1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) the prophet sent from Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests (kohanim), and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) to Babylon (Bavel);
2 (After that Yekhonyah the king, and the queen, and the officials, the princes of Judah (Yehudah) and Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem (Yerushalayim);)
3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemaryah the son of Chilqiyahu, (whom Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) king of Judah (Yehudah) sent unto Babylon (Bavel) to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Bavel)) saying,
4 Thus saith יהוה of hosts (YHWH Tsevaot), the God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) unto Babylon (Bavel):
5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take you 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; that you may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto יהוה for it; for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.
8 For thus saith יהוה of hosts (YHWH Tsevaot), the God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael): ‘Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in My name; I have not sent them,’ saith יהוה.
10 For thus saith יהוה: ‘That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon (Bavel) 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,’ saith יהוה, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.
14 And I will be found of you,’ saith יהוה; ‘and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you,’ saith יהוה; ‘and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.’
15 Because you have said, “יהוה hath raised us up prophets in Babylon (Bavel).”
16 Know that thus saith יהוה of the king that sitteth upon the throne of Dawid, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
17 Thus saith יהוה of hosts (YHWH Tsevaot): ‘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 deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:
19 Because they have not hearkened to My words,’ saith יהוה, ‘which I sent unto them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear,’ saith יהוה.
20 Hear you therefore the word of יהוה, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) to Babylon (Bavel):
21 Thus saith יהוה of hosts (YHWH Tsevaot), the God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), of Achav the son of Qolayah, and of Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) the son of Maaseyah, which prophesy a lie unto you in My name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Bavel); and he shall slay them before your eyes;
22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah (Yehudah) which are in Babylon (Bavel), saying, “יהוה make you like Zedekiah (Tsidqiyahu) and like Achav, whom the king of Babylon (Bavel) roasted in the fire”;
23 Because they have committed villany in Yisrael, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in My name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith יהוה.
24 Thus shalt you also speak to Shemayahu the Nehelamite, saying:
25 “Thus speaketh יהוה of hosts (YHWH Tsevaot), the God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), saying: ‘Because you have sent letters in your name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), and to Zephaniah (Tsefanyah) the son of Maaseyah the priest (kohen), and to all the priests (kohanim), saying,
26 “יהוה hath made you priest (kohen) in the stead of Yehoyada the priest (kohen), that you should be officers in the house of יהוה, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that you shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks.
27 Now therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you?
28 For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon (Bavel), saying, ‘This capti-vity is long; build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.’”
29 And Zephaniah (Tsefanyah) the priest (kohen) read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) the prophet.
30 Then came the word of יהוה unto Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu), saying:
31 “Send to all them of the captivity, saying, ‘Thus saith יהוה concerning Shemayahu the Nehelamite: “Because that Shemayahu hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie,”
32 Therefore thus saith יהוה: “Behold, I will punish Shemayahu the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for My people,” saith יהוה, “because he hath taught rebellion against יהוה.”’”