1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

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

3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

7 And I will give 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 return unto me with their whole heart.

8 And the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So I will give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:

9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive 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 gave unto them and to their fathers.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jeremiah
Book: Jeremiah
Chapter: 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.

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