This prophecy Jeremiah 24:1-10 is the final outcome of what has gone before. Never perhaps has a reigning king been addressed in such contemptuous terms. When Jeconiah was carried to Babylon, Zedekiah, the priests, prophets, and people of Jerusalem congratulated themselves upon being saved from such a fate: really all that was good among them was then culled out, and placed in safety; and they were left behind because they were not worth the taking.
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.Omit "were." "Set before," i. e put in the appointed place for offerings of firstfruits in the forecourt of the temple.
Carpenters - "Craftsmen" (see the marginal reference).
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.Fig-trees bear three crops of figs, of which the first is regarded as a great delicacy.
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.
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,The complete fulfillment of this prophecy belongs to the Christian Church. There is a close analogy between Jeremiah at the first destruction of Jerusalem and our Lord at the second. There the good figs were those converts picked out by the preaching of Christ and the Apostles; the bad figs were the mass of the people left for Titus and the Romans to destroy.
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.Acknowledge ... for their good - Specially their spiritual good. Put a comma after Chaldaeans.
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.
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.
And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I 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:That dwell in the land of Egypt - Neither those carried captive with Jehoahaz into Egypt, nor those who fled there, are to share in these blessings. The new life of the Jewish nation is to be the work only of the exiles in Babylon.
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.
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.