Jeremiah has a vision of two baskets of figs. The good figs represent the Jewish people taken into exile. The bad figs represent those who stayed.
VERSE 1. The LORD showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs were set before the LORD’s temple, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
two baskets of figs were set before the LORD’s temple. This brings to mind the offering of the firstfruits in a basket before the Lord.
after Nebuchadnezzar … carried away … Jeconiah. Jeremiah received this vision after Jeconiah was taken into exile. That gives us a date of 597 BC or after.
VERSE 2. One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first-ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
One basket had very good figs. These firstfruits could be offered to the LORD God.
the other basket had very bad figs. These firstfruits could NOT be offered to the LORD God.
VERSE 3. Then the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs. The good figs are very good, and the bad are very bad, so bad that can’t be eaten.”
VERSE 4. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 5. “The LORD, the God of Israel says: ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Kasdim, for good.
so I will regard the captives of Judah. The good figs represent the people from Judah who had been taken into exile in Babylon.
This would have been very surprising. That is because the people of Jerusalem imagined that the LORD God resided in Jerusalem, and that proximity to Jerusalem was necessary. Conversely, to be far from Jerusalem meant you were far from the LORD God.
In short, they lived as though the LORD God of the universe was a mere territorial god.
VERSE 6. For I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land. I will build them, and not pull them down. I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
I will bring them again to this land. A minority of the people were indeed restored to the Holy Land after the Babylonian Captivity.
VERSE 7. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God; for they will return to me with their whole heart.
VERSE 8. “ ‘As the bad figs, which can’t be eaten, they are so bad,’ surely the LORD says, ‘So I will give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the remnant of Jerusalem, who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.
the bad figs … Zedekiah. The bad figs represented king Zedekiah and the other survivors who stayed in Israel or who fled to Egypt.
VERSE 9. I will even give them up to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil; to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I will drive them.
VERSE 10. I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, until they are consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers.’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.