|Jeremiah 29 |
1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captives, and to the priests, the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;
2 (After Jeconiah the king, the queen, the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the carpenters, and the smiths, had departed from Jerusalem.)
3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah, king of Judah, sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,
4 "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who have been carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon;
5 Build houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take yourselves wives, and bear sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; so that you may be increased in numbers and not be diminished there.
7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray to the LORD for it. Because in the peace of the city, you shall have peace.
8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in the midst of you, deceive you; neither pay any attention to your dreams or to theirs.1
9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name. I have not sent them," says the Lord.
10 For thus says the Lord, "That after seventy years have passed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you by causing you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you," says the Lord, "thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hopeful future.
12 Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to 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 by you," says the Lord; "and I will turn away your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you," says the Lord; "and I will bring you again into the place where I caused you to be carried away captive. [From the Word of the Lord within: "Just like Judaism was taken over by the enemy, so has Christianity, which is corrupt through and through. There is no church in the world that Christ set up specifically. Like Daniel, you are captive of the Chaldeans. Your place of worship is filled with unclean birds." Unclean birds are demons.]
15 Because you have said, 'The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;'
16 Know that thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits upon the throne of David, and of all the people who dwell in this city, and of your brothers who have not gone forth with you into captivity:
17 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; and I will make them like vile figs that cannot be eaten because they are so evil.
18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence; and I will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, an astonishment, a disgust, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them;
19 Because they have not heeded my words," says the Lord, "whom I sent to them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear," says the Lord.
20 "Therefore, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon, hear the word of the Lord.
21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy lies to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
22 And because of them the following curse shall be taken up by all from Judah in captivity at Babylon, saying, 'The LORD make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
23 Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness,'" says the Lord.
24 "Thus shall you also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying,
25 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests; in the letter saying,
26 'The LORD has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, so that you should be officers in the house of the LORD; and so that you should put in prison and in the stocks every man who is insane and declares himself a prophet.
27 Therefore why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, who declares himself a prophet to you?
28 For he sent to us in Babylon, saying, that this captivity will be long; so build yourselves houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.'"
29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
30 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,
31 "Send to all them of the captivity, saying, 'Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, when I did not send him, and because he caused you to trust in a lie.
32 Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah 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,' says the Lord; 'because he has taught rebellion against the LORD.'"
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1 neither pay any attention to your dreams or to theirs [the so-called Jewish prophets in exile at Babylon]. A common mistake of many people is to try to interpret dreams. George Fox wrote about dreams in his Journal:
Going on to another place I came among a people that relied too much on dreams for their spiritual guidance. I told them unless they could distinguish between dream and dream they would confuse them all together for there were three sorts of dreams: multitude of business sometimes caused dreams, there were whisperings of satan in man at night, and there were speakings of God to man in dreams. These people stopped relying on dreams and at last became Friends.
If God speaks to you in a dream, it will be absolutely clear, without a shadow of doubt, what he is telling you. Any dream that requires you to interpret the events, should be ignored; these dreams are deliberately given to you by Satan to tempt you to interpret them, he knowing that you will likely interpret them in a way to justify satisfying your lusts. The same thing applies to visions received in your meditations; if the meaning is not totally clear, if it does not make good sense, if it is not moral, ignore it. And be very cautious in believing anything someone else has dreamed.
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