1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to 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 to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,
4 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon;
5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take you 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 you may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray to the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.
8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the middle of you, deceive you, neither listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, said the LORD.
10 For thus said 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, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
14 And I will be found of you, said the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, said the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
15 Because you have said, The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
16 Know that thus said the LORD of the king that sits on the throne of David, and of all the people that dwells in this city, and of your brothers that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
17 Thus said the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send on 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 where I have driven them:
19 Because they have not listened to my words, said the LORD, which I sent to them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, said the LORD.
20 Hear you therefore the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:
21 Thus said 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 to 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 you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
23 Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, said the LORD.
24 Thus shall you also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying,
25 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your name to 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 has made you priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad, and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison, and in the stocks.
27 Now therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which makes himself a prophet to you?
28 For therefore he sent to us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build you 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 to Jeremiah, saying,
31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus said the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie:
32 Therefore thus said 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, said the LORD; because he has taught rebellion against the LORD.