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Jeremiah wrote a letter to the captives in Babylon advising them what to do in view of the long captivity of 70 years. They were not to live unsettled in Babylon, expecting to go back to Palestine soon, as false prophets of Judah were predicting in Jerusalem. It would not be sensible to remain in uncertainty and live temporary lives in view of 70 years there. They could build houses, plant gardens, bring up their own families and those of their children before they would possibly be permitted to return to their homeland (Jer. 29:4- 7). Please refer the Twelve Commands to Captives below: 1. Build houses, and dwell in them (Jer. 29: 5). 2. Plant gardens, and eat of them. 3. Take wives and beget children (Jer. 29: 6). 4. Take wives for your sons. 5. Give your daughters to husbands. 6. Seek the peace of Babylon (Jer. 29: 7). 7. Pray to Jehovah for peace. 8. Let not your prophets and diviners deceive you (Jer. 29: 8). 9. Do not hearken to their dreams. 10. Hear the word of the Lord (Jer. 29: 20- 23). 11. Speak to Shemaiah (Jer. 29: 24). 12. Send to all them of the captivity (Jer. 29: 31). All this Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon, but it was contrary to other letters being sent to them by false prophets; so they were confused as to which course to follow. Hananiah, for instance, had predicted that all captives would return within two full years, so many did not have the heart to build up homes and business on a permanent basis (Jer. 28:1- 11). There were some in Babylon who even wanted to cause rebellion there, instead of submitting to foreign rule. Jeremiah sought to impress upon them that this was the wrong policy. He stated that if they would pray and work for peace in Babylon, they would have peace, but if they worked for war that is what they would have (Jer. 29:7). Jeremiah's advice would eventually be heeded, for in two years all could see that the prophecy of Hananiah was false. Eight classes Jeremiah's letters sent to: 1. Elders (Jer. 29:1) 2. Priests 3. Prophets 4. King and Queen 5. Princes 6. Eunuchs 7. Carpenters 8. Smiths The letter of Jeremiah was sent by the hand of these two ambassadors from Judah to Babylon. What business they had with Nebuchadnezzar is not known unless it concerned the fact that Zedekiah and Judah did not intend to submit to Babylon any longer. This was in the fourth year of Zedekiah, about seven years before the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 28:1). God wanted them to multiply while in captivity and not be diminished. He had further use for the nation, so it must not be exterminated. It was God's will for the captives to become a part of the nation where they sojourned, adding to the public welfare by praying and working for peace, for it was only by the nation's peace that they could have peace. This is God's will for any people. Christianity demands that every Christian add to the betterment of the society in which he lives, so as to make the world a better place (Rom. 13). Seven Predictions of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem (Jer. 29:1- 14).-- Fulfilled: 1. Build houses in Babylon and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat of them; take wives and beget sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands; have grandchildren; seek the peace of the land of your captivity; pray for it, for if it has peace you will have peace-- you will be 70 years in captivity (Jer. 29:4- 10) 2. After the 70 years of captivity I will visit you, and perform the good word toward you, in causing you to return to your homeland (Jer. 29:10) 3. Then you will call upon Me, and I will hear your prayers (Jer. 29:12) 4. You will seek Me, and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart (Jer. 29:13) 5. I will be found of you (Jer. 29:14) 6. I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all nations 7. I will bring you again into your land
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