Good and Bad Figs

Jeremiah 24:1–10

Biblical Period

1The Lord showed me two baskets of figs, placed in front of the Temple of the Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had exiled King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, and the officials of Judah, and the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2One basket contained very good figs, like first-ripened figs, and the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten.

3And the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “Figs—the good ones are very good, and the bad ones very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”

4Then the word of the Lord came to me:

5Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: As with these good figs, so will I single out for good the Judean exiles whom I have driven out from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6I will look upon them favorably, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not overthrow them; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7And I will give them the understanding to acknowledge Me, for I am the Lord. And they shall be My people and I will be their God, when they turn back to Me with all their heart.

8And like the bad figs, which are so bad that they cannot be eaten—thus said the Lord—so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials and the remnant of Jerusalem that is left in this land, and those who are living in the land of Egypt: 9I will make them a horror—an evil—to all the kingdoms of the earth, a disgrace and a proverb, a byword and a cursea in all the places to which I banish them. 10I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence against them until they are exterminated from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.


I.e., a standard by which men curse.


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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