JEREMIAH CHAPTER 24.
The Two Baskets of Figs.
A TYPE OF JUDAH’S FUTURE. — V. 1. The Lord showed me, and, behold, as Jeremiah was vouchsafed this strange vision, two baskets of figs were set before the Temple of the Lord, in the place which was set apart for offerings of this kind, cp. Amos 7, 1. 4. 7, after that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had carried away captive Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, the rulers and nobles, the mighty of the land, with the carpenters and smiths, the craftsmen skilled in the making of weapons, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon, an act which so weakened the power of the Jews as to make it practically impossible for them to prepare for war. Cp. 2 Kings 24, 14-17. This incident evidently happened at the beginning of Zedekiah's reign, when the country had been reduced to a condition of vassalage to the Chaldeans. V. 2. One basket had very good figs, being full of very fine specimens of this fruit, even like the figs that are first ripe, which were considered special delicacies; and the other basket had very naughty figs, bad, unwholesome, rotten fruit, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. V. 3. 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. The purpose of the question was to impress the lesson upon Jeremiah's mind, to call attention to the objects which were to symbolize the Jews. V. 4. Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, v. 5. Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, still the God of the covenant to all who are Israelites in truth, Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, regarding them with favor, extending His pleasure to them, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good, to let them experience His blessings, to have them realize that His method of dealing with them was for their own benefit. V. 6. For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, being most attentive to their wants in this respect, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them and not pull them down, as a building condemned to be wrecked; and I will plant them and not pluck them up, like a poisonous plant or dangerous weed. The removal of these Jews to Babylon saved them from the calamities which befell the rest of the nation, and led them to repentance in the land of their captivity, the result being that their condition was bettered. V. 7. And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, the punishment of the Babylonian captivity directing their minds to the one true God, who could thus carry out His threats, so that they likewise looked for mercy to Him alone; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, thus restoring the original relation, which had been so rudely disturbed and made impossible by their idolatry; for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart, or, "I will be their God when they return to Me with their whole heart." V. 8. And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten they are so evil: surely thus salth the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and his princes, all the rulers and nobles of the people, and the residue of Jerusalem that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt, the obstinate Jews, who refused to heed His warning and accept His advice to yield to the Chaldeans ; v. 9. and I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, literally, "I will give them for a shaking-up, for evil to all kingdoms of the earth," so that abuse and misfortune would strike them everywhere, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them, they would be the object of blasphemous derision on the part of all those with whom they would come into contact. V. 10. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, the great scourges of all times, among them, till they be consumed from off the land, exterminated, extirpated from the Land of Promise, that I gave unto them and to their fathers. Thus the Lord predicts further invasions and repeated sackings of Jerusalem. Thus was His curse, as uttered in the Law, Deut. 28, 37, carried out upon all those who refused Him obedience according to His demand, as a warning to the men of all times.