIAH’S LETTER TO THE EXILES

29 This is the text of the lettern that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining exiled elders, the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzaro had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah,A,p the queen mother, the court officials, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalsmiths had left Jerusalem. He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah,q whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The letter stated:

This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and live in them.r Plant gardens and eat their produce. Find wives for yourselves, and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease.s Pursue the well-beingC of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf,t for when it thrives, you will thrive.”

For this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let your prophets who are among youu and your diviners deceive you,v and don’t listen to the dreams you elicit from them, for they are prophesying falsely to you in my name. I have not sent them.”a This is the Lord’s declaration.

10 For this is what the Lord says: “When seventy years for Babylon are complete,b I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”c—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.d 13 You will seek mee and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunesA,f and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place from which I deported you.”g

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