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Jeremiah 24

1Hashem showed me two baskets of figs, placed in front of the Temple of Hashem. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had exiled King Yechonya son of Yehoyakim of Yehuda, and the officials of Yehuda, and the craftsmen and smiths, from Yerushalayim, and had brought them to Babylon.

אהִרְאַנִי יְהֹוָה וְהִנֵּה שְׁנֵי דּוּדָאֵי תְאֵנִים מוּעָדִים לִפְנֵי הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה אַחֲרֵי הַגְלוֹת נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל אֶת־יְכָנְיָהוּ בֶן־יְהוֹיָקִים מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־הֶחָרָשׁ וְאֶת־הַמַּסְגֵּר מִירוּשָׁלַ ִם וַיְבִאֵם בָּבֶל׃

2One basket contained very good figs, like first-ripened figs, and the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten.

ha-DUD e-KHAD t'-ay-NEEM to-VOT m'-OD kit-ay-NAY ha-ba-ku-ROT v'-ha-DUD e-KHAD t'-ay-NEEM ra-OT m'-OD a-SHER lo tay-a-KHAL-nah may-RO-a

בהַדּוּד אֶחָד תְּאֵנִים טֹבוֹת מְאֹד כִּתְאֵנֵי הַבַּכֻּרוֹת וְהַדּוּד אֶחָד תְּאֵנִים רָעוֹת מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ׃

24:2   One basket contained very good figs

Ripe figs in a Tel Aviv market

After the captivity of the ruling classes in 597 BCE, Yirmiyahu is shown a vision of two baskets of figs: one basket has good, ripe figs, the other has rotten figs that cannot be eaten. Until this time, exile from the Land of Israel, the source of all goodness and blessing, was considered the worst possible punishment. Those who remained thought they had been spared, while those who were exiled thought that Hashem had abandoned them. Yirmiyahu explains that in reality, the opposite is true; those in exile will rediscover the ways of God and return (represented in the image by the ripe figs), while those who remain in the land (the bad figs) will eventually be destroyed. The use of the fig, one of the seven agricultural species unique to Eretz Yisrael, is significant in this metaphor, as the Bible also uses the image of a fig tree to denote peace and prosperity in the land (see I Kings 5:5).

3And Hashem said to me, “What do you see, Yirmiyahu?” I answered, “Figs—the good ones are very good, and the bad ones very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”

גוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי מָה־אַתָּה רֹאֶה יִרְמְיָהוּ וָאֹמַר תְּאֵנִים הַתְּאֵנִים הַטֹּבוֹת טֹבוֹת מְאֹד וְהָרָעוֹת רָעוֹת מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ׃

4Then the word of Hashem came to me:

דוַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃

5Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael: As with these good figs, so will I single out for good the Judean exiles whom I have driven out from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.

הכֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּתְּאֵנִים הַטֹּבוֹת הָאֵלֶּה כֵּן־אַכִּיר אֶת־גָּלוּת יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר שִׁלַּחְתִּי מִן־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים לְטוֹבָה׃

6I will look upon them favorably, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not overthrow them; I will plant them and not uproot them.

ווְשַׂמְתִּי עֵינִי עֲלֵיהֶם לְטוֹבָה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִים עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וּבְנִיתִים וְלֹא אֶהֱרֹס וּנְטַעְתִּים וְלֹא אֶתּוֹשׁ׃

7And I will give them the understanding to acknowledge Me, for I am Hashem. And they shall be My people and I will be their God, when they turn back to Me with all their heart.

זוְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב לָדַעַת אֹתִי כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה וְהָיוּ־לִי לְעָם וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים כִּי־יָשֻׁבוּ אֵלַי בְּכָל־לִבָּם׃

8And like the bad figs, which are so bad that they cannot be eaten—thus said Hashem—so will I treat King Tzidkiyahu of Yehuda and his officials and the remnant of Yerushalayim that is left in this land, and those who are living in the land of Egypt:

חוְכַתְּאֵנִים הָרָעוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה כֵּן אֶתֵּן אֶת־צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וְאֶת־שָׂרָיו וְאֵת שְׁאֵרִית יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הַנִּשְׁאָרִים בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְהַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃

9I will make them a horror—an evil—to all the kingdoms of the earth, a disgrace and a proverb, a byword and a curse in all the places to which I banish them.

טוּנְתַתִּים לזועה [לְזַעֲוָה] לְרָעָה לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ לְחֶרְפָּה וּלְמָשָׁל לִשְׁנִינָה וְלִקְלָלָה בְּכָל־הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר־אַדִּיחֵם שָׁם׃

10I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence against them until they are exterminated from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.

יוְשִׁלַּחְתִּי בָם אֶת־הַחֶרֶב אֶת־הָרָעָב וְאֶת־הַדָּבֶר עַד־תֻּמָּם מֵעַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתִּי לָהֶם וְלַאֲבוֹתֵיהֶם׃