Jeremiah 29
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1  This is the text of the letter which the navi Yirmiyahu sent from Yerushalayim to the kohanim, the neviim, the rest of the elders of the exile community, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had exiled from Yerushalayim to Babylon

א  וְאֵלֶּה דִּבְרֵי הַסֵּפֶר אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח יִרְמְיָה הַנָּבִיא מִירוּשָׁלִָם אֶל־יֶתֶר זִקְנֵי הַגּוֹלָה וְאֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים וְאֶל־הַנְּבִיאִים וְאֶל־כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר הֶגְלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מִירוּשָׁלִַם בָּבֶלָה׃

2  after King Yechonya, the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Yehuda and Yerushalayim, and the craftsmen and smiths had left Yerushalayim.

ב  אַחֲרֵי צֵאת יְכָנְיָה־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַגְּבִירָה וְהַסָּרִיסִים שָׂרֵי יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִַם וְהֶחָרָשׁ וְהַמַּסְגֵּר מִירוּשָׁלִָם׃

3  [The letter was sent] through Elasah son of Shafan and Gemariah son of Chilkiyahu, whom King Tzidkiyahu of Yehuda had dispatched to Babylon, to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

ג  בְּיַד אֶלְעָשָׂה בֶן־שָׁפָן וּגְמַרְיָה בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּה אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח צִדְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה אֶל־נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל בָּבֶלָה לֵאמֹר׃

4  Thus said God of Hosts, the God of Yisrael, to the whole community which I exiled from Yerushalayim to Babylon:

ד  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל־הַגּוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר־הִגְלֵיתִי מִירוּשָׁלִַם בָּבֶלָה׃

5  Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit.

ה  בְּנוּ בָתִּים וְשֵׁבוּ וְנִטְעוּ גַנּוֹת וְאִכְלוּ אֶת־פִּרְיָן׃

6  Take 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. Multiply there, do not decrease.

ו  קְחוּ נָשִׁים וְהוֹלִידוּ בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת וּקְחוּ לִבְנֵיכֶם נָשִׁים וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם תְּנוּ לַאֲנָשִׁים וְתֵלַדְנָה בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת וּרְבוּ־שָׁם וְאַל־תִּמְעָטוּ׃

7  And seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to Hashem in its behalf; for in its prosperity you shall prosper.

ז  וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת־שְׁלוֹם הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה וְהִתְפַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָהּ אֶל־יְהוָה כִּי בִשְׁלוֹמָהּ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָׁלוֹם׃

8  For thus said God of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: Let not the neviim and diviners in your midst deceive you, and pay no heed to the dreams they dream.

ח  כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל־יַשִּׁיאוּ לָכֶם נְבִיאֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר־בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וְקֹסְמֵיכֶם וְאַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל־חֲלֹמֹתֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מַחְלְמִים׃

9  For they prophesy to you in My name falsely; I did not send them—declares Hashem.

ט  כִּי בְשֶׁקֶר הֵם נִבְּאִים לָכֶם בִּשְׁמִי לֹא שְׁלַחְתִּים נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

10  For thus said Hashem: When Babylon’s seventy years are over, I will take note of you, and I will fulfill to you My promise of favor—to bring you back to this place.

י  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה כִּי לְפִי מְלֹאת לְבָבֶל שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה אֶפְקֹד אֶתְכֶם וַהֲקִמֹתִי עֲלֵיכֶם אֶת־דְּבָרִי הַטּוֹב לְהָשִׁיב אֶתְכֶם אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה׃

11  For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you—declares Hashem—plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hopeful future.

יא  כִּי אָנֹכִי יָדַעְתִּי אֶת־הַמַּחֲשָׁבֹת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי חֹשֵׁב עֲלֵיכֶם נְאֻם־יְהוָה מַחְשְׁבוֹת שָׁלוֹם וְלֹא לְרָעָה לָתֵת לָכֶם אַחֲרִית וְתִקְוָה׃

12  When you call Me, and come and pray to Me, I will give heed to you.

יב  וּקְרָאתֶם אֹתִי וַהֲלַכְתֶּם וְהִתְפַּלַּלְתֶּם אֵלָי וְשָׁמַעְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם׃

