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Jeremiah;- The baskets of figs (ch24)

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posted on Sep, 30 2022 @ 05:01 PM
The vision which occupies ch24 was given at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. The previous king had just been taken into exile by Nebuchadnezzar, along with “the princes of Judah, the craftsmen and the smiths”.

Back in 2016, I put up a thread covering the whole relationship between Jeremiah and Zedekiah (“the nervous king”). This was my summary of the current chapter;

The Lord showed Jeremiah a vision of two baskets of figs. The figs in one basket were very good, while the figs in the other were so bad that they could not be eaten. The good figs represented the exiles in Babylon, the bad figs represented the remnant in Jerusalem. This was not about the real qualities of the two communities. In their lack of judgement and righteousness, there was probably little to choose between them. It was a prophecy about their fates. The exile community would be treated like the basket of good figs, something to be conserved and protected. The community in Jerusalem would be treated like the basket of bad figs, something to be thrown away.

This time round, we have space to look at the detail more closely.

Kings adds the information that the Babylonians took away the “men of valour”. The craftsmen and the smiths were the men capable of making new weapons. The city was being disarmed.

Like a good teacher, the Lord invites Jeremiah to tell him what he can see (thus focussing the mind),

The full promise given to the exile community is; “I shall set my eyes on them for good and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them”.

Perhaps the most important promise is that he will change their hearts; “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, and they shall return to me with their whole heart.”

In other words, he wants to bring an end to the whole cycle of sin-punishment-rescue, which had been the history of Israel ever since they entered the land. The promise that begins as early as Hosea is that he will heal them of their sin. There will be no further need to punish them for their sin, because they will stop doing it. This is a truly eschatological promise, which has not yet been fulfilled. We are waiting for the last chapter of Revelation.

Whereas Zedekiah and the people who remain in the city with him (or flee into Egypt) will gain a bad reputation. They will be a “horror” to all the kingdoms of the earth. They will become a byword, a taunt, and a curse (“may you become like the inhabitants of Jerusalem!”).

Finally, he threatens them with the familiar trio of “the sword, pestilence, and famine”, which will destroy them in the land.

posted on Sep, 30 2022 @ 08:09 PM
I can certainly accept that with the episode where a bunch of Israelites run to Egypt. I wouldn't think the remnant would be condemned; the Babylonians allowed them to stay to work the land.

posted on Oct, 1 2022 @ 12:45 AM
a reply to: ElGoobero
It could be a question of which one survives as an organised religious community. History shows the tradition being preserved in Babylon and eventually being transferred back to Jerusalem.


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