Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah…
The captives already in Babylon are compared to good fruit, such as is fit for use and sweet to the taste. The party in Jerusalem as yet free, is compared to bad fruit, unfit for use, and nauseous to the palate. And yet if one judged by the mere outward aspect of things, the state of the captives in the enemies' city seemed a much more undesirable one than that of their brethren in the metropolis of their own land. Hence we see that the good or evil of one's circumstances is not to be judged by outward appearances. Often what seems a peculiarly hard and distressing position proves to have been the very best for us. God humbles us, and tries us sorely at the first, in order to do us good in our latter end.
(A. R. Fausset, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.