13  You will search for Me and find Me, if only you seek Me wholeheartedly.

u-vi-kash-TEM o-TEE um-tza-TEM KEE tid-r’-SHU-nee b’-khol l’-vav-KHEM

יג  וּבִקַּשְׁתֶּם אֹתִי וּמְצָאתֶם כִּי תִדְרְשֻׁנִי בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶם׃

29:13   You will search for Me and find Me

Yirmiyahu pens a letter to the exiles in Babylonia. He tells them to disregard the false prophecies, according to which they will return to Israel soon. Instead, they are to settle in Babylonia and raise families there, as they will remain there for seventy years, and only after that will they be permitted to return to Israel. However, only those who truly desire to return to their homeland will be given divine assistance to do so. In his work The Kuzari, medieval philosopher Rabbi Yehuda Halevi lists the people’s lack of desire to return to their homeland as Israel’s greatest historic failing. This serves as a reminder to Jews in today’s generation not to take Israel for granted.Comment

14  I will be at hand for you—declares Hashem—and I will restore your fortunes. And I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have banished you—declares Hashem—and I will bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.

יד  וְנִמְצֵאתִי לָכֶם נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְשַׁבְתִּי אֶת־שביתכם [שְׁבוּתְכֶם] וְקִבַּצְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִכָּל־הַגּוֹיִם וּמִכָּל־הַמְּקוֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר הִדַּחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם שָׁם נְאֻם־יְהוָה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מִשָּׁם׃

15  But you say, “Hashem has raised up neviim for us in Babylon.”

טו  כִּי אֲמַרְתֶּם הֵקִים לָנוּ יְהוָה נְבִאִים בָּבֶלָה׃

16  Thus said Hashem concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did not go out with you into exile—

טז  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיּוֹשֵׁב אֶל־כִּסֵּא דָוִד וְאֶל־כָּל־הָעָם הַיּוֹשֵׁב בָּעִיר הַזֹּאת אֲחֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָצְאוּ אִתְּכֶם בַּגּוֹלָה׃

17  thus said God of Hosts: I am going to let loose sword, famine, and pestilence against them and I will treat them as loathsome figs, so bad that they cannot be eaten.

יז  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת הִנְנִי מְשַׁלֵּחַ בָּם אֶת־הַחֶרֶב אֶת־הָרָעָב וְאֶת־הַדָּבֶר וְנָתַתִּי אוֹתָם כַּתְּאֵנִים הַשֹּׁעָרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תֵאָכַלְנָה מֵרֹעַ׃

18  I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence; and I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror and hissing and scorn among all the nations to which I shall banish them,

יח  וְרָדַפְתִּי אַחֲרֵיהֶם בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדָּבֶר וּנְתַתִּים לזועה [לְזַעֲוָה] לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ לְאָלָה וּלְשַׁמָּה וְלִשְׁרֵקָה וּלְחֶרְפָּה בְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר־הִדַּחְתִּים שָׁם׃

19  because they did not heed My words—declares Hashem—when I persistently sent to them My servants, the neviim, and they did not heed—declares Hashem.

יט  תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר־לֹא־שָׁמְעוּ אֶל־דְּבָרַי נְאֻם־יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַחְתִּי אֲלֵיהֶם אֶת־עֲבָדַי הַנְּבִאִים הַשְׁכֵּם וְשָׁלֹחַ וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

20  But you, the whole exile community which I banished from Yerushalayim to Babylon, hear the word of Hashem!

כ  וְאַתֶּם שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהוָה כָּל־הַגּוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר־שִׁלַּחְתִּי מִירוּשָׁלִַם בָּבֶלָה׃

21  Thus said God of Hosts, the God of Yisrael, concerning Achav son of Kolaiah and Tzidkiyahu son of Maaseiah, who prophesy falsely to you in My name: I am going to deliver them into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he shall put them to death before your eyes.

כא  כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־אַחְאָב בֶּן־קוֹלָיָה וְאֶל־צִדְקִיָּהוּ בֶן־מַעֲשֵׂיָה הַנִּבְּאִים לָכֶם בִּשְׁמִי שָׁקֶר הִנְנִי נֹתֵן אֹתָם בְּיַד נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל וְהִכָּם לְעֵינֵיכֶם׃

22  And the whole community of Yehuda in Babylonia shall use a curse derived from their fate: “May Hashem make you like Tzidkiyahu and Achav, whom the king of Babylon consigned to the flames!”—

כב  וְלֻקַּח מֵהֶם קְלָלָה לְכֹל גָּלוּת יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר בְּבָבֶל לֵאמֹר יְשִׂמְךָ יְהוָה כְּצִדְקִיָּהוּ וּכְאֶחָב אֲשֶׁר־קָלָם מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל בָּאֵשׁ׃

23  because they did vile things in Yisrael, committing adultery with the wives of their fellows and speaking in My name false words which I had not commanded them. I am He who knows and bears witness—declares Hashem.

