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A. The Chronology of the Vision 1
1. After Jehoiachin was carried into Babylonian captivity, God gave Jeremiah the vision of the baskets of figs.
2. Notice that God gives great detail on those who were deported.
a. King Jehoiachin, son of King Jehoakim
b. The officials
c. The craftsmen
d. The artisans
e. In other words - the upper crust of Judean society.
B. The Purpose of the Vision 2
1. To declare that the ones who were taken into captivity were actually better off that the ones who were left behind.
2. Naturally those who escaped the deportation would think just the opposite.
C. The Emphasis of the Vision 3
1. The emphasis is on the poor caliber of leadership left in Judah in contrast to the able men now in Babylon.
2. The vision of v.2 resembles the one in Amos 8:18.
3. Some expositors believe the baskets were set before the temple as an offering.
a. First, we must remember that Jeremiah saw them in a vision, not in reality.
b. Second, bad figs could not he offered to the Lord.
c. Fig trees in Palestine produce fruit three times a year.
d. The first-ripe figs are especially juicy and are considered a delicacy; they ripen in June.
e. The question the Lord asked Jeremiah (v.3) was meant to focus attention on the vision and its explanation.
II. The Explanation of the Vision of the Basket of Good Figs 4-7
A. The Good Figs were the exiles of Judah
1. 4-7 This passage identifies the good figs and holds out some comprehensive promises of future blessing:
2. Constant prosperity from the Lord
3. Restoration to their own land
4. Permanent establishment in that land
5. Spiritual turning to the Lord in genuine conversion.
B. The passage explicitly says that the good figs are the exiles of 597 B.C. under Jehoiachin (v.5).
1. The word "good" refers not to the character of the exiles but to their circumstances.
2. They were not taken to Babylon for their piety and godliness.
3. But the Lord promised them that he would look with favor on them (v.6).
4. His feeling of concern for them was manifested in their exemption from the horrors of the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and their being cured of their idolatry.
5. These exiles prospered in Babylon (eL 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jer 29:47).
C. Jeremiahís evaluation of them was the very opposite of the opinion prevalent among the people of the land.
1. To those yet in the land, the very fact that they escaped exile was an evident token that Cod was favorable to them.
2. But the influence of men like Daniel must have helped the exiles. The full force of vv.4-7 may, however, relate to the generality of the Lordís blessings.
D. After purification in Babylon, the exiles will return, whereas those left in Jerusalem will be slain at the destruction of the city. What appeared in 597 B.C. to be all disaster, the Lord will overrule for good. Judgment will have its intended result.
E. Jeremiah was right: the future of the nation lay with its exiled portion.
1. Physical restoration to the land would be followed by spiritual renewal (v.7).
2. God foretold their reinstatement into the original covenant (cit 31:31-34) an event in the distant future.
III. The Explanation of the Vision of the Basket of Bad Figs 8-10
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