Jeremiah 24
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1  Hashem showed me, and behold two baskets of figs set before the temple of Hashem; after that Nevuchadretzar king of Bavel had carried away captive Yechonyah the son of Yehoyakim, king of Yehudah, and the princes of Yehudah, with the craftsmen and smiths, from Yerushalayim, and had brought them to Bavel.

א  הִרְאַנִי יְהוָה וְהִנֵּה שְׁנֵי דּוּדָאֵי תְאֵנִים מוּעָדִים לִפְנֵי הֵיכַל יְהוָה אַחֲרֵי הַגְלוֹת נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל אֶת יְכָנְיָהוּ בֶן יְהוֹיָקִים מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וְאֶת שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה וְאֶת הֶחָרָשׁ וְאֶת הַמַּסְגֵּר מִירוּשָׁלִַם וַיְבִאֵם בָּבֶל.

2  One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first-ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

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

ב  הַדּוּד אֶחָד תְּאֵנִים טֹבוֹת מְאֹד כִּתְאֵנֵי הַבַּכֻּרוֹת וְהַדּוּד אֶחָד תְּאֵנִים רָעוֹת מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ.

24:2   One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first-ripe  

After the captivity of the ruling classes in 597 BCE, Jeremiah is shown a vision of two baskets of figs: one basket has ripe and good figs, the other has rotten figs that can not be eaten. Until this time, exile from the Land of Israel, the source of all goodness and blessing, was considered the worst punishment possible for the Jews. Those people who remained thought they had been spared, while those who were exiled thought that God had abandoned them. Jeremiah explains that in reality the opposite is true; those in exile will rediscover the ways of the Lord and return (the ripe figs), while those who remain in the land will eventually be destroyed (the bad figs). The fig is one of the seven agricultural species that the Bible says are special products of the Land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8). The use of the fig specifically in this metaphor is significant as the Bible also uses the imagery of a fig tree to denote peace and prosperity in the Land of Israel (I Kings 5:5).

Comment

3  Then said Hashem unto me: ‘What seest thou, Yirmiyahu?’ And I said: ‘Figs; the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, that cannot be eaten, they are so bad.’

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי מָה אַתָּה רֹאֶה יִרְמְיָהוּ וָאֹמַר תְּאֵנִים הַתְּאֵנִים הַטֹּבוֹת טֹבוֹת מְאֹד וְהָרָעוֹת רָעוֹת מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ.

4  And the word of Hashem came unto me, saying:

ד  וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר.

5  ‘Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Yehudah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for good.

ה  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּתְּאֵנִים הַטֹּבוֹת הָאֵלֶּה כֵּן אַכִּיר אֶת גָּלוּת יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר שִׁלַּחְתִּי מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים לְטוֹבָה.

6  And I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

ו  וְשַׂמְתִּי עֵינִי עֲלֵיהֶם לְטוֹבָה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִים עַל הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וּבְנִיתִים וְלֹא אֶהֱרֹס וּנְטַעְתִּים וְלֹא אֶתּוֹשׁ.

7  And I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am Hashem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.

ז  וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב לָדַעַת אֹתִי כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים כִּי יָשֻׁבוּ אֵלַי בְּכָל לִבָּם.

8  And as the bad figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad; surely thus saith Hashem: So will I make Tzidkiyahu the king of Yehudah, and his princes, and the residue of Yerushalayim, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Mitzrayim;

ח  וְכַתְּאֵנִים הָרָעוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה כֵּן אֶתֵּן אֶת צִדְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וְאֶת שָׂרָיו וְאֵת שְׁאֵרִית יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַנִּשְׁאָרִים בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְהַיֹּשְׁבִים בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.

9  I will even make them a horror among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil; a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

ט  וּנְתַתִּים לזועה (לְזַעֲוָה) לְרָעָה לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ לְחֶרְפָּה וּלְמָשָׁל לִשְׁנִינָה וְלִקְלָלָה בְּכָל הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר אַדִּיחֵם שָׁם.

10  And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.’

י  וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי בָם אֶת הַחֶרֶב אֶת הָרָעָב וְאֶת הַדָּבֶר עַד תֻּמָּם מֵעַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָהֶם וְלַאֲבוֹתֵיהֶם.

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Jeremiah 24