Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14 (NRSV)
1 These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah
sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and
to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar
had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all
the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what
6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for
your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear
sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you
into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare
you will find your welfare.
8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do
not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive
you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,
9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my
name; I did not send them, says the Lord.
10 For thus says
the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed
will I visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring
you back to this place.
11 For surely
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare
and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
12 Then when you
call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
13 When you search
for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,
14 I will let
you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and
gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have
driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place
from which I sent you into exile.