IV. CONCERNING THE DESTINY
OF THE CAPTIVES IN BABYLON
AND OF THOSE WHO REMAINED IN JUDAH
Chapter twenty-nine is concerned with the destiny of the captives in Babylon and of those who remained in Judah. The children of Israel had been divided into two groups: one group in exile, in Babylon, and one group remaining in Judah.
A. Jeremiah’s Genuine Prophecy
concerning the Captives in Babylon
Let us first consider Jeremiah’s genuine prophecy concerning the destiny of the captives in Babylon (vv. 1-7, 10-14).
1. Sending a Letter
The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon (vv. 1-2).
2. Telling the Exiles
to Build Houses for Their Dwelling
In his letter Jeremiah indicated to the exiles that they should expect not to return shortly but to stay in Babylon a long time. Thus, he told them to build houses for their dwelling, to plant gardens for producing food, to have marriages that they may multiply, and to pray for the peace of the city where they dwell that they may have peace (vv. 4-7).
3. Jehovah Visiting Them
and Bringing Them Back to the Holy Land
Jeremiah prophesied that when the seventy years of exile were fulfilled, Jehovah would visit them and bring them back to the holy land. His thoughts about them were thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give them a latter end and a hope (vv. 10-14).
B. The False Prophecies of the Prophets,
Diviners, and Dreamers among the Exiles
The false prophecies of the prophets, diviners, and dreamers among the exiles deceived them and said that Jehovah had raised up for them prophets in Babylon (vv. 8-9, 15).
(Life-Study of Jeremiah and Lamentations, Chapter 23, by Witness Lee)