Yahweh shows Jeremiah a basket of ripe figs to be eaten and a basket of spoiled figs to be discarded. This means that Yahweh will reinstate and bless the Judean exiles but cast off and kill king Zedekiah, his officials, and the Judeans in Egypt.
The analogy is explained: “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 (Babylon).” (v. 5)
III. Select Verses
2-3: One 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. And the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “Figs — the good ones are very good, and the bad ones very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”
5-7: Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: 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. I 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. And I will give them the understanding to acknowledge Me, for I am the LORD. And they shall be My people and I will be their God, when they turn back to Me with all their heart.
8-10: And like the bad figs, which are so bad that they cannot be eaten — thus said the Lord — so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials and the remnant of Jerusalem that is left in this land, and those who are living in the land of Egypt: I 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. I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence against them until they are exterminated from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.
1a. Two baskets of figs at the temple
1b. Date: Zedekiah (after Jeconiah’s exile)
2-3. One basket is ripe, the other cannot be eaten
4-7. Yahweh will reinstate and bless the Judaean exiles
8-10. Yahweh will exterminate Zedekiah, his officials, and the Judeans in Egypt
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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