1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders who were carried away as captives, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon 2 (After Jeconiah the king, the queen, the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the carpenters, and the smiths had 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 says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who are carried away as captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 'Build houses and dwell in them. Plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters, so 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 as captives, and pray to the LORD for it, for in its peace you shall have peace.' 8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in the midst 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,' says the LORD.
10 "For thus says the LORD: 'After seventy years is 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,' says the LORD, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then you shall call upon 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 search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found by you,' says the LORD, 'and I will turn away your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' says the LORD, 'and I will bring you back into the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.'
15 "Because you have said, 'The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,' 16 Know that thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits upon the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brothers who have not gone forth with you into captivity— 17 Thus says 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 bad. 18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth to be a curse, an astonishment, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 For they have not listened to my words,' says the LORD, 'which I sent to them by my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you would not hear,' says the LORD. 20 Hear therefore the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in my name: 'Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall slay them before your eyes. 22 And concerning them a curse shall be taken up by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, "May 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 neighbor's wives, and have spoken lying words in my name which I have not commanded them. Even I know and am a witness," says the LORD.'"
24 Thus you shall 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 who are at Jerusalem, to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 "The LORD has made you priest in place of Jehoiada the priest, so that you should be officers in the house of the LORD. For every man who is mad and makes himself a prophet, you should put him in prison and in the stocks. 27 Now therefore, why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth who makes himself a prophet to you? 28 For therefore he sent to us in Babylon, saying, 'This captivity is long. Build houses and dwell in them. Plant gardens and eat their fruit.'"'"
29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 31 "Send to all those of the captivity, saying, 'Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: "Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I did not send him, and he caused you to trust in a lie," 32 Therefore, thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his offspring. He shall not have a man to dwell among this people, neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people," says the LORD, "because he has taught rebellion against the LORD."'"