Chapter 24

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1 The Lord shewed mee, and behold, two baskets of figges were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchad-rezzar king of Babylon had caried away captiue Ieconiah the sonne of Iehoiakim king of Iudah, and the princes of Iudah, with the carpenters and smiths from Ierusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

2 One basket had very good figges, euen like the figges that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figges, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

3 Then said the Lord vnto me; What seest thou Ieremiah? and I said: Figges: the good figges, very good and the euill, very euill, that cannot be eaten, they are so euill.

4 Againe, the word of the Lord came vnto me, saying;

5 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Like these good figges, so will I acknowledge them that are caried away captiue of Iudah, whom I haue sent out of this place into the land of the Caldeans for their good.

6 For I will set mine eyes vpon them for good, and I will bring them againe to this land, and I will build them, and not pull them downe, and I will plant them, and not plucke them vp.

7 And I will giue them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall returne vnto me with their whole heart.

8 And as the euill figges which cannot be eaten, they are so euill; (Surely thus saith the Lord) so will I giue Zedekiah the king of Iudah, and his princes, and the residue of Ierusalem, that remaine in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt.

9 And I will deliuer them to be remoued into all the kingdomes of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproch and a prouerbe, a taunt and a curse in all places whither I shall driue them.

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

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Commentary for Jeremiah 24

Good and bad figs represent the Jews in captivity, and those who remain in their own land.

- The prophet saw two baskets of figs set before the temple, as offerings of first-fruits. The figs in one basket were very good, those in the other basket very bad. What creature viler than a wicked man? and what more valuable than a godly man? This vision was to raise the spirits of those gone into captivity, by assuring them of a happy return; and to humble and awaken the proud and secure spirits of those yet in Jerusalem, by assuring them of a miserable captivity. The good figs represents the pious captives. We cannot determine as to God's love or hatred by what is before us. Early suffering sometimes proves for the best. The sooner the child is corrected, the better effect the correction is likely to have. Even this captivity was for their good; and God's intentions never are in vain. By afflictions they were convinced of sin, humbled under the hand of God, weaned from the world, taught to pray, and turned from sins, particularly from idolatry. God promises that he will own them in captivity. The Lord will own those who are his, in all conditions. God assures them of his protection in trouble, and a glorious deliverance in due time. When our troubles are sanctified to us, we may be sure that they will end well. They shall return to him with their whole heart. Thus they should have liberty to own him for their God, to pray to him, and expect blessings from him. The bad figs were Zedekiah and those of his party yet in the land. These should be removed for their hurt, and forsaken of all mankind. God has many judgments, and those that escape one, may expect another, till they are brought to repent. Doubtless, this prophecy had its fulfilment in that age; but the Spirit of prophecy may here look forward to the dispersion of the unbelieving Jews, in all the nations of the earth. Let those who desire blessings from the Lord, beg that he will give them a heart to know him.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Jeremiah 24

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