כג  יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ נְבָלָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיְנַאֲפוּ אֶת־נְשֵׁי רֵעֵיהֶם וַיְדַבְּרוּ דָבָר בִּשְׁמִי שֶׁקֶר אֲשֶׁר לוֹא צִוִּיתִם וְאָנֹכִי הוידע [הַיּוֹדֵעַ] וָעֵד נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

24  Concerning Shemaya the Nehelamite you shall say:

כד  וְאֶל־שְׁמַעְיָהוּ הַנֶּחֱלָמִי תֹּאמַר לֵאמֹר׃

25  Thus said God of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: Because you sent letters in your own name to all the people in Yerushalayim, to Tzefanya son of Maaseiah and to the rest of the kohanim, as follows,

כה  כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יַעַן אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שָׁלַחְתָּ בְשִׁמְכָה סְפָרִים אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִַם וְאֶל־צְפַנְיָה בֶן־מַעֲשֵׂיָה הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶל כָּל־הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר׃

26  “Hashem appointed you kohen in place of the kohen Yehoyada, to exercise authority in the House of Hashem over every madman who wants to play the navi, to put him into the stocks and into the pillory.

כו  יְהוָה נְתָנְךָ כֹהֵן תַּחַת יְהוֹיָדָע הַכֹּהֵן לִהְיוֹת פְּקִדִים בֵּית יְהוָה לְכָל־אִישׁ מְשֻׁגָּע וּמִתְנַבֵּא וְנָתַתָּה אֹתוֹ אֶל־הַמַּהְפֶּכֶת וְאֶל־הַצִּינֹק׃

27  Now why have you not rebuked Yirmiyahu the Anatotite, who plays the navi among you?

כז  וְעַתָּה לָמָּה לֹא גָעַרְתָּ בְּיִרְמְיָהוּ הָעֲנְּתֹתִי הַמִּתְנַבֵּא לָכֶם׃

28  For he has actually sent a message to us in Babylon to this effect: It will be a long time. Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and enjoy their fruit.”—

כח  כִּי עַל־כֵּן שָׁלַח אֵלֵינוּ בָּבֶל לֵאמֹר אֲרֻכָּה הִיא בְּנוּ בָתִּים וְשֵׁבוּ וְנִטְעוּ גַנּוֹת וְאִכְלוּ אֶת־פְּרִיהֶן׃

29  When the kohen Tzefanya read this letter in the hearing of the navi Yirmiyahu,

כט  וַיִּקְרָא צְפַנְיָה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה בְּאָזְנֵי יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא׃

30  the word of Hashem came to Yirmiyahu:

ל  וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר׃

31  Send a message to the entire exile community: “Thus said Hashem concerning Shemaya the Nehelamite: Because Shemaya prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and made you false promises,

לא  שְׁלַח עַל־כָּל־הַגּוֹלָה לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֶל־שְׁמַעְיָה הַנֶּחֱלָמִי יַעַן אֲשֶׁר נִבָּא לָכֶם שְׁמַעְיָה וַאֲנִי לֹא שְׁלַחְתִּיו וַיַּבְטַח אֶתְכֶם עַל־שָׁקֶר׃

32  assuredly, thus said Hashem: I am going to punish Shemaya the Nehelamite and his offspring. There shall be no man of his line dwelling among this people or seeing the good things I am going to do for My people—declares Hashem—for he has urged disloyalty toward Hashem.”

 

לב  לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי פֹקֵד עַל־שְׁמַעְיָה הַנֶּחֱלָמִי וְעַל־זַרְעוֹ לֹא־יִהְיֶה לוֹ אִישׁ יוֹשֵׁב בְּתוֹךְ־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְלֹא־יִרְאֶה בַטּוֹב אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה־לְעַמִּי נְאֻם־יְהוָה כִּי־סָרָה דִבֶּר עַל־יְהוָה׃

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Jeremiah 28
Jeremiah 30

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Jeremiah 29

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