Jeremiah 24 Commentary

Good and bad figs (24:1-10)

On the occasion of Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem in 597 BC, the king Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) was taken captive to Babylon, along with the best of Judah’s people. The people that Babylon did not want were left in Judah and placed under the control of Zedekiah, the new king appointed by Babylon (2 Kings 24:10-17). Jeremiah’s vision of two baskets of figs was concerned with these events (24:1-3).

The people left behind in Jerusalem thought that they had God’s approval, because they were still in their homeland, whereas the others had been punished with shameful exile. Jeremiah points out that this is not so. Those taken captive are the ‘good figs’. The shock of the captivity will awaken many of them to see their sin, repent of it and return to the Lord. God will then bring them back into their land, where they will enjoy a new and living relationship with him (4-7).

Those who remain in Jerusalem are the ‘bad figs’. They continue in their evil ways and think that by relying on Egypt they will escape the power of the Babylonians. Jeremiah tells them that, far from escaping, they will come to the most humiliating and horrible end (8-10).